I never imagined being ordained (I’m sure it was a shock to many others, too!), much less serving as a pastor at Advent for almost 13 years! But, now I can’t imagine being anywhere. This congregation has watched me grow as a pastor and extended much grace to me when I’ve completely dropped the ball. We have celebrated together when goals have been attained. They have loved me in the midst of the ups and downs of life. And I hope that I’ve shared as much grace and love with them as I have experienced.
Advent is blessed to have the liturgical art of Ernst Schwidder in our sanctuary. These three pieces, the reredos, altar and pulpit, are beautiful pieces that add to our worship each week. His mahogany wood sculpting is easily recognizable for its long, lean, flowing lines, as well as for its idiosyncratic uppercase lettering of Scripture passages. In the craft of an artist, Schwidder did not intend to produce lifelike images, but to design through wood carving and other media visual theological truth apropos to the church setting and ministry in which his work had been commissioned.
The body of Jesus on this cross is not dying - it is the risen Christ. His hands indicate a servant posture as he returns to serve the world, which is reflected in the circle behind the cross. The clouds at the top of the circle show Jesus "coming on the clouds" - this proclaims Jesus as the bridge between heaven and earth. There are 8 stars. The center star is the "morning star" from Revelation 2:28 heralding the dawn and representing resurrection. The other seven stars represent the Christian churches in Asian Minor from Revelation. As John was instructed to write to these churches, we ponder what John would have to write about Advent today as we strive to live into the light and love of the resurrected Christ.