October 20, 2016

The shepherd’s staff, or crosier, has symbolized the office of Bishop since the 4th century when the first bishops were brought forth to lead the Church. Those called and elected to the episcopacy serve under the Lordship of Christ, the “Good Shepherd who laid His life down for His sheep.” 
    
It has been the tradition in the South Central Jurisdiction that the sending conference gifts a newly elected bishop with their Episcopal staff to be used at largely ceremonial events, like Ordination, in their assigned episcopal area.
    
Woodworking craftsman Marc Gragg, husband of Conference staffer Jenny Gragg, has completed the work on the crosier. 
    
“It was fun. I enjoyed doing it,” Gragg said.
    
He was asked to use Black Walnut, since Missouri has more of these trees than any other state, and the wood is known to be strong and beautiful 
    
"I cut the entire staff from a 3/4 inch Black Walnut board, cutting two out of the same board and putting them together to achieve the proper thickness,” Gragg said. “After it was shaped it was given five coats of clear lacquer. It was left intentionally long at this point so multiple coats could be applied when it was upright in the base.”
    
The base, according to Gragg, represents the highs and lows of spiritual leadership.
    
The staff was presented to Bishop Farr by Rev. Cody Collier at Converge.