By Fred Koenig
Sometimes having a physical, artistic representation of a metaphor helps bring home the message. Webster Hills UMC was doing just that when the church came together to wrap the church in prayer one Sunday morning on October 21.
In addition to wrapping the church in prayer, they also wrapped the entire exterior of their church chapel, sanctuary and education wing with 450 yards of a 19-inch wide band of blue gossamer ribbon. Rev. Linda Gastreich said explaining the point of what they were going to do and why they were doing it wasn’t easy, but when they did it the congregation found it to be a meaningful and unifying process.
“When a church is constructed, the grounds are consecrated. The land is claimed as holy ground — a place where God’s work will be done and from which the people of God will be sent in God’s name. Nearly 90 years ago, this land was consecrated — claimed as holy ground. Generations of people have passed through these doors seeking to know God and to know God’s will for their lives,” Gastreich stated in the opening of the prayer service. “We know that with each phase of construction there was new energy — new life — new hope. Today, we claim this ground once again as holy ground. We come together as the people of Webster Hills United Methodist Church to ask God to join with us in lighting a fire of the spirit. We ask God to energize us — to inspire us — to challenge us and to bless us. We do not ask for blessings of wealth or prosperity — but of wisdom, courage, a desire for peace and justice, and above all, a readiness to live as people who follow Jesus.”
The congregation followed the opening with a liturgy asking for blessings for the ministries of the church and guidance for themselves as they move forward into the future.