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Home » Communique » Archive » 2004 » March Stories Send to a friend     print

wooden cross illuminated from behind on a wood panelled wall

March 25, 2004

In our congregations there are stories to tell, stories full of the mysteries and joy of our faith – stories of the Holy Spirit at work among us.

Bright Ideas and LWF Candles

Nine large candles were created for the 2003 LWF Assembly in Winnipeg. Clarence Yahnke, of Ridgeville, Manitoba designed rustic birch stands to hold each of them. Before and after the Assembly, those candles stood in places of honour in nine local worship areas.

But what does a congregation do with a candle that is taller than many of the small children at the church and a stand that keeps it just slightly out of reach of most acolytes?

Pastor Larry Ulrich of Faith Lutheran, Winnipeg, writes "We have continued to use it as our Paschal Candle, so it is placed beside our baptismal font and is lit for Baptisms, funerals, etc."

According to Pastor David Saude of Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd in Selkirk, "The stand has been draped with green ivy through the fall, and poinsettias through the Advent/Christmas season. It is a reminder of our partner churches around the world."

But not all has gone that smoothly. In order to continue using their candle, the people of St. John's Anglican Cathedral had to build a special cradle and straighten it out after it bent in the summer heat. The candle at National Office cannot be lit. It stands too close to the ceiling smoke detectors!

Rev Jamie Howison reports that at St Stephen/St Bede, "Our candle suffered two large cracks when it was knocked over, and we've struggled to figure what to do with it now."

Perhaps they could follow the lead of Sherwood Park congregation in Winnipeg where the worship committee had it cut into 10 smaller candles. A generous member was willing to gum up his saw blade with wax and at the 2003 Christmas Eve candlelight service, ten fat candles glowed on the altar rail. "The wick is extra thick, so the flame is quite brilliant. We look forward to using them often, especially during Lent when we hold evening services." said Pastor Tom Lurvey.

The "bright lights" of the Tenth LWF Assembly may be gone, but creative stewards have kept the candles burning. Matthew 5:16

In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven.

More information about the LWF candles including a photo.

You are invited to read, and use this story in whatever way is useful in your congregation.

Perhaps you have experienced it – that moment within your faith community when you knew that the Holy Spirit was there among you. Share that story by sending it to communique@elcic.ca with the subject line "Stories of the Spirit."

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