This outdoor sculpture was commissioned for the church’s 40th anniversary. It was created by Adam Jennings and designed by Phil Schaefer. It contains 40 sheaves or blades representing each year of the church’s history. The blades rise in ascending order symbolizing God adding to the church with each blade having a bud showing the fruitfulness of each year. While sheaves are fragile the wrought iron sheaves are immovable. They point to Ps.1 which says, “that brings forth its fruit in its season, whose leaf shall not whither, and whatever he does shall prosper.’ The stones lay a path of the person who walks in the counsel of godliness, also a reference to Ps.1.
The title for this work is ‘IN THE SHADOW OF GOD’. This title comes from Bezaleel who was the artisan appointed by God through Moses to craft the tabernacle in the wilderness – ‘See, I have called by name Bazaleel…and have filled him with the Spirit of God in wisdom, in understanding , in knowledge, and in all manner of workmanship, to design artistic works’ – Ex.31. Bezaleel means ‘in the shadow (or protection) of God.
This work is a tribute to creativity and to artisans. Our God is creative in His being. He takes pleasure in creating and in our delighting in what He has made. He has made us to be creative. It also reminds us that the Gospel is not utilitarian. Our faith is not something that only serves our purpose. It says our God is a God of beauty, mirth, and enjoyment.
There was an intentional connection between the design of this piece and the entry design of King’s Meadow subdivision at Scott Blvd and Christian Fellowship Rd. It connects the church’s earliest development to its future development on the property on Chapel Hill. This sculpture will move with the relocation of the Church. It also has a similarity with artwork in downtown Columbia in front of the Landmark Bank on Broadway between Eighth and Ninth Streets. It is meant to remind us that a local church has a vital part to play in the community.
The piece is as yet unfinished as the final touches of color are still to be added.