It was a baptism of fire that sparked Elisabeth Clarke’s unique ministry almost a decade ago.
Well, it was actually a box of about 50 cardboard candles falling from a box that caused her (pre-) light bulb moment.
Then it hit her – the box of candles. The decorations had fallen from a cupboard in her small church office. Thankfully, no damage was done.
But it got her thinking. The decorations appeared just in time for Pentecost Sunday.
‘I thought “Holy smoke, I might just use these candles somehow”’, she says. They went up around the church foyer, becoming her first display. So began a ministry that has created inviting and interesting spaces in foyers – areas which Elisabeth says are often relegated to being busy, cluttered storage spaces.
Her displays have ranged from seasonal wall-mounted decorations and bright posters, to inviting displays of tracts for people to take. In her current congregation of Immanuel, North Adelaide, in South Australia, Elisabeth has made a large wooden cross the centrepiece of her displays. ‘I made Christ the centre of everything I did’, she says.
The concept of presenting a peaceful entrance space is a way of blessing everyone who walks through the church doors’, Elisabeth says. Her prayer is that foyers will be used to share welcoming messages about the church and its seasons.
And now, as some congregations slowly reopen their doors, the challenge will be how to ensure church entries become inviting, peaceful spaces again. ‘We are inviting people into a place of peace’, she says. ‘It comes back to God being in this heart of this.’
- Visit www.lca.org.au/spread-the-word to find promotional materials (bulletin inserts, A5 flyers, PowerPoint slides and social media posts) to help you spread the word about our Story of the Week.
- Read the full Story of the Week and other stories like it in The Lutheran. 11 editions/year. Only $45 (Aust), $47 (NZ). Gift subscriptions available. To subscribe: online www.thelutheran.com.au email email@example.com phone 08 8360 7270