(“A Bench on Wellington” was created during worship on July 6, 2014, by Sunday’s liturgist Brenda Van Halsema Friedman together with the people in attendance at Sunday morning worship. It commemorates the bench at sits in front of the church, which was created by Wellington minister of liturgical art John G. Volkening and participants of the 2013 church retreat, that invites anyone to sit and take rest in the shelter of the church.)
With broad back and
a sweet seat, a place to meet
your neighbor, the city dweller;
a place to be embraced
when you are reflective – a venue
sworn and proven true to love, protect
and accept you, let’s get to know you,
at the bench of welcome.
Warm colors speak softly of God’s presence
like trees planted on the Michigan shore,
a public sanctuary for the future
of the Lakeview neighbor, that city dweller.
A shady respite on a hot summer day,
the bench is friendly and says
“all are welcome, come
and rest here with me.”
A few moments of conversation with a friend;
a rest for moms and small children;
a sheltered space to just be, and observe the community
that we are a part of.
A place to meditate, a place to rest for a moment
and lay one’s burden down.
A greeting, an extension, a reaching out;
a place for the tired to feel peace at any time.
An invitation to everyone, with no exception,
God’s message of welcome and acceptance for all –
this church backs this message:
there’s always a place for you at WAUCC.
An annunciation arriving in bold, colorful letters,
demonstrating openness, inclusiveness, and
risking new encounters. An invitation to rest, to share,
and even –-perhaps — to enter the Open Door.