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The Crosses of Santa Fe - and an Invitation

What are the images and influences you bring into your life, the ones there by invitation? The books kept at our bedside, the art collected on trips, the photos saved on our phones? Add to those, the images that come uninvited. Daily intrusions from the internet, sensational news reports on TV, ads everywhere we look. And then there are the ones in the environment around us, ones that join our daily lives passively, like a remora hitching a ride with a whale. And what effects do those images, and symbols have on us, our attitudes, our attention, our faith?


These questions began when my wife Sandy and I spent two weeks in Santa Fe, New Mexico last April. So many parts of the city speak to you; history, art, culture, and the stark beauty of the landscape in that part of our country. One of the things I enjoy about travel is that it takes me out of my daily and weekly routines. Less TV, less internet. The climate is different, the scenery is new. I have to pay attention when driving roads that are different than the ones I drive at home. Even the food is an invitation to try something novel. 


So much of Santa Fe delivers one away from the habits of home. There are 200 art

galleries, a dozen museums, layers of history everywhere you look. There is adobe architecture, restaurants that serve dishes bursting with unique spices and ingredients. A short drive out of town delivers you into red rock landscapes and desert vistas.


But what really caught my attention were the crosses of Santa Fe. They were everywhere. Weathered wood crosses on church steeples. Masonry crosses atop garden walls and gates. Large, bronze crosses standing in gardens. You see them inside the restaurants and museums, in gardens and homes - everywhere. Small ones crafted of metal and glass, wood and wire, ceramic and cloth. I counted 50 small crosses in the Airbnb where we stayed. I found their company comforting. I enjoyed these small, daily reminders that God is with me in this life.


In the year since that visit, I’ve found myself playing with designs for crosses. And I’ve made several. One from branches of cholla cactus and a piece of turquoise from our trip. Another of wood inspired by the stone Celtic crosses I saw in Ireland. One from multi-colored scallop shells from the sands of Virginia Beach. I keep a box of wood scraps in my shop to make crosses.



So, as we progress through the season of Lent, let me invite you to join me for a

workshop to make your own crosses that I will lead Sunday, March 17 after church

in the Fellowship Hall. We will begin with a quick BYO lunch and visit with others taking the class. Then, you can choose from variety of designs to make crosses, from 1-3pm. Wood, tools, and supplies will be provided but you may want to bring some of your own materials to make and decorate crosses of your own design. See the weekly church email for more info and registration.



Craig DeBussey joined GPPC in 2022. When he is not traveling with Sandy, he gets after his list of woodworking commissions via LineTree Woodworks.










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