By Beth Fulmer, A Synod Communicator for Messiah, Mauldin

During this year, members of Messiah Lutheran Church in Mauldin celebrated Messiah’s 50th anniversary in addition to celebrating the the 500th anniversary of the Reformation. In so doing, many activities took place; however, there was one activity which was most probably “a first” among the Lutheran Churches in South Carolina.

Inspired by a thrift shop Christmas tree made completely from jewelry, Laura Boyer (a member of Messiah since “day one”) and her sister discovered an art form that was very unique. Having pieces of jewelry from their recently deceased mother, they embarked on preserving her memory by creating pieces of art using the jewelry that they would not be wearing. It was a way, as she described, “to remember her mother” and to share those memories with her sib-lings.

Not stopping there, Laura created a piece of art like no other to celebrate Messiah’s 50th anni-versary and the Reformation. Starting in March, she posted a small note on Messiah’s kiosk requesting jewelry that was no longer “wearable” or which the owner would probably discard. She got bits and pieces every week. The congregation was not aware of how this jewelry would ultimately be used.

Laura, however, had a master plan which was spawned from the emblem on Messiah’s church bulletin and the quilt hanging in Luther Hall, a large room where members gather for special events. (The quilt itself is special because it was made from fabric donated by every member of the congregation.) Using the jewelry she had collected, she created a 16×20 cross. She was careful to use at least one piece of jewelry from every contributor. She was also determined to include a guardian angel, a cross, a frog (which is an acronym for “Forever Rely on God”), and her initials, items she incorporates in each piece of her art. On this particular cross, she also included a Volkswagen “bug,” which Pastor Olawsky, Messiah’s first pastor, drove the entire time he was worshiping at Messiah.

From March until October, Laura meticulously worked on this beautiful creation to which eve-ryone had contributed. It has been placed in the sanctuary of Messiah Lutheran Church and serves as a visual reminder of the beauty that can be produced when items deemed unusable are put together to form one extraordinary piece of art. It is definitely a symbol of how powerful Christians become when working together to serve God, our Lord and Savior.

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