Sea glass artwork symbolizes a collective move forward

It has often been said that nobody is perfect. And everyone has baggage. Some might have a neat little carry-on bag’s worth, and some might have a tractor-trailer full, but everybody has it.

What can be done about it is one of two things. Either you can let it defeat you, or you can take it, and all its ugliness, and turn it into something beautiful, the classic question of seeing things as half-empty or half-full.

It all depends on how you look at it.

For Christians, baggage and the brokenness that often accompanies it, seems to come with the territory. Christians believe that they are imperfect by nature, and are saved only by the grace of Jesus Christ.

As a follow-up to their “Moving Forward” service held this September, in which people laid broken pieces of sea glass at the foot of the cross, symbolizing their own brokenness and the decision to move forward from it, Mariner’s Bethel United Methodist Church will be hosting another service on Friday, Oct. 22, at 7 p.m. At that service, a single piece of artwork compiling all the pieces of glass will be shown by local artist Theresa Richard.

“Sea glass is jagged and rough,” explained Mandy Savage of Mariner’s Bethel. “But, as the water washes over it, it works into something beautiful.”

“That evening [in September] everyone was given a real piece of sea glass and not told what it was for beforehand,” she continued.

That night, the church had a lay speaker, Amy Rice, give her personal testimony about how she came to know Christ and, at the end of it, she laid her broken piece of glass at the foot of the cross. In time, all those who attended, laid down their piece, as well.

“Everyone came forward, and with the glass representing their brokenness, lay their piece down.”

Richard then created a whole piece of artwork made up of all the pieces of glass, and that work will be revealed at the Oct. 22 service.

Of the healing symbolism of the broken pieces of glass, Rice explained that lots of times people can get stuck and let their brokenness defeat them, whatever that brokenness may be.

“In laying it at the cross, it lets people look at it as an opportunity to move forward and to be of service to other people,” she said.

She went on to explain that people were asked in September to identify the piece of glass as whatever was holding them back, and in laying it down, they made a conscious decision to move forward.

A group of people from the church that meet and pray every Thursday, called “Thursday’s Child” – in homage to the rhyme about “Thursdays child has a ways to go” – was asked to host the first healing service, and Rice explained that they wanted it to be upbeat and not a sad or solemn event.

From that, this second event was birthed. It will offer praise and worship starting at 7 p.m. in the social hall on Oct. 22.

Savage explained that the prayer group is made up of people from all walks of life and said the name represents many people, since everyone who is still growing and learning and evolving “has a ways to go.”

Although Mariner’s Bethel is a Christian church, and bases their messages on the teachings of Christ, Rice explained that they hope people in the community know that the doors to this service are open to everyone, regardless of their faith.

“It’s open to everybody. It’s something everybody can identify with,” she said, “no matter what their journey.”

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