Stratmoor Hills United Methodist Church
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Join Us Sunday Mornings
9:15 am Traditional Service
10:15 am Fellowship
11:00 am Contemporary Service

1705 Cheyenne Meadows Road
Colorado Springs, CO 80906

(Tel) 719.576.0005

(located across from The World Arena)

Old Rugged Cross

The Story Behind Our Cross

On Easter Sunday, April 20, 2014, the congregation was surprised by the unveiling of a new cross at the front of the sanctuary. A purple shroud covering the cross was removed at the beginning of the service while the Chancel Choir sang a special arrangement of The Old Rugged Cross.

Our new Old Rugged Cross is made of knotty western cedar, hand-hewn and distressed using an antique shipwright's adze. This wood was selected for it's rugged appearance, and to draw on the wood ceiling in our sanctuary, which is also knotty western cedar.

An adze is an ancient tool that is used for removing waste, leveling, shaping, or trimming the surfaces of timbers and boards. The tool user usually stands astride a board or log and swings the adze downwards between his feet, chipping off pieces of wood, moving backwards as they go and leaving a relatively smooth surface behind. A shipwright is a carpenter who helps build and launch wooden vessels. The adze is a throw-back to the "old" way of doing things.

In fact, Jesus was a carpenter, and may well have used a tool very similar to this. The new cross is a gift to our church and was made by Bill Sheaves in his woodworking shop.

Although our new cross appears to be made of solid wood beams, it is actually constructed of two hollow boxes, joined to form the cross. From the back, you can see that the cross is hollow to hide the lights that provide the backlit halo around the cross.

Our previous cross, which is thought to have been in the church since its founding, is still with us. Yes, it is still on the front sanctuary wall, intact and unharmed, and forms the base upon which the new Old Rugged Cross is mounted.

Recognizing the connection our members have with the historical fittings of our church, we considered this an appropriately symbolic way to tie the new in with the old as we strive to enhance the spiritual ambiance of our beautiful old structure.

The new cross is beautiful and reflects the love we all share for our church and for the Lord. We hope you get a chance to come by the church to see this beautiful work of art.

Bill Sheaves presented the Old Rugged Cross
On Easter Sunday 2014


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