From the Worldwide Faith News archives

Church wants your hopes, fears, for holiday art display

From "NewsDesk" <NewsDesk@UMCOM.ORG>
Date Fri, 6 Dec 2002 15:08:07 -0600

Dec. 6, 2002 News media contact: Kathy Gilbert7(615)742-54707Nashville, Tenn.

NOTE: Photographs are available with this story.

By United Methodist News Service*

Inspired by the words of the hymn 'O Little Town of Bethlehem,' a United
Methodist church in Berkeley, Calif., wants to collect the hopes and fears
from people around the world and turn them into an art display for Advent and

"We met and talked about all the troubles in the world and what we should do
for the
Advent season," says the Rev. Ron Parker, pastor of Epworth United Methodist
Church. "The words to the hymn 'O Little Town of Bethlehem' inspired us: 'the
hopes and fears of all the years are met in thee tonight.' Sharing hopes and
fears is something personal that bridges people of all nations and faiths."

The Epworth congregation is gathering the expressions of hopes and fears by
e-mail, postal service or personal delivery to the church. Contributions will
be displayed for public viewing from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Dec. 14 and 21 in the
church sanctuary at 1953 Hopkins St. The church's Web site,, will also display the installation in progress.

"Your hope and fears can be in any form: written, photographed, drawn, sewn,
silkscreened," the church says on its Web site. "They can be expressed in a
sentence, a quote, a poem, a postcard, a painting. They can be in any
language. We will incorporate all contributions into the artwork."

So far, contributions have ranged from sentiments such as: "FEAR of continued
violence before HOPE of understanding and tolerance are realized," from John
in Alabama. "My hope is that someday everyone will realize that the world is
too beautiful and that life is too short. My fear is that dreams will always
be given up for reality," Amy in Missouri. "I have little hope that the
denomination will change anytime soon ... I just hope that it might agree to
disagree," Andrew in California.

Parker says more of the entries deal with personal fears than hopes. 

"You can take your hopes and fears to city council, where they may be heard
and debated and tabled until next year," writes Parker. "You can take your
hopes and fears to your stockbroker, where they may be listened to and
hedged. You can take your hopes and fears to your doctor, where they may be
drugged or dismissed. Or you can bring your hopes and fears to church."

Details on submitting a contribution are available at the church's Web site.

Epworth United Methodist Church, which turns 100 next year, serves the area
around the University of California.
# # #

*Information for this story was provided by Epworth United Methodist Church.
United Methodist News Service
Photos and stories also available at:

Browse month . . . Browse month (sort by Source) . . . Advanced Search & Browse . . . WFN Home