Cross highlights opening theme “Renewing God’s Creation”

Story by Suzy Keenan*

A ten-foot high cross overlooked the entire 2011 Eastern Pennsylvania Annual Conference, a reflection of the opening worship theme, Renewing God’s Creation.

The cross was created by a young adult of the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference, Katie Naber, 24, a member of West Chester United Methodist Church.

Katie created an architecture for the cross of painted PVC pipe.  She added dry twigs and sticks to the base.  Then, throughout the conference, the cross has taken on a renewed appearance, as greenery has “grown” up the cross.

Katie said, “I am grateful for an opportunity to share this cross with the conference, which generously gave me the gift of scholarships every year while I was an undergraduate art student.”

For the four years of her higher education as a Fine Arts major at West Chester University, Katie received scholarships from both the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference Scholarship Committee and from the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry, which assisted her in her goal of graduating with no loans.  The Eastern Pennsylvania Conference scholarships are made possible through the offering received during the Ordination Service at the Eastern Pennsylvania Annual Conference.  The GBHEM scholarships are made possible by our churches’ connectional giving and through the United Methodist Student Day Special Sunday offering in November (for more information,

Katie also used her artistic talents in her home church during Advent to create an 8-foot high “stable” out of PVC and twigs, emphasizing the church’s “wilderness” Advent theme.

See photo of Katie and her Advent stable below.  Photos by Eileen Hogan.

*Suzy Keenan is director of Communications for the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference, and is, proudly, Katie’s mother.