Seventh-Day Adventist Church Pastor Charles Lomudak (l) with Daniel Collett and Marina Papais (r of sign), Gary Dost (third from r), Gwen and Katie Henderson (4th and 5th from r), and congregants with the church’s new sign. (Photo credit: Barbara Roden)

Seventh-Day Adventist Church Pastor Charles Lomudak (l) with Daniel Collett and Marina Papais (r of sign), Gary Dost (third from r), Gwen and Katie Henderson (4th and 5th from r), and congregants with the church’s new sign. (Photo credit: Barbara Roden)

New mosaic at Ashcroft church labour of love for congregants

Seventh-Day Adventist Church worked with local artists to design, create new sign

The Seventh-Day Adventist Church in Ashcroft has joined two other churches in the community with the recent installation of a glass mosaic sign outside their meeting-place at the Community Hall on Bancroft Street.

Congregant Gary Dost says that the old sign was deteriorating, so late last year the church board decided to make a new one. “It was suggested that we go with the theme of mosaics in the community, so we started the process with the help of [glass artist] Marina Papais and her husband, [architect] Daniel Collett.”

Dost says that work on the mosaic went “gung ho” for a couple of months before COVID-19 hit earlier this year. While the congregants were unable to meet at the church until August because of the provincial health officer’s ban on public gatherings, work on the mosaic continued at Papais and Collett’s studio at the HUB.

“We’ve never done this before,” says Dost, who worked on the mosaic with his wife Gwen and daughter Katie. “We gave Dan and Marina the logo we had before, and they’ve done so many [mosaics] they just flew with it. They designed it and picked out the colours, and the church board approved it, and we went ahead. I built the frame with Dan, and that’s a big part of the look of it as well.”

The central image of the mosaic consists of four elements which reflect the core values of the Seventh-Day Adventist Church, set against a pale background, while the border is made up of different colours representing life on Earth. Collett says that they found ceramic tile containing dozens of little crosses, which were incorporated into the final work. “They’re imbued with love, happiness, and health for your congregation, and were put in as we made it,” he noted at the dedication of the sign on Oct. 9.

The four elements of the design are a Bible (shown open because its message should be read and put into practice); a cross (representing the gospel of salvation and Christ’s sacrifice, which is the central theme of the Adventist faith); a flame which is symbolic of the Holy Spirit; and three lines at the top suggesting upward momentum, which symbolize the resurrection and ascension to Heaven at Christ’s second coming, the ultimate focus of the Adventist faith.

The new sign was installed just before the dedication on Oct. 9, which was attended by members of the church, as well as Papais, Collett, and Pastor Charles Lomudak. Dost said that it was important to dedicate the sign for God’s glory, not for the church’s, and thanked Papais and Collett for their vision and assistance.

“They’re a part of almost all the mosaics in town, and we appreciate the vision and creativity they put into this. It’s a wonderful addition to all the mosaics in town, and I hope we can bless the community as God blesses us.” He thanked Oscar Battel for his help with the sign installation, the church family, and Gwen and Katie: “It wasn’t always fun, but when it’s done well it’s worth it.”

Dost also thanked the Village of Ashcroft, which owns the Community Hall (“We’ve had an excellent relationship with them since we’ve been here”), and the Village as a whole.

“Thank you to the people of our community. We’re grateful to have this connection with our neighbours.”

Lomudak thanked those who had created the mosaic, noting that the Seventh-Day Adventist Church is the most diverse in North America. “You find every race, and the logo represents this. The church is passionate about people, and love is one of our core values.”

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