In February 2015 St. Edward’s fourth-sixth grade Christian Formation class engaged in a lesson on the creeds. Teachers Dottie Gschwend and Brian Newsome asked each child to write three things he or she believes about God, Jesus, and the church. Each child explained these beliefs to the class. Teachers and students then searched for common themes and crafted three collective statements of faith: (1) God loves us and is always with us, (2) God is always present in the church, His house, (3) We are all part of the Body of Christ.
After the service, Brian showed the statements to Father Stephen Casey. The latter was so taken with the project that he asked the class to develop banners that would be hung in the parish hall. The vestry approved the concept, and the students spent the next five weeks developing table-sized mock-ups of the banners: one for each statement of faith. Bill Swiernik determined the proper dimensions for wall hangings, and Barb O’Brien led fellow Knit Wit members Sue Bianco and Carol Hopwood in fabrication of the banners. Carol’s husband Bill fashioned the cross from wood found in a stand of trees at their home.
In December 2015 Father Stephen blessed the banners during the service of Lessons and Carols. Bill and his son Reed subsequently hung the banners in the parish hall.
The banner project, which started as a simple lesson on the creeds, turned into a much larger work, demonstrating the three statements of faith in action and bringing together a wide segment of the parish community. Each of the individuals involved, whose names appear below, is pleased to have been part of something so special.
Teachers: Dottie Gschwend and Brian Newsome
Class Members: Maya Anderson, Piper Brugmann, Thomas Ishler, James Lynch, Braden Newsome, Anna Rosenberg, Kristen Rosenberg, Rosie Westgate
Knit Wits: Sue Bianco, Carol Hopwood, Barb O’Brien
Technical Support: Bill Swiernik and Reed Swiernik
Rector: Father Stephen Casey