Recently, the Canberra City Church installed two new banners at the front of their worship area. The banners were created by Sukumar Subramaniam, a longtime member of that Congregation, who also serves as a member of the Presbytery Pastoral Relations Committee. Kumar spoke about the inspiration for the banners and what they symbolise. He said in worship:
“Thirty years ago, in 1991, the World Council of Churches met here in Canberra. The theme of that Assembly was 'Come Holy Spirit, Renew the Whole Creation'. During that time our church was venue to some of their activities. We had 4 banners hanging here: Wind, Fire, Water and Earth. Thirty years have passed and in all that time this church has been a valued part of my life and the lives of my family. So I decided to do something to celebrate it.
“I came across a picture recently and I thought I could use the idea to make something appropriate for my Church; I began to work on it. You’ll see in one banner: There is the Holy Spirit in bright red. Spirit is the source of creation, the outflow of divine ecstatic love. The Spirit is the source of redemption, the bond of love that unites us to God. The Holy Spirit as dove is also central in the Uniting Church's logo.
“I made another banner with a Cross that is the symbol of the Christian faith. It is for the mending of broken relationships: our broken relationship with creation and our broken relationship with God. It is green in colour. Creation care and climate action are areas of passion for this congregation. Green is also the colour we use in the church for Ordinary times between Pentecost and Advent. The branch and leaves remind us that we are part of creation. I am so happy to see them hanging on this wall, and hope they will be a blessing to this church for years to come”.
Kumar’s daughter, Radhika, is one of the ministers of the Leichhardt Uniting Church in Sydney. Kumar made a banner also for that Congregation, and it now hangs in their church building as a hand-made lectern frontal. As is posted on the church’s Facebook page, “We are now twinsies with our siblings at Canberra City Uniting Church.”
Credit: Adapted from an article by Jenny Rowland in Canberra City’s Contact magazine