An internationally known sculpture called the Decalogue spent July and August in Bellflower, Calif., thanks in part to the efforts of Bethany Christian Reformed Church and Bellflower House CRC, a church plant of New City CRC in Long Beach, Calif.
The churches saw the sculpture as an opportunity to reach out to the community and initiate conversations about God.
“I feel like this is a great example of the church being the church in community in a very unique way, taking the message outside of the walls of the church in a creative way to the public arena,” said Ryan VerWys, ministry associate at Bellflower House.
The sculpture, which symbolizes the Ten Commandments and the hands of God, was initially displayed in Geneva, Switzerland, to commemorate the 500th birthday of John Calvin.
Before the sculpture was shipped, Romanian sculptor Liviu Mocan visited Bellflower for two weeks, establishing connections with local networks, churches, and friends.
The sculpture consists of ten 16-foot (5 m) fiberglass pillars arranged in a large circle. The space in and around the pillars encourages visitors to interact with and touch the sculpture.
“One of the families in my neighborhood stopped by the sculpture one night after visiting their dad/husband who is battling stage four cancer in the hospital,” said Chrissy Padilla, member of Bellflower House.
“They lay down on the grass in the middle of the sculpture and looked up at the stars. Then they began to pray. The symbolic fingers caused them to feel a sense of peace and comfort, as if they were in God’s hands.”
The sculpture’s unveiling drew over 300 community members, as well as the entire Bellflower city council and the Romanian Consul General.
The sculpture will also be on display in Grand Rapids, Mich., from Sept. 21 to Oct. 10 in front of the Gerald R. Ford Museum.