St. Andrew’s unveiled the new sanctuary cross on Rally Day, Sunday, Sept. 9, 2012. The dedication of the twelve-foot-tall cross represents more than a year of collaborative effort to raise the primary symbol of our Christian faith.
“This is an exciting day in the life of St. Andrew’s!” stated Executive Pastor Mike Carlson. “Our identity, our life, and our hope are in Jesus. An empty cross symbolizes his will to live and die for us, and it reminds us that he could not be held captive by the powers of sin and death. The cross has been the primary symbol of the Christian Church for over 2,000 years.”
Weighing nearly 1,000 pounds and standing more than twelve feet tall and eight feet wide, the cross is designed to coordinate with the existing design elements of the Sanctuary and appear as if it was erected when the Sanctuary was built in 1999.
The Trinity of God is represented in the design of the cross, which was assembled in three distinct parts:
- The large metallic-looking base, or back, of the cross represents our Creator and Father in God.
- The lit glass in the middle represents the Holy Spirit that binds us together with God.
- The maple front side is closest to the congregation and represents Jesus the Christ.
Carlson said, “In addition to the structure representing our Triune God, it is a visual demonstration of our hope in Christ: He redeems our past. He sustains us in our present. He is our vision and promise of our future.”
Raising the new cross is the result of countless hours and financial commitment from various experts, professionals and volunteers within the congregation of St. Andrew’s. The following is a list of core committee members, companies, individuals, professionals and volunteers who were instrumental in making the cross a reality:
Peter Nasvik, CEO, Themescapes, Inc., Roseville, Minn.
Craig Campbell, Campbell Art Glass, Mahtomedi, Minn.
Kevin Thode, architect, with RSP Architects, Minneapolis, Minn.
Gary and Sandy Nelson, owners, Total Lighting Designs, Inc., White Bear Lake, Minn.
Conrad Solberg and Mike Mueller, owners, Forest Products Supply, Inc., Maplewood, Minn.
Pastor Mike Carlson, Mike Diemer, Steve Bachman
There are others, too numerous to mention, and we regret not being able to include all. The entire congregation of St. Andrew’s extends its heartfelt gratitude to everyone involved. To God be the glory as together we Proclaim Jesus Christ, Live in Christ, Serve!
Created by sculptor Paul Granlund in 1969, “Crucifixion” is a two-piece sculpture in cast bronze. Paul Granlund (1925-2001) was born in Minneapolis, MN and recognized as a major sculptor in the region, as well as nationally and abroad. He became artist-in-residence at Gustavus Adolphus College, St. Peter, MN in 1971, a position he held until he retired in 1996. The sculpture is designed to be used as a processional cross or set on its base as a single work. It is 84-1/2 inches high x 9-3/8 inches wide x 11-1/2 inches deep.
The sculpture was given by members of St. Andrew’s choirs as a tribute to the music programs of St. Andrew’s. This cross will be displayed in the Sanctuary Atrium and will occasionally lead us in the worship processional. It will also serve in the procession to the columbarium in the committal service, reminding all of Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection promise.
The apostle Paul’s words identify each of us with Christ’s crucifixion in his words: “I have been crucified with Christ, it is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me” (Galatians 2:20). Jesus’ word to his hearers in the Gospel of John is the theme of the “Crucifixion” sculpture: “When I am lifted up from the earth, I will draw all to myself” (John 12:32). As Jesus’ arms are raised in this visual image of crucifixion, we see not only the resignation of death, which has finally come to his tortured body, but also the raising up of Jesus’ arms in triumph to the Father as his last word proclaims: “It is finished” (John 19:30).
As members of the body of Christ, we have been molded, even cast into the likeness of the Christ who died for us, is risen from the dead, and lives and reigns to all eternity. In Christ we have died to sin and been raised from death by the glory of God.
This is most certainly true.