Posts Tagged ‘California’

CLAREMONT, Calif. (AP) – A Southern California church nativity scene is featuring a bloody Trayvon Martin in place of the infant Jesus in an effort to stir a community conversation about gun violence.

The nativity scene on the lawn of the Claremont United Methodist Church – which shows Martin in a hoodie, slumped over and bleeding – was created by 57-year-old congregant and artist John Zachary.

Zachary, who in the past has created installations addressing homelessness and poverty, said he wanted to make the Nativity relevant to modern times and generate a community conversation, the Los Angeles Times reported on Sunday ( ).

Zachary said he chose to focus on the Florida teenager whose shooting death captured the nation to draw a parallel to the dark times in which Jesus was born.

But some faithful have shuddered at the depiction and called it sacrilege.

Retiree Viola Saunders, who stopped and took some pictures of the scene with her phone, said she thought the Nativity was too sacred to modify.

“It’s pretty bad,” she told the Inland Valley Daily Bulletin. “It takes away from the original.”

Lead pastor Rev. Sharon Rhodes-Wickett said the church 35 miles east of Los Angeles is a progressive community where many congregants seek to challenge their minds, and hearts, but she can understand if some find the depiction “too edgy.”

“It’s hard to look at a young man who’s shot and bleeding to death. But even though I’m uncomfortable with it, that’s the point,” she told the Daily Bulletin. “We have to take a look at the violence.”

The scene will remain in place at the church through Jan. 5.


Information from: Los Angeles Times,

In the early 1900’s, William H. Schmidt discovered gold in Kern County, California. He was faced with a dangerous ridge between his mining area and the smelter at Mojave, California. Schmidt said that he would “never haul his ore to the smelter in Mojave down that back trail” using his two burros. So Schmidt began the unlikely task of burrowing a tunnel through a granite mountain. In 1906 he began digging a tunnel. For the next 32 years, he patiently dug his tunnel. The tunnel was about six feet tall and ten feet wide, but it cut through solid granite and required little shoring. The path was not straight, but took several turns.

Schmidt was trapped many times by falling rock and injured often, and eventually installed a cart on rails. In 1920 a road was completed from Last Chance Canyon to Mojave, eliminating the need for the tunnel, but Schmidt claimed to be obsessed with completion, and dug on.

By 1938 he had achieved his “goal”, having dug through nearly 2,500 feet of solid granite using only a pick, a shovel, and a four pound hammer for the first portion, and carefully placed dynamite with notoriously short fuses for the majority. It was estimated that he had moved 5,800 tons of rock to complete his work.

The Lord desires that we develop patience in our walk with Him. Today in prayer, confess any impatience you may have and patiently wait on Jesus.

“There is no patience equal to the patience of God.” – Oswald Chambers

God’s Word: “Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.” – Colossians 3:12