Dear Christ Church,
You get to make a few square inches of history this Sunday . . . literally.
How? By lending a hand, during Sunday’s Ceili (you can’t miss this!), to restore the large mosaic that adorned our building before the renovation. Head to the workstation in our backyard this Sunday during the party and make a few small mosaic tiles to replace tiles that were irreparably damaged over the years. Did you know the previous occupant–and builder–of our property was the first Spanish-speaking Protestant congregation in Austin, founded in 1898? In the 1950’s the Primera Iglesia Bautista de Austin (PIBA) purchased the land at 112 Medina St. and built the church that now houses our worship, community, and mission.
High upon the exterior wall on Medina Street was a mosaic designed by someone from the congregation during that time. With gospel symbolism, it became a familiar image in the neighborhood for several generations of residents. When we moved into the neighborhood, it was with a view to love our neighbors and celebrate the cultural heritage of the community as we now become part of its story. It was also with recognition that on that piece of land at 112 Medina, we stand on the shoulders of many faithful generations of fellow saints of God.
This one project is an icon of so many of our deeply held values: the love of our city, art, beauty, our intentional search for a central property, our desire to do what we can to preserve the heritage of this rapidly changing neighborhood, and that our renovation, use, and care of the property would be a blessing to the neighborhood. Our church, because of its history, is a stop on the Tejano Trail. The placement of this mosaic will be directly across from Tejano Trail signage, on the north side of the building.
Keep reading for some amazing reports by people who prayer-walked this property before we purchased it, and to learn a little more about the beautiful intentionality put into the mosaic project.
See you Sunday at the Ceili!
Thoughts from Prayerwalkers
When we originally purchased the property we invited parishioners to walk the neighborhood praying for the location, the people who would become our neighbors, and for 112 Medina specifically. Here are a few things they had to say:
- “This not just any building, any land or property. This land has been set apart for the purposes of God for over a century. Many generations of His people have worshipped here. They have toiled and persevered to keep this place pure.”
- “Land is well loved. By the labor of God’s servants, this land has been dug and planted with fruit trees and beautiful plants. The mighty Oaks stretch to praise Him in this place. Hands have turned the dirt here to touch that which our Creator formed. Lovingly crafting a garden or bed of roses, the beauty of this place is tender and loving.”
- “Foundation is utmost important. Land breathes that which has been on it and poured into it through the years. Even the building has been tended with love, within monetary means. It has been dedicated to God in decisions and actions.
- “God’s protection is on this place. There is a higher fence on the west side of the property. But this land is set apart, guarded by mighty angels.”
The Mosaic Project
Ryah, our mosaic restoration specialist has been hard at work restoring the damaged mosaic to its original glory. Over the past few months she has been
- Rebuilding the mosaic on a new and better substrate, making the mosaic lighter and stronger.
- Using a Kintsugi approach – Ryah has embraced this Japanese approach and believes using it will allow her to reuse more of the original tiles.
- Mindfully rebuilding the structure in a way that will more closely resemble the original piece.
Ryah is also inviting Christ Church into the art making process! Join us in our backyard during this Sunday’s Ceili and Chili Cook Off to make a few small tiles that will replace ones lost to damage over time.