Southern Utah News Articles
Council Ring dedication at United Church
The United Church dedicated the newly completed Council Ring on the church grounds off Hwy 89A in Kanab on Sunday, May 26. Three large upright sandstone pillars, representing the Holy Trinity, head the 40 feet diameter colored concrete floor ring. Sandstone slab benches, purchased by congregation members and friends, were obtained, along with the pillars, from Hansen Stone in Kanab.
Kathy McCormick, of Kanab, designed and supervised the construction of the ring. The inspiration for this circular motif was from Danish immigrant Jens Jensen, a famous ‘Prarie School’ architect, who developed the idea in the 1930s. It had roots in both Viking and American Indian cultures – that there is no “head” or leader, but a circle to share one’s ideas with others and hear their thoughts as well.
The event was presided over by Pastor Dean Cerny, who introduced a succession of church members and friends of the church who graced the congregation with inspiring musical performances and blessing ceremonies. A most welcome contributor was Arvel Bird, who the night before thrilled a large audience with his unique rendering of Native American and Celtic music at the Crescent Moon Theater.
Graciously accepting an invitation to participate in the ceremony, Bird performed Native American flute, and later played a soulful composition on violin. At the close, Bird was joined by accomplished violinist, Virgil Barstad, in a familiar Celtic tune. Also providing songs of inspiration were Cyrus Mejia and Rex Yancey, who faithfully rendered his favorite Harry Chapin song. Char Schatz performed a Native American sage blessing ceremony.
Perhaps the most inspirational words came from congregation members themselves responding to a call from Pastor Cerny to write what they felt was important in their core beliefs. These were summed up nicely in this statement – “I believe that any need for answers or security and any anxiety about the unknown are delusions that stall our journey and that the only “right” that is real is the right of everything in creation to give and receive love.”
Colleen McMullen followed with a closing prayer dedicating this singular meditation, healing and affirmation site to not only members and friends of the United Church, but anyone in need of restoration. The ring is set amongst the trees in the back corner of the property and provides a unique setting in which to do so.