A cross in front of Richmond Hill United Methodist Church not far from busy Highway 144 is already decorated with flowers, but those who put it there say there is room for more.
In fact, "the entire community is invited to place a flower on the cross and offer a prayer for these uncertain times," said Julie Seckinger, the church's prayer ministry coordinator, in an email Friday morning to the Bryan County News.
Later, Seckinger said the cross is meant to bring peace and love to the community during the COVID-19 pandemic.
"The Bible says to not be anxious about anything, but pray with thanksgiving and God will grant you peace," Seckinger said. "We thought this was a visible way to promote prayer and peace during these uncertain times to the entire community. It respected social distancing while bringing everyone together to make a beautiful public mosaic out of individual offerings of flowers and prayers."
Around 10 a.m. Friday, Richmond Hill Mayor Russ Carpenter, Bryan County Commission Chairman Carter Infinger and District 4 Commissioner Brad Brookshire joined Reflections publisher Paige Glazer, RHUMC Assistant Pastor Cathy Tucker and the church's pastor, the Rev. Jay Tucker, church staff member Kelly Hester and others in a brief ceremony live streamed on Facebook by Richmond Hill-Bryan County Chamber CEO Kathryn Johnson.
Johnson has been working nearly nonstop trying to keep her organization's membership informed on the both COVID-19 and efforts to help struggling business owners. She said the live video on social media is a way to "show that everybody's working together for the good of the community, and that we're here not only for the business community, but the community as a whole."
Carpenter, who Thursday held a unified prayer vigil at City Hall, said he, Infinger and Brookshire were there to lend support to the effort. He also said it's anoth
"We're here seeking God's guidance," Carpenter said. "And we're here assuring our community that leaders are working together to do what we can to protect our community against the coronavirus."
During his live streamed remarks, Tucker said that rather than wait until Easter, when it is traditional to decorate the church with flowers to symbolize Christ's resurrection, the invitation to the community to celebrate their faith by bringing flowers is a reminder that "while we may be distancing ourselves socially, as the body of Christ we're still together."
For more information check out the church's Facebook page or the Richmond Hill Bryan County Chamber of Commerce Facebook page.