When the Next Step Church in West Plains, Missouri was searching for an attractive solution to the blinding glare from the window behind the pulpit, new member Jolean Hitchen used her hobby of painting to create a mural. Here is her abbreviated description of the project:

In telling the story of our church I have set all that is important to me on this shelf. At the top and very center is God. Then, reading the story from left to right, I look at the sunflowers and remember how in the field they turn their faces to the sun and follow it without fail.

Next is the Holy Bible that gives us direction, as depicted by the weather vane. Beside the Bible you see the Battenberg lace where I have cross-stitched Ex. 20:8: “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.” The plate that reads “Give us this day our daily bread” reminds us to receive the Word of God each day. The books on the shelf are writings of Ellen White and the Church Hymnal. The candle reminds us of Ps. 18:28: “For thou wilt light my candle: the Lord my God will enlighten my darkness.” The candle’s flame is the logo for the Seventh-day Adventist Church.

The apple illustrates Lev. 25:19: “And the land shall yield her fruit, and ye shall eat your fill, and dwell therein in safety.” The clock is set for 9:30, when Sabbath school studies begin.

The bouquet of poppies is a modern day symbol of remembrance—these things bring us to this church and show our desire to worship on Sabbath. The vine winding around and through each item represents Jesus, the true vine (John 15:1). We need Him entwined in each of our thoughts and actions.

And last of all…no church is complete without a church mouse.

This article was also published in the June 2015 print edition of OUTLOOK. It was written by Jolean Hitchen, a member of the Next Step Church in West Plains, Missouri.