St Luke’s Episcopal Church will be helping to light up Jamestown’s night sky this holiday season by erecting a 14-foot tall and 8 foot wide star on top of the church’s newly refurbished bell tower. The illuminated structure should be visible throughout the city, and is intended to be a symbol of hope and fellowship for residents and visitors alike.
The project is being coordinated by St Luke’s Rector Luke Fodor and parishioner James Colby, retired Director/Curator of Galleries, Exhibitions, and Collections at Jamestown Community College. Fodor and Colby have been working with assistant professor, Brent Harkness, and students Matt Cherkis and Dan Schaeffer from Jamestown Community College’s Welding Technology program to construct the star, which will be completed just in time for the city’s annual Christmas Parade on December 5th.
“Stars (universal symbols of spirituality and divinity) permeated global art and cultures through the ages.” explains Colby. “They serve to lead the way to divine inspirations and to the extraordinary oneness of life within a larger cosmos. St. Luke’s star demonstrates oneness as community members come together to dream, to fabricate, to elevate, and to instill luminosity in our hearts and minds during the Christmas season.”
Since his arrival in Jamestown last spring, Fodor has been impressed with the city’s efforts at revitalization and sees this energy as an incentive for his parish as well as other city organizations and businesses to continue to advance. “In facilitating its creation, we are offering this star to present an opportunity for us all to choose hope instead of nostalgia or despair. The idea of putting a star on top of the bell tower started as a joke…but the idea found some life and we are delighted to find a willing partner with JCC. It stands to prove that when you wish upon a star, there’s no telling what’s possible.”
The timing of the stars placement – just before the Christmas parade – is intentional, as this is the time when thousands of local residents gather on Third Street to watch the parade. Project organizers hope that when parade-goers look up the hill to see the star shining over the city they will feel its inspiration. Their ultimate goal is to mobilize others in the community to care enough to make a difference. “It takes a very dark night to see the stars” Fodor observes. “Our aspiration is that the relative ‘darkness’ of Jamestown’s recent past will allow us to see that a bright future is possible.”