in the Saint Paul Marigny Memorial Garden
by Gordon Linge
When the flower garden near the Port Street entrance was enhanced and dedicated on Sunday November 7, 2021 it’s focal point — a cross. And, not an ordinary cross, it is a unique design created exclusively for St. Paul Lutheran Church at Port and Burgundy in New Orleans by Gordon Linge.
Initially, the shepherd staff with a cross bar was thought to be a common Chrismon design. A Chrismon is an emblem for Christ and there are dozens of symbols that fit that description.
However, with research, Gordon and Pastor Andrew Schlund found only one sample. Not wanting to confuse passersby to think this was a burial plot, the sculpture was made 8′ tall out of treated 1″ x 6″ treated lumber. The wood was cut into 2″ and 4″ wide pieces that were screwed and glued to the center 1×6 piece, giving it a 6″ diameter.
To achieve a driftwood-like appearance hours of belt sanding was required. Primer and over 20 bright colors of paint were applied before a gold glitter clear coat and glossy polyurethane topcoat completed the sculpture.
The preliminary title given the work is “Shepherd’s M.B. Cross” with the M.B. tying it to the Marigny and Bywater neighborhoods that the church has been located in since 1840.
However, Gordon suggests it can also be called the Crook ‘n Cross which descriptively reflects the beginning and end of Christ’s life on earth. First, Jesus is identified in the Bible as the Good Shepherd who lies down his life for his flock and in the end His death on the cross seals the joyous victory over our sins.
The Crook ‘n Cross sculpture is a colorful celebration to brighten the day for all who pass. A nearby sidewalk church pantry demonstrates faith in action according to Christ’s message to love one another as He first loved us.
As an original copyrighted work of art, Linge has given exclusive rights to St. Paul Lutheran Church in the Marigny to use and reproduce the design, retaining any funds raised in the process.
A hand-held “Crook ‘n Cross” staff was also made and given to the congregation for both ceremonial use in the sanctuary and on walks in the neighborhood.
To view the dedication ceremony, please visit our Facebook page.