The Story Behind Our Logo: The Galilee Cross

The Rock Spring logo was inspired by the “Galilee Cross,” a metal sculpture that was created by Caroline Hufford-Anderson, one of several gifted artists whose works have graced the walls and spaces of the church. The cross is displayed at the front of our sanctuary most of the year. Caroline designed the cross at the request of the Rev. George Booth.

In the early 1970’s Rock Spring agreed to join an initiative called FISH (For Immediate Sympathetic Help) through which Arlington churches rotated responsibility for social outreach to meet local needs. George knew that Caroline had begun working in sculpture and told her that he would like a piece of sculpture that could be displayed to remind church members that it was Rock Spring’s turn for FISH duty.

Nearly 40 years later, Caroline recalled:

"There were no other special instructions for me, except to remember that it was about the FISH project, and that maybe the piece could be, or would include, a cross. … My work would be in mild steel, welded, with sections of it brazed, meaning overlaid with brass. As it took shape, I chose to fashion the main structure as a Greek cross – a cross that is distinguished by having four arms of equal length, symbolizing the church of Christ in the world. For this one, I inscribed on each of its vertical arms, in Greek letters, the word, “Christos.” The horizontal arms hold small decorative lengths of brazed rod. Next, I formed and attached a large oval .. made of open-mesh steel, to refer to the nets cast by Jesus, the Fisher of Men. Onto that, … I attached twelve steel plaques with a fired enamel surface, one for each apostle, and each one differently colored. For the very center of the piece, I fabricated a large golden brazed-steel piece in the shape of a fish. Caroline noted that for centuries the fish has held important religious meaning for Christians. For believers in Greece, the letters of the Greek word for fish were in code. When early Greek Christians did not dare to acknowledge each other in public, they would use the pictograph of this word as a sign of recognition. The first person, upon meeting a friend, would trace the top half of the symbol in the dirt with his foot, and a second would use his foot to complete the figure."

 

The cross, which was initially intended to be portable and used only at certain times in the life of the congregation, is one of the most distinctive symbols at Rock Spring.

When the design team began thinking of images that were distinct to Rock Spring and could inspire a logo for the church, the Galilee Cross seemed especially fitting. Theory One Design created the logo to be used on our web site and all print materials in 2013.

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by Laura Martin

The reality is that I too have

Authored your pain.

I laid a blank piece of paper down

When you needed me to respond.

I chose the shortcut.

I learned complicity,

Learned to move quietly in my privilege,

Learned to let the doors open for me

Before walked inside.

I inherited fear

And did not unlearn it.

In fight or flight, I flew.

I confess all this.

And I commit to hearing

The raw stories,

To letting your vulnerability

Chafe me.