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Church Transforms Cross in Easter Ceremony

April 12, 2009 — The congregation at St. Croix Reformed Church on Kingshill emphasize the transformation concept of Easter in their annual "blooming of the cross" ceremony.
On Sunday morning, the churchgoers placed flowers in chicken wire on a plain wooden cross located in the sanctuary of the hilltop church.
"This shows that human beings have the ability to take something ugly and make it beautiful," the Rev. Rod Koopmans said. "It doesn't even take much skill. And here we have such an abundance of beautiful flowers that are gifts God gave us."
The cross was transformed into a beautiful sight with the bright tropical shades of hot pink and purple bougainvillea, orange heliconia, pink frangipani, red ixora, orange amaryllis, red hibiscus and yellow allamanda flowers.
"All the pretty colors of the island flowers make it come alive," Jami Male said. "It is beautiful."
Susan Cissel, a charter member of the church, said the ceremony began around 1992 when a parishioner got the idea from Guidepost magazine.
The Reformed Church was one of the earliest churches on St. Croix. However, in the 1840s it disbanded and sold its building on Queen Street in Christiansted to the Lutheran Church.
Even though the church disbanded, it never died, Koopmans said. Many of its materials were put in safekeeping on St. Thomas and brought back when the Reformed Church started meeting at Country Day School.
"Today is actually the 17th anniversary of reorganizing after being dormant for 150 years," Koopmans said.
Don Bailey and Freddie Perez hid 500 Easter eggs around the church yard for a children's egg hunt that followed the services.
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