Growing the story of faith

Working to bring the Lutheran Heritage Garden to fruition are Aleisha Lynch, Lyell Rosenzweig, James and Chris Bartsch, Murray Menzel, Rodney and Dianne Semmler and Daniel Bartsch.

“Why are there so many Lutheran Churches?” is a common query tourists have when visiting Tanunda.

Now a group of volunteers are keen to answer that very question and more as they set about bringing the region’s story of faith to life through a Lutheran Heritage Garden in front of Tabor Lutheran Church.

It was back in 2019 when Lyell Rosenzweig from neighbouring parish, Langmeil, presented the idea of developing Tabor’s garden, a focal point of Tanunda’s main street, into an opportunity to witness the Christian faith and celebrate its
heritage in the town.

It piqued the interest and creativity of church members who were quick to support the vision.  

Lyell joined a committee of like-minded Tabor members including Chris and James Bartsch; Dianne and Rodney Semmler; Aleisha Lynch, Murray Menzel and Erica Bartsch who endeavoured to set the plan into action.

Secretary, Chris Bartsch said the Tabor church garden had become overgrown and tired, so the timing was perfect to make better use of the space.

“We want to create some visual displays of the Church seasons – of Easter and Christmas – and light them during the seasons,” she told The Leader.

“Additionally, we would like to pay homage to the graves in the garden and retain the history of this very special place we call home.”

In March, just prior to COVID, the Tabor congregation made available a portion of a generous legacy to commence the garden’s development which will eventually house plaques and visuals telling the story behind Tanunda’s Lutheran churches, cemeteries and schools.

The garden concept has been designed and budgeted for and applications were submitted for both the LCA Mission Stimulus and Open Gardens Scheme grants, but neither were successful.

Despite the setback, the team has forged ahead within their funding capacity and with the help of gratefully received donations.

 “COVID 19 changed our world as we have known it and our vision was challenged,” Chris admitted.

“We have only just begun but we have made some progress, while we now wait for the heat of summer to pass before we commence plantings.”

In the lead up to Christmas, a living Christmas tree and nativity scene were installed to brighten the area that was cleared in October, ready for the commencement of stage 2.

“We hoped this would bring some joy to our community as we looked forward to Christmas time at the end of a very difficult year,” Chris said.

 “We would also hope that others may share our vision and would like to join us in creating the Lutheran Heritage Garden in Tanunda to share our hope and faith to our community and those who visit.”

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