Milestones of God's Faithfulness

Celebrating Anniversaries

I don’t know about you, but when I think of visuals for worship, I’m inclined to think vertically. So it’s no surprise that much of what I have designed for worship includes wide arching lines running vertically. We could take many pages to explain why this might be, but for now I am happy knowing that my God is much bigger than I am. It feels most right to me to be “looking up.”

A Time for Every Purpose

Anniversaries and other milestones in the life of a worshiping community are perfect opportunities to acknowledge God’s faithfulness. Like planning your own child’s birthday party, it’s a chance to show the world what you value. You’ll want to put some time and energy into signifying this occasion visually.

This design attempts to visually represent time and the ever-flowing richness of God’s faithfulness to his people. The anniversary dates are positioned loosely to suggest that these dates, like all dates and all time, are in a constant flow.

The horizontal stripes roughly translate into a timeline of sorts. These strips are simply pieces of fabric offered by people in your congregation. Sew this “bed” of fabric first. Draw by hand, project, or use your computer printer to “tile” (see right) the numbers as large as you need them on paper, then move them around until you have a pleasing composition. Tape them together and use this pattern for the more loosely cut background fabric and, more tightly, for the foreground fabric.

My son’s sweatshirt was the inspiration for added highlight stitching around the appliqué of fabric pieces. Inspiration can come from anywhere!


Anniversaries or other celebrations almost always involve bulletin covers or other printed materials. Or perhaps a projection background. Rather than resort to clip art, create a piece of artwork using the numbers in the same font and position as your banner. Don’t worry about the other lines. The same shapes in the same particular position should be enough to connect to the fabric hanging.

So start planning that celebration now. Get a group together and start collecting fabric samples. Set a regular schedule of getting together. Adapt the design as you go along. Have fun. Worship.

And remember, it’s not really about the numbers—it’s the minute-by-minute and day-by-day dispensing of God’s grace that we’re celebrating—on this occasion and every other Sunday.

For additional material from the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship, click here.

Dean Heetderks is a member of Covenant Christian Reformed Church in Cutlerville, Michigan, and art director of Reformed Worship. Show and tell him about your experiences at

Reformed Worship 80 © June 2006, Calvin Institute of Christian Worship. Used by permission.