The painting, God’s Light Shining was commissioned about a year ago to honour the people who donated so generously to the building of our new church in Murray River. Previously there had been three churches, one each in Murray River, Murray Harbour and Little Sands. These churches were all built a hundred years ago or more and it was becoming more and more difficult to sustain three churches in one pastoral charge. It was decided to erect a new building to better meet the needs of the parish so that the members of the congregations would have a larger and a more modern facility to worship and have ample and safe parking. When the original churches were erected the common mode of transportation was horse and buggy.

There were many trials and tribulations along the way because the idea for the new church started back in the 1980’s with construction starting in 2009 but February marks three years since we had our first service in our new church and we passed all expectations in generosity of parishioners. The church is completely paid for and we are now looking at expanding so that we will have a hall built onto the side of the church sometime in the near future.

Late in 2010 a committee was set up to guide me in the painting of God’s Light Shining. Consisting of Maureen MacLeod, Jessie Somers and Audrey Dutney, we met to brainstorm and the final idea was presented to all who attended the annual meeting in February, 2011. Then it was up to me to get to work.

God’s Light Shining has many representations in it. I will explain them as I go along:


The angel represents all the people, alive and passed on, who so very generously donated of themselves, so that the church could be built, literally debt-free. 

The children show that this building will be used for generations. Our future is in the children and they need a place worship, just as we need them to continue carrying The Word to the future they will be producing. 

The beach is the favourite playground for children on Prince Edward Island and these two children are playing on the shore. They watch as the water falls and this water they are pouring into the sandy bowl represents baptism by water. 

A descending dove in the church has always been a symbol of the Holy Spirit and when Jesus was baptized, the heavens opened up and he saw the spirit of God descending upon him in the form of a dove and the dove was carrying God’s light. Our dove is flying the colours of our church. Think of a rainbow. It is the result of light being split. All colours of light form white so our colours form the beautiful golden glow which bathes the entire painting in a morning light with the colours of spring in the foliage so that this building represents a new beginning, a new era made of the traditions of generations before. 

The land flows into the sea as the sea flows onto the land. God has given us abundance in the land and the ocean from which we get our sustenance.  


When it was time to put the plaques on the painting, I asked that a cross be formed of a negative space so that it would be visible amongst the brass but not obvious. This is a part of the mystery of the painting. Some people never see it unless it is pointed our and others pick it out right away. When I go to church, that is the area where my eyes gravitate to every time I look at the painting. I have to find the cross and when I do, I feel a form of relief and peace.

Keith Gale, our pastor, and Lonnie Atkinson gave us guidance along the way and when the painting was completed and framed, Maureen MacLeod, Elmer MacLeod, Vera MacLeod and Derek Macleod took on the task of putting the plaques onto the painting and hanging it on the wall. My husband, Walt, helped me with the construction of the canvas and framing of the picture. 

Thank you to all who helped; for me it was a labour of love. I was honoured to be asked to take on the project and have been honoured again at the wonderful comments from so many people. To know that this painting will be hanging for many years on the wall of Memorial United Church for all to see, understand and appreciate is the best compliment I could have received.