The Witherspoon Distinctive
The Flame: Our Presbyterian Heritage
The flame is an ode to our Presbyterian heritage and to the countless generations who have come before us. Since its inception in 1907, Witherspoon has embraced its Presbyterian roots and has risen to be an exuberant example of the very best of our religious tradition. Within the seal of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), the flames themselves convey a double meaning: a symbol of revelation in the Old Testament when God spoke to Moses from the burning bush and a suggestion of the beginning of the Christian church when Christ manifested himself to his apostles at Pentecost and charged them to be messengers of the good news of God’s love. It is our daily prayer that the flames of God’s Holy Spirit burn within us and that Witherspoon remain a place where the Spirit of God abides.
The Gye Nyame: Our Cultural Distinctive
Gye Nyame, meaning the Supremacy of God, is the most important of the Adinkra symbols of Ghana, West Africa. This unique and beautiful symbol represents the historic cultural distinction of Witherspoon. Witherspoon is a vibrant and welcoming community of faith steeped in the Black religious tradition, and yet open and affirming to the full diaspora of God’s Creation. For over a century, Witherspoon has been an oasis of hope for countless generations of faithful seekers in need of refuge and community, and we continue in this ministry of inclusivity and care even today.
The Water: Our Hope in Christ Jesus
The water represents the restorative Power of God, calls us to remember our Baptism and points us always to Jesus, the Living Water. Throughout Christendom, water symbolizes the deep cleansing which only Jesus can give, a new life which only Jesus can offer, and is used in Baptism to showcase the acceptance of Jesus and the denial of self. In the Gospel of John 7:37-39, Jesus says “Anyone who is thirsty may come to me! Anyone who believes in me may come and drink!” We pray that here at Witherspoon, seeking hearts and thirsty souls may have a Divine encounter with the restorative power of Jesus Christ, and by doing so are renewed, refreshed and revived.