The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


A different kind of rising

After Easter services, members of Lutheran Church of the Living Word, Columbia, Md., gather to fly kites, a Guyanese custom that symbolizes Jesus’ resurrection. Although they have no Guyanese members, a parishioner started the tradition nearly 30 years ago.

Last year many of the 40 members and visitors, like Charleen Gonden, 19, granddaughter of member T. Milton Nelson who organized the event, launched their kites in a nearby field. “It’s something that reflects the creativity of the congregation,” said Andrea Wiegand, pastor.

Nelson invited Bayney Karran, the Guyanese ambassador to the U.S. who lives in Bethesda, Md., to Easter services. Warm and windy weather in Guyana, which borders Venezuela and is the only English-speaking country in South America, is more friendly to kite-flying, explained Karran as he and his wife, Donna, attempted to fly their dragon kite.

About half of Guyana’s 700,000 citizens are Christian and almost all fly their kites and have a picnic at Easter, he said. “If you fly over the country around Easter, all you see are brightly colored [kites]. It’s a beautiful sight,” he added. “We’re just delighted to come to a place where it looks a little like home.”

This article previously featured a photo.


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February issue


Embracing diversity