There are many active runners, cyclists and walkers in the Beverly neighborhood who may welcome an opportunity to stop and rest, work out a cramp or just catch their breath before they continue with their daily exercise routine. Perhaps there are also many others who could just use a quiet, peaceful garden in which to sit, meditate, read, pray or perhaps just to lower their stress level by listening to birds and trickling water. The Baptismal Garden at Bethlehem Lutheran Church, 9401 S. Oakley Ave., invites everyone’s company.
This garden and neighborhood enhancement was the brainchild of Bethlehem parishioner Cathy Oller in 2003. Since then the garden, tended by a team of volunteers led by parishioner Jan Tyhurst, has blossomed into a welcoming space for those who seek some quiet and respite.
The garden plan includes the Chicago Luster viburnum hedge, Knock Out shrub roses, Miss Kim lilacs, Dr. Merrill magnolia, Annabelle hydrangeas and a Cleveland pear tree. The garden also includes shaded benches, beautiful pavers, and a stone fountain where the congregation conducts many of its baptisms.
All are welcome to use the baptismal garden for rest, relaxation, meditation and prayer. Centering prayer is held in the garden on Sundays in the summer from 9 to 9:15 a.m. “Evenings in the Garden” are programs planned sporadically throughout the summer months, with music, worship and food, an open invitation to all. The garden is also there inviting its neighbors and the community to enjoy and relax. There are benches to entice a passerby or runner to stop, inhale the stillness and serenity and calm their breath and spirit before continuing on with their busy day.
The garden is just south of the church building and is always open. All are welcome.