Painting The Church With Prayer

D24H(2)Is it possible to paint a church with prayer? How does it spread? Does it stick? How long does it last? Does it cost anything? What happens when it rains?

The paint on the front of the historic Holmdel Community Church on Main Street in Holmdel has been flaking and peeling, with bare wood exposed. The church dates to 1705, and it was looking as if it hadn’t been painted since back then. Church leaders contracted with O’Sullivan Painters, who came by with a crew to put on a fresh coat of white paint.

As this unfolded, Rev. Rusty Eidmann-Hicks, the church’s pastor, reflected that a church is more than a wooden building in need of decoration. It is a living, spiritual community fashioned out of service and faith. It is created for inner peace, insight, holy refreshment, healing, and comfort. So, Rev. Rusty decided to work with the O’Sullivan painters to paint the church with prayer.

For several days, he climbed up on ladders to pray on each side of the building, offering a prayer for each person in the church for each shingle on the building. He was using a paint brush, but the real instrument was prayer – coating the outside of the ancient building with blessing and protection. In the same way the inside is bathed in worship each Sunday, now the outside would be blessed and sealed. Thankfully, the weather cooperated, with balmy, sunny afternoons, while he moved the ladder along each side of the building, splattering them with spiritual brushstrokes. Though this paint is invisible, it reflects the faith and dedication of this church, resting on the same spot for more than 310 years, as a sanctuary of caring and calm in a frantic and dangerous world.

Stop by the church on Main Street and see the bright new paint job by O’Sullivan painters, and the less visible glow of prayer. If you would like to send in a prayer request by Rev. Rusty, please e-mail him at or send a note to Holmdel Community UCC, 40 Main Street, Route 520, Holmdel, NJ  07733.  Or stop by on Sunday morning at 10:00 a.m. Perhaps this will become a new way to decorate our homes – not only with paint, but also with prayer!