The new garden outside Saint Peter's Episcopal Church sparkled on Sunday afternoon, a small sea of red, pink, purple and green.
The Rev. Scott A. Ciosek smiled to see something beautiful and alive replace a dilapidated playground that was becoming the eyesore off Elm Street.
It might be the perfect metaphor for a church on the rebound.
"We are a changing, growing place," said Ciosek, the priest-in-charge at the Padanaram Village church whose message of inclusion attracts new members every month.
That message extends to the Peace Garden — four mulch beds of flowers and plants divided by a cross-shaped, pebble walking path and accented by benches, a birdbath and stones. At the center, a Peace Pole rises several feet with a wish — a prayer, really — printed on it in four languages: "May Peace Prevail on Earth."
The church dedicated the garden and pole following worship service on Sept. 11, the 15th anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks.
Click the link above to learn more.