October 29, 2020
There’s a cross-stitch portrait of Jesus in the Galilee office these days. It was created by Linda Stead, a Galilee member since 2010. As she worked on the piece at home during Covid, the picture became more than just another art project.
“The uncertainty of this crisis brought back to me a difficult time that I would not have survived without my best friend, Jesus,” says Linda. “I lost my dad, mom and husband in a five month period. In those days, I would wake up each morning and reach out my hand and say, “Lord, I can’t do this alone. Please take my hand and lead me in the right direction.” My faith soared, because I found the strength to survive and the Lord paved the way towards a beautiful transition in my life.”
“As I worked on the picture of Jesus during this pandemic, I knew that He was still close to me and I could feel His presence and know that He would calm me during these scary times.”
Jesus is a consoler during difficult times.
Linda’s piece is now displayed in Pastor Jason’s office. “To me it represents the joy of a believer using her talents for God’s glory,” says Jason. “God is creative! He’s the ‘original artist,’ so to speak. Linda’s art contains an echo of the Creator’s imprint in us.”
“I took up cross-stitch years ago when I was on vacation,” Linda explains. “We rented a cabin on a 12 acre Wisconsin island. It was so peaceful! Shopping in town, I bought a small cross-stitch pattern and the rest is history. I’ve made many pieces for myself and friends. I have enough in my house, so now I concentrate on making for others. It relaxes me, keeps me out of trouble, and somewhat sane. During Covid, I certainly have had the time to work on projects!”
It looks like a painting, but it’s Linda’s cross-stitch take on Renoir.
“I wanted to thank the staff for their hard work keeping our church family safe, providing livestream worship, and making us feel that we are a part of the Galilee. The Jesus picture was going to be a Christmas present to the staff, but I just couldn’t wait until then to show my appreciation!”
Jenn Duley, Kathy Butler, and Mickie Stalcup appreciate Linda Stead’s artwork.
Linda was born in Chicago. Her family was active in their church, which was EUB (the Evangelical United Brethren was one of the denominations that merged to form the UMC in 1968). She married Peter Berg in 1973 and the couple lived in Reston, VA for 21 years with their sons Caleb and Luke. In 2005, they moved to Gilbert, AZ to take care of aging parents—which is the painful time that Linda remembered as she worked on her cross-stitch.
“After so much loss, home is where I needed to be. So I returned to Virginia, searched for a new church, and found Galilee. I knew this would be my new church home the minute I stepped into the sanctuary.”
Linda is active in the Backpack Buddies program. “I love kids and it broke my heart to learn that there were many under-served kids in this area. I help with the purchasing of food items, as well as delivering food bins to Meadowland Elementary on a weekly basis.”
New happiness: Ron and Linda married in December 2013
“My husband Ron and I married in December of 2013. At the time, Ron was employed full-time, but has since semi-retired and has got his own software company. Before COVID, we enjoyed golfing, even though we aren’t good at it, and also enjoy small day trips. We’ve been on several cruises and look forward to traveling again as soon as we are able.”
Until we all get back to normal, Linda will be watching our livestream worship.
“I adore the music and miss it in person, but am brought to tears while worshiping online and listening to Jordan’s magical voice. I wish I could sing, but you wouldn’t want me in the choir!”
“My favorite hymn is “How Great Thou Art.” A couple of years ago, I purchased a second hand 3/4 piano, which I had never heard of before. It just doesn’t have all the very high keys and very low keys, just the middle ones. I’ve been practicing, trying to regain the talent I had as a young girl. It’s slowly coming back and I’ve enjoyed re-learning. I’ll never be as good as (Galilee accompanist) Tordis—she is inspiring.”
We think Linda is inspiring, too!