MANHATTAN — An up-and-coming Inwood church brought a splash of color to a neighborhood middle school last week, painting a 1,000-square-foot mural in the outdoor cafeteria as part of its outreach to the community.
The mural, completed Friday afternoon at the Inwood Academy for Leadership, was inspired by Eve Merriam’s poem “Willow and Ginkgo,” which analogizes the plight of an urban ginkgo tree, thriving in the face of unfavorable conditions, to that of a child growing up in the city.
Wendy and Larry Bennett, the 36-year-old co-founders of the recently created Everyday Church, spearheaded the mural project with the help of a church group that was visiting from Richland Hills, Tex. A friend of the couple, Ohio artist Tim Parsley, flew in to design the piece, which features green ginkgo leaves set against a blue sky and bright yellow sun.
The Bennetts, who moved to Inwood from Ohio with their three daughters last June, said the church was founded about seven months ago as a collaboration among friends, including the Everyday Church’s lead pastor Chris Travis.
Lacking a permanent meeting space, the non-denominational church hosts gatherings in the homes of its roughly 35 members and, once a month, at the Muscota New School on Broadway near 204th Street.
“We want to create a church that’s all about loving and caring for the neighborhood,” Larry Bennett said of the organization.