The Ark of Hope, a 49" x 32" x 32" wooden chest was created as a place of
refuge for the Earth Charter document, an international peoples treaty for
building a just, sustainable, and peaceful global society in the 21st
century. The Earth Charter will be presented to the United Nations in 2002
for endorsement. Visit www.earthcharter.org for complete information on
the Earth Charter. The Ark of Hope also provides refuge for Temenos Books,
Images for Global Healing, Peace, and Gratitude. Over 300 handcrafted 8" x
8" x 2" books were made by artists, schoolchildren, and Vermont citizens,
expressing their individual and collaborative prayers and affirmations for
Earth. The Earth Charter's 16 principles for building a just, sustainable
and peaceful global society were the guiding vision behind the creation of
The Ark was designed and painted by Sally Linder, built by cabitnetmaker
Kevin Jenness and lined by fabric artist Beth Haggart. It was crafted from
a single plank of sycamore from a tree in Germany. The five painted panels
that form the sides and top of the Ark each represent the flora and fauna
of the world as seen through the images of the world's traditional
artists. Each panel visualizes a season, a direction, an element, and a
universal symbol. Symbols of faith from traditional religions and
indigenous societies surround the top panel of "Spirit" that honors the
children and young animals of the world. The 96" carrying poles are
unicorn horns which render evil ineffective.
Inside the Ark, the Earth Charter is handwritten on papyrus paper. The
University of Cairo supplied Sally with instructions for making paper with
papyrus – a plant known to have the ability to purify water of pollutants
in the world. The papyrus was harvested from the Living Systems, Inc.
waste treatment plant in South Burlington, VT, soaked for two weeks in
Sally’s bathtub, then pressed using a 90,000 press at Landell Papers, a
Vermont papermaker in East Topsham.
The Ark of Hope was created for a celebration of the Earth Charter that
was held at Shelburne Farms, Vermont on September 9., 2001. The event, for
love of Earth, featured keynote speaker Jane Goodall, global peace walker
Satish Kumar, musician Paul Winter, and Dr. Steven C. Rockefeller, a
member of the Earth Charter Commission. Visit website
http://phlox.gardeners.com/earthcharter for a description pf the event and
http://www.jasonhouston.com/earthcharter for photos of the day
On September 11, volunteers were cleaning up from the September 9th event
when news of the New York and Washington, DC tragedies was heard. Sally
Linder’s immediate, spontaneous response to the horror was to begin
walking the Ark of Hope to New York and the United Nations. Joined by
Andrea Morgante and Janet Fredericks, they carried the 200-pound chest
across the meadows of the farm to Rt. 7 where they were joined by Susan
Diehl Dufort. Many other walkers have since joined this pilgrimage to the
United Nations, bringing with them hope and the vision of the Earth
Charter to communities along the way. The Ark of Hope with the Temenos
Books will be gifted to the United Nations. Visit the various menus of
this website for the route and for more information on how you can join
the walk and participate in this walk of hope for the future.
As if this Ark of Hope wasn't scary enough, read what some Roman Catholics believe: Mary, Ark of the Covenant. This doctrine of the devil is not promoted on some obscure, left-wing website but on EWTN which means it is much more mainstream in the Roman Catholic Church than I would have ever believed.
And they shall make an ark of shittim wood: two cubits and a half shall be the length thereof, and a cubit and a half the breadth thereof, and a cubit and a half the height thereof.
And thou shalt overlay it with pure gold, within and without shalt thou overlay it, and shalt make upon it a crown of gold round about.
And thou shalt cast four rings of gold for it, and put them in the four corners thereof; and two rings shall be in the one side of it, and two rings in the other side of it.
And thou shalt make staves of shittim wood, and overlay them with gold.
And thou shalt put the staves into the rings by the sides of the ark, that the ark may be borne with them.
The staves shall be in the rings of the ark: they shall not be taken from it.
And thou shalt put into the ark the testimony which I shall give thee. Exodus 25:10-16
John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible:
two cubits and a half shall be the length thereof, and a cubit and a half the breadth thereof, and a cubit and a half the height thereof; if this cubit was a common cubit, consisting of a foot and a half or eighteen inches, then the length of this ark was forty five inches, and its breadth and height twenty seven each; according to Dr. Cumberland (Of Scripture Weights and Measures, ch. 2. p. 34, 56), the Egyptian and Jewish cubit was above twenty one inches, and then the ark must be fifty three inches long or more, and thirty two and three quarters broad and high,
What Did the Ark Look Like?
The Ark itself was of simple construction, yet none of the ancient or rabbinic sources agree on its exact dimensions or design. What we can know is that the Ark was a rectangular box approximately four feet in length and two feet in height and width...Ancient Egyptian tombs have revealed varied types of chests, some of which are similar in appearance to the Ark of the Covenant. A cedarwood chest, complete with transport poles, was discovered in the tomb of Tutankhamen (1400 BC)...The Ark was constructed with acacia wood, a tree native to the Sinai desert. This wood is so extremely durable that the Greek version of the Old Testament, the Septuagint (LXX) actually translates this word as "incorruptible" or "nondecaying" wood. Adding to the imperishable quality of this wood was a layer of gold applied for practical protection and religious symbolism...Above the Ark was a specially constructed slab of gold called the "mercy seat (Hebrew kapporet, "covering"). This slab served as a flat lid for the box...The golden lid was topped by two cherubim formed out of one solid piece of gold...
(In Search of Temple Treasures, Randall Price)
Ark of the Testimony
Also known as the ark of the covenant, the ark of the Lord, and the ark of God, the ark of the Testimony was the object most sacred to the Israelites during their time in the wilderness...Archaeologists have discovered depictions of the ark (for example, a stone carving of the ark was found at the excavation of a synagogue in Capernaum)...
The lid on the ark, called the mercy seat, was made of gold. The Hebrew word traditionally translated "mercy seat" could be rendered "place of atonement," because this was where the high priest sprinkled blood once each year on the Day of Atonement as the atonement for sin (Lev 16:15). Mounted on this lid were two winged creatures (cherubim), which faced each other with outstretched wings. Inside the ark were the two stone tablets containing the Ten Commandments, which Moses had received from God at Mount Sinai (Exo 20). It also contained a golden pot of manna and Aaron's rod that budded (Heb 9:4), reminders of God's provision for the needs of the Israelites in the wilderness.
The Israelites believed that God lived among them in the tabernacle between the wings of the cherubim on the mercy seat. God spoke to Moses from this place (Num 7:89) during their years of wandering in the wilderness as they were being prepared to enter the Promised Land.
The ark was carried ahead of the Israelites when they left Mount Sinai (Num 10:33); when they crossed the Jordan River to enter Canaan (Josh 4:9-11); and when they circled the walls of Jericho before that city fell (Josh 6:1-20). After many other travels, it was finally placed in Solomon's temple in Jerusalem (1 Kings 8:1-9), only to disappear after the destruction of Jerusalem by the Babylonians in 586 BC.
The ark served as a visible reminder of God's presence with the Hebrew people. The mercy seat, covered with gold, symbolized God's throne and His rule in the hearts of those who acknowledge Him as their sovereign Lord.
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