By Christine Kim
Channel 2 News
5:02 PM AKDT, July 17, 2011
An 88-year-old retired pastor tells the story of Easter and Christmas with equivalents to the native culture. It's through totem poles, and today an Anchorage church celebrated a new addition. About 20 members of the Saint John Methodist Church helped carry the replica of a totem pole out to the entrance.
“This is a chance to bring Christ, that message, in a way it hasn’t been brought to folks in a new way, which is through the telling of the totem,” said church member John Dawson.
It's a mold of the original that remains in the sanctuary. The 700-pound totem pole tells the story of Easter with a twist.
It displays symbols of the native Tsimshian tribe that are equivalents to details in the story of Jesus Christ and his resurrection.
For example, a last supper with salmon replaces a supper with bread, and a wolf howl replaces a rooster crow.
David Fison, who designed and carved the original totem pole, says it joins three other ones, which includes the Christmas story.
“I was able to, in studying their culture, find their nearest equivalence, so they're on the pole,” said Fison.
The original totem pole took three years to make. It is carved in cedar and Fison completed it in 2001.
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