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“In The New Beginning” is an original pastel painting by St. John artist Livy Hitchcock, who created it to honor the ordination and consecration on June 11, 2005, of Edward Ambrose Gumbs as Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of the Virgin Islands.

This artwork depicts the Virgin Islands’ exquisite sunrise, representing the dawning of a new day. Livy's hope is that “this painting will contribute to a joyous transition in the life of the Episcopal-Anglican church community here in the Virgin Islands."

Christian and Episcopal-specific symbols are incorporated into the seascape, landscape and sky so that each person who sees the painting can respond in a personal, spiritual way.

The Symbols:
Sun — Symbol for Jesus Christ. Jesus is referred to as the "Sun of Righteousness." Physical light and life comes from the sun; spiritual life and light comes from the Son. Malachi 4:2

Cloud — Symbol for God. Jesus ascended into heaven on a cloud and according to many authorities will return on a cloud. Because they form a veil in the sky, clouds portray the unseen image of the Omnipotent God.

Descending dove — Symbol for the Holy Spirit. "I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove." John 1:32

Three equal arcs — Symbol for the Trinity, one God in three persons. The arcs are interwoven in one continuous flowing design representing the oneness of the Godhead.

Lily — Symbol for the truth Jesus was teaching. Jesus said "Consider the lilies of the field..." Matthew 6:28

Lamb — Symbol for Christ. "Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world."
John 1:29

Three sailing vessels in triangle — Symbol for the three individual persons of the Trinity: the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. The triangle is a perfect reflection of the divine unity of the Trinity.

The cross — The sacred symbol of the Christian faith of all generations. Christ died on the cross, a perfect sacrifice for the whole world, to redeem us and reconcile us to God.

The Right Rev. E. Ambrose Gumbs

fifth Bishop of the Diocese of the Virgin Islands
bpambrosegumbs@yahoo.com (340) 776-1797 office | (340) 344-1311 cell


The Rt. Rev. E. Ambrose Gumbs spent his childhood on the island of Anguilla, before it was discovered. He grew up in and entirely “country” atmosphere – no electricity or running water. It was very early in life that he discovered his spirituality in the Anglican church, as most of life on the Island centered around church events and functions.
He has sung in a choir all his life.

Bishop Gumbs left Anguilla as a teenager to come to St. Thomas in the US Virgin Islands. He attended St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church, and graduated from Charlotte Amalie High School to enter the US Navy, where he served four years and spent his service time in Scotland.

On returning from service, the Bishop attended the University of the Virgin Islands where he attained a degree in Social Sciences while maintaining his worship home of St. Andrews. He still sang in the choir.

Under Bishop Turner, Bishop Gumbs discerned a call to ordained ministry and studied at Virginia Theological seminary on scholarship. He returned, was ordained a priest and served as curate at St. Andrew’s, then Priest in Charge, and finally Rector. It was from this Position that he was elected Bishop of the Diocese in 2005, the first locally elected bishop in the diocese’s history.

Bishop Gumbs is an avid gardener and reads up to seven books at a time, usually focusing on new trends in ministry and models for church work. He listens to classical music, which sometimes resonates throughout the diocesan offices when he’s hard at work.

The Bishop is married to Phillis, and has two daughters: Edlyn and Deanalyn. --------------------->

He sees his priorities in the Diocese of the Virgin Islands as fostering unity among the churches to bring all people to God’s table for discussion, and to push churches to think about Outreach ministries to their communities in order to be an example to others and thereby drawing people into the church. He has a special passion for Music, Health, and Youth Ministry.

The Bishop’s birthday is May 3rd.

Bishop's Itinerary

In The New Beginning (Shown on the left)

Prints of the painting to the left are 18 inches X 24 inches with the mat, and they are available at Livy and Tom Hitchcock’s art gallery, Bajo el Sol, in Mongoose Junction, St. John. Churches and church groups are invited to make arrangements to offer the prints in fund-raising efforts. The various churches can take orders for the matted prints at $225, and half the price ($112.50) of each ordered print will go to the church. Call the gallery 340-693-7070 or e-mail livyhitchcock@yahoo.com.

The Artist: Livy Hitchcock, is a gifted and spiritual person who is the daughter of an Episcopal priest and stepdaughter of a retired Episcopal Bishop who now lives on St. John. Livy and her family are members of St. Ursula’s Episcopal Mission Church on St. John.

References for the symbols: King James Version of the Old and New Testaments The Oxford Companion to the Bible "Symbols of the Church" by David W. Thompson "Saints, Signs & Symbols" by W. Ellwood Post "Advent to Trinity — Symbols of the Christian Year" by Dorothy Teal

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