There is a lot of interest and energy lately around the concept of repurposing. I confess that I watch a lot of home improvement shows and they are always repurposing old crates into rustic coffee tables or making bookshelves out of old school lockers, and things like that. In the art world, there are many artists who create interesting art pieces from old-fashioned kitchen utensils, tins, banks and toys found at flea markets or antique stores.
The concept of repurposing came to my mind recently when read again the story in Scripture of the conversion of St. Paul. Here was a man was zealous in his persecution of Christians. But God repurposed this man’s zealousness to promote the Christian message instead. The story of the repurposing of Saul to Paul makes us realize that God can do dramatic things with what is put before him. Like a craftsperson at a workbench with various pieces laid out, God can create something beautiful and unexpected from the most random of things.
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Our sister company Twenty-Third Publications has published a booklet called The Art of Accompaniment, which talks about how parishes are called to journey with their parishioners through their lives of faith.
Creative Communications offers products that help with this endeavor. Shepherd Guides cards are for use by the parish to send at milestones and church year holidays to those who were married in the church, who had a child baptized and who buried a loved one within the last year. (See links below.)
Creative also offers a journal for godparents to give to their godchildren to encourage them in their faith at their confirmation:
There are many ways beyond these publications, of course, to accompany fellow members of God’s family on their faith journey. I know that I personally have been on the receiving end of some uplifting faith-filled texts or emails from church friends who knew I was having a hard week. Those little gestures go a long way to help people stay strong and keep growing in their faith.
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In the art world, the term provenance refers to the history of ownership of a work of art. Museum curators go to great lengths to determine who owned a particular piece and when. The more you know about the history of a painting and the more prominent the owners have been, the greater the value of the masterpiece.
As God’s masterpieces, we do not have to track our provenance long. Since our baptisms, we have had but one owner: God. We belong to him and we are more precious to him than the Mona Lisa.
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Here is a simple (natural) example of environmental projection within a worship space.
When I was at the Best Practices in Ministry conference in Phoenix, AZ, last month, I attended a breakout session called, “Environmental Projection: Telling a Visual Story in Worship.” The moderator, James Lavendar, a worship leader at a church in Arizona, presented ways in which he has projected images and colors, both moving and stationary, onto all the walls of his church’s worship space in order to bring out certain feeling or highlight a particular theme or season in the church year.
The possibilities seem endless. There could be snow falling during a Christmas service. Twinkling stars could bring out the message of the Epiphany star that led the wise men to the baby Jesus. Various shades of red could be used to indicate the blood Christ shed on the cross in a Lenten service. The rising sun could warm the room with the joy of the resurrection. The session was crackling with good ideas.
Yet beyond all the bells and whistles of the technology that can make all this happen, my thoughts turned to what we can do as leaders in the church to build a certain atmosphere within a worship space? What thoughts and/or feelings do we project or elicit by anything that is visually present in a worship space?
Stained glass windows were the long-standing traditional way to set the tone in a church. They made the parishioner feel a sense of holiness, peace and reflection. (Projection of the imagery of stained Continue reading →