Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Discernment by Way of Job Titles

My pastor forwarded this message to me:

Hi Pr. Keith,
I continue to be impressed by what your congregation does in terms of worship and art/s.  I’m wondering if one of your folk would be willing to set up the chapel space at the Assembly in 2019, and specifically include some sort of interactive prayer station?  I can probably find ways to cover the cost of supplies.  I don’t know who you send as voting members to the assembly, but if one of those people would be willing to set up and oversee some (or at least one) prayer/art stations in the chapel space, that would be phenomenal.  And maybe we could find a way to incorporate the created art into closing worship?
Lots of time to finalize details, but wanted to send out the question/idea while it was on my mind.
Michelle Collins, ELCA Deacon
Director of Discipleship and Communications
Florida-Bahamas Synod


That message alone would have made me very happy. But my pastor's reply made me even happier:

Dear Sr. Michelle, 
It is so kind of you !
Kristin Berkey-Abbott is our arts guru - let me check with her and we can go from there. 
Ever in Christ 


Happily, I have been in my new job long enough that I have vacation time--and so, I can go to Synod Assembly in 2019. I'm happy that our efforts are being noticed and that we're being asked to bring these experiences to a wider group.

I'm really happy that my pastor called me the arts guru--it's a job title that I love.  I'm also intrigued by the title of the writer of the e-mail:  Director of Discipleship and Communications.

But what makes me happiest of all is that I'm in a church that is willing to experiment with all sorts of uses of various art forms and creativity: from using creative expression in worship (sometimes for decoration, sometimes for deepening the experience, sometimes for expanding the worship elements, sometimes for transforming the act of worship), to using experiences to bring us closer to each other and God, and using creativity as a way to interpret the Bible and as a way to explore what God might be saying to us.

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