I've mentioned before in this blog about working with my church on what I call "Experiential Art Within the Context of Worship". Long title but it best describes one way I feel that art can be expressed in the worship setting. By that I mean all who enter are in some way participants with the art. They are not just observers but are caught up in the art by either making it or being encompassed by it.
The first Lent that my husband and I were at First Baptist Church in Plymouth, we worked with the congregation to experience God's wonderful gift of creativity. We all have it somewhere and in some form. We just need to find it and have it brought forth. My belief is that a God who creates in his/ her own image would surely give humans the ability to create. It can show up in many forms according to the gift of each individual.
The first Lent we dyed 14 silk panels purple and hung them throughout the sanctuary so that no matter where you sat you were a part of the hue of purple, the liturgical color during Lent . So after 4 Lenten seasons we decided that the panels were losing their effectiveness and that something new needed to happen. Since the theme for Lent this year was to be "Journey to Newness" we decided to rip up those panels and make them into something new. So a new journey began.
I worked with a small group to decide what we would do with all this purple fabric. We discussed the journey theme and decided that we were all travelers on different paths headed toward a common destination, the Cross and Resurrection. Symbolically we designed pathways from the torn panels which extend throughout the sanctuary and lead to the cross. This is all hung high in the sanctuary so all who enter are encompassed in the art and can experience it from where they sit. The weekly themes which are talked about in the sermon are added to the end of the paths each week. Those themes are Temptation, Challenges, Reliance, Grace, Assurance, and Boldness.
We are now in the process of working on the next phase of this installation which is to rip up the white panels that had previously hung for Easter and make them into a woven pathway which will extend from the cross out into the sanctuary on Easter morning. The paths will be white, the liturgical color for Easter, and they will be woven together as symbolically we all join the same journey from the Cross out into the world and into newness.
If you are in or near Plymouth, come see and experience the wonderful gift of creativity and be a part of the journey. The church website is http://www.fbc-plymouth.org/.
Blessings for the Journey!