by Andene O’Neil and Don Hammer
I have to confess something to you all. When the idea of having a Jubilee of Creativity was brought up months ago I of course was enthused about the idea, but I really had no idea of the array and the excellence of the artistry that was in our midst. Apparently, I had underrated us as a church body. I’m sorry, I’ll never do it again. Now I know what you all are capable of. You’ve truly blessed me and the rest of our church body by sharing your gifts.
I think that it is true that we create because we were created in God’s image, and he is the ultimate Creator. But I also think there are other things going on here. I think all of creation is attempting to cry out and give glory to its maker. When we, the imago dei, as stewards of this beautiful but fallen world use our hands, minds, and hearts to make beauty or speak truth we’re participants in his redemptive work. Our hand-sewn wedding dresses, our carved clocks, our clay castles and our sketched fruit are examples of noticing and caring for His work in our midst; almost giving the medium extra voice to sing God’s praises. Our poetry, our abstract paintings, our music, our photography may put forth questions or stories, exposing truth and subtly pointing to God, worshipping him as our Father and the much-needed author of our salvation. Sometimes just the sheer beauty of an object in and of itself shows us something of God’s glorious nature. It’s a physical example of the line we sing every Sunday in the Sanctus, “Heaven and earth are full of your glory.”
We’d love to hear how all of you experienced the Jubilee of Creativity when you viewed the gallery. I’m sure everyone had different experiences when they entered this space. Please use the comment section below if you’d like to share an insight or observation you had.
I’d asked Don Hammer if he would give us a glimpse of his experience of the event. His account is below:
The Arts Jubilee brought out a lot of great creative things from my fellow parishioners. Now I know many of you even better. When someone puts themselves into a work of art it tells me something about how they think. It is almost like a book was opened and certain chapters of your lives were made visible. These expressions are personal. I’m glad to have the opportunity to ask the artists about their thoughts as they put their piece together. These opportunities would not typically come from a regular Sunday morning worship experience.
It is great to have a church that understands our whole lives as opportunities for God to work through us. All of our experiences matter—the cultural experiences we partake in, the places we choose to visit or engage with—and this shows up in people’s creative work, telling me more of the person and how they see themselves.
My granddaughter took part in the event. Her enthusiastic response was probably the same for all of the young artists. She was very excited to show me and her parents the work she did for the Arts Jubilee.
I for one greatly enjoy the holistic experience—that what we do in our homes is not divorced from the life of the church. It reminds me how the cathedral in the city center was the defining experience for everyone in our church history, and here too our church is a place to practice our gifts in all ways of life: building, crafting, creating, as well as worshiping.