Wednesday, December 30, 2009
Week 1: Travel
Week 2: Sand and Surf
Week 3: Camping
Week 4: Sun
Monday, December 14, 2009
In May of 2008, L'Art reconvened to begin working on another set of paraments. This project was a follow-up to the silk painting activity undertaken by the women of the church at their annual retreat earlier in the year. The idea was to take the images that each of the women painted and to assemble them, collage-style, into banners and a pulpit cloth, to be used during Ordinary Time.
The left banner. The right banner.
The following is the Artist Statement that appeared in the church bulletin on June 1, 2008:
First, what is Ordinary Time? This year, the period from late May through November is known as Ordinary Time. This time is called “ordinary” because it does not include one of the holidays or special church seasons such as Easter or Pentecost. Also, the term has the same root as “ordinal,” a mathematical term indicating numerical position. So, another way to think of Ordinary Time is as “counted time.” The liturgical color is green to show that during ordinary time we continue to grow spiritually.
In March the Presbyterian Women of APC went on retreat and asked the Liturgical Art team to lead them in an art project. Together we explored painting on silk with special attention to motifs relating to nature and growth. These motifs have been collaged into the Ordinary Time banners and pulpit cloth. If you look closely, you will see rocks, flowers, branches, birds, insects, leaves, the sun, even part of a strand of DNA.
What may not be apparent is the amazing, Spirit-guided process by which many varied images, each with its own unique style, color and size, were blended during the collage process to make a unified whole. There were times when the team wondered if we could integrate every painted image into one piece of art! But the collaborative process of several sets of discerning eyes—moving pieces around, painting new silk in just the right shade of green, and squinting to see if everything blended—all combined to ensure that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. May we find that as a congregation we grow and flourish in much the same way.
The pulpit cloth is two-sided, to offer some variety during this longest season of the liturgical year.
This side of the cloth is used in the summer months.
This side of the cloth is used in the fall.
Tuesday, December 8, 2009
For Easter 2008, the Liturgical Arts Team designed processional banners to be brought in during the fanfare of the hymn “Christ the Lord is Risen Today”. These banners were designed to lift up the joy and the mystery of the transformative occurrence of the Resurrection. The banners are made of painted silk; this fabric was selected because its light weight lends itself to a floating, billowing effect, reinforcing our feelings of joy and perhaps evoking the idea of Christ’s rising up from death. The colors and brushstrokes applied to the fabric suggest the dawning of a new day as well as the beginning of a new understanding of God’s love for us.
During the procession, the banners were carried as four separate pieces, but as the acolytes converged, it became apparent that the parts create a greater whole. The four banners were held so that the spaces in between the cloth formed a cross. This surprise symbolism might signify the reaction of the earliest disciples (despite Jesus’ own predictions, none of his followers seem to have expected the Resurrection). The fact that a symbol gradually emerges as the banners are held together might represent the apostles’ dawning comprehension (due to his transformed appearance, they all fail to immediately recognize Jesus.) The transience of the completed image might represent the challenges that God’s people continue to face as we struggle to understand the Resurrection and what it means for each of us. An invitation was extended by way of this visual art for each member of the congregation to contemplate the banners in light of the gospel story, and to discover meaning on their own.
The Liturgical Arts Team created banners for the sunrise service of Easter 2008 at the Prayer Labyrinth. A plain white cloth was used to fashion the banners. The fabric was similar to what might have been used to wrap Jesus’ crucified body; this cloth was subsequently found discarded in the empty tomb (John 20:6). Also, the color white is traditionally used for Easter, as it represents the now fully-realized purity and perfection of the risen Christ.
Additionally, the banners featured white streamers with brightly colored, gathered cloth at the end. When still, the cluster resembled a flower blossom; when the breeze stirred, it lifted, evoking the flight of a butterfly. Blossoms and butterflies signify new life and transformation, which are appropriate for these symbols on the day we celebrate the Resurrection.
The banners were installed during the night. Just as Christ’s resurrection was discovered by his followers early on a Sunday morning, those who gathered to worship at sunrise encountered these symbols of Christ’s resurrection. The decision to use three banners created a suggestion of the scene of Jesus’ crucifixion at
Monday, December 7, 2009
Janice B., Jody B., and Jennifer E.
The planners for the Presbyterian Women's retreat asked the Liturgical Artists to lead an art project as one of the activities during the weekend. The Liturgical Art Committee decided to learn how to paint on silk, and then share what they learned with the women of the church. The women were encouraged to paint images of nature, using green as the dominant color, with the idea of spiritual growth as a theme. Later, the images could be assembled with a collage technique to make new banners to be used during the Ordinary Time of the Liturgical Year.
Psalm 52: 8 - 9:
But I am like a green olive tree in the house of God.
I trust in the steadfast love of God forever and ever.
I will thank you forever, because of what you have done.
In the presence of the faithful I will proclaim your name, for it is good.
Yvonne C., Peggy A., Katie V., and Nancy H. look on as Sheryl W. employs the hair dryer to speed the drying of the silk.
Kathy D. fields questions as Kathy C., Peggy A., and Nancy H. try out their newly learned techniques of painting on silk.
Molly E. shares some tips about painting on silk with Betty L., Carol S., Marianna R., and Virginia M.
Thursday, December 3, 2009
Pictured here are our Interim Pastor Joel A. and Associate Pastor Stephanie M., wearing the stoles quilted by Kathy D. for Christmas. The "evolving banners" were so well-received by the congregation that the Liturgical Arts Team decided to "evolve" them right on through until Ordinary Time.
The following Artist Statement was included in our church bulletin:
The shopping malls and television stations want you to think that Christmas is already here. Within the walls of our sanctuary, however, we follow a different calendar: the church’s liturgical calendar. The four weeks preceding Christmas day are known as Advent.
Advent is a season of hope and of anticipation. We look to the time when God’s kingdom completes breaking into our world. However, it is not a time of pure hope and joy. We must acknowledge that redemption is necessary because we are broken people. This is a time to remember why we need the Savior and why we long for a world made complete. We practice waiting in Advent, as we move from darkness to light, from brokenness to fullness, from tension to peace.
The Liturgical Arts Committee has created a new set of banners and paraments in hopes of helping our congregation to reflect upon Advent themes. You will notice that the banners evolve over the course of the month, symbolizing our progression towards the event of Christ’s birth. The banners make use of the traditional colors for Advent, purple and blue. As the season progresses towards Christmas, gold and white become more prominent, showing our spiritual growth from dark to light and from brokenness to fullness. You may also note that the fabric has been left with rough edges – this is meant to symbolize the imperfect world that we are living in. The stoles and pulpit cloth were pieced together from random scraps of fabric; we don’t have to be perfect or whole to be used by God.
This is our Associate Pastor, Stephanie M., wearing one of the stoles quilted by Kathy D.
Wednesday, December 2, 2009
By November of 2007, two additional members had joined the team (Kathy D. and Brooke S.) The group decided to create a set of evolving banners and paraments for the Advent season. Because of our short time frame and our need for a new set each week, it was decided to use a more “temporary” construction style, rather than choosing a method that involved extensive sewing and finish work. One idea considered was to hang strips of rough cut fabric, adding and subtracting various fabrics and colors as the season progressed. When the team realized that this idea dovetailed with the theological theme of Advent (moving from darkness to light, anticipating wholeness) this was the method selected. Kathy, using her quilting skills, created three stoles and a pulpit cloth to coordinate with the banners.
By the spring of 2007, Molly and Nancy had recruited more members and formed the Liturgical Arts Team. Nancy and Molly were joined by Sheryl W. and LaRhonda W., with Peter L. providing technical assistance. For their first “group” project, they designed an installation called “The Prayers of the People” which was installed for Easter morning, 4/8/2007, and was left up for several weeks.
The team began the project by soliciting prayers from all members of the congregation. The prayers were written on slips of pre-cut pieces of paper. Hundred of prayers were collected - prayers of thanks, confession, intercession ... prayers from children ... prayers about life or death matters ... prayers about personal issues and prayers for our church, community, and world. The prayer slips were sewn to long, white strips of fabric, forming prayer banners. These banners were draped like streamers from the ceiling in the narthex, forming a canopy effect. These pictures show the "Presbyterian sweatshop", as we sew the hundreds of prayer slips to the dozens of banners. Also shown is the installation process, and the finished piece.
The team received a lot of positive feedback from this installation, emboldening them to continue their efforts of bringing an art ministry to APC.
Tuesday, December 1, 2009
For Pentecost, our church had been using a pulpit cloth which incorporates the dove and flame imagery that are traditional symbols for the Holy Spirit. Inspired by this design, in 2006, Molly E. created coordinating banners and a cloth for the Table. These paraments are used annually for Pentecost, as well as for Ordination and Installation services.