October 4, 2012
Our season of Bountiful Abundance for our church school began with a Creation Day where 70 children and adults each created a personal mosaic. It was an amazing undertaking and took our artist-in-residence and our children’s program director’s coordinated efforts to pull off in just 45 minutes. It was a glorious tornado of creativity.
At St. Andrew’s we have used the arts on many occasions to generate program and build community. We are perhaps best known for our work in Stained Glass, having created four sets of 12 windows each. The sets are changed out seasonally, one for Advent/Christmas/Epiphany, a Stations of the Cross set for Lent, A Stations of the Resurrection set for Easter and then a series with stories from the Gospels for the long Pentecost Season.
In 2007 we took on the construction of our North Wall Window, a major project. Twenty six teams created individual panels that were assembled in a framework, creating the 30 foot window that has become the centerpiece of our sanctuary.
It was a natural progression to take on a glass mosaic project as the focal point of our church school season.
These kinds of projects help build strong community and lay the groundwork for future programming. We had 24 adults involved in our first mosaic project along with 46 children. They will now all move on to the next phase, a design/build project to create a 30 square foot glass mosaic mural to grace the wall outside our nursery.
Cheryl Smith, artist-in-residence, worked with submissions from many children to come up with the initial design. The small mural project last Sunday served as a training session for all ages so they can now participate in the creation of the much larger piece. Two mid-week workdays and one extended Creation Day on Nov. 4 will result in a beautiful new piece of art for our church that we will dedicate on Nov. 18.
Through the arts, St. Andrew’s has been able to build a strong, creative community that has not only added beauty and meaning to our building, but strengthened our individual and corporate faith development. Working in the arts taps different portions of our brains and souls and rounds out our spirituality. Creating art in community cements the sense of belonging for those who participate and those who appreciate the new creations.
We are already dreaming what might be our next communal expression of creativity. The fun has just begun.