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Creative Ideas for Lent 2017

Blog (content)

Art, Faith, and Honest Connection

Creative Ideas for Lent 2017

Lisle Gwynn Garrity

We founded A Sanctified Art with dreams to fill the Church with more art, inspiration, creativity, and God-breathed mystery. We believe in the power of creativity to counter narratives of scarcity and "dying church" prophecies. We believe art can connect us and open our eyes to possibilities unimagined. We believe our faith can only fully come alive when we engage our WHOLE self and senses.

These dreams were followed with a clear mission: support clergy and leaders in ministry with practical resources to get creative beyond the barriers of limited funds, expertise, and time.

We are NOT interested in selling products for mindless consumption. We create resources to empower you to get creative in your unique context.

We create so that YOU will create. Creativity begets creativity, after all.

But here's the thing: creativity is hard—especially when we do it alone. If you've downloaded our new resources for Lent (if you haven't yet, DO IT RIGHT NOW), you may have reacted with a.) extreme excitement and endless ideas for how to put them to use in your context, OR b.) extreme excitement without a clue how to get started. Regardless, extreme excitement is inevitably your reaction, right? ;)

Because creativity is always better when shared, we're offering some ideas and thoughts for how to engage each of our resources for Lent. These possibilities are just a starting point—comment below to share how you might be using these resources to get creative this season!

[Pssst . . . if you're new around here and want to learn about our bundle of resources for Lent, click the button below].

CREATIVE POSSIBILITIES:

  • print and distribute the calendar and devotional booklets to families and individuals in your congregation for them to utilize daily in the home.
  • print the calendar as a large poster (either 24"x36" or 36"x48") and invite children in weekday school to color in the shapes.
  • print and distribute the materials for your elderly members (especially those who are home-bound or in assisted living communities) so they can read, reflect, and color each day throughout the season.

2. "Back to Back" Brokenness Worship Film

CREATIVE POSSIBILITIES:

  • show it as a visual meditation during worship.
  • show it to replace your spoken prayer of confession.
  • show it in a Sunday School, youth group, or campus ministry education event around the themes of sin, brokenness, and grace.
  • use it to teach a class on the practice of confession and how it is an essential part of our worship and our Reformed conviction to live our whole lives in response to God's grace. Use the spoken word script to invite participants to write their own creative prayers of confession. Combine the prayers together into one prayer, or utilize them all throughout your Lenten worship services.
  • using the printed spoken word script, use the video and poetry in your sermon reflection.
  • pair the film with a scripture text (any that speaks to divisions, reconciliation, brokenness, sin, etc.) and use it to add a layer to your bible study and discussion groups.
  • share it with your congregation via email to offer resources for personal reflection.
  • using the printed script, invite youth and/or adult members to offer the spoken word live in worship and act out standing back to back.

CREATIVE POSSIBILITIES:

  • show it as a visual meditation to open or close your worship service.
  • show it instead of, or in addition to, your scripture reading.
  • show it in a Sunday School, youth group, or campus ministry education event around the themes of spiritual disciplines and Lent. Invite participants to tear fabric and write prayers on the fabric strips naming what kind of "fast" and disciplines they are committing to during Lent to work toward justice for all. Tie or weave the fabric strips together to create a visual installation for your sanctuary.
  • show it in a bible study or discussion group on Joel 2 and/or Isaiah 58. Use the film to guide and supplement your discussion.
  • incorporate the film in your sermon.
  • share it as a resource with your congregation via email to offer space for personal reflection.
  • show the film and invite participants to offer their own visuals and art in response to the scripture texts. Provide paint, oil pastels, and/or collage materials to invite members of all ages to visualize the scriptures.

CREATIVE POSSIBILITIES:

  • print them as bulletin inserts for children & adults to color during worship.
  • print them as large posters to create a "children's corner" or "prayground" in the sanctuary to keep children active and attentive in worship.
  • use them as materials for Sunday School classes, youth and campus ministry events.
  • use them as materials for intergenerational coloring during fellowship events.
  • use them to teach the scripture story in children's moments in worship.
  • using the artist's statements and descriptions (included in the download) utilize them to deepen your bible studies and discussion groups. Print them as large posters for members of all ages to color at the same time while discussing the scripture text inspiring the poster's imagery.
  • frame colored-in posters and install as a gallery wall during Lent.
  • distribute sheets and posters to young families to foster coloring and faith formation at home.
  • Invite children and youth to color the posters. Print the colored-in posters as bulletin cover art throughout Lent to feature the handiwork of your youth.

CREATIVE POSSIBILITIES:

  • print them for bulletin cover art and other print publications.
  • project them for sermon illustrations and visual aids.
  • utilize them as slide backgrounds and projected images if you utilize screens in worship.
  • share them as visuals & graphics on your website and social media platforms to invite others to worship. 
  • look to them for sermon inspiration (by also reading our artist refections).
  • incorporate them into Sunday School classes and bible studies to deepen engagement with scripture.
  • lead participants through a visio divina process using the sample guide below:

Visio Divina Sample Guide

Visio Divina, latin for "divine seeing," is a method of meditation, reflection, and prayer through a process of intentional seeing. Visio Divina extends the 6th century Benedictine practice of Lectio Divina by the use of visual imagery. Traditionally, Visio Divina was accompanied by Benedictine iconography and illuminations, however, different faith traditions have adapted the process over time, utilizing both secular and nonsecular images.

1. Engage the Visual:
Read the image: sit in silence while gazing upon the image. Make sure to concentrate on the depth and quality of your breath as you look at the image. In this moment, simply notice the visual qualities of the piece: colors, line, shape, form, space, and texture. If you would like, jot down a few words about the image.

    2. Reflect on what you see:
    Deeper Look: Continue gazing upon the image. In this moment engage your imagination. Where is there movement? Where are you in the artwork? What do you see from that perspective? What deeper meaning emerges?  Also, engage your feelings. What emotions emerge for you when you observe this painting? If you would like, jot down your reflections.

      3. Share / Discuss:

      • What emotions emerge for you when you observe this painting?
      • What primary emotion would you assign to the person/subjects portrayed in the painting and why?
      • Are there any insights or reflections you’d like to share with the group?
      • Read th e artist’s statement to the group. Do you identify with the artist’s feelings or experience? Does hearing the artist’s reflection influence how you see the art?  
      • How is the imagery cohesive with the scripture? 
      • If you were to paint this text, what imagery, colors, and details might you include?

      CREATIVE POSSIBILITIES:

      • print and distribute the entire collection of 21 prayers to congregation members to encourage the spiritual practice of prayer throughout Lent.
      • adapt the prayers (with credit) for worship and liturgy.
      • use them as inspiration for your own liturgy writing and sermons.
      • use them in Sunday School, fellowship events, education programs, etc., to open and close in prayer.
      • host a modern-day psalm writing class. Because most of the prayers are poems written in stanza form, use them to guide participants in writing their own poem prayers. Utilize the written prayers in your worship throughout Lent.
      • incorporate them into prayer stations (place different prayers at different stations for members to read and reflect on in silence paired with meditative activities such as candle-lighting, journaling, etc.).
      • use them to teach youth about the different types of prayers we offer in worship (adoration, thanksgiving, confession, intercession, supplication), and to offer examples for youth to write prayers in their own words for worship.

       


      CREATIVE POSSIBILITIES:

      • print designs as large coloring posters to color in or paint (child-friendly option).
      • print designs as coloring posters to host intergenerational coloring events.
      • incorporate the coloring poster design option in a Sunday School program on the resurrection. On the white space within the inside of the tomb on the right side of the poster, invite members to write examples of sin, brokenness, and what separates us from God. Within the white space on the path leading out from the tomb on the left side, invite members to write examples of new life and things that bring us closer to God's desires for the world. Display the completed "graffiti" art poster throughout Eastertide as a reminder of the gift of the resurrection and our calling to join God in renewing the whole world.
      • project & trace designs on 8' paper or fabric and paint designs to create painted banner art (perfect for intergenerational events).
      • project, trace, and cut out designs to create beautiful paper lace banner art for your sanctuary. Place fabric behind the paper cut outs to accentuate the design.
      • reference the artist statement and completed banners in a Sunday School or educational program on the power of the resurrection.