Who has shaped your faith? Who has nurtured you, baptized you, taught you, transformed you? Who are the figures who have opened your mind to expand your faith? Who are the people who have helped you to feel God's love in startling ways? Who are the faces of your faith?
This summer we're digging deep into 16 bold and untold stories of those often overlooked in our biblical narratives, hoping these characters remind us that we all play a role in shaping God’s story of redemption and grace.
As many churches all across the map join us in using our Faces of our Faith materials, we wanted to offer a creative way to help you name the faces of our your own faith communities.
As a team, we crafted this simple art installation using found objects in less than two hours, so we think you can create something like it too. Just follow the steps below or adapt them based on your own materials and ideas—the possibilities are endless!
- construction paper or card stock (preferably in different colors of your choosing)
- string or ribbon of your choosing
- hole punch
- Sharpie markers (either black or different colors)
- a large tree branch or curtain rod
Step 1: Cut Out Circles or Shapes & Name Your Faces of Faith
Cut out circles or shapes using construction paper or card stock. Place these on tables in your narthex, or pass them around during worship, Sunday School, or a fellowship hour, inviting members of all ages to write the names of those who have influenced their faith on the shapes. You may wish to collect as many name shapes as possible upfront and then create the installation, or invite members to continue writing names throughout your Faces of our Faith worship series and add to the installation each week. The more names the better!
Invite members to consider naming family members, bible characters, public figures, theologians, authors, activists, creators—anyone who has directly or indirectly impacted their faith.
If you develop the installation over the course of a series, you could prompt members to write a name each Sunday during worship, thinking about a different person who has impacted them in a certain way.
PRO TIP: We encourage you to write names on BOTH sides of the shapes, as the paper and string will move and turn once you hang it!
Step 2: Attach Circles to String or Ribbon & Hang From a Branch
Punch holes in the tops of the shapes and string yarn or ribbon through them, knotting the shapes in place every 6 inches or so. No need to space them out perfectly—the asymmetry of the strands will look great once they are hung.
Fill your string or ribbon with the shapes. We used blue yarn and left a bit on the ends, but you could also fill the string with circles from end-to-end. We didn't measure the length of the strands. We liked that they ended up being varying lengths.
Once you've attached the shapes to your string, then attach the strands to some sort of base. We used a hiking stick that we found, but we love the idea of a large tree branch or a curtain rod. Get creative! You may decide to create multiple mobiles that could attach to one another. Again, the possibilities are endless. Use something you already have or can easily find on a walk in the woods.
Step 3: Install & Enjoy!
How and where you install the art mobile depends on your space and your objectives. Will you suspend it above the congregation in the sanctuary to offer it as a worshipful visual? Or will you place it against a wall in the narthex so that members can read the names before and after worship?
Consider your objectives for the project. Do you want it to be a mark of beauty, of the way we are all connected to one another as beloved community? Or do you want it to be a conversation starter, something people can touch and engage with as they walk by?
Once again, the possibilities are endless and entirely up to you. What you will quickly find is that there is a story behind each name, so the only thing left to do is to dig deep into those stories, sharing them, hearing them, and being transformed by them.
Click here to read the story behind "Cynthia at Mother Emmanuel AME Church."