Thursday, December 2, 2010

A Four Gospels update...

FYI...a show has been arranged in NYC at the Dillon Gallery and a website for pre-orders posted for Mako's upcoming release of the Gospels. In case you are interested.

Click here for the website and info.

Kirk & Sarah

Monday, November 22, 2010

Another friend who illustrates...

I recently came across this exhibition of a friend (click HERE for the website) whom I got to know through my work with the International Arts Movement. Jerry was a fellow board member with Mako Fujimura on the National Endowment for the Arts. In fact I would say Jerry was the one Mako became the closest with (outside the chairman, Dana Gioia) over his years of service. Jerry and his wife Gloria have both been involved in the arts for a very long time. His art has not only a wonderful straightforward quality, one that connects with children, but also a depth that makes you notice that good art is being made here. Added to his desire to produce beautiful things, is a desire also to see more good done as a result of his work; an admirable drive.

So, if you find yourself in western Massachusetts near Stockbridge it might be worth a visit to the Norman Rockwell Museum.

Peace,
Kirk & Sarah

Jerry Pinkney's exhibtion link to Rockwell Museum

Monday, November 15, 2010

The Four Holy Gospels...

Just found out about this newly released short documentary (click HERE to see it) about my friend Mako's project for the 400th anniversary of the King James Bible (click HERE for more info on the project). What's awesome about this work is not only do I (Kirk) know the people in front of the camera, but I also know the guys behind the camera. The director and editor, Brendan and Adam, were students of mine while they were studying at NYU Film School. They were key leaders in the transFORM movement in NYC while I was there. This brings me deep satisfaction to see, AND an abundance of praise to the Creator who is the source of all beauty.

Kirk (& Sarah)

4 Holy Gospels link

Friday, November 5, 2010

EP Mission's Conference...

Hey friends,

Well, we returned Monday afternoon from our trip up north after enjoying a wonderful Fall weekend (see the pics) in Delaware and Maryland. We've already told you on a previous post of our trip to DC to take in some of the art but wanted to give you a brief summary of our time at the EP Church of Newark's Mission's Conference.
We were one among six groups represented at the conference. three from the United States, the rest from a country in Southeast Asia (The country these missionaries were from is a Muslim country). We were honored to be amongst this group of fellow ministers and were encouraged quite a bit in our work by them as well as by the church. I wish I could tell you more about the work of our fellow missionaries in Southeast Asia but I want to minimize publication as much as possible for their safety. Suffice it to say we admire their faith in our Lord and pray for their continued impact.
Sarah and I had an opportunity to talk with the Adult Sunday School on Sunday morning. I shared "5 vignettes of arts and culture" from the Bible and Sarah shared about our ministry and her most recent project the "Perspective Cards". Thank you to all the members of EP who made us feel welcome, and to our fellow missionaries with whom we definitely felt a camaraderie regarding this mission God has placed on our hearts.

Kirk & Sarah

Friday, October 29, 2010

MD/DE/DC...

Ministry Updates

Sarah and I are in Maryland for the weekend to take part in a Missions Conference at my childhood church in Delaware-Evangelical Presbyterian Church of Newark, DE. On Wednesday, Sarah spoke to two women's groups, and yesterday morning I spoke to a men's bible study at the church. We had a good time sharing about what we are currently doing and what we hope to do in the coming years for our ministry. We will be here through Sunday then return to Orlando Monday. We'd appreciate your prayers.

a day of ART

After the men's bible study, my parents, Sarah and I went down to Washington, DC to take in some of the galleries...it was fun day. We especially wanted to see the Edvard Munch print exhibition, and the Rothko, black on black works-special exhibits in the National Gallery of Art East Building.

Munch is best known for his painting, The Scream. This exhibit, though, showcased his works in printmaking. I plan to write something on this particular show as it stirred in me some interesting thoughts on an individual considered to be rather somber.

When we first walked into the East Building of the NGA we were greeted by an enormous "troll-like" head on the second floor. It turned out to be a wonderful discovery. This head was a three-dimensional rendition in fiberglass of an Arcimboldo work (called Winter) a painting completed in the 16th century. Arcimboldo, whom I knew nothing about, was known for painting portraits by putting together a variety of items, like various fruits or items found in a forest, to make it look like the subject of the portrait. Arcimboldo's style is very clever and playful-a real treat to observe. His works apparently had an influence on the Surrealists, like Man Ray and Max Ernst. If you are in DC it is worth a trip.

Winter (shot from below)

Winter (closer look-check out the scale!)

The Rothko show is located in the "Tower" of the East Building. Six of his black on black works loom brightly as you finish ascending the stairs. While taking in these works of variations on black, the room is also filled with a musical piece written in Rothko's honor by his friend Morton Feldman-a year after his death. The works and music are hauntingly complimentary in the space.

We finished the day in the National Portrait Gallery where we immersed ourselves in the pictures of current and past American history. We especially enjoyed the various presidential portraits. If you haven't visited that Gallery, you are missing out.

Abraham Lincoln by George P.A. Healy

Bill Clinton by Chuck Close

Make plans to see these works on your next visit to DC.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Some great resources on faith and the arts from IAM...

The International Arts Movement (their website here) recently opened a new resources page. It features some of the talks recorded at their conferences from the last few years. I was just listening today to part of Jeff Speck's talk on the New Urbanism, and the importance of HOW we build our communities. The way a community is laid out affects how that community relates. My favorite quotes from Jeff are when he talks about giving prominent spaces in our communities to buildings that deserve that honor...like schools, and churches...very interesting stuff. Take advantage of the content...it's worth it. Click here for the resource page.

In case you don't know what IAM is, it is the organization that I worked with for just about all of my 10 years in New York City. It is the organization that Sarah and I hope to serve alongside when we return there.

If you are of a creative mindset or an artist in some form you might want to check out IAM's upcoming IAM "Encounter 11" in March (click here for details). Even if you are a friend of the arts or a leader in your church or community this would be a great place to get a sense of the artists heart.

Kirk

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Thinking about the Sacraments...

We started the second half of our Systematics class on Sacraments today. So I have been thinking a lot lately about the Sacraments (Baptism, and the Lord's Supper) and how what they were instituted for is similar to the way the visual arts work. It's not an exact match, the Sacraments are a sacred act of the Church instituted by God and performed for a particular function. Yet function they do. Art, especially visual art functions similarly...they visualize something (hopefully something meaningful) beyond what you see. I found this quote stir me to think about this issue more in relation to the Sacraments It is from the Heidelberg Catechism, Question and Answer 75 (Italicized color change is my highlight):
Question 75. How does the Lord's Supper remind and assure you that you share in the one sacrifice of Christ on the cross and in all his gifts?
Answer. In this way: Christ has commanded me and all believers to eat of this broken bread and to drink of this cup. He has thereby promised: First, as surely as I see with my eyes the bread of the Lord broken for me and the cup shared with me, so surely his body was offered and broken for me and his blood was shed for me. Second, as surely as I receive from the hand of the one who serves and actually taste the bread and the cup of the Lord which are given me as sure signs of the body and blood of Christ, so surely he feeds and nourishes my soul to everlasting life with his crucified body and shed blood.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

A friend's letter...

My friend painter Makoto Fujimura (www.makotofujimura.com) recently wrote a letter (click here) to the Churches of North America. I believe there are some very piercing and appropriately provocative things written in it. I hope you are as challenged by it as I was.

Kirk

Friday, October 15, 2010

Worldwide Day of Prayer

Campus Crusade for Christ staff members around the world gathered for our Day of Prayer on October 5. During that time, we heard from staff leaders in India about what God is doing in their country and how we could be praying for them. It was a great privilege to pray for them and to have them bless us as we visited with them via video conferencing.

We also heard from fellow staff member—Marilyn Adamson. She has been at the helm of the website, Everystudent.com for several years. In 2009, there were 5 million visits to this site. She also shared with us about a great site for new believers to get information about how to grow in their walk with God called StartingWithGod.com. There is a link there for a 'spiritual starter kit'.

Kirk and I will be traveling to Maryland at the end of this month (October 27-31). We look forward to sharing about our ministry with friends at his boyhood church—Evangelical Presbyterian Church in Newark, Delaware—during their Missions Conference.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

GDUSA Award Annual

We won a design award!

Kirk and I actually blogged about this in May, but now it's official because it appears on the awards website and I've just received a printed copy of the annual. I say 'we' because there was a team of design students I worked with last summer as we prepared for the US Campus Crusade for Christ Staff Conference. We had a great time 'brain-storming' ideas for what ultimately became the program (comprised of the schedule, bios of speakers, maps, etc.) The award is from Graphic Design USA annual awards competition for Inhouse design. There are 400 winning pieces featured in their Inhouse Design Annual, from a competition that drew over 4,000 entries.

You can see our piece on their website: gdusa.com

BTW, one of the designers who was with us last summer is joining us for an internship this year. Her name is Erin. Here's a pic of her working in our temporary office last summer.

Erin working diligently.

This year is going to be pretty exciting. We have an influx of creatives joining us. Our office is expanding from 2 designers + 1 videographer to 6 designers + 2 videographers + 1 production manager + 1 part-time production manager. Whew! We have plenty of work to get done, so I look forward to what we can accomplish with God's help and inspiration.

Peace,
Sarah & Kirk

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Two weeks of travel - weddings to attend...

This summer seems to be the "wedding summer" for us as we are attending three weddings of friends we just can't miss. We've already witnessed our friends Stephen and Erica's wedding but there are two more, one in NYC the other in Myrtle Beach. We are quite excited for both the couples involved as they have both been people that have been in my life since I moved to NYC.

With the weddings in different parts of the country this means travel and we will launch north this Tuesday for two weeks on the road. Our schedule is as follows:

  • Tuesday, July 13th - travel to North Carolina
  • Wednesday, July 14th - travel to Maryland
  • July 15th through July 19th - In NYC for some business (more on this in a later blog) and wedding
  • Tuesday, July 20th - travel from Maryland to North Carolina
  • July 20th through July 24th - In North Carolina area visiting friends
  • July 24th through July 26th - In Myrtle Beach, South Carolina for wedding
  • Monday, July 26th - travel back to Orlando, home again...yeah.

If you say a prayer for our travels and safety and fruitfulness...we'd be extremely appreciative.

Peace,
Kirk & Sarah

Friday, July 2, 2010

Our Summer 2010 so far...

Hello Friends,

It's been a few weeks since my last update and that's because, as you will see, we had a very full month of June. This summer we are staying put in Orlando to continue what we have done throughout this past year. I am studying and Sarah is designing.

In June I t
ook two one week classes at RTS and have started a third—an independent study to be completed by August. The June classes were intense but satisfying. The first class I took was in Apologetics and was taught by a visiting —Bruce Baugus—from the Jackson, MS campus. It was an enjoyable week where we met Monday through Friday from 8:30AM to 3:30PM. Bruce is a great teacher with a style that easily engenders questions and interaction. We have a month after the class to complete all the class work as well as arrange a phone oral exam that I will take next week. I am looking forward to that part. I am about 2/3rds of the way through the reading, right now in the middle of Corneilius Van Til's short tome, Christian Apologetics. I am particularly interested in the concepts behind Van Til's ideas regarding "presuppositionalism"—a form of Theology/Apologetics that I suspect might be useful when approaching and interacting with the art world.

The second class I took and finished last week was on the Church and the World. We met Monday through Friday 8AM to 4PM. The class was taught by John Meuther—RTS Orlando's librarian. I have taken a class with John before and enjoyed his style of teaching as well...he enjoys good interaction with the students. One book we are reading that has begun to cause a stir in Christian circles is James Davison Hunter's book, To Change the World. Hunter—a sociologist at the University of Virginia—is challenging predominant thinking in the Church regarding models of cultural change. John is sympathetic to Hunter's perspective and I have found my thinking attracted to his line of reasoning, although the jury is not fully in for me quite yet.

Last Friday,
the last day of class for me, Sarah and I got on the road for an eight hour trip to northern South Carolina to attend a former student's wedding in Rock Hill. Stephen Crotts is someone Sarah and I met the summer of 2006—the same summer she and I started dating. He has become a much loved friend, and we are excited he and his new bride Erica are finally husband and wife. Stephen works as an illustrator and Erica is a school teacher. They will continue to live in Rock Hill. It seems our circle of friends grows in the North and South Carolina area.

After the wedding Sarah and I were able to spend a few days with Sarah's best friend, Audrey. As you may know from our newsletters, Audrey has been dealing with breast cancer and will most likely be entering radiation treatment sometime in July. Both Audrey and Sarah had an invigorating few days of "junkin'" as they traveled to as many thrift shops and secondhand stores as the could get to. I sat home and read. We are grateful to Audrey and Scott for allowing us to stay with them a few days...not that it was an effort for Audrey (she and Sarah love discovering unique items).

At the end of July we will be on the road again, traveling to Maryland, then NYC for another wedding, and then back down to North and South Carolina for another wedding before returning to Florida. We appreciate all your prayers!

Peace,
Kirk and Sarah

Friday, June 4, 2010

A family visit and class prep...

Hey Friends,

We have had a wonderful week in Florida as Sarah's older sister, Rebecca and her daughter, Mia came to visit us. We get to see them none too often as they live in the panhandle of Texas in Lubbock. Rebecca is a Microbiology teacher at a local college in Lubbock, and Mia is a growing teen who is quite talented in music and dance (ballet is her specialty). We are very fond of them and are thrilled they are here.

Rebecca's husband, Wronsky, is a professor at Texas Tech in Spanish literature and takes a group of students each summer down to Mexico, where he is from, for language and history studies. He left last week so Rebecca decided to come see us to start their and our summer off. Both she and Mia have not been here to Florida to see Sarah in close to 10 years.

We spent a few days at Disney with them enjoying the short lines and beautiful details in the design of the Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom. Sarah and Mia rode the "Mount Everest" ride four times yesterday while Rebecca and I could only stomach once...I don't have the same constitution as my wife when it comes to roller coasters...she's a bandit for roller coasters. We are sad to say they leave tomorrow, but we hope to see them again over the holidays.

I start classes next week, I will do five intense days from 8:30AM to 3:30PM for a class on apologetics. Pray that I remain alert and receptive to the content. I came across this Van Till quote in one of the books I am reading for the class. This book by Thom Notaro called Van Til and the use of Evidence is a summary of what my thinking has been regarding apologetics and defending Christianity to non-Christians for the last 10 to 15 years. I am looking forward to the class. "Ideally '...what is meant by knowing God in Scripture is knowing and loving God,' says Van Til; 'this is true knowledge of God; the other is false.'"

Thanks for all your interest, prayers and support of what we are trusting God for...


Peace,
Kirk and Sarah

Friday, May 28, 2010

Another quote...

So I am deep into my reading in preparation for my upcoming summer classes. I have two in June, and I am arranging an independent study on the Images of Ancient Israel—really looking forward to that one. The first class in June is on Apologetics and is being taught by a visiting professor from RTS's Jackson, MS campus. The book I am currently reading is a collection of excerpts from apologetic writings before 1500. The other day I was reading part of Tertullian's Apology. Tertullian was a lawyer in the 2nd century AD who lived in Carthage North Africa. He is considered one of the early Christian thinkers that set a foundation for Carthage to become a center for theological discourse...Carthage was where Augustine (considered one of the greatest Christian thinkers) made his home in the 4th and 5th centuries.

I found this in chapter 17 of Tertullian's Apology:
"The object of our worship is the One God, He who by His commanding word, His arranging wisdom, His mighty power, brought forth from nothing this entire mass of our world, with all its array of elements, bodies, spirits, for the glory of His majesty...The eye cannot see Him, though He is (spiritually) visible. He is incomprehensible, though in grace He is manifested. He is beyond our utmost thought, though our human faculties conceive of Him. He is therefore equally real and great...He is presented to our minds in His transcendent greatness, as at once known and unknown. And this is the crowning guilt of men, that they will not recognize One, of whom they cannot possibly be ignorant. Would you have the proof from the works of His hands, so numerous and so great, which both contain you and sustain you, which minister at once to your enjoyment, and strike you with awe; or would you rather have it from the testimony of the soul itself? Though under the oppressive bondage of the body, though led astray by depraving customs, though enervated by lusts and passions, though in slavery to false gods; yet, whenever the soul comes to itself, as out of a surfeit, or a sleep, or a sickness, and attains something of its natural soundness, it speaks of God; using no other word, because this is the peculiar name of the true God."
Peace,
Kirk and Sarah

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

The ecology of a design...

Hey all,

Usually when Sarah puts her hand and mind on a design she has some idea of how that design may be used...but not always. It's exciting to see what you've designed go from sketches on a page to a final physical item, something you can hold in your hand.

This past February Sarah did some designs for Campus Crusade for Christ's National Leadership Conference for the Campus Ministry. The theme was "Passage". For the design Sarah used the concept of a tree whose leaves "pass" from being leaves to butterflies. The pics above show some of the materials designed for the conference, as well as how it was used on the stage of the conference.

What's even more exciting is seeing the visuals come to life through animation. The video below shows how Sarah's design was given a different level of creativity by 2 of her teammates-Rob Jorgensen and Rafal Zielinski. It is also an interesting summary of this year in ministry.

Peace,
Kirk and Sarah

video

Thursday, May 6, 2010

An award earned...


It's great to get appreciation for your work. Sarah recently received a design award for work she did last summer for Campus Crusade for Christ's National Staff Conference. "Graphic Design: USA" or "GD:USA" annually gives out acknowledgments for a variety of submitted works from organizations and businesses all over the US. One set of awards they grant are called "In-house design awards", essentially designs done within the organization and not hired out. Quite a bit of "in-house" stuff is done for CCC.

It was a pleasant surprise and an incredible boost for Sarah's week (and year, so far). In celebration of these awards, GD:USA releases an annual journal with all the acknowledged designs...we look forward to seeing Sarah's work in that publication this July.

Peace,
Kirk and Sarah

Thursday, April 29, 2010

A "WOW quote

Was in Systematic Theology class today and my professor shared this extended quote on the nature of Christ as both 100% God and 100% man. It's a good quote and wanted to share it with you:

“He was tempted as man, but he conquered as God; yea, he bids us be of good cheer, for he has overcome the world. He hungered—but he fed thousands; yea, he is the bread that gives life, and that is of heaven. He thirsted—but he cried, ‘If any man thirst, let him come unto me and drink.’ Yea, he promised that fountains should flow from them that believe. He was wearied, but he is the rest of them that are weary and heavy-laden. . . He prays, but he hears prayer. He weeps, but he causes tears to cease. He asks where Lazarus was laid, for he was man; but he raises Lazarus, for he was God. He is sold, and very cheap, for it is only for thirty pieces of silver; but he redeems the world, and that at a great price, for the price of his own blood. As a sheep he is led to the slaughter, but he is the shepherd of Israel, and now of the whole world also. . . He is lifted up and nailed to the tree, but by the tree of life he restores us; yea, he saves even the robber crucified with him; yea, he wrapped the visible world in darkness. . . He lays down his life, but he has power to take it again; and the veil is rent, for the mysterious doors of heaven are opened; the rocks are cleft, the dead arise.”
—Gregory of Nazianzus

This will be one I chew on for a while. I hope you do too.

Peace,
Kirk

Friday, April 23, 2010

Spring is springing

Hey Friends,

Sarah went out to our small backyard the other day and smelled the jasmine before she saw it, and she was quite excited. We planted two jasmine bushes flanking our back gate over two years ago and only this year are we seeing the flowers, called "Confederate Flowers" after the star on the Confederate flag (we are in the South after all). Sarah is a fan of the scent.
Some of our other flowers and plants are also thriving, including the series of herbs we've planted and are using in our cooking. I'd be the first to admit that I did NOT inherit a green thumb from my parents (Sarah would say the same about herself)...something they lament...I loathed pulling weeds, but there is a satisfaction in seeing things you plant, grow and bear fruit.

I hope your spring is producing not only fruit in your gardens but also your lives as well as the "field" God has placed you in. If our experience is the case, you don't have to have a green thumb to bear fruit.

Peace,
Kirk & Sarah

Monday, April 5, 2010

Big Break 2010 Report

Interesting stats for Big Break 2010 (February 27-April 3)
Total number of Big Break attendees: 3086
Total Meals packed for Haiti: 1,009,368
Total times Christ was shared on the beach: 10725
Total number of people who trusted Christ: 1673


1 Million Meals

Check out a news cast about Big Break 2010:
1 Millions Meals: Big Break Report

the Conference Starts!
To get a sense of the energy of the students who attended Big Break 2010, here's a video taken by one of them during the 'countdown' they watched before meetings:


Video Promotion
For a change of pace this year, we had a contest to see what students could come up with to promote Big Break. The videos were judged in two waves. First by the popular student vote. Then, the top 50% of those were judged by 3 staff who are integrally connected to the conference (Shelby—the emcee, Ben—speaker and trainer for beach evangelism, and Hersh—speaker.)

Here's the winning video from the University of Iowa:


Here's the runner-up from West Virginia University:



I think these are both really well done! What a difficult choice. If you're curious about the other entries, go to: big break video