Friday, October 29, 2010


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 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 schools, and churches...very interesting stuff. Take advantage of the'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.


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 ( 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.


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, 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 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.