Category: Creativity

Pentecost art

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On Pentecost the fire of the Holy Spirit fell on the apostles. Debbie installed this multi-layered representation of the Pentecostal fire for our celebration of “the birthday of the church!”

Gratitude by Louie Schwartzberg

On the eve of Thanksgiving watch this video by filmmaker Louie Schwartzberg.  Try to view this on the largest screen possible because the photography is stunning.  Schwartzberg captures gratitude, and the reasons for it, in this memorable TED talk and short film.  Happy Thanksgiving!

Kids love VBS and it shows!


Kids love VBS and this 45-second video clip proves it! Part of the VBS fun is learning the songs and motions, and getting into the spirit of the theme. You don’t need a lot of high tech stuff, but you do need some enthusiastic leaders, which we’ve got this week. The audio isn’t great, but you’ll get the idea that kids are having fun at Saddle Ridge Ranch this week.

VBS Off To A Great Start at Saddle Ridge Ranch

We partner with 4 other churches in our community to do VBS each year. Each church takes a turn leading VBS planning, and hosting the community for VBS week. This year we’re at Chestnut Level Baptist Church for Saddle Ridge Ranch VBS. The other churches participating include our church, Chatham Baptist; Watson Memorial United Methodist Church; Oakland United Methodist Church; and, Chatham Presbyterian Church. Here’s a quick video montage of the sets, rooms, and our first night at Saddle Ridge Ranch.

Bruce Feiler, Council of Dads author, speaks about his cancer, his kids and his plan for their future

Bruce Feiler, author of the book, The Council of Dads: My Daughters, My Illness, and the Men Who Could Be Me, talks about his diagnosis with bone cancer, and of his plan to provide his two daughters with a ‘council of dads’ in case he’s not around for them in the future. This is a great story for Father’s Day or any day. Watch it.

A Great Book for Mother’s Day

Mother’s Day will be here before you know it — May 9, to be exact.  I’ve got the perfect gift for you to give away at church, or for that special mother in your own life.  My author friend, Joan Wester Anderson, has written a delightful little book about the joys and challenges of motherhood, Moms Go Where Angels Fear to Tread:  Adventures in Motherhood.

Joan has written over a dozen books about angels, which is how I got to know her.  Earlier this year, I preached a series of sermons on angels, and Joan’s books are just chock full of great, true angel stories.  But her book, Moms Go Where Angels Fear To Tread, reflects her own real life experiences as a mother and wife.  These funny short stories, and there are 40 of them, cover everything from having a sick husband (men revert to less than children when sick), to taking a class in how to get organized (it didn’t help), to things she wished she’d never said (there’s a list for her husband and kids, too).

Mostly, Joan communicates the joys, minor irritations, and major rewards of being a mom.  The mothers, grandmothers, daughters, and even a dad or two in your congregation will get a laugh out of these everyday stories filled with warmth, good humor, and grace.  Guideposts is the publisher, and you still have time to order one (or a carton) to give away this Mother’s Day.  You can find out more about Joan Wester Anderson at her website, joanwanderson.com, or friend her on Facebook.  Happy reading this Mother’s Day!

Would You Use This Easter Billboard?

St. Matthew In The City Church in Auckland, New Zealand is an Anglican congregation which uses some edgy advertising to get the largely unchurched Auckland population to think.

This Easter, St. Matthew’s put up this billboard explaining that in the Orthodox tradition there is a practice of humor which dispels the gloom of Jesus’ death.  Someone took offense, and vandalized the billboard, crudely spray painting a reference to John 3:16 in the place of the original message.

What do you think?  Did the church go too far?  Is the vandalism the work of fundamentalists?  Or do you think St. Matthew’s hit a nerve that they intended to hit?  Hat-tip to Religion Dispatches for the heads up and their article.  Here are the photos of the before and after billboard: