3’ x 3’ x 2.5”d mixed media on canvas. Created live during the 11am worship service at Hope + Elim on November 13, 2022.
Titled inspired by Mary Everlyn Jegen’s article, In the Shelter of Each Other, from fall 1993 Parabola. She wrote there is a Gaelic expression that says it all: “It is in the shelter of each other that the people live.”
“A Place To Belong”
“A Place To Belong” was the theme for this years celebration. Happy 2 year Anniversary to Hope + Elim!!! It’s always an honor and a privilege to paint live during worship. It was an amazing encounter with the Holy Spirit alongside the church celebrating 2 years of shining Gods light into the community.
“So it is with Christ’s body. We are many parts of one body, and we all belong to each other. In his grace, God has given us different gifts for doing certain things well. So if God has given you the ability to prophesy, speak out with as much faith as God has given you. If your gift is serving others, serve them well. If you are a teacher, teach well. If your gift is to encourage others, be encouraging. If it is giving, give generously. If God has given you leadership ability, take the responsibility seriously. And if you have a gift for showing kindness to others, do it gladly. Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them. Hate what is wrong. Hold tightly to what is good. Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other. Never be lazy, but work hard and serve the Lord enthusiastically. Rejoice in our confident hope. Be patient in trouble, and keep on praying. When God’s people are in need, be ready to help them. Always be eager to practice hospitality.”
Romans 12:5-13 NLT
God gave me this vision of a forest standing strong together by the living waterside almost immediately after being invited to create during the service. Trees are one of the best living examples in nature of how a community thrives by serving one another. The older trees also referred to as “Mother Trees” provide for baby trees or saplings and can also sense if any of their neighbor trees have fallen ill and send nutrients. They communicate through a network of fungus sharing water and nutrients.
Sounds like a beautiful world. Seems like God created the natural world around us to be a road map to the path of survival. Or better yet a world that everyone equally thrives because we learn how to share and trust God with our provisions. Because He is faithful!! Always!!! We are designed to be in community with each other. We are happier and healthier when we have people we do life with.
Please read Underground Network by the National Forest Foundation where I printed off the amazing scientific information about how trees communicate as well as supply each other with nutrients to help the species survive. I cut the paragraphs into one-two sentence strips and glued them between the trees on the canvas. This helped create the light between the trees but more importantly I wanted to share this valuable information about a community that thrives by helping one another. God created an incredible design for trees and all the life they support above and below. Everyday there is a complex life-giving exchange that’s happening right beneath our feet. Trees are extremely vital on our planet for so many reasons. We can learn so much about living in harmony from them and the natural world all around us.
If you find yourself having more than enough food, clothes, books, blankets, shoes, money or time please consider donating to a local outreach program in your community. I invite you to visit my church’s website to find ways to donate your things, money or time. The Lutheran Church of Hope.
I mixed my paints on two 11” x 14” canvases that will be going to families in Tijuana, Mexico. Each piece of artwork will reflect one home built by monies raised during West Des Moines Lutheran Church of Hope Advent Project: “Homes of Hope.” The artwork will then go to in Tijuana, Mexico, for final installation in each home that Hope builds.
God moved me to start these paintings during worship so they’ll be soaked with Gods word, prayer and all the energy from the people celebrating Hope+Elim’s 2 years together! Praise God!! Excited to see how God will keep working through the community!
I invite you to check out Hope + Elim’s 1 year anniversary “153”
I also invite you to check out Hope + Elim’s first service with combined congregation from 2020 “Eternally Connected”