Friday, November 29, 2013

Tree of Salvation Author to Speak at Georgetown in December

For those of you in the Washington D.C. area on Friday, December 6, here's a possible chance to hear Professor G. Ronald Murphy present highlights of his recent book Tree of Salvation: Yggdrasil and the Cross in the North.  This is part of Georgetown's German Department Holiday Party, so I don't know if it's open to the public– but hey, why not email Conor Sinclair at the address provided and ask?  For more info, click here.

Murphy's book Tree of Salvation "shows how the image of Yggdrasil persisted in the Christianity of the Anglo-Scandinavian-Germanic North" and "explores the origins of the uniquely shaped churches of the North, the oldest English poem, Viking grave crosses with pagan mythology, the mystery of the runes' alphabet, the Yule wreath and the Christmas tree."

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Thanksgiving via The reForming Relationships Art Tour

Creating A New Family by Ovide Bighetty

On this Thanksgiving Day here in the U.S., I thought I would share a link to an art project from the Christian Reformed Church in Canada that could be seen as a model for reconciliation among Native and non-Native American Christians in the U.S.  I would suggest that it would be even more beautiful to see something collaborative done between artists from both of these two groups here in the U.S., but I think that an important part of that process would probably involve them working separately as well, as in this example.

I hope to write more about the reForming Relationships art tour in future posts, but thought I would go ahead and at least make you aware of it in the meantime.  Please check out the wonderful images painted by Cree artist Ovide Bighetty.  Indian Metis Christian Fellowship commissioned Bighetty to paint this series of paintings called Kisemanito Pakitinasuwin - The Creator's Sacrifice.

From the reForming Relationships art tour website:

Monday, November 25, 2013

2013 ION Conference Report

Back in September I attended the 2013 ION (International Orality Network) Conference near St. Louis where I learned more about the orality movement in missions, and the role that indigenous arts can play in the process.  For an explanation of how indigenous arts can help support orality and missions, click here for a great article by Erica Logan called "The Arts: Effectively Packaging the Gospel for Oral Audiences."  Kudos to Erica for organizing the arts focus at the ION conference, which I think made a great impact on everyone who attended (it certainly did for me!).

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Contextualized Prayer Beads

Check out this blog post at Circumpolar regarding the use of contextualized prayer beads among Muslims, or at least how they're being used by one worker.  I'm not sure if prayer beads can be considered art objects or not, but the post is worth noting nonetheless.  What do you think?

Friday, November 22, 2013

Annunciation - Mehndi Style by Marcia Carole

Here is artist/missionary Marcia Carole's latest beautiful design in her mehndi Christmas card series, which will be available for purchase at her blog:

Annunciation, pen and ink, watercolor by Marcia Carole

She writes:

For this piece, I began with fiery watercolor yellows. Heaven has come to earth! (The rescue mission for mankind has begun!) I have used large flowers for Mary, suggesting she is a virgin, along with a typical Indian dupatta. She shows surprise in her face at this news because she has not been with a man. I have portrayed Gabriel as a creature who is powerfully breaking through into earth from heaven. I have used many mehndi symbols and forms in Gabriel's attire in order to portray the concept of rich other-worldliness. I have also suggested the presence of the Holy Spirit through the dove woven into Gabriel's attire.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Mehndi-style Nativity by Marcia Carole

The Nativity, pen and ink, watercolor by Marcia Carole
Artist/missionary Marcia Carole is working on a series of watercolor and mehndi Christmas cards based on her travels in India and study of mehndi/henna designs.  Above is the first one of the series, The Nativity.  She writes,

I am working on a series of watercolor and mehndi Christmas cards. I jumped right in with creating the nativity scene. Some of the piece developed around the flow of the watercolor. I used lots of flowering lotus blossoms representing the flowering of God's plan to recuse us through Jesus. I tried to also portray a cave, the barn of sorts, for the setting, and the unusual star assigned to mark the spot where the savior arrived.

The Nativity is beautiful and I can't wait to see the others in the series!  Check out her blog for future images and ordering info.  You can also order 11x14 giclee prints of her other recent mehndi painting, God's Story:

God's Story, acrylic on canvas, by Marcia Carole

Monday, November 4, 2013

Diwali 2013

From Reuters: Hindu women arrange oil lamps and flowers around a "Rangoli",
a traditional pattern made from coloured powders, during the celebrations ahead
of the Hindu festival of Diwali in the western Indian city of Ahmedabad [on]
November 1, 2013. Diwali, the annual festival of lights will be celebrated across
the country on November 3.

Sunday marked the beginning of the 5-day Northern Indian Hindu festival of Diwali, or the Festival of Lights (in South India it is called Deepavali).  Like Dashain in Nepal and Navratri in India, Diwali celebrates to victory of the Good over the Evil and Light over Darkness.  On the first day of Diwali, part of the festivities include drawing designs called rangolis on the ground in front of the entrance to one's home, as a form of welcome to the Goddess of Wealth and Prosperity, Lakshmi.  Here is my own version of a Christocentric Rangoli that I've posted about previously:

 [A rangoli is] meant to be sacred welcoming [area] for the Hindu deities" (Wikipedia).  This one shows the pierced feet of Jesus in the middle, welcoming Him into one's home.  John 1:1-5 tells us,

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

This week may Christ's light shine in our hearts and be made manifest in our lives through His Holy Spirit!  May His Gospel speak to others through us as we welcome Him each day.  Pray for Hindus throughout the world that Christ would speak to their hearts during this festival and reveal Himself to them as the true Light of the World who has come to save us.