Beginning on September 15th we will begin an 8-week worship focus inviting reflection on this question. The series of sermons is part of the work of the Stained Glass Jesus Taskforce, which has been charged with inviting a deeper look at the white stained glass
Jesus in our sanctuary. The goal is both to build community while enabling us to grow in our understanding about the place of art and our congregational commitment to antiracism.
The sermon series begins with an invitation for each of us to reflect on the window through the use of a simple poetry form called a cinquain. The congregation will be invited to use this short form to describe what they see. Sometimes our familiarity can keep us from seeing what is there. Imagine you are encountering this image for the first time, like Nathaniel encountering Jesus. Four or five members will be invited in advance to write and read their poetry. An open invitation will be given to the congregation to share what they have written.
Pastor Tim Johnson will share his own journey with Jesus from a child
into adulthood and today. The journey includes an influential painting from his
childhood in his hometown church. It is a painting by Warner Sallman, the Swedish,
Minnesota-born artist who painted the popular head of Jesus image. The particular
painting from Pastor Tim’s home church is an image of Jesus hovering over the
disciples as he ascends into the heavens. Tim will reflect on the way this image
influenced his own understanding of Jesus and how that understanding has changed.
September 29, October 6, October 13, & October 20
Each Sunday will be dedicated to a central image of Jesus and paired with one of the Gospels. A diversity of scholars and theologians will be drawn upon in presenting an overall portrait of Jesus.
The major themes for each Sunday are drawn from the work of Jesus scholar, Marcus
Borg, and can be found in his book “Meeting Jesus Again for the First Time.” Copies
of the book will be made available. The themes include the following: Mark – healer &
liberator, Matthew – wisdom teacher, Luke – social prophet and movement founder,
John – mystic. Each Sunday will be paired with an image reflecting Jesus as a person
of color and which captures the theme of that Sunday.
The theme is “Seeing Jesus Again and Again and Again.” An image of
Jesus reflecting the perspective of a community of color will be projected on the
sanctuary wall. We will return to cinquain poetry as a vehicle for engaging our own
Fellowship Hour Conversation
Books reflecting a diversity of images of Jesus will be placed on the fellowship hall table so that friends and members can engage them at their leisure during fellowship time.
Beginning on Sunday, September 15, at 9:00 a.m., “Zealot/The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth” by Reza Aslan will be the focus of discussion. From the jacket, “Zealot yields a fresh perspective on one of the greatest stories ever told even as it affirms the radical and transformative nature of Jesus of Nazareth, Life and Mission. The result is thought-provoking, elegantly written biography with the pulse of a fast paced novel: a singularly brilliant portrait of a man, time and the birth of a religion.“ Copies of the book will be available for purchase.
Who Is Jesus? – Sunday School and “Families Exploring Spirituality.”
Each second and third Sunday, children and youth will be invited to consider their own portrait of who Jesus is for them. On Sunday, November 3, the 9:00 a.m. “Families
Exploring Spirituality” will have the question “Who Jesus Is” as its focus. This session
will be led by members of the Stained Glass Jesus Taskforce and members of Faith
More To Come
The timetable remains open for continued reflection and discussion about the stained glass Jesus, art and our congregational commitment to antiracism. The Taskforce welcomes your input and ideas for continued discussion and reflection. When the time is ready, the taskforce will provide a summary to the Council with possible actions steps about the window and art in the life of Cherokee Park United Church, remaining open to wherever the Spirit leads. If you have any questions, please speak with members of the Council or Taskforce members: Phyllis Andrews, Okogyeamon Perkins, Jerome Graf, Chris Smith, Joy Sorensen Navarre, Tom Liddle- 2013/14 Pastoral Intern, and Pastor Tim.
(Image: Copyright 1999, artist Janet McKenzie www.janetmckenzie.com )