Lent 2020 Project Blog
In Raw Hospitality I wanted to show the inward tension I experience when I open up my life and home to others. A battle always erupts inside my head when I invite others in. Is my house nice, am I a good cook, where will everyone sit, what will I have to clean up? So, in response to that battle, I chose to paint an hour glass figure to represent two things. The first is the time you give up when you host. The second is the release of...more
Keeping Fast to Keep the Feast
Emptiness. The first and the last feeling found in any fast. Certainly, that’s what I nearly always feel. I remember being told that fasting allowed you to use the time you’d normally be eating to focus on God. Those were wonderfully optimistic sentiments.
This is the real result: your only focus becomes food. Suddenly every savory smell becomes the haunt of a meal you had once. The...more
The Ending of the Fast
The Fast came. It went.
Our fires still burned without consent.
Nothing blatantly remarkable
came. A woman told a parable,
but, being a parable, no one
understood. No angelic visions
materialized; no nun
had preternatural convictions.
The whole thing fizzled
Away. Even politicians
couldn’t be bothered.
We all assumed, that...more
As I meditated on the practice of tithing and sacrificial giving, I thought of my drawing, Missing Man, and the metaphorical power of water. Here, the perspective of the imagined waterfalls is from an elevated view, inspired by Caspar David Friedrich’s painting Wanderer Above the Sea of Fog. There are a variety of visual tensions: flatness yet depth, shifting water yet solid ground, movement yet stillness, seen yet unseen,...more
A Restful Attention.
In this age of distraction, multitasking, and mindless scrolling, a task to engage a mind and fingers alike is a retreat for my soul. When my ability to sustain attention is under constant attack by barrages of colorful images, rest is found in the satisfaction of persisting through a long task of creating detailed beauty by weaving lines and colors together. As Charlotte Mason has said, “Attention is simply the...more
It won’t always be this way – that’s the message God wove into the fabric of my life each summer of my youth. Summer camp in the Texas Hill Country established a pattern of retreat in my life long before I knew anything about spiritual practices. I thought I was just going to summer camp. But each withdrawal from the mad world taught me the same thing in a different way; it won’t always be like this.
Painful divorces and parental...more
I know not but to do, and do, and do,
A fractious child who will not stop to rest,
So self-important that I heed not you,
But make and moil, of Sabbath peace bereft.
Not stilling heart or hands to rest or pause,
I tap in mind my foot, enslaved to thoughts
Of daily duties, pesky...more
We don’t understand first, and then believe. We have faith, and then from that faith, we work out our understanding. The spiritual practice of Study is helpful in this, and it doesn’t just mean collecting information, as it includes evaluation and interpretation on the path to understanding. In our current age, data seems to be at our fingertips with a Google search, and yet we need help if we’re to make sense of what info we are able to...more
Small groups seem to work best when its members find a place that becomes their own. A place to belong might just make or break a group. Maybe you remember meeting in a certain classroom for a Bible study, or a Panera Bread for a standing breakfast gathering. The Oxford group met at the Eagle and Child; Hemingway and his lot met at Gertrud Stein's. When it comes to meeting places for a small group, the church has a great tradition of meeting...more
Small Group, 2020, oil on canvas, 19.5 x 16 in., $200
“The Christian journey isn’t walked alone but in community with other Christians.” The background is painted black to express the darkness of the world but within a small group we can grow through studying the Word, fellowshipping, and praying for each other. It’s a place where we can share our joys and sorrows and encourage one another.
- Jenny Noelmore
Liturgy of Being, 2020, charcoal on paper, 20 x 24 in.
“Now, with God’s help, I shall become myself.” -Søren Kierkegaard
The Daily Office is a scheduled cadence of scripture reading, song, and prayer, at different times of the day. This spiritual practice helps me center each day in the presence of God while engaging all of Scripture. Breaking up the day like this helps to regulate my pace and stress, as well as...more
The practice of Daily Office proceeds from the ancient to the Catholic to the Anglican Church traditions. It’s prayer paired with Scripture reading, twice daily. An easygoing common habit.
Not for me.
Before beginning the Daily Office, I hadn’t spent continuous, concentrated time alone with God for eight years.
In the morning? Too tired. In the evening? Too busy. (And still too tired.)
I felt guilty. I thought I...more
This project, that you can see in the Narthex Gallery at All Saints during Lent, and on the All Saints website, was birthed out of a conversation that we (David Lutes and Josh Keller, with inspiration from Craig Chapman) had in the spring of 2019. We had both been wondering for some time what it would look like to see the All Saints 10 Spiritual Formation Practices lived out in our church in...more