Sunday, June 29, 2014


If Zion had a summer day camp, it would be really lame. Three kids would come and it's hard to play Ships Across the Ocean with three kids.

So thank God Zion doesn't do summer day camp alone. Instead, we come together with 9 other congregations - an ecumenical hodge podge that gathers in kids and volunteers from all over south Minneapolis and beyond. It's a beautiful thing to see these kids from small churches create something big together.

It was this warm fuzzy that got me thinking about the art projects we do at summer day camp. Could we make something that celebrated the uniqueness of each child and church, but also our compository charm?

My sister-in-law's brain and heart are built for moments like these. She comes up with gorgeous ideas and then has the courage to let it get loosey goosey when kids and chaos intersect The Plan. So I called on her wisdom and creativity.

We talked about all the ways it could go while taping ten canvases. Orderly and colorful concentric circles. Moderate amounts of paint. Clean borders. And then, on Friday morning, paint happened.

Do we have to do circles?

But if we really are all unique, we can't just stick to circles, lady!

God wants me to make a beautiful blob.

No one will know what I'm drawing except for God - and the Holy Spirit, of course. It'll be our secret, but everyone else can enjoy it because it'll be nice to look at.

I'm going to use all the colors so it jumps out at you!

Just a triangle. Just because.

I'm telling a story with my loaves and fishes. Just like Jesus told stories.

The sun is radiating. Like the Son with an O. Get it?

We sent the canvases home with each congregation, still a little damp. This morning the blue tape was peeled off and children stood proudly before their spiritual villages - showcasing squares that were theirs and squares that designed by others. And then they explained that they were part of something bigger - something present even in other congregations and neighborhoods and denominations.

And, whether they knew it or not, their paint was the sermon.

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