Chicken wire, two-by-fours, staples, white paint, ribbons – it all sounds a little too homemade, a little too “crunchy,” if you will, to be beautiful. A rainbow sun, some words between the rays – cute, perhaps, but not beautiful. And yet, I would describe this work of community art as beautiful. Of course, I love the colors, the uniqueness, the fun of mixing Spanish and English, and the idea of brightening up the 14th Street side of Luther Place. The beauty, the wonder, and the joy, however, lie in the process of bringing so many different communities together to make something tangible, something visible, something joyful – that is, to make a new, bigger, brighter community by bringing together many, to see a little more deeply what the Kingdom of God looks like. I find beauty in bringing an idea from other communities to our community, and making it our own. I find beauty in drawing several members of the congregation together to plan and facilitate this idea. I find beauty in watching parents and children from Luther Place and those from Art Smart summer camp come together at a Vacation Bible School to make one panel. There is wonder in seeing people from so many different walks of life dance into a community block party, adding ribbons to a second panel on their way to the pupusas, sack races, and singing. And this beauty, wonder, and joy come together to make all of us new – the materials, the people, the community, the ELCA.
This past Sunday, the Congregation invited 14th Street passer-bys to bring their joy, weave a ribbon or two into the third net, and see a design come alive. People strung their ribbons straight, or weaved them around in and out of others’ additions. People found colors that blended well with one another, while others jarred us with some clashing hues. It is a little like God’s invitation to us: Come, bring your gifts, bring your personality, and let’s make something exciting with it. Let’s make something new that we could not have made on our own.
~Pastor Karen Brau–Senior Pastor & Lauren Heywood–Summer Long Project Connect Intern at Luther Place