Bible Journaling With Kids

Sharing the story of a recent Visual Faith event in Springfield, Virginia.

 Author and Visual Faith coach, Chelsea Wojcik, spent the day in October 2018 at First Baptist Church of Springfield, Virginia. The time was spent encouraging and teaching a workshop for all ages. Participants were greeted with snacks and goodie bags as they found their tables.

Author and Visual Faith coach, Chelsea Wojcik, spent the day in October 2018 at First Baptist Church of Springfield, Virginia. The time was spent encouraging and teaching a workshop for all ages. Participants were greeted with snacks and goodie bags as they found their tables.

 Chelsea gave an introduction, purpose, and even shared her own testimony with Bible Journaling.

Chelsea gave an introduction, purpose, and even shared her own testimony with Bible Journaling.


 The real fun began when everyone was invited to try their hand at many of the methods shared in Chelsea's book,  Bible Journaling with Kids . These techniques included bingo dabbers, stamping, color application and more!

The real fun began when everyone was invited to try their hand at many of the methods shared in Chelsea's book, Bible Journaling with Kids. These techniques included bingo dabbers, stamping, color application and more!

 Chelsea's energy and knowledge made for a fun and relaxing time. Visit her website for more information about workshops, book, and other goodies. ( www.biblejournalingwithkids.com )

Chelsea's energy and knowledge made for a fun and relaxing time. Visit her website for more information about workshops, book, and other goodies. (www.biblejournalingwithkids.com)

 Chelsea lives in Florida- but is always interested in traveling to share her ideas and processes with others about engaging the whole family in Visual Faith practices.

Chelsea lives in Florida- but is always interested in traveling to share her ideas and processes with others about engaging the whole family in Visual Faith practices.

Visual Faith on Canvas - with Artist Rachel Grace Hinz

Visual faith practices look different for each person - it might be coloring a prayer card, creating a margin in your Bible, or adding a word to your devotional Bible. Artist Rachel Hinz creates visual faith in a big way with her abstract paintings, inspired by Scripture and deep with meaning. Her first large scale painting was “Redemption”, completed in 2006 when she was a student at Concordia University in Ann Arbor, Michigan. This was the beginning of her journey into using Bible verses for the basis of abstract work. We’ve asked Rachel to share her process with us here:

   “Redemption”   by Rachel Hinz

“Redemption” by Rachel Hinz

My senior art exhibition, titled "Meditation," featured abstract paintings and other mediums. In each of my paintings, I begin with a Bible verse and - using color, composition, and movement - I proceed to paint the verse. By keeping the subject abstract, I want the viewer to spend time meditating on the verse. "Redemption" is based on 1 Peter 1:18-19- "For you know that it was not with silver or gold that you were redeemed...but with the precious blood of Christ" and also Psalm 103:4- "[God] who redeems your life from the pit, and crowns you with love and compassion."

Just like in Bible journaling, I'm picking out the words in the verses (redeemed, blood, pit, etc.) and thinking: what colors would these be? Is the action vertical (God and us) or horizontal (between us and others)? What is changing in the verse and how can I show this? Finally, I love using scale! My paintings are meant to surround the viewer so that they can get the best sense of this visual experience.

In "Redemption," the blood is red and the darkness of the piece is the pit. God's love as seen in the blood of Jesus descends down from the top of the piece and scoops in, out, and along the bottom of the piece. We are "bought back" and returned to the Father above. This happened in Christ's sacrifice, but we can also look at the picture of eternity and how we are daily renewed- hence a subtle infinity symbol that is created in the center of the composition.  


   “Light”   by Rachel Hinz

“Light” by Rachel Hinz

After finishing “Redemption,” I was interested in further exploration of color and their transitions.  This time, I was captured with the words of the Apostle John, who writes:  “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God…Through him all things were made…In him was life, and that life was the light of men.  The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it.  We have seen his glory…” (John 1:1-5, 14b, NIV-Bible).

The idea of God being eternal - without beginning or end - and the imagery of “the light shines in the darkness” are both reflected in the circular shape in the middle of the canvas.  In considering how color might cause a movement and dimension, allowing the viewer to interact within the space, the color scheme contains two complimentary color poles - yellow and purple.  Blue and orange were also a part of the transition, with green - symbolic of the idea of “In him was life” connecting the warm lights to the color darks.  This full transition of color perhaps starts in the circular center and begins spiraling out.  Such a movement is due to the transition of colors and the sole hard line that divides the “light” from the “dark” on the right side of the center color.  Here is the highest contrast.  On the other side of this otherwise symmetrical composition, the light yellows and oranges blend into a green that stretches like a wave into the sea blues.  These darken as they spin towards the bottom of the canvas.  Like “Redemption,” this darker bottom composition is symbolic of the world, but also gives the piece a platform on which to enter.  Whether the light is shining out or receding into the space in “Light” is for the viewer to experience.

   “Humility”   by Rachel Hinz

“Humility” by Rachel Hinz

The third and final painting of the “Meditation” exhibit is “Humility.”  The focus of this painting comes from Philippians 2:6-9 (NIV):  “[Jesus]: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God…but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant…he humbled himself and became obedient to death - even death on a cross!  Therefore, God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name…”

There are many actions occurring in this selection.  However, similar to “Redemption,” the movement is very much that of coming down to earth, dying, and then being exalted to the highest place.  Like “Light,” this motion is also very circular, coming down and returning up into the simple form of a line in the center of the canvas.

 On the left side of the piece, soft lines and transitions force a descending movement and yet, also the motion of lying down.  Towards the bottom, the lines begin to fan out into the darker greens, looking almost like roots - stabilizing the viewer.  As it continues up the right, the lines have twisted back, behind the initial line, and then upwards again.  This motion is much more direct as the lines are much more vertical.  At this point, the greens escape into the gold and white hues.  Although the lines are slightly different in direction, the transitions are symmetrical.  Still, the green remains as the overwhelming hue, symbolizing the life of Christ who, laid himself down for us in death and then was raised and exalted.  Upon further study of the composition, the greens fill over half of the composition, implying a cross composition with the center line.  The title “Humility” then, goes to emphasize this theology and focus of Christ’s suffering and death on the cross.

AllThree.jpg

We asked Rachel what advice she would share with anyone about using abstract painting as a “tool” for visual faith sharing. Here’s what she said:

  • I would invite anyone interested in painting to consider using it as another tool for connecting to God and His Word. I would especially encourage people to consider working abstractly- it's SO freeing!! Not only can you shed off the pressures of making something look "real" or "representational," but it allows you to just let something as simple as one of God's gifts of color be a way that you can meditate on His Word and how it relates to your life.

  • Another tip: go BIG! Don't let a big space/canvas/paper intimidate you! Use your hands... get moving... God made art to be so therapeutic.

    Your painting can tell a beautiful visual story of a time when you were very present with God in mind, body, and spirit. I can guarantee that such a painting will be impactful not just to the creator, but anyone who sees it. Add an original painting to the visual legacy that you leave, which reminds me of the theme verse for my senior show, "Meditation" :

"Great is the LORD and most worthy of praise; his greatness no one can fathom. One generation will commend your works to another; they will tell of your mighty acts. They will speak of the glorious splendor of your majesty, and I will mediate on your wonderful works."

Psalm 145:3-5




[Rachel Hinz resides in Ypsilanti, Michigan - but is in the midst of moving to St. Louis, Missouri! She is a wife and stay-at-home mom to three children. A former Art and Theology teacher, she is a visual artist, and her artwork has been shown in both local and international exhibitions. She also leads her local MOPS Bible Study that incorporates visual faith, creating teaching materials for that group. She believes in the power of art to convey Truth.]

Visual Faith .... and a Real "Great Pumpkin" Project

 Emily Ransdell’s pumpkin for her school’s Biblical pumpkin carving contest.

Emily Ransdell’s pumpkin for her school’s Biblical pumpkin carving contest.

Emily Ransdell lives in Dover, Delaware where she is in 8th grade at St. John’s Lutheran School. She is the daughter of Pastor CJ and Melinda Ransdell, who teach and support visual faith practices in their home and with their church family. Emily practices visual prayer and Bible journaling, and when we saw a picture of her beautiful pumpkin, she agreed to tell us a little bit more of the story. Here is our interview with Emily:

WHAT MADE YOU DECIDE TO CARVE SUCH A CREATIVE PUMPKIN?

Emily: My school had a biblical pumpkin carving contest. The winner goes to another contest at Dover Place, a senior living center near my school.

WHAT WAS YOUR INSPIRATION?

Emily: I found a cute angel gourd while searching ideas on Pinterest. Then I saw a picture of a stable carved into a pumpkin.

 Emily’s inspiration from Pinterest - an angel gourd from  christiangamesandcrafts.com .

Emily’s inspiration from Pinterest - an angel gourd from christiangamesandcrafts.com.

On my own, I came up with the ideas to put our nativity figures inside, carve a star, and paint a galaxy. Then I added the bible verse from John 1:14, "The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth."

HOW IS THIS A VISUAL FAITH PROJECT?

Emily: I was expressing my faith through something you can see while crafting, carving, and painting. It represents the birth of Jesus, which I reflected on while I created it.

Thank you, Emily, for sharing your project with us! We love it!

 The pumpkin contest at St. John’s Lutheran School in Dover, Delaware - Emily’s pumpkin won!

The pumpkin contest at St. John’s Lutheran School in Dover, Delaware - Emily’s pumpkin won!

🎃 UPDATE: Emily’s pumpkin won 3rd place in the big contest at Dover Place! Congratulations, Emily - thanks for letting your (visual faith pumpkin) light shine for Jesus!!!

A Thanksgiving Garland

Maybe this is the year to start a new family tradition. One to capture visual blessings and story and to create a very tactile way of sharing the journey.

 This is a 10 year old Thanksgiving garland with the added photos and tags for 2018. It is about 4 and 1/2 feet long to fit a vintage quilt rack holder. You might want to hang yours on a fireplace mantel (and far enough from flame) or from a banister or window frame. The base is made from twine and 4 strands of assorted yarn. (Either the same or 4 different fibers- depending on what you have.) You can keep one longer to make a loop for attaching on the end. Along the way you can add fabric knotted ties to secure it. These are 9 inches by 1 1/2 inch fabric strips. Tearing the fabric rather than cutting it makes for a more dimensional project. Also added are downloaded and computer printed Bible verses and faith-sayings. Leaves made out of old book pages add the touch of Fall. Also added to the tags are color copies of my collection of 100 year old Thanksgiving cards. Many images are free to download and print on the internet.

This is a 10 year old Thanksgiving garland with the added photos and tags for 2018. It is about 4 and 1/2 feet long to fit a vintage quilt rack holder. You might want to hang yours on a fireplace mantel (and far enough from flame) or from a banister or window frame. The base is made from twine and 4 strands of assorted yarn. (Either the same or 4 different fibers- depending on what you have.) You can keep one longer to make a loop for attaching on the end. Along the way you can add fabric knotted ties to secure it. These are 9 inches by 1 1/2 inch fabric strips. Tearing the fabric rather than cutting it makes for a more dimensional project. Also added are downloaded and computer printed Bible verses and faith-sayings. Leaves made out of old book pages add the touch of Fall. Also added to the tags are color copies of my collection of 100 year old Thanksgiving cards. Many images are free to download and print on the internet.

 These are the tags made for my daughters of their littles and one tag ready for a family photo.

These are the tags made for my daughters of their littles and one tag ready for a family photo.

 Here are the tags I made to add to my Thanksgiving garland. We have 2 new additions this year- Charlie and Isaiah.

Here are the tags I made to add to my Thanksgiving garland. We have 2 new additions this year- Charlie and Isaiah.

 These are number #8 tags that we order from Express Tags- the link is on the website. (But they come by the 1000.) This size works well for the photos and on the back you can add a stamp or two and tell the latest things and updates for each photo. (You an also use a regular size tag from Staples and can make it a bit larger by adding on scrapbooking paper.

These are number #8 tags that we order from Express Tags- the link is on the website. (But they come by the 1000.) This size works well for the photos and on the back you can add a stamp or two and tell the latest things and updates for each photo. (You an also use a regular size tag from Staples and can make it a bit larger by adding on scrapbooking paper.

 You can attach the tags with yarn or ribbon. And remember this sample is a 10 year project. So yours may start out sparse- but you are headed to fluffy!

You can attach the tags with yarn or ribbon. And remember this sample is a 10 year project. So yours may start out sparse- but you are headed to fluffy!

 Make the beginning of a family tradition this year. Young children can add age appropriate tag making to your Thanksgiving gathering and add to the fun. Blessings on your creativity!  A You Tube video is here to help you get a glimpse of this project- up close-https://youtu.be/snXxQqpAb0A

Make the beginning of a family tradition this year. Young children can add age appropriate tag making to your Thanksgiving gathering and add to the fun. Blessings on your creativity!

A You Tube video is here to help you get a glimpse of this project- up close-https://youtu.be/snXxQqpAb0A

Scripture Doodles

Sometime a Visual Faith practice is about the obedience of moving in the same direction over a long period of time…. like a month or a year.

 This is a Scripture doodle that Connie Denninger formatted to fit a Traveler’s notebook or journal. The calendar is cut into thirds and then added to the pages of a journal. All sorts of possibilities are open for marking the journey.

This is a Scripture doodle that Connie Denninger formatted to fit a Traveler’s notebook or journal. The calendar is cut into thirds and then added to the pages of a journal. All sorts of possibilities are open for marking the journey.

 Patricia Maier has also been experimenting with calander pages and tiny billboard reminders of devotional readings.

Patricia Maier has also been experimenting with calander pages and tiny billboard reminders of devotional readings.

 Bev Wicher- a Visual Faith Coach team member, also uses a Traveler’s notebook. Sometimes limiting color pencil choices to 4-5 a month allow for a color scheme to convey an over all journey. Images can be used and it can also be one word or a phrase. It is not about the artistry for this practice. It is about the heart meditation.

Bev Wicher- a Visual Faith Coach team member, also uses a Traveler’s notebook. Sometimes limiting color pencil choices to 4-5 a month allow for a color scheme to convey an over all journey. Images can be used and it can also be one word or a phrase. It is not about the artistry for this practice. It is about the heart meditation.

 Visual Faith Coach Eden Keefe used a download from Little House studio and matched her thematic color choices to the image on the calendar page. Simple can be very effective.

Visual Faith Coach Eden Keefe used a download from Little House studio and matched her thematic color choices to the image on the calendar page. Simple can be very effective.

 Adding in the Scripture references allows a return to the calendar for meditation and to see just where the readings have led Visual Faith Coach- Jamee Thieme. The calendar method can be used with ANY devotional or Scripture reading practice. The calendar is just a tool to chart the journey.

Adding in the Scripture references allows a return to the calendar for meditation and to see just where the readings have led Visual Faith Coach- Jamee Thieme. The calendar method can be used with ANY devotional or Scripture reading practice. The calendar is just a tool to chart the journey.

 Here we see how Karen Hunter used the same resource— Portals of Prayer and it ends up in the margin in her Journaling Bible

Here we see how Karen Hunter used the same resource— Portals of Prayer and it ends up in the margin in her Journaling Bible

 It is really about the story of a collaborative learning community using faith practices to walk together. They can have multiple applications, and a variety of process adaptations. But, the beauty of these stories? They make everyone an eager conversationalist about what they SEE the Lord is doing in their life. The makes us a witness to talk about His faithfulness as we grown in our discipleship journey.

It is really about the story of a collaborative learning community using faith practices to walk together. They can have multiple applications, and a variety of process adaptations. But, the beauty of these stories? They make everyone an eager conversationalist about what they SEE the Lord is doing in their life. The makes us a witness to talk about His faithfulness as we grown in our discipleship journey.

What to Journal - Related Scripture Passages

  My notes from the first half of the sermon……

My notes from the first half of the sermon……

My husband recently preached a sermon based on Acts 16, which includes Paul’s “Macedonian Call”, as well as his encounters with Lydia and the Philippian jailer. Re-reading the text and reviewing my sermon notes created some pretty big take-aways for me: Pay Attention (to God’s voice), there is Blessing in the Good, as well as Blessing in the Bad, and I should Look For God Opportunities. Paul and Silas certainly could have lost hope and even blamed God for being beaten and thrown in prison, but they praised God, trusted Him with “the plan”, and as a result were there to keep the Philippian jailer from killing himself after the earthquake broke their chains. They were able to lead the jailer and his whole household to faith!

So I “framed” the take-aways in the margin with summarized notes beneath each one to help me remember how they related to the scripture. (Adding color to each frame and highlighting the supporting verses with the same color helps me see the application in the account.)

But the story of Paul and this new Philippian church doesn’t end here - it continues in his epistle to the Philippians, which is the letter which Paul wrote to them some years later.

  …..and my notes from the second half of the sermon!

…..and my notes from the second half of the sermon!

The words shared in the sermon were an “aha” for me to realize that the opening of his letter, filled with gratitude and love for this church, was deeply connected to Paul’s initial experience recorded in Acts. So I added Philippians 1:6 to the margin in Acts - and wrote the Acts reference next to those words in Philippians 1.

It’s important to consider the context when reading Scripture, and adding contextual details in your journaling often helps with personal application. For me, I’ll remember that I need to spend time in God’s Word to really know His voice and be able to recognize His promptings in my life. I’ll learn to look for His blessings in both good and bad times, and wait confidently (with eyes open for opportunities He puts in front of me) for his blessing to be revealed during difficult situations.

And hopefully — I will be able to remember enough to look back with gratitude over my life of ups and downs, and give thanks for God’s patient leading along the way from start to finish …..because whatever God starts, He finishes!

“And I am sure of this, that He who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.” (Philippians 1:6)

- Pat Maier

Acts:Philippians.JPG

What to Journal - Bulletin Graffiti and Worship Experience

FullPage.JPG

I always scribble notes on my bulletin - not just sermon notes, but thoughts about what I see, word art doodles, or  just drawing a line around significant words from the liturgy or a hymn. The bulletin usually gets tucked into my Bible if the rest of the day is busy. I have to be honest -- these "bulletin bites" often get tossed in the trash when too many pages stuffed-in-and-sticking-out signal that a cleaning out is needed! But when I’m moved by words or an experience that I don’t want to forget, returning to reflect and re-organize my notes & “take-always” creates an enjoyable devotion time and marks a step in my faith journey.

 Zion Lutheran Church, Kalamazoo, Michigan -- 150 years old!

Zion Lutheran Church, Kalamazoo, Michigan -- 150 years old!

I recently attended a church that was celebrating their 150th anniversary - the planned celebration and service was a visual delight, starting with the magnificent sunrise. Members had thoughtfully created a special "booklet bulletin" for worship that day, with lots of story and explanation about what and why they were celebrating.

 The "story" they offered for ALL worshipers drew me in and included me in the excitement of this day -- the detail was witness to the love of these people for their church.

The "story" they offered for ALL worshipers drew me in and included me in the excitement of this day -- the detail was witness to the love of these people for their church.

 Behind the order of service, were pages that showed me that their theme was personal -- not just words, but a reminder of what they were DOING.

Behind the order of service, were pages that showed me that their theme was personal -- not just words, but a reminder of what they were DOING.

 Words expressing the heart of early church planners were included and connected me to their faith and forethought as I came to worship: architectural lines designed to sweep thoughts of worshipers upward as they view the stained glass window, with rich symbolism of the Old & New Covenants - the Lamb of God centered as the center of their faith. Certainly something to remember!

Words expressing the heart of early church planners were included and connected me to their faith and forethought as I came to worship: architectural lines designed to sweep thoughts of worshipers upward as they view the stained glass window, with rich symbolism of the Old & New Covenants - the Lamb of God centered as the center of their faith. Certainly something to remember!

This visual inclusion made me want to capture this worship experience, learn from their looking back, and be able to share this with others - so I held onto the booklet. It sat on my kitchen counter until I found time to journal. A journaling Bible can be the place for these memories of faith and worship, to mark a tiny space in time where God encourages you in your walk with Him.

 I was "caught doodling" by my new friend Phil, who was taking pictures after the service (possibly to tell the story for the next 150 years?!)

I was "caught doodling" by my new friend Phil, who was taking pictures after the service (possibly to tell the story for the next 150 years?!)

I traced the doodle from my bulletin right onto my Bible page and copied a photo of the beautiful window from the booklet to add as well (didn't want to forget that!) To finish the page, I added personal words of thanks to God for the beauty of the worship space, and a "take-away" at the top which was inspired by the theme words. These "R words" - remember, reflect, reconfirm, renew, rejoice - really caught my attention as they mirror some of the same ideas behind the visual faith theme words of read, reflect, respond - to reach out. I included the date and a note about my husband's uncle, Dr. Paul Maier, who had been called to this church to begin a student ministry at nearby Western Michigan University. It's important to pass down details about the legacy of faith in your family.

 Thought-provoking words circled during a prayer within the liturgy were joined with God's Word from the theme verse in Hebrews 12:22 to create a prayer in the margin.

Thought-provoking words circled during a prayer within the liturgy were joined with God's Word from the theme verse in Hebrews 12:22 to create a prayer in the margin.

You can see that the margin might be a place to record the visual blessings of a worship place, the sharing of fellowship within a church family, and words of liturgy and song, as well as God's Word. And as you move through multiple steps of journaling - from "bulletin graffiti", to reflecting on the worship experience, to penciling in the page, to re-writing with pen, and then finally tracing over with colored pencil - you are creating a space of time for the Word to soak into your heart.....so that you remember. And most importantly, so that you can share.                                        -- Pat Maier

ColoringOver2Remember.JPG

Candice Schwark- Organization Tips

 

Many people ask me, “How do I begin?” when asking about Visual Faith.......I have to ask myself, “When will I stop?” We are talking about two separate things that actually end up with similar answers.

My “stopping” is with all the little bags I have to organize my artsy tools....how did I end up with so many? I tried to put pencils in one, markers in another, scissors and tools in another. That worked for awhile but I tend to mix up the contents (similar to my worktable!) My dilemma and solution may be familiar to your work habits. So, let me explain what I’m doing now.

I still have my little bags with tools in them but I had to develop something that I could “grab and go” and artist Jane Davenport from Australia solved that problem for me, and she doesn’t even know it! Jane designed the coolest little pocket that has a stretchy strap attached to the back. The strap wraps around my notebook or Bible. A few of my tools are stored inside. When I head out the door to a Bible Study or a doctor appointment, I don’t have to look for anything. Everything is together for me to grab and go. What a timesaver that’s become! By the way, Jane calls the pocket a girdle - mine is shown in the image below. She also has them in a shiny gold. (at Michaels)
(Side note - I used to be a flight attendant way, way back......a girdle was part of our uniform - it’s not one of my favorite words, as you can imagine!!!)

So, where to begin. Take your Bible and/or a notebook, fill the girdle with what you use the most for visual prayer or Bible journaling, zip it up, attach it to your book and off you go.

I have 2 of these handy little pockets, one for my Bible and one for a favorite notebook. One usually has an automatic pencil, eraser pencil, fine point permanent black pen, white pen, small ruler. water brush, and a pen or pencil that holds colored lead or inks. By the way, for longer trips, I usually take colored pencils and/or watercolor pencils.

I may change out the things in the other pocket, adding GelatosTM, scissors, water brush, a tiny watercolor kit, and designate it for my notebook.

One of my very favorite notebooks is the one in the third photo below. This was purchased at Staples, and I love to work up ideas in it. The notebook has 3 sections with 480 different pagers - lined, grid, and plain. It’s called “Markings “by C.B. Gibson There are other cover designs than the CREATE one that I buy.

My new organization method really has helped me stop adding little bags to my collection. Make it easy on yourself and begin your journey in Visual Faith, or at least continue it with fewer decisions to make as you spend time with our Lord.

Blessings on your journey! Candice

p.s. I have no affiliation with any projects mentioned in this article.

 

Screen Shot 2018-08-21 at 10.28.25 PM.png
Screen Shot 2018-08-21 at 10.28.50 PM.png
 The Enduring Word Bible with tool pouch.

The Enduring Word Bible with tool pouch.

Visual Faith Assembly

 We gathered in Springfield, Virginia for a Visual Faith Assembly on August 3, 2018 to bring resources and encouragement to Visual Faith practitioners. 

We gathered in Springfield, Virginia for a Visual Faith Assembly on August 3, 2018 to bring resources and encouragement to Visual Faith practitioners. 

 We welcomed Lutheran Social Serves- National Capital Area to the event to offer prayers and  encouragement for the Immigrant Families and especially for the children in the United States detention centers. Chief Executive Officer- Christine Connell came to meet folks and head the prayer project. We are hoping to use this event as a prototype to add Visual Prayer to events and gatherings.We used prayer cards found in Resources on the Visual Faith Ministry website and then added Bible verses to pray over the families and children.

We welcomed Lutheran Social Serves- National Capital Area to the event to offer prayers and  encouragement for the Immigrant Families and especially for the children in the United States detention centers. Chief Executive Officer- Christine Connell came to meet folks and head the prayer project. We are hoping to use this event as a prototype to add Visual Prayer to events and gatherings.We used prayer cards found in Resources on the Visual Faith Ministry website and then added Bible verses to pray over the families and children.

 Anyone can pray for these families and share their prayers using this hashtag- #WelcomeInColor.

Anyone can pray for these families and share their prayers using this hashtag- #WelcomeInColor.

 Welcome comes in many languages.

Welcome comes in many languages.

 We printed off the Bible verses and then they could simple be added to the prayer cards. Prayer time finished them with watercolor and colored pencil. May these families be blessed.

We printed off the Bible verses and then they could simple be added to the prayer cards. Prayer time finished them with watercolor and colored pencil. May these families be blessed.

 We also tried our hands at Polaroid Praise - watercolor and Sharpie pens on watercolor paper.

We also tried our hands at Polaroid Praise - watercolor and Sharpie pens on watercolor paper.

 Visual Faith Coach Erika Radke also helped with some string painting- In and out of our Bibles.

Visual Faith Coach Erika Radke also helped with some string painting- In and out of our Bibles.

 Time to check in, encourage creativity, and see all the ways that the Lord is writing the stories in our lives.

Time to check in, encourage creativity, and see all the ways that the Lord is writing the stories in our lives.

 A young Bible Journaler plans out her very first Bible entry..  Photo credit to Genevieve Cooper

A young Bible Journaler plans out her very first Bible entry..  Photo credit to Genevieve Cooper

A Conference Devotional Art Room

 Thanks to Visual Faith Coach- Belinda Bost from Conover, North Carolina   for her Devotional Art workshop tracksat the 2018 Reaching for Others Conference   in Roanoke, Virginia this past weekend.

Thanks to Visual Faith Coach- Belinda Bost from Conover, North Carolina 

for her Devotional Art workshop tracksat the 2018 Reaching for Others Conference

 in Roanoke, Virginia this past weekend.

 Sessions had full rooms and everyone loved the hands on time to try things out.

Sessions had full rooms and everyone loved the hands on time to try things out.

 Visual Faith Coach- Erika Radke knows her materials and processes and helps everyone "just try."

Visual Faith Coach- Erika Radke knows her materials and processes and helps everyone "just try."

 Conversations were sparked about hosting a Visual Faith 101 event at home churches,   a neighborhood gathering,or gathering friends around the dining room table.

Conversations were sparked about hosting a Visual Faith 101 event at home churches,

 a neighborhood gathering,or gathering friends around the dining room table.

  Grandparents bought copies of the new CPH Enduring Word Bible for grandchildren as gifts-  with plans to sit and journal and pray Scripture  with THEM.  We sold a case of the Bibles.

 Grandparents bought copies of the new CPH Enduring Word Bible for grandchildren as gifts-

with plans to sit and journal and pray Scripture with THEM.We sold a case of the Bibles.

 It is never too late to start the journey. And there is no wrong way to begin! Look for a Visual Faith event near you or plan to host one!

It is never too late to start the journey. And there is no wrong way to begin! Look for a Visual Faith event near you or plan to host one!

Welcome in Color- Refugees and Immigrants

It was late on a Wednesday evening and the woman’s voice on the other end of the phone sounded forlorn. She was anxious with questions and despairing when I was unable to provide the answers she was hoping to hear. Over the previous few days, my colleagues and I had become accustomed to these calls. The effects of the Trump Administration’s “zero tolerance” policy had hit every major news outlet.  We all had witnessed young children being pulled from their mother’s hands and the desperate voices pleading officers to call a phone number that they had previously memorized and practiced.  

“What can I do?” The woman asked, “How can I help? I have a room in my house for a child at the border. They should not be in those cages, lying on the cold floor.” 

I gave her the contact information for a few partner organizations near the border. “We do have an Unaccompanied Refugee Minor Program,” I told her. “But the children at the border have families and the first priority is to reunify them with loved ones. At this time, we are not receiving any cases from the border,” I told her. 

After a dozen of these calls, it was obvious that our community members were feeling helpless. They needed an outlet, and these children needed to know that they were cared for and loved by so many in our country. Our staff brainstormed and researched and found that it was impossible to physically reach these children or parents waiting in detentions and processing centers. Nothing would be allowed in, no greeting cards, no games, no blankets or comfort of any kind. 

But there is one thing that cannot be censored or stopped: our prayers. 

 

LSS/NCA is participating in the Visual Faith Workshop on August 3 in Springfield, Virginia. Our staff will be hosting a table where participants can learn more about refugee resettlement efforts and foster care for refugee children as we pray and meditate on Bible verses that remind us the value of demonstrating love to our neighbors and welcoming the stranger. 

During the event, prayer cards will be available for children and adults to color and send messages to the families on our Southern border. Although we are unable to physically send the cards to holding centers, we can still spread our prayers and compassion through your help.

Here’s how you can participate: 

Download a free prayer card: Do your kids need a summer craft project? Prayer cards are a great way to teach them about current events through the power of compassion and kindness. Ask them to color a prayer card for a refugee or immigrant welcoming them to our communities.

Encouragement Cards (English)

Encouragement Cards (Spanish)

Prayer Cards

 

Display your prayer cards: Ask your congregation or faith leader permission to hang your cards in a Sunday school classroom, a display board, or meeting place. There may be someone in your own church community that would benefit from your message of welcome. 

 

Share on social media: Tweet, post or pin using #WelcomeInColor. Share your prayer cards or Bible journaling margins, and encourage others to lift up their voices for those in need of friendship. By using #WelcomeInColor, LSS/NCA and Visual Faith boards will be able to share and repost your image. Together, we can ignite compassion and welcome those who seeking refuge.

Autumn Orme, LSS/NCA Communications Director

Screen Shot 2018-07-29 at 10.17.50 PM.png

Polaroid Praise

A simple way to bring focus to a Bible verse.  Using painter's tape - tape card to table top- placing tape to have a margin on the top, sides and a larger margin on the bottom. Using Watercolor Cards (Michael's or Hobby Lobby) simply add watercolor.

Then with a Sharpie pen add silhouette images to the card. You may use a regular or fine-point Sharpie pen.  Image ideas can be found by Googling Silhouettes.  Remove tape and add Bible verse in the bottom space. Polaroid Praise is ready to display or bless someone else!  

We thank  Visual Faith coach- Michele Bowden for demonstrating this great and simple idea at a recent Creative Haven event.  She will be at the Visual Faith Assembly on August 3, 2018 at Prince of Peace Lutheran Church in Springfield, Virginia to share this idea with others

IMG_6841.jpg

Visual Faith Creative Assembly

Maybe it is time for some inspiration? Perhaps you have seen some things about Bible Journaling and Praying in Color. You've thought about exploring something to bring to your congregation or share with your neighbors.

Where do you start? How do you make it inviting to all- even non-artists? What if you don't feel qualified to lead ?  Help ! 

IMG_6152.jpg

We have heard you and invite you to join us for a Creative Faith Assembly in Northern Virginia. We will have an evening of hands-on introduction to techniques. There will be help with supplies and how to use, as well as time to try things out.

We will show you what "Worship into the Week" could look like in your home, school or congregation. With YOU leading! Maybe your church gives out Portals of Prayer and a mini- calendar project makes a wonderful addition and all of a sudden you have "community" around a spiritual discipline practice.

There are also some basic Visual Faith project how-tos for creating Counting gift journals  and Prayers for my Children flip calendars.

So find a friend to bring- that always makes it more fun. Two with a vision make things happen.

Don't sit back and watch and wish you had made the trek to Prince of Peace in Springfield, Virginia.  Join us!  

Flyers are right here in the FILES section the Visual Faith - DC Metro group-https://www.facebook.com/groups/1021481294570736/files/

 

Visual Faith - Pinterest

IMG_6027.jpg

We would love for you to check out the new Visual Faith Ministry boards on Pinterest. You can find them here:

https://www.pinterest.com/visualfaithministry/boards/  

It is another way to see the collection of tools, inspiration, events, and coaches that make up the ministry of Visual Faith.

IMG_6028.jpg

 

 First there are boards that show resources from the website, blog posts, and the coaches and encouragers.  Each coach has their own board to see a bit more about their work.

IMG_6031.jpg

 

Then there are boards of helpful categories like: Tags, Tutorials, and Napkin Techniques.

IMG_6033.jpg

 

Next, are boards of those we like to follow and appreeicate their work. Lastly is the beginning of a section that will collect Bible Journaling by Books of the Bible.

Stop by and Give Us a Follow.!

May this be a blessing to you as you continue to explore all things Visual Faith.

A Visual Faith Coach Story- Gentle Persistence

Peg Peters came to a Workshop near her home in Indiana in the Fall of 2016. She went back very excited to share what she had learned about Visual prayer, Bible Journaling and all sorts of  hands on projects for Faith Keeping. She had been watching things online for awhile and learning and trying out new practices. She couldn't wait to bring them to her church community. But, the doors didn't open quickly for that sharing. Sometimes it is about patient waiting.

And then it was time.....On May 14, 2018, Peg Peters was able to bring the Prayers for My Children Project to her church- Driftwood Christian Church in Vallonia, Indiana. It was an intergenerational event. There were many ways they worked on it. And some were finished when they got home. A blessing to be shared. A blessing beyond the event. People of prayer. United by this common thread of love. Here is a bit about the event from Peg:

This event was part of our Mother-Daughter salad supper that we have every year on the Monday after Mother's Day. We call it the Ladies Salad Supper now since not everyone has a daughter.The ladies of our church were invited to attend and bring as many guests as they wanted to.We often have 3 generations.  This year we even had 4 generations in one family. We presented each lady with a ziplock bag that contained a glue stick, the 31 prayer verses roughly cut up and the 35 page booklet already hooked together with the 2 rings. The pages were made by a small print company(the owner goes to our church) The ladies got a good start on their books that evening and I encouraged them to take home any embellishments, etc. that they needed to complete their prayer books.  (Probably working on their own at the church for about an hour)Jodi, my daughter who is the Women's Ministry leader at Southeast Christian Church in Jeffersonville IN, presented the introductory part of the program. She is also an elementary teacher so she was able to share some insight as to how people learn in different ways.  Using the items we were that night was one example of learning. 

We announced at church and in the bulletin for ladies that had scrapbooking materials that were not being used to bring them along. I also had a huge pile of stickers, papers, all sorts of embellishments that people were free to use in their books. It was a little like the fish and the loaves of bread.  When it was over I gathered up more than I had brought it felt like!

We give thanks for Peg's faithfulness to find the just right event at the just right time.We pray there will be anymore gatherings. So may you be filled with patience- all coaches and encouragers as you seek to bring Visual Faith practices to others. Our Lord has the plan.Just be ready to share with humbleness when He says- NOW! Thank you Peg for your gently persistence and listening heart.

 

 

IMG_5979.jpg

Multi- generation event

IMG_1258.jpg

Peg Peters-(center ) and daughter Jodi and her daughter-Maggie.

Lela age 5.jpg

What to Journal: A Devotion That Connects

CurdsMilkCake.JPG

I follow a blog called ilovemyshepherd.com by my friend, Heidi Goehmann. She writes spiritual thoughts about everyday situations - things that are wonderful, hard, and so-very-ordinary. Her honest writing often mirrors the words that run in a stream through my mind like a scrolling digital billboard as I make decisions throughout the day - words that I think to myself,  rarely share out loud, and often come and go too quickly for me to reflect and act upon.

So when I read Heidi's blog, there's often a slap-in-my-face recognition of some of my thought words. When this happens, it's a great time to get out my Bible, reflect on what God has to say, and respond in the margin so that I can remember and then reflect God's heart in my thoughts, words, and actions.

Maybe you will also relate to Heidi's words about "curds, milk, and cake" from her guest blog on meal planning at graftedheart.com (another great blog from Christian author Sarah Baughmann). I truly do love to cook, and meals together were a precious priority for our family of six - but my focus was often on the "why am I doing all this work?" rather than "why I'm doing all this work." Heidi made me laugh out loud with her words, "My husband occasional comes home and says, 'Quick! Knead it! Make cakes!'" We often shared our meal table - sometimes at the last moment - with guests, and that is often the case with the spontaneous schedules of our grown children today. Since I value cooking from scratch (which takes more prep & cooking time), meals sandwiched within busy schedules or last minute guest additions would often result in a stressed, grouchy, bad-attitude me.

To journal and connect my reality with Heidi's devotional thoughts,

  • I re-read Genesis 18:1-21 in my Bible, underlining words and phrases that stood out.

  • My biggest "a-ha" was the suggestion that feeding people is a spiritual practice, so I began with that at the top of my page along with some examples Heidi shared of when Jesus fed people.

  • Next is a prayer penned on the page, asking God to bring to mind "curds, milk, and cake" as a reminder of what I am serving.....

  • And the list of spiritual blessings to "serve" at my table

Making the word LORD larger and in a fun font draws my eyes to the prayer, and doing the same with the word SERVE reminds me that meals are a way I can serve God by serving up these spiritual opportunities - as well as good food! And because color and drawing brings me joy, I added a bit of color and ended with a simple drawing of trees around a campsite to conclude with my final take-away: to help me remember the joy of welcoming others to our family table.

 

CurdsMilk&Cake.png

God bless you as you serve up curds, milk, and cakes and so much more to the dear hearts gathered around your family table!

-- Pat Maier

Visual Faith Collage Style

Creative Memories opened the door for Belinda Bost to learn the importance of documenting the story of our lives. The importance of writing about the Who, What, When, Where and Why in our own handwriting prepared her for processing with Visual Faith. It can be as simple as layering an image over the text in your Bible. A computer can enlarge or decrease an image to fit the page. Tracing paper allows the image to be added.

 

 

 

 

 Here is an altered Dollar Tree Word Search Book that became a Lenten Word Book using the church worship folder and basic art supplies.

Here is an altered Dollar Tree Word Search Book that became a Lenten Word Book using the church worship folder and basic art supplies.

 Belinda seeks spaces in her Concordia Study Bible to add full page entries. The space between the Old and New Testament became a visual reminder of what the weeks to come would bring at the start of Lent. She used watercolor, printed paper, clip art, washi tape, embellishments and stamps.

Belinda seeks spaces in her Concordia Study Bible to add full page entries. The space between the Old and New Testament became a visual reminder of what the weeks to come would bring at the start of Lent. She used watercolor, printed paper, clip art, washi tape, embellishments and stamps.

 Check out Belinda's online Bible Study called- "Bloom, Praying the Stitches" which will combine the concept of Praying in Color, Scrapbooking and Collage Faith Art. There will be a fabric book cover that will be constructed during the discussion time and reflection. No sewing machine needed. You can follow the Bible study and watch the weekly video on the Do You F.R.O.G blog--  blog-www.beebeeost.blogspot.com  and on the Visual Faith Ministry Facebook page.

Check out Belinda's online Bible Study called- "Bloom, Praying the Stitches" which will combine the concept of Praying in Color, Scrapbooking and Collage Faith Art. There will be a fabric book cover that will be constructed during the discussion time and reflection. No sewing machine needed. You can follow the Bible study and watch the weekly video on the Do You F.R.O.G blog-- blog-www.beebeeost.blogspot.com and on the Visual Faith Ministry Facebook page.

A First Communion Paper Bag Journal

I had some time with my granddaughter- Ellery Jane White (almost 8 years old) about three weeks ago and introduced her to Bible Journaling. She absolutely loved it. My friend Bev shared with me how to make the booklets out of paper bags. Well, Ellery just decided she was going to write her own story. She had taken her first communion in the PCA Church they attend the week before. Well, she sat down and wrote her thoughts. I was a proud Grammy for sure. 
It was wonderful to discuss the Sacrament of Holy Communion with her. Thanks be to God. I had such a blessed time with her.  

Thanks to Visual Faith Coach Jean White with this simple reminder that telling the story of significant faith milestones is both legacy and a blessing to the next generation. It also enhances the story we tell of God's faithfulness to THIS generation.

IMG_2610.jpg
IMG_2608.jpg
IMG_5558.JPG

The Enduring Word Bible

We are very excited about the new Enduring Word Bible coming out the first week of June from Concordia Publishing House.  It is an ESV version Bible and there are 350 margins for coloring as well as the title page for each book of the Bible. That leaves many pages for your own additions, notes, journaling and images.

Here is a bit about the illustrators: (first published by Concordia Publishing House on Goodreads)

About the Illustrators

Andrea Kilpatrick is a painter and illustrator living in Houston, Texas. She attended Concordia University Chicago, where she earned degrees in studio art and art education and received her Lutheran Teacher Certificate. She currently teaches elementary and middle school art. In her spare time, she sells custom illustrations and enjoys reading, Bible journaling, and traveling.

Jamie Truwe is a small-business owner, part-time art teacher, and full-time mom to 5 children. She attended Concordia University Wisconsin and has a theology degree with minors in youth ministry and art. In her spare time, she sells custom paintings and hand-lettered Scripture art, and she enjoys coloring in her Bible, reading, and traipsing around the states with her family.

Pat Maier is a pastor’s wife and former Lutheran educator who lives with her husband in Brighton, Michigan. Pat enjoys writing, drawing, and imagining to inspire others in their walk with Jesus. She is currently involved in planning and presenting at retreats and women’s events in the Michigan District, as well as teaching about visual faith. She finds great joy in nature, gardening, and spending time with family.

Jeff Carnehl has taught art at Walther Lutheran High School for 17 years. His illustration work with CPH has included other books and My Devotions. Prior to teaching, he worked as a graphic designer and art director for two Christian publishers. A graduate of Concordia University Chicago and the American Academy of Art, he is married to a Lutheran elementary teacher and the father of three grown sons. Besides illustrating, Jeff loves spending time with his growing family and gardening.

Watch for updates as we begin to explore this new Visual Faith Bible.