October 24, 2017
The phone rang. I almost didn’t pick up. A man named Jim, from West Virginia, said he had seen an announcement I wrote for the Herald about Worship Arts. He said, “I know just the person you need to connect with. Her name is Nancy Chinn. Trust me. Just go to her website…www.nancychinn.com.” I did and WOW!
I called Nancy and asked about her retreats. She replied, “I’m pretty much retired and I just don’t have the energy anymore.” We talked about her work and I told Nancy about the phone call. She paused and then said, “It sounds like the spirit is moving! When can you come?”
Rev. Kelle Brown, Beverly Buehler and I travelled to California and spent three glorious days last June with liturgical artist and painter Nancy Chinn. We came home literally “lit up!” We are grateful to Nancy for her wisdom, knowledge, generosity of heart and willingness to follow when the Spirit calls.
For over thirty years, Nancy created art in large, liturgical spaces. For example, she led an art installation for Grace Cathedral in San Francisco with 25,000 paper origami cranes folded as an act of prayer for AIDS victims and family. In addition to stunning beauty and deep meaning, imagine the hundreds of people who contributed! Nancy invites the community into every project. Installations become a spirit-led, collaborative process.
We returned, filled with Spirit and excitement, eager to share and inspire others at Plymouth. We began to envision possibilities for art in our beautiful Sanctuary. Beverly led several of us through steps and processes we learned with Nancy.
We began with scripture and song, lifted words or ideas to spark inspiration and created our own art using construction paper and glue. We shared individually and put the pictures together. Suddenly, we heard exclamations of wonder and awe as new connections and inspirations arose. Collectively, we are so much greater than the individual parts with many layers of deeper meaning.
After further prayer and discernment, this small group created a plan for our Sanctuary beginning with Advent and expanding through Christmas and Epiphany. The overarching theme is “Illumine Me.” We are so excited! The installation is being facilitated by our own Beverly Buehler, artist and teacher. We hope the art moves the hearts of all who participate in the creative process and all who enter.
As a worship arts team, we invite you into the art installation process. Watch the Herald for pictures, stories and next steps to get involved. Please contact Rosemary Hashimoto for questions or more information.
Together, may the art we create illumine hearts, minds and spirits. –Rosemary Hashimoto 206.290.0502