By Hillary Asbury –
Whether or not we realize it, the visual arts are being used by churches every day. If you were to walk into a Christian church of any sort, there would more than likely be a cross hanging somewhere, if not at the focal point of the worship space. That cross is the result of an artist’s craft. From hand-hammered brass to ceramic pieces created on a wheel, many of the communion chalices we encounter are beautiful works of art. These are vital pieces of the church’s function, of the Divine Service, and they are more often than not created to be visually pleasing, with rich meaning and symbolism. Altars and even pews are crafted with care and creativity. Banners fly proudly with symbols appropriate to the church season. Visual aids grace bulletin covers, PowerPoint presentations, and projections. Church logos are created by graphic design. The visual arts are already important to the Christian life, but perhaps we’ve been using this art passively.
By Joel A. Hess –
Looking for Luther to back you up on how worship should be done? Have fun, something for everyone! To sum his thoughts up, I would say he was against keeping things the same for the sake of keeping things the same. Yet equally concerned about people who wanted to change abruptly just because they can. I can’t help but believe he would be surprised to find some church services as infotainment and others looking not too different than Rome.
By Joel A. Hess –
In the early 19th century, Wilhelm III nobly pursued the union of Lutheran and Reformed church bodies. In order to accomplish this task, he commissioned a new common liturgical agenda to be used by all churches no matter their theological persuasion. Uniformity achieved! Of course, a couple heads had to roll, but hey, it was for a greater cause!
By Cindy Koch –
The clouds hung low this last Sunday morning. Already shivering as I stepped outside, I called back to the hustling brood to grab their jackets before we piled in the car. Damp palm trees and lonely puddles hinted that it was about to rain, but only a gray mist colored our morning drive to church. The children and I traveled together in unusual silence, taking in the gloom.
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