This past week while having a conversation with a area pastor we talked briefly about a new scientific study. This study showcases how when a person does something “good” the pleasure centre of the brain isn’t stimulated as many had previously believed. This same idea is confirmed in the greatest chapter on love in the bible, I Corinthians 13. The idea that love is self sacrificial, that love isn’t always fun and that we have a choice to “do the right thing.” We are taught at a young age that we do good things for others and that we feel good about it. But this idea is so selfish. The greatest act of love was a very painful and brutal death of Jesus Christ on the cross.
I created the above art shortly after examining this idea. The words of 1 Cor 13 are printed multiply times over the whole piece. The idea is that love can be both painful, ugly, deadly and at the same time be beautiful. Feel free to comment on my art. As a side note: this is one of the first “works of art” that I have done without it being done for a specific purpose other than with the sole purpose of using my gifts as a act of worship.
If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears. When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me. Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love. – 1 Cor 13 NIV
As some of you may know over the past couple years I have become rather addicted to Ultimate. That is Ultimate Frisbee for those that don’t know. If you have never played this amazing sport, get off your butt and come join the party. Yes I play all summer, I played in a fall league (that was cold), and this is my third year playing in a winter league. We get to play at the new Sasktel Sports Centre, which has the best turf I have ever set foot on. In fact, it is the same turf that the Superbowl was played on. How awesome is that!! Okay so this past weekend I finally got to play in my first Ultimate tournament. That’s right from Friday Night till Saturday afternoon I had played 6 games. And for those that don’t know the sport, 6 games = alot of running. Due to the titling of this post you are probably already guessing that our team won the tournament, but you would be wrong. While our team did great, we missed out on playoffs by 2 points to a team from Winnipeg. Close game, but oh so fun. Now onto the winning part I mentioned. Back in November the SUDS league. (Saskatoon Ultimate Disc Sport Society) put out a call to Graphic Designers for a new disc design. I took up the challenge to create a new design for the leagues discs. And I am happy to announce that I was chosen as the winner. That’s right in the next few months there will be tons of SUDS Discs soaring over Saskatoon with my design. I just had to use this blog to brag. Unfortunately, I cannot show the design off just yet as the Board of SUDS wishes for it to be a surprise. But when I can I will proudly show off my work. May I should show off pictures of my scares and bruises from the weekend tournament on here in the meantime? No I want you to keep coming back to my blog.
Recently I found myself awake at 1am frantically writing down and idea I had while trying to sleep. While I have this happen on occasion, it is rare that I feel that it is God waking me up with something. However, this time I think it just might have been. While I have been struggling to rework my job description to include a more rounded use of my strengths and to use my strengths for ministry to be more effective at my job, this idea might just help with that. Until recently I would never have called myself an artist, in fact most of my life I have been either classed as a “geek” or a “jock” as I played a lot of sports in high school and college (still play ultimate, it rules, anyways), as well I have always been a computer junkie. However, I am finding more and more that graphic design is art. Yes, I know it seems like a no brainer, but for me an artist is someone who goes to school and majors in art and minors in italian (sorry Crystal) and does lots of painting and talks abit difference than the rest of us. But everyone is really abit of an artist. Think about Kindergarten and Grade 1, everyone in the class loved to draw, sculpt, paint, and create. We are born with this innate desire to create. So what happens to us when we get older? Art becomes uncool, geeky, and boring. This is a shame. I only wish that I had learnt more about art as I feel very uneducated as a graphic designer and artist.
Then I begin to think about ministry, the church, and art. In our western evangelical churches we have removed much of the art. Much of this due to the reformation and the iconoclastic controversy, but I won’t get into that here. While we have art in the church it is mostly limited to music. Remember that I am being very general in that statement, there are plenty of churches that use the arts to a more fuller degree. The point is this: many new young musicians who grow up in the church can use this gift for service and worship in the church, but many new young artist will struggle to find a way to use their gifts for service and worship. If they do they have to be very creative and often stick their necks out. Take for instance a venture started by a youth I know. He decided to make t-shirts to benefit Corwin’s adoption process and is giving all the profits away, through his online store called Provadenic. It is truly amazing that this student is doing this, however, if he didn’t have it in his means financially to be able to do this where would he have taken his idea and his art too? And it is for exactly this reason that I came up with the idea below….
It is still very much a work in progress and much of the heart of the community will most likely change as it grows, but take alook at the raw data I wrote down late one night and tell me what you think, tell me if you are interested, tell me young people that I should talk to, you name I am looking for feedback and connections from local Artists.
To come up with a real name. Ideas Anyone?
To see local artists, designers (ﬁlm, fashion, graphic, etc) spur one anothers
passions through a sharing of ideas, with open dialogue and meaningful spiritual
1.To reach out to other artists by providing a safe place to gather, share ideas, and
discuss relevant issues
2.To see more Christians use their gifts in this area for service and worship
3.To encourage and inspire on another
4.To give people a place to dialogue about spiritual issues without being a “Church”
>Forums to discuss ideas or concepts artists are working on
>Proﬁle Nights – to share work and to share spiritual conversations
>Groups – the use of small groups in homes within the larger network
>Teaching – both spiritual teachings as well as practical teaching. ie. FCP Training,
Painting Classes, etc
>Use these gifts/passions to raise funds for local and global initiatives/social actions as
My wife pointed out that my previous blog post may come across abit harsh and I am sorry for that. I am not the best at communicating my thoughts in writing all the time, and as it is I tend to be a somewhat blunt, “tell it like it is” kinda person. Anyways, I thought I should also point out the positives regarding churches and community involvement. First off I need to say how excited I am for the things I hear being preached from the new pastor at Cornerstone. It is this exact issue that he is speaking to; and I love that. As well, I love how he has a track record of community involvement. You should listen to what he has been speaking on here. Over the past weeks I have heard him talk of his involvement in community, and social justice issues in the cities he has liven in. In fact he started a soup kitchen type ministry in Canmore. I am excited to see where he will get involved in the city and where he will push our church to get involved. Also, I should give alittle nod to Ebenezer Baptist Church for the way they have connected their community association with their church, as well as for the cool idea of hosting a Grey Cup Party in their church for the community. So when you read my last post you need to know that positive things are happening in Saskatoon. So I hope that these posts will inspire you to look around your community and see where you can get involved. If you live in or near the Queen Elizabeth Area you should email me “darylgrunau AT mac DOT com” and I could let you know ways to get involved with our association. We always need more volunteers.
What if we as a Church community in Saskatoon decided to cancel all of the mid week sports programs and such, (example, my church runs floor hockey, and volleyball) and instead of trying to get non-Christians in the doors of the church of these programs we decided to approach our community associations and just gave them all the space we had for free to run there programs? Not only would this create a true “open door” policy, but for church members to participate in the programs they would have to join the community association. This may seem like a small change, but how would the views of the Saskatoon church body change? If any Pastor in Saskatoon reads this I would love to hear your thoughts? Do you think this would be possible? Would this change anything?
I heard it stated recently how we in the church can get to busy “within” the church that we don’t have enough time to connect to those “outside” its walls. Why even a local pastors I’ve talked to tell me that their week doesn’t allow for much beyond the doors of the church. This makes me sad and disappointed in our churches and our leaders. In the past year I have heard much preached about “community involvement,” however, for people in our churches to be changed it is going to take the leadership of the city getting “out” of the church more and into their communities. If as a youth pastor your week consists of bible study tues, jr high on wednesday and Sr high on Thursday plus committee meetings and Sunday services where does that leave you time to connect with the community? Oh, and don’t get me wrong, I don’t have this figured out myself. And I am not telling you where to get involved or to join a community association board (although that’s what I’ve done), I am just saying that leaders in our churches need to set the example of how those following them are going to live. And that must include living life with those outside the church.