Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Paper Flames for Pentecost

If you're looking for a great Pentecost arts project, or a great conversation/conference/retreat starter, let me recommend a project that we did last year. 

I wanted to do something with flames, and I didn't have the kind of time that some of my friends have had, the time to make fun headpieces out of cloth.  I cut out a lot of flame shapes out of paper.

But what to do with them?  I thought about having people write spiritual gifts that they hoped God would give them on each flame--but I didn't want to reinforce that God-as-Santa-Clause idea that lots of people have.  My pastor suggested that we have group members write spiritual gifts that they see in each other on each flame.
We glued the flames on heads I had drawn on posterboard.  I think it might be a special blessing to take the flames with us--if I do the project again, I'll include that element.

But if I should do that, I'll also stress that our spiritual gifts are not about us.  They're not meant to be private, kept in our pockets, hidden away.  God gives us our gifts to enrich the community.

The project that we did was a great way of exploring how others see our spiritual gifts.  If I worked with a group who didn't know each other well, I think it could also work to have people write the gifts that they think they have, the gifts they want to strengthen, as opposed to the gifts that they wish they could have.

And I'd want to remember that a wide variety of gifts can work as spiritual gifts.  We think of being able to heal with the laying on of hands--but having a gift for listening without advising can be a healing gift too.

Pentecost approaches:  are you ready for that great rushing wind and the flames of power?  Are you ready to receive your spiritual gifts?

This blog post has pictures as I walked people through what we did last Pentecost Sunday morning

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