Monday, April 18, 2016

Spiritual Journaling during the Sermon

During the spiritual journaling workshop I attended at the Create in Me retreat, we heard the workshop leader, Vonda Drees, tell us that she started bringing her markers and paper to church, but it was several weeks before she was brave enough to draw during the sermon. 

Sunday morning, April 17, three days after I bought better markers, I decided to try this type of spiritual journaling.  Our pastor has been off-lectionary, so we were studying the story of Elijah and Elisha and the transition of power.  There was a parting of the seas, so I started with that--swirls a river parting, a space down the middle.  I ended up with this:

The words at the top are the words that people kept saying to Elisha, the younger prophet who would be left behind.  The words at the bottom were the ideas that the pastor returned to--when we're in a time of transition, we often feel anxiety.  Even though we were in the Old Testament, our pastor reminded us that Christ's love is strong enough to cast out fear.  As we talked about Jesus, I thought that the words would also be appropriate for these post-Easter texts that we'd have if we stayed with the Revised Common Lectionary.  I've often wondered how these disciples managed:  they see Christ crucified, they get him back but in slightly different form, and then, 40 days later, he's gone again.

Our master is going to leave us--how will we cope?

I noticed that as I kept adding color, the parting of the seas seemed to take on a vegetative quality--I'm fine with that.  I even added a little flower at the top left under the word "your."

So, what did I notice about my first day of doing this practice?  I did pay attention to the sermon in a more focused way.  I was listening for words, trying to decide what should go in the 6 x 8 space.

I've always thought that I was the type who paid attention during most sermons.  But this experiment has made me wonder.  I plan to do more with it, so I'll report back.


Robin said...

Your post is featured on RevGals today, and this is the comment I've left there: I’ve already sent the post on journaling during sermons to our CE director, who likes to take notes herself, and assigns the confirmation class a required number of sermon notes during the year. This might be an option which the kids would actually complete!

Kristin said...

Thanks so much! I would love to hear how other experiments work out. I was surprised that I was more attentive, not less, as I drew.