CCS student Beth Walker reflects on the recent BC Conference, and Day 2, ‘Artist in Residence’:
“It was day two of the British Columbia Conference and time for the incoming ordinates to give a small presentation to the court. My heart raced on their behalf; keenly aware that I would be addressing a similar group of people just one year from now! The question that was posed to them was, “If you had to sum up the meaning of the gospel in a song or a story in two minutes, what would you say?”
The group of ordinates was inspired by this challenge and shared with us the song ‘Let Us Build a House’ (MV 1), the child’s story of ‘Big Momma’ and the life of Louis Armstrong. I wondered how often such a distilled answer would be helpful for those we meet in our in our everyday high paced world. I thought I would take up the challenge and consider what the Gospels mean to me…my response was simply ‘inspiration and transformation’.
For me the Gospels represent a group of stories that have been gathered together by folks who were on a journey of faith. These stories serve as a witness to their discernment of how God moved and shaped their lives and the life of their community. I am inspired by reading sacred stories of those pilgrims found in scripture as I too journey in relationship with the spirit. This inspiration knows no boundaries but serves to form and inform the children of God. The movement is found in beginnings, as in the first book of the Hebrew scripture; the spirit is found in the form of lament and in the promise, ‘In the beginning when God created the heavens and the earth, 2the earth was a formless void and darkness covered the face of the deep, (a very wonderful mysterious deep) while a wind from God swept over the face of the waters. 3Then God said, ‘Let there be light’; and there was light. 4And God saw that the light was good, very, very GOOD. (Genesis: 1)
I heard the breath of God, the promise of a new beginning, in the court as we rose to sing ‘Called by Earth and Sky” (MV 135) and after we listened to Alanna Mitchell speak. Michell shared a very distressing story of our oceans as she wove together the threads of science from all over the world. Sadly, these findings are pointing to an accelerating crisis in the world’s oceans. I saw the light of our ever creating God on the face of a small child during the communion ritual at the Service of Celebration. His face shone like the sun as he walked ever so carefully to his station not spilling a single drop of his entrusted gift. His purpose was to serve us, a community of seekers, the gift of new life found in the life and work of Jesus and the love of our creator.
The Gospels remind me of God’s very, very GOOD LIGHT. A light that illuminates and transforms; like when light shines through a stained glass window creating a symphony of the spirit. It is the light of God that illuminates who we are and all that we have. By this light we are transformed; we are made brilliant and we shine on all those we encounter. As an artist in residence I felt the call, and the challenge, to illuminate and transform. I felt rooted and grounded in the very wonderful, mysterious deep community of faith with those who have gone before; the co-creators, or at least those striving to create, the kin-dom.” – Beth Walker