Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Encarna 2006

My friend Andrew sent me this... If you can make it, check it out - i saw pics from last year's even that looked amazing!

This is just a quick note to let you know about thisyear's ENCARNA Christmas Worship Installation. It's happening on Fri. Dec. 15 and Sat. Dec. 16, doors open from 7pm-10pm, at St. James United Church (306 Parkside Dr., Waterdown, ON).

ENCARNA is a emerging church style worship event. Participants engage with different interactive and contemplative stations, all at their own pace and direction, bringing people in touch with the Christmas story. There is no preaching, singing, bulletins or ministers. If people want to pray, reflect, discuss,just listen to the music, engage, or not, that's up to each person.

ENCARNA is alternative engagement with the Christmas story - different, perhaps more artsy and postmodern, than your regular pageants orcantatas. For a better sense of what ENCARNA is and if you'dlike to check it out, go to www.myspace.com/christmas_encarna. Last year was the first year we did this event, and we're hoping you'll help us build off the successes of last year. Many people told us it was a deeply meaningful experience, helping them prepare for Christmas. If you know anyone who would be interested in coming to ENCARNA, please pass the word on to them as well. Blessings and peace for this Christmas.

In Christ,
Andrew Hyde
St. James United Church

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

gospel according to tom

so i've been on a tom waits kick of late and i am very excited about the upcoming orphans 3-disc set... recently compiled a little liturgy of tom waits tunes which i thought i would share with the world. if i really had the time this would be a podcast, but it's not, it's a list:

  • Invocation: "Come on up to the house" (Mule Variations)
  • Creed: "Everything you can think" (Alice)
  • Confession: "Chocolate Jesus"* (Mule Variations)
  • Absolution: "Sins" (Real Gone)
  • Closing: "Way down in the hole" (live version from Big Time)
  • Blessing: "Jesus Gonna be here" (Bone Machine, although the blind boys of alabama do a great cover too)

any other suggestions...? I've been thinking about doing this with other bands too... any suggestions? (btw. they don't have to use so much religious language for this to work...)

* the real genius of this song is the rooster crowing throughout... think about it.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Truth, Lies and Plastic Eyes

Last weekend was the amazing art talks series at ICS sponsored by Imago... Betty Spackman was there to speak about her book: A Profound Weakness: Christians and Kitsch
and her talk was entitled: "Truth, Lies and Plastic Eyes."

Betty had a lot of great things to say and it was nice to see her in person having heard so much from Adrienne Chaplin about her and looking at her work as part of an independent study while I was at OCAD. I have been wanting to write a response to the weekend but haven't had a chance yet so instead I'll post some of my favourite quotes/ideas that came out of the talk and discussions. They are as close to verbatim as possible... I take any responsibility for transcribing them inaccurately - please notify me if I say you said something you didn't. If these don't make sense out of context - also my fault...

"Instead of walking the streets with [Christ],
we hide him in our churches
and drag people in to see Him."

- Betty Spackman

"Christian Kitsch = Faith in drag."
- Betty Spackman

"Truth is what is true but not necessarily factual."
- Madeline L'engle

"Kitsch offers paradise now, bypassing the 'not yet'."
- not sure who said that

"Rational Christians who are emotionally starved turn to Kitsch"
- not sure about this one either

"We are the message - not the objects we create"
- Betty Spackman (on whether art itself can be "Christian")

"Aspire not for greatness but to be the humblest, . . .
creating with joy and freedom, as a child. . ."
- Betty Spackman

Betty also talked about learning the language of the culture around you... which is good, but are you doing it only so you can say what you want to say or so you can listen? Her example was from a missionary in a foreign culture context but she applied it also to the arts...

Another thing that I loved that she said... She compared making art to the feeding of the 5000. Jesus asks what we've got and we respond "I don't have enough. You take it and break it." and then we see what he does with it. Our responsibility falls not in having to feed everyone or make the perfect work of art or craft the most clever message... but simply to offer all that we have, acknowledging our insufficiency and let Jesus do the rest. And somehow, 5000 are fed.

read some other people's notes on Betty here.

sign of the day...

one of the many religious slogans
Originally uploaded by sue the potter.

my parents took this on vacation...


Tuesday, November 14, 2006


Originally uploaded by josh lyon.