A new art project on the subject of “journey” that members of the Emmanuel Mennonite Church congregation took part in painting is now hanging above the building’s front doors.
The idea for the collaborative art project came from member Angelika Dawson, who has spearheaded previous art displays at Emmanuel, and Rachel Navarro, the new family pastor.
The congregation had been studying the Book of Exodus this past fall, and the theme of “journey” seemed to fit with the texts from Exodus 31 and 35.
The two engaged professional artist Linda Klippenstein to design something that everyone could contribute to. Church family members, from child to senior, painted portions of the panels. As a whole, the picture depicts people of different ages and ethnicities walking together.
“As a congregation, we’ve been walking in a bit of a wilderness—without a permanent lead pastor for two years, the pandemic and all the challenges that come with that—it felt like the theme of us emerging from a wilderness not only fit with the Exodus theme we were exploring in the fall, but also the journey we’ve been on,” says Dawson.
Adhering to COVID-19 protocols further complicated matters.
“That’s where the idea of multiple canvases that make up one image came from,” says Dawson. “It allowed us to have people working together but spread out. Having kits that people could take home also helped with that and allowed people who are not able to come to church to participate as well.”
The finished work was unveiled at the Nov. 14 morning service and it is now hanging above the foyer front doors.
“[It is] a lovely reminder that, as we leave the sanctuary, we are heading out into our community, led by God,” says Dawson.
Do you have a story idea about Mennonites in B.C.? Send it to Amy Rinner Waddell at email@example.com.
—Corrected Dec. 16, 2021