Contemplative journal an expression of creative process

December 9, 2015 | Artbeat | Volume 19 Issue 24
Donna Schulz |

April Yamasaki and Lois Siemens have collaborated across the miles on a second creative project. In 2014, the women, who are pastors of Mennonite Church Canada congregations in British Columbia and Saskatchewan, respectively, joined forces to produce the My Sacred Pauses Daybook, combining text from Yamasaki’s book Sacred Pauses with Siemens’s photographs. This year, they have combined their talents in My Creative, Contemplative Journal, pairing Siemens’s photos with text from Spark: Igniting Your God-Given Creativity, which Yamasaki wrote for Mennonite Women Canada and MW U.S.A.

The journal format offered “more ways of working with the things that happen in one’s day,” says Siemens, who hopes journal users “will find themselves moving from fear to freedom.” She says, “It seems to me there is a lot of shame around being creative. I want people to realize that everyone is creative—it just takes different forms.” In a blog post about the collaboration, Yamasaki writes, “I suppose if we were both more business-like, we would have talked about all of this ahead of time and drawn up a contract. Instead, we’ve allowed our collaboration to develop more creatively and organically. In that way, our collaboration is an act of faith, like any writing or creative work.” My Creative, Contemplative Journal is available online at

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