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On the Arts: Rupture, Art, and Queering the Liturgy

On the Arts: Rupture, Art, and Queering the Liturgy

The work of artist Rachel Barnard titled Wisdom Pavilion is situated in a dreary office of the City of New York Department of Probation. In this unlikely location, she suspended hundreds of sparkly cobalt blue pinwheels from the ceiling of a meeting room for parole officers and young parolees. Barnard is also the founder of Young New Yorkers (YNY), an arts-based initiative for teens in the adult criminal court system.

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On the Arts: Rupture, Art, and Queering the Liturgy

On Music: The Queerness of Church Music

Queer musicians have always existed within the church. Throughout history, music has served as an avenue for queer people to engage with their faith and express themselves authentically. In general, musical arts can provide liberating opportunities to depart from rigid gender expectations. Today, church music programs can model inclusivity to all children of God.

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On the Arts: Rupture, Art, and Queering the Liturgy

On Liturgy: Queering Worship

This writing comes at a particular time when, at least in the American landscape, exploring the idea of queerness in familiar, some would say normative, sacred spaces can be seen as a political act. This conflation of politics and theological aspiration is not the focus of my thoughts around queering worship.

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On the Arts: Rupture, Art, and Queering the Liturgy

On Preaching: Worship and Preaching outside the Sanctuary Walls through Digital Mediations

Most historic, mainstream Christian churches in the United States of America by now should be experts in conducting hybrid or multimodal worship services, but, surprisingly, they are not. Some of them were already good at recording and posting or even livestreaming their worship services before the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a pandemic. The rest of those churches had the opportunity to learn and develop the art of online worship during the two years COVID kept most churches shut down.

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On the Arts: Rupture, Art, and Queering the Liturgy

On Music: Wood and Wind—Worshipful Music Welcoming All God’s Children

In every time and place, God has called music out of human hearts. I’m an organist, so my primary instrument could hardly be more bound to a specific location, yet the walls of a church can’t confine all the music in the worship of the triune God. A drum circle on the Gulf Coast of Florida initially opened my eyes to the Spirit’s creative nudges when the pandemic prevented us from glorifying God within our beloved church sanctuary.

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On the Arts: Rupture, Art, and Queering the Liturgy

On Liturgy: Seeing Life through the Eyes of Liturgy

One of my favorite things to hear as we walked out of my African American Baptist church in North Jersey as a child was, “Yes, yes, we had ‘chuch’ today!” The mothers of the church would intentionally leave out the “r” to emphasize the power of the service and its hoped-for residual spiritual effects on their lives, their families, the community, and maybe, just maybe, the world.

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On the Arts: Rupture, Art, and Queering the Liturgy

On the Arts: Reflections on Art-Based Workshops for Pastors

In Protestant traditions, text and proclamation—spoken, sung, or silently read—are paramount to Christian formation. Broadening the phrase to include physical pronouncements involves the senses, thus why artistic processes help enlarge the incarnational dimensions of proclamation. This is one reason why I, a trained artist and theologian, decided to establish and facilitate a series of art-based, leadership-development workshops for pastors.

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