Bay and Night
“I just throw my three boxes of fabric pieces onto a big table and invite the church youth groups to create a banner, to paint a cloth picture of their days doing Blue Theology. Make a collage, I say, inspired by your pilgrim walks by the sea, beach cleaning, dune restoration, writing ocean poems, visiting the Aquarium.”
15 youth from two Salt Lake City area Lutheran churches drove west last summer (with some cool adults) to spend five days at our Blue Theology Mission Station, learning about how God loves the ocean and wants us to do a better job of wet creation care. For ten years now we have hosted these groups at the Christian Church of Pacific Grove. Various of our church members have risen to the invitation to share a talent with our guests. Members cook pancakes, lead a tour to the Aquarium, teach creative writing, and in this case, the fabulous Kimberly Brown offers her quilting skills.
“It’s an exercise in team building. It’s moving to see how they all work together, guys and gals. I say, just let the fabric speak to you. I give them 90 minutes, they talk and trace and cut and pin the fabric picture together, and then I take their collage home and quilt it. I try to follow their ideas, as in this quilt, adding the little fuzzy strips of the pokey lion fish fins, and putting a shell button in the otter’s hands. I mail it to them in time for them to hang it as a banner in their home church for their Blue Theology Sunday
“Because this group was from two different churches, they chose to make a diptych, a matching pair, joined by the whale tail. I asked them to choose a title.
“They called their banner pair, ‘Bay and Night.’”
Kimberly showed our congregation the banners this past Sunday before mailing them off. My 95 year old father and I were in church, and afterwards we got thinking about our favorite Thanksgiving hymns. His was “We plow the field and scatter the good seed of the land. But it is fed and watered by God’s almighty hand.”
In our Blue Theology ministry we scatter a lot of seeds, trying to plant the idea that God loves the ocean. We hope it will bear future fruit in their faith journeys. But we know with assurance that those seeds, plowed in the soil of the youth and adults, are fed and ocean watered by God’s almighty hand.
Bluetheology.com. We’re booking youth groups, clergy retreat days, and intergenerational pilgrimages for Spring Break and Summer 2018. I also just led a wonderful Ocean Pilgrimage Retreat Day at La Selva UCC church near Santa Cruz. Care about ocean, will travel. Come walk by the sea!