A: Sabbath/Sunday in the Arts and Worship: Church Building and Private Prayer

Sabbath Covenant Group Models Based on Scripture Study and the Arts:

This structure is suggested for those who wish to bring people together who want to explore Sabbath principles and practices further, using the arts in their discussions and expressions of experience. It suggests ways in which to organize and set up groups, with a fair degree of flexibility in some dimensions.

By suggesting basic elements, but not defining exact protocols, the structure of the group and its use of particular media can be open-ended. If a teacher or arts practitioner with particular skills or training is available they might be a presenter for a single session, or they might build a group program around their work (say, in sketching small still-life table arrangements, visiting a gallery to meditate on particular pieces, with a journal, sketch pad, or music to listen to, etc.).

A standing arts group within a congregation, school, library or recreation center might provide the nucleus for this type of group; if a studio or art materials are already available, someone with background in their use might be a good choice for a leader, or co-leader (one to present ideas and spark discussions, the other to present and assist with the actual production of small art works associated with the topics under study.

Still another option is the use of PowerPoint presentations that offer art historical reflections on various topics (two are appended here: they could each serve to anchor a session)

  1. Three of John Biggers' silvery pencil sketches are the focus of a study of the 23rd Psalm (link here). The interleaving of text and visual materials offers an entry point into a meditative discussion around rest, peace and safety;

  2. Examples of drumming and comparisons (link here) between various drumming practices, the use of rhythm in worship, and the need for rhythmic attention to rest as well as action in the life of faith are developed as a springboard for further work.

Group Formation: Points to consider

  • Where (Site, Space, Locale)?

  • How Called Together (Meetups, Church Announcements, Art-interest groups)?

  • Meeting Frequency (Weekly, Bimonthly, Monthly, Quarterly,

  • Other)?

  • Meeting Types (Attendance at Museums/Concerts, in Alternation w/ Discussion)?

  • Age, Other Qualifying Ranges to be Focused On? (Multi-generational, Specific Groups)?

  • Costs, Affordability (Support for Attendance, Entry Fees, Tea/Coffee/Cocoa at a Café)?

  • Organization Team (Leader, Food Organization, Contact for Museum/Concert trips)?

Group Focus

  • One Art Form or Many (Groups for each kind, Rotating types/art, other)?

  • Discussion Formats (Verbal conversation, Visual/drawing responses, etc.)?

  • Leadership (Recall focus, keep discussion on-topic, be in touch with absentees)?

Options for Group Activities

  • In-House Meetings (Occasional speaker, artist, slide lecture, play video, music CD?)

  • Off-site Gatherings (Concert Halls, Galleries, Dance

  • Performance Sites, Theaters)?

  • Other (Restaurants, Cafés/Coffee Shops, Homes, Art/Music/Dance Schools)?

Fundamental Principles of Group Organization and Conversation

  • Guidelines for Conversation (Kind, Attentive to Others, Focused/See 9-Point Guide)

  • Regular Attendance (Set schedule, stick with it, accountable to leader/email absences)

  • Journaling (Diary, Sketchbook, Record Own Comments/Audacity)

Developed by: DLa Rue, Lenore Tucker, Hector Pagan