A couple of months ago I participated in the Unearthed Worship Experience at First Baptist Church of Decatur. We sang together. Through the creative spirit I painted. The painting begun as what looked like a large white tree and at the end of the service I turned the painting upside down to reveal that what appeared to be the tree was actually the roots. The roots of many trees grow together and form a deep connection to the earth. That is what we are trying to do with this service - grow closer to the earth and community. During the service we planted our prayers in the dirt. We put our deepest needs into the earth and put our hopes with them in the soil. It was a meaningful experience. Read more about in a blog post about Unearthed.
On March 17 at 8:00 pm at First Baptist Church of Decatur, Unearthed explored the idea of sanctuary. What does it mean to be a sanctuary? Where is the church a sanctuary? Where do I take safety for-granted? Where have I felt unsafe? What is holding me back from offering sanctuary to all? Where are my walls and how to I move past them?
The image of a wall is very powerful. We began our painting with this image of a wall and a picture of bricks on the canvas. In a time of response people in the congregation wrote what their own barriers are on the wall. They wrote what they are worried about and what concerns them. During the service I painted a picture of paradise - the colorful picture of what might be eden appears in the painting beyond the wall. Beyond our barriers we can experience freedom. Do I have the key to open doors that are excluding others? In reality walls exist and we can feel empowered to create sanctuary and tear down walls.