Yesterday evening I called a few parishioners to thank them for their help in making Planting the Seeds of Hope, our annual parish Gala and auction, a rousing success. 100% of the proceeds from this annual event at St. Alban’s Church will be given to institutions that are working to heal our hurting world and this year’s recipients are institutions that work with underprivileged children.
Thanks be to God and thanks be to everyone who helped to make Saturday night a holy night. Organizers, volunteers, donors, bidders and buyers. There are too many to name here but this Cup is a thank you note to each of you; thank you for contributing to St. Alban’s forthcoming gift to the following institutions who are healing and transforming the world through their love, dedication and care for children: The Harriet Tubman Elementary School (NW Washington, DC), St. Savior’s School (Zarka, Jordan), The Hope and Resurrection School (Atiaba, South Sudan) and St. Phillip’s Early Childhood Center (SE Washington, DC).
During one call yesterday a volunteer mentioned that on Saturday night they enjoyed hearing me explain the process of creating the piece of art I donated for the live auction at the Gala. The piece that I made is called Trust. In making it I hammered the words of a well-known prayer written by Thomas Merton into small copper plates and then manipulated the plates with chemicals. I divided the prayer into five sections to represent the first five books of the bible, or Torah, and then connected them with some copper strips that represent scrolls and suspend the piece off the wall to create shadows. My hope was that the piece would have the look and feel of ancient texts or manuscripts.
In between the hammered sections of the prayer are seven words (a number that in the bible indicates wholeness, perfection and peace – shalom) taken from a section in The Gospel According to John when Jesus comforts his disciples before his departure. It’s a wonderful passage and is often read at funerals. The passage seemed like a great partner to Merton’s famous prayer. Below are some photos that trace the process as well as the texts as they appear in the piece.
Happy Monday and Shalom,
My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going. I do not see the road ahead of me. I cannot know for certain where it will end. Nor do I really know myself, and the fact that I think that I am following your will does not mean that I am [actually] doing so.
But I believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you. And I hope I have that desire in all that I am doing. I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire.
And I know that if I do this you will lead me by the right road though I may know nothing about it.
Therefore will I trust you always though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death. I will not fear, for you are ever with me, and you will
never leave me to face my perils alone.
Jim– Thank you for all your work in making this remarkable work of art. I wish I could have earlier understood how it was made and gotten a closer look at it.