Even in our not-so big church, the children and youth represent many different communities and schools which means that an hour at church may be the only time they spend with each other. One of my goals this year is to foster relationships among our children, youth and adults. So, we kicked off the year by creating a mural, inspired by the work of Hiep Nguyen (note: I am not affiliated with the artist nor am I attempting to represent his work in any way).
I led a brief discussion about Christian community before getting into the painting. We talked about circles of community which face inward and take care of each other, outward and take care of others, and circles that expand to include more people. As a physical reminder, we stood in a circle facing outward, inward and then stepped back to make it larger.
For the actual painting time (about 30 minutes)I provided a few guidelines: Everyone must paint a large, solid circle first. Keep the paints colors separated. Talk to each other about what what colors might be good together, how your work interacts with others etc. There was lots of good discussion and getting to know one another as we worked. After worship the adults were very curious to see what we were up to.
Our finished canvases are hanging in the stairwell to fellowship hall for open house month. I hope that it continues to inspire us throughout the year!!