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Art and God: A New Way of Thinking About Faith 

While many of us enjoy making art, we often think of it as a hobby. Creativity is needed in missions, but it’s often considered a secondary skill. It’s important to remember that creative expression is not only essential to our role in missions, but to understanding and practicing faith. One of TeachBeyond’s members will be creating materials that will help our team to grow in both their faith and in their creativity.

Tessa Sydnor served as the 10th grade English teacher at Black Forest Academy, Germany, for the last 2 years, but now serves as a Member Care resource specialist. In this role she is not only working with TeachBeyond members on sabbatical, but providing spiritual direction and creating resources, such as devotionals.

In Tessa’s words, “I was experiencing (both good and bad) but I had no words to express to God what I was thinking, and I think it was the Spirit’s prompting, that made me realize I can use colors, paints, and collages to express my heart to the Lord too, when words fail me. So, art became really important in cultivating my relationship with God during a season where I was just tired of using my brain.” Through that experience, she realized that it might be helpful to others, to create a workbook that combines spiritual disciplines with creative expression.

The goal of Tessa’s new workbook is to provide a resource that teaches people about spiritual disciplines that they might not be familiar with while providing structure to help those who struggle with being creative on their own. We are called to delight in the process and, in doing so, be reminded that we are created in God’s image. Tessa hopes that this workbook will be a starting point, for people to incorporate creative expression more regularly into their own life and classroom practices.

Whether cooking, knitting, sewing, painting, or writing, we are utilizing our creativity to make something new. Tessa is hoping to finish these new materials by December.

14 Nov 21
by David LeGault