Monday, August 09, 2010

Creationary: the saints in Hebrews 11

A creationary: a space to be creative with the lectionary. (For more on what is a creationary go here; for other Creationary resources, go here).

I am struck by Hebrews 11:29-12:2. It’s all about the saints.

So I’d be wanting to plaster the walls of the church with saints. I’d be googling for images and I’d be choosing carefully and I’d be out and about with my digital camera. I’d be after pictures of the folk now in old peoples homes who used to come to church. And the kids. And I’d be going back through mission history, using say a book like Constants in Context: A Theology of Mission for Today and putting up pictures of Brendan the Navigator and Alexandre de Rhodes.

And I’d get people wandering around during worship and looking at these saints and wondering why these folk are saints. Then the sermon could be a bit of a storytelling.

Or I’d make them up like playing cards (here is an example of some “economic” saints I used for one sermon). And I’d lead a meditation, inviting people to consider their biggest faith struggle, the question/doubt that most bugs them. And then I’d invite them to look at their saint card and wonder what, if anything, that saint might want to remind them of.

And for the benediction, I’d invite people to be taking a “saint home” – pull a picture off the wall, or take the card home.

And I might even, next week, ask if there were any stories, any moments when the persons saint came back to mind. (If my community were technology literate – cell phone and email – I might even think about sending them a random picture during the week and then use that as basis for a storytelling in the week following.)

Posted by steve at 12:43 PM


  1. Perhaps you should be in the Orthodox Church, Steve. Ever since they got rid of the iconoclasts their walls have been plastered with saints all the the time. No need for people to take them home after the service either – they’re already there. Ever-living and always present. Roman Catholics are pretty good at this, too.

    Comment by Ross McComish — August 10, 2010 @ 1:35 pm

  2. Thanks Ross. It’s just that I love the idea of being able to “take saints home” – the communion with me all the time, not just in a certain holy place 🙂


    Comment by steve — August 10, 2010 @ 1:38 pm

  3. But that’s what I meant, Steve. The saints are already living at home with the people. I loved sitting among old Russian ladies, hearing them swap stories about the saints as if they were members of the family – which in a way I suppose they were. It’s only us Protestants who have lost contact with them (the saints, I mean – not the old Russian ladies). It’s one of the appeals of Anglo-Catholicism, that they attempt to recapture that intimacy.

    BTW, I’m personally not quite as Anglo-Catholic as you seemed to assume yesterday evening.

    Comment by Ross McComish — August 10, 2010 @ 5:03 pm

  4. Thanks Ross for the clarification. It must have been fantastic for you to have the experience of sitting among Russian Orthodox women, and swapping stories. Do you speak Russian?

    I was not aware that your comment here was linked to the “Ross” from the audio conference last night, but thanks for making that clear. Look forward to our ongoing dialogue, which is so fascinating given that we have none of the visual clues that so much face to face communication has,


    Comment by steve — August 10, 2010 @ 5:50 pm

  5. Sadly, I don’t speak Russian. My involvement with ROCOR was in Auckland and, briefly, in Australia. Funnily enough, it didn’t seem ‘fantastic’ at the time – it all seemed quite natural. Almost like coming home. And it certainly made me see the saints in a different light.

    Comment by Ross McComish — August 11, 2010 @ 5:44 am

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