This year, for Lent, the teenagers at church received a special assignment.
They, along with their leaders - myself included - were invited to participate in our own brand of
what is known as The Psalm Project.
We needed only to read the Lectionary Psalm for the week and allow it to inspire us; share images, sounds, songs, literature, stories, or any other inspirations that the text brought to mind.
From these inspirations, we crafted small, tangible works of art; one for each person in the congregation to take home, so that they could participate in our creative engagement with the Scriptures.
Our first week, for Psalm 25, we distributed this:
Inside, a square of card-stock bore this image:
Inspired by Psalm 22, we crafted origami boxes from the very pages of the Psalms, and placed tiny foam-core squares inside, topped with delicate thorn-bush trimmings:
Psalm 19 called to mind Bruce Cockburn's song Lord of the Starfields, which inspired us to email this video to our community, as well as share daily photos taken by the Hubble telescope, like The Helix Nebula, often called The Eye of God :
Psalm 107 conjured a labyrinthine theme in our collective minds, so one of our students rather deftly wrote its text inside of a printed labyrinth:
Psalm 51 found us distributing stones with sandblasted hearts crafted into them. They were placed in the baptismal font outside the sanctuary, beckoning our congregants to choose one on their way in to worship.
Our final week found us recording a CD of different voices reading from Psalm 31, accompanied by an original guitar melody. This is a gorgeous and poignant piece, one into which the students clearly poured their hearts and souls.
This project was so delightfully different than anything I had ever participated in before; so refreshing, so poignant and such a revelation.
We received such lovely feedback, too; many were moved and inspired by our humble efforts to engage with these Sacred poems of longing and painfully honest prayers.
I was encouraged by a fellow leader to try my hand at crafting a Psalm of my own.
I'm working on it.
I hope to soon share the fruits of my labor. :)