Touching Source

"In the early Christian Church, mysticism means something much more akin to unitive seeing. It's not so much 'make me one with everything;' but that you see the unity underlying and holding all the diversity. Rather than getting lost in the forms of consciousness, you experience consciousness itself, directly, as reality. You travel upstream on the river of consciousness and join God at that point of origin where Being, differentiation, form, begin to emerge out of that great, endless stillness of the divine abyss; where Being tumbles out of non-Being. That's the mystical journey back to Source. But the journey doesn't end there. Having touched Source, you then flow out from it, seeing and witnessing to the unity underlying the diversity… and helping to give shape and voice to the new expressions of divine creativity as it cascades (as it does) into form." By the Rev. Cynthia Bourgeault. Read more at

Seen above: "Long Way Home" by Brie Dodson

Communicating with Images

The Art Blog at Episcopal Cafe ...

We can say so much with a single image that dozens of words can only hope to accomplish. In the late 19th century, Ivan Turgenev (Russian author of Fathers and Sons) aptly wrote , "A picture shows me at a glance what it takes dozens of pages of a book to expound." In the west, we are more familiar with the proverb "A picture says a thousand words." Both phrases refer to the idea that complex stories can be described with just a single still image, or that an image may be more influential than a substantial amount of text. Read More>>

Seen above: "Seek First" by Jan Neal. Jan Neal works primarily in digital painting, design and photography with digital liturgical design and symbol as her primary areas of ecclesiastical artistic interests. Her work has been featured in Episcopal Life, the Morehouse Publishing Christian Planning Calendar,, The Apostle, Episcopal Church & Visual Arts, and in a Museum of Biblical Art presentation. Jan was also a curator and contributing artist for Visual Preludes 2006. More of her work may be seen in ECVA’s archived exhibitions, and ECVA’s web site Contacts. She is Exhibitions Director for ECVA and produces the publicity for her parish, Emmanuel Episcopal Church. More of her work can be seen here.

Outstaring The Dark

by Diane Walker

I remember vividly that one of the pleasures of childhood summers was to stay outside until the last rays of light were gone from the summer sky; playing badminton til you could no longer see the birdie, or playing hide and seek until no-one could be found at all and the dark became a lonely place.

We were reveling in the moment then, enjoying ourselves so much we barely noticed as the light slipped away. And I find now, as summer draws to a close and the light begins to fade earlier and earlier, that I am drawn as I was in childhood to sit up with the neighbors, watching from our back decks and talking quietly as the clouds begin to shimmer, then slide into darkness.

As seen above, photograph by Diane Walker


"Mercy is God's innermost being turned outward
to sustain the visible and created world in unbreakable love."

Words by The Rev. Cynthia Bourgeault in "Mystical Hope: Trusting in the Mercy of God."

Image: Like A River by C. Robin Janning

Collaborative Liturgical Art

The Art Blog at Episcopal Cafe ...

St. Peters Episcopal Church, Beverly, Massachusetts
The Rev. Manuel P. Faria III, Rector

By Kendyll Hillegas
This past fall my husband Eric and I worked with a group of young adults at St. Peter's Episcopal Church in Beverly, Massachusetts. We had one main goal: to explore what it means to lead lives that matter. We hammered out this goal in several different ways, by working at the church's already-established Sunday night supper for the homeless, by getting involved collaboratively in another installation at a mental health unit at a local hospital, and by alternating our weeks of work with weeks of study and discussion. We found many common threads in each of these endeavors, but the common thread of incarnation, of Christ's being made human and coming to us as a baby at Advent was what we decided to focus on for the capstone of our group's time together that fall. Thus, as we began thinking and imagining what we might create in the nave, the installation became an opportunity for the tying together in an intellectual and physical way of the incarnation of Christ at Advent.


"The Greek word used in the New Testament accounts of the events on the Mount of the Transfiguration is metamorphothe. While the ages have translated that word as transfigured, it actually comes closer to conveying something English can't quite convey. It wants to say something like 'changed shape and beingness and allness into some other form thereof,' or something equally awkward and wordy. What happened, in other words and in the fullest sense, was a "metamorphosis," which again is Greek and again has no really clear or felicitous analog in English."

Words by Phyllis Tickle in "The Indescribable Drama of Transfiguration"

Image: "Transfigured" by C. Robin Janning

Communion of Saints

"The communion of the saints is a kind place. It is a world to which we are all connected at our best places, uniting us in the best love we have, a love from which we who remain here often sag away, but from which they never do. They wish us well and they do us good, seeing as they do that we are capable of better things than we often show forth."

"Who would not want to sit for twenty minutes in that restorative kindliness before a long work day begins, or after another hard one has ended?"

As seen above: Images by The Rev. Scott Fisher, St. Matthew's, Fairbanks, Alaska.

Words by The Rev. Barbara Crafton (The Almost Daily eMo from