Open Doors, Open hearts, Open Minds
It is our JOY to welcome Sandra Kammann to the Chapel community and I invite you to welcome her with enthusiasm as she comes to lead us as Director of Spiritual Practices. Sandra comes with a wealth of life experience and expertise as a teaching artist in the per-forming arts, storytelling, improvisation, nature based educational strategies, dances of universal peace and a host of other creative skills. Sandra has spent the last decades training children and students of all ages, help-ing each one find their unique voice as an artist. She is known for building an ongoing sense of community through open houses, performances and multigenera-tional cultural events. Sandra is a visionary and a dreamer and she comes to us with a desire to help us reimagine relevant ways Walker Chapel can reach out to our surrounding community. Sandra and I will be working side by side to create experiences that will help us grow in our faith.
Spiritual development is growth that happens as a re-sult of intentional practices that awaken a person’s mind, body and spirit to the presence and work of God in one’s life. Spiritual development begins in early in-fancy and continues throughout a person’s life.
A spiritual practice is the consistent performance of actions and behaviors undertaken for the purpose of creating spiritual experiences and cultivating spiritual formation and development. Spiritual practices provide tangible ways to experience the presence of God. Spir-itual practices deepen a person’s relationship to God, creation and to others.
For centuries the arts were the primary medium where God’s people could learn and experience the stories of the Old and New Testaments. Before Bibles existed for personal use, priests in early Christendom used the beautifully crafted stained glass windows built in ca-thedrals around the world to tell the stories of God’s people including the stories of Jesus and his disciples.
The Arts naturally build bridges and have the potential to create an inclusive, intergenerational community. Art, music, dance and theatre all inspire open hearts, enlivened spirits, curiosity and joy. Creating and sharing these experiences in community builds strong bonds of friendship and service.
People need opportunities in their neighborhoods to find respite – to replenish, refuel and experience mean-ingful connections. Walker Chapel is poised to be a modern day catalyst for building community by creat-ing, developing, implementing and curating new initi-ates in the Arts. The Chapel has the potential to be-come the sacred place for many who long for meaning-ful friendships and deep connections to God.
I am especially excited for the opportunity to work with Sandra. We anticipate mighty ways God will use her gifts and graces here at the Chapel! Sandra will be working with persons of all ages. Already, she is de-veloping a Fireflies Children’s Creative Movement Program for children ages 3-6 and a Hummingbird’s Children’s Dance company for children ages 6-10. For older students, Sandra and a team of Walker Chapel folks will develop and lead a Climate Action Initiative along with other social justice initiatives chosen by our students and their friends.
Larger events for this year already in the works include a Monarch Meadowfest on Sunday, May 3rd and a community wide production of Amahl and the Night Visitors scheduled for December 11, 12, and 13. Mark your calendars now for these significant missional events and stay tuned for ways to get involved.
We are building teams NOW to get these missional events off the ground. I trust you will pray mightily about the promise and blessing that is before us. I hope you will let me know if you would like to join the teams Sandra and I are building. These are exciting times as God is breathing new life into all that we do! We are trusting the Holy Spirit to show us the path to practice ministry in refreshing, modern and relevant ways. It continues to by my JOY to be your pastor.