Sonlight Christian Reformed Church in Regina, Saskatchewan, is a small congregation that accomplished something big. It recently completed a year-long art project called “God’s Story--Creation to Consummation. ” The congregation celebrated the project with a community open house and pancake supper.
“There was anxiety about the need to produce 35-40 pieces of art over the course of a year,” admitted Sonlight’s pastor, Charles Kooger, “but we laid out the plan early on, along with the proposed participants and the preaching schedule, and we stayed pretty well on course throughout.”
Kooger said the art project was sparked by an article in Reformed Worship about “The Living Vine Project” (Sept. 2012). “We wanted to let people see the scope of God’s work throughout the whole sweep of history, from the creation of all things to the consummation of this present age, when Jesus shall come again.”
The six wall panels of the sanctuary were divided into six periods of biblical history, with the first three depicting stories from the Old Testament and the last three representing the New Testament. The artists included individuals, couples and friends working together, Bible study groups, Sunday School, and GEMS. Three pieces were created by the congregation of Glencairn Alliance Church, which has shared Sonlight’s facility for the last 11 years.
“The artwork itself includes a range from gallery-quality works to kids’ work, rough representations to exact photographs, old-masters reproductions as well as a few items of artwork previously created and used in worship in our congregation. So it’s a wide range of sourcing and talent to come up with the year’s efforts,” explained Kooger.
“The impact of the project is rather difficult to quantify,” he acknowledged. “I believe that the goal of giving people a better sense of the sweep of biblical history was accomplished well. Throughout the year’s preaching it was easy to refer back to events in history because they were hanging right there to remind us. There was also a big sense of wonder that we, a small congregation of about 65 in church on a Sunday morning, had enough talent to produce such a project. So it was empowering to us in that sense.”
Sonlight will be hosting the next gathering of Classis Alberta South and Saskatchewan in October and will celebrate its 60th anniversary in November. The artwork will remain on display until those events are over. “Christians who visit with us from other churches . . . are fascinated by [the artwork],” Kooger added, “and spend far more time examining it closely than we do, who see it every week. This is one reason that we hope that it will be a real blessing for our classis delegates when they come.”