Drawing Helps Navajo Delegate To Listen

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While listening at synod, delegate Autumn Yazzie-Newell drew pictures in her notebook and even decorated the signs at her table.

“Drawing pictures is something I do during long meetings,” she explained. “It’s my way of note-taking. It helps me to take in the meaning of what I’m hearing.”
Elaborate and colorful, her artwork is full of significance. She drew a picture of herself on a journey, but without eyes, relying fully on the guidance of the Holy Spirit, shown as waves rolling toward her outstretched arms.

Yazzie-Newell’s artistic style reflects her Navajo heritage. Her father, a Navajo, was also her high school art teacher. Often Navajo art is divided into four parts, representing north, south, east, and west, and also showing different times of day.


Synod 2016 is meeting at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Mich., from June 10-17. For continuous Banner coverage, please follow The Banner Magazine on Facebook or @crcbanner on Twitter. You can find more tweeting by following hashtag #crcsynod. News stories will be posted at thebanner.org several times daily. For CRC Communications releases, webcast, and live blogging, please visit crcna.org/synod. Unless noted otherwise, all photographs are by Karen Huttenga.

About the Author

Roxanne VanFarowe is a freelance writer who lives in the woods with her artist husband James and their five children in Hillsborough, North Carolina. They are members of Blacknall Presbyterian Church in Durham.