I’ve been commissioned to design a new stole for Joanne Engquist’s 30th anniversary of her ordination. It’s an exciting one, pulling in Pr. Joanne’s favorite animals from several places she has served, including Maine and Washington State. Exciting because it lifts up animals of God’s sacred creation, without any other symbolism. The animals in their environments, alone, are symbols of God present “in, with, and through all things”.
Commissioned to celebrate her 25th Ordination Anniversary, Pastor Mary’s husband ordered a stole to be designed and made incorporating the Prayer of St. Francis, one of Mary’s favorite prayers. The prayer is wound through the design in gold, amongst a visual celebration of animals, insects and plants, and of course St. Francis. This design has turned out to be one of my favorites.
And since my commission schedule was full, we first sent her a framed sketch of the stole to come:
This winter I accomplished a long-term goal to develop a stole representing our great Northwest environment.
The idea was to include day and night, winter and summer, mountains, plains and ocean in one piece!
My goal was to express the sacred beauty and presence of God I experience living in this varied landscape. Wearing this stole in our Green Season rites and rituals in our churches is a way of expressing gratitude to the Creator for such a wonderful home. My hope is to see this sacredness celebrated in our churches.
The seed for this stole design came from a painting I completed in 2006, celebrating life at Holden Village in the North Cascades. Can you see in the two vertical strips, one yellow and the other purple, one summer and one winter, the start of the design?
I promised myself I’d some day make a stole out of this painting, and now here it is!
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