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A Spark of Thanks

Nov 27, 2017 By Jonathon Roberts

RebeccaTestrake_Headshot-200x300.jpg#asset:3265If asked to reflect on 2017 and come up with a single descriptor, the word “dynamic” comes to mind. I think all of us can readily think of struggle, disappointment, or loss that we experienced. The memories come to us so easily and it can be dangerously easy to get stuck there. And yet, those painful events are not the entire story.

Thanksgiving, the practice of gratitude, is a day or season which invites us to redirect our thinking. We are invited to focus on things that are beautiful, good, and encouraging – not in denial of suffering, but in the face of it. And as we expand and redirect our thinking we cultivate joy. Through the practice of gratitude, we are invited to engage with Beauty, Goodness, and Truth. We remember how we were sustained during times of weakness, rebuilt after times of loss, and given peace in the midst of chaos. In personal practice, I have found that one remembrance often leads to another, and then to another and then to another…

This leads me to Spark+Echo Arts. As a theologically trained artist (or an artistically trained theologian, whichever), I deeply value the privilege I have to be a part of a project with such lofty goals as “illuminating the entire Bible with art” through commissioning an array of artists marked by excellence and diversity. For thousands of years, the Bible has stood as a figurehead of importance in the realms of spirituality, religion, the building and developing of nation-states, social discourse and justice, and – of course – the arts (just to name a few categories). The cultural ‘echoes’ extending from the ‘spark’ of Scripture continue to ripple today. And we get to be a part of that movement. How amazing!

To Spark+Echo Arts’ founders, board members, curators, artists, viewers and patrons: thank you for how you have contributed your echo to this project to make it what it is. Your time and resources have helped to bring us this far, and we could not have done it without you. You are an integral part of this project. Your

  • time,
  • vision,
  • talents,
  • financial support,
  • encouragement,
  • interpretation of the echoes that have come before you;

these are all things that continue the projection of resounding echoes.

And I am thankful for how I get to be a part of that: right in the middle of everything — including the launch of our brand new website you are experiencing now. (Continue this echo by becoming a patron!). Dear reader, thank you for how you have ventured with us on this crazy adventure as we journey to create something beautiful and bigger than ourselves. I am thankful for you.

Happy Holidays!

With gratitude,

Rebecca Testrake

Lead Administrator