Tag Archives: church

Worship and Local Arts Workshop

In mid-September, I (Matt) had the opportunity to lead a workshop at a local church about worship and local arts.  This was in the Balinese community I’ve been working with recently, and I was excited to have the opportunity to run a workshop with them instead of just research. I am pleased to say that it went very well!  We all learned a lot about their culture and arts and what the Bible has to say about it, and I hope that this is not the end but rather the beginning of the development of Christian local arts there.

This was a short workshop, just 3 evenings.  The original plan was for 5 evenings (Mon.-Fri.) but that conflicted with some church services so we shortened it to just three.  That was a little shorter than I was hoping for, but we made the most of the time we had.  We covered topics such as:

  • Worship in the Bible (the beginning, Moses and the Tabernacle, the temple, in diaspora, Jesus, the early church, and Paul’s writings)
  • The Bible, Music, and Meaning
  • New Songs in the Bible
  • Borrowing Songs from other cultures/languages
  • Creating an Arts Profile for their community
  • making plans for the future
  • sharing the plans with the group

It was a packed schedule!  I was pleasantly surprised at how much everyone was interested in the theology of worship; I had expected those sessions to be somewhat dry, but they inspired some serious discussion.  We ended with making plans for the future, so participants grouped themselves by area of interest and chose something from the Arts Profile that they would like to encourage, use in church, etc.

At the end, participants presented plans for encouraging new music, reviving a food tradition, looking for someone to help with Balinese dance, using local clothing, and using storytelling for special occasions at church.  Overall, for an abbreviated workshop I was very pleased with the outcome. 

Now it is in their hands – one principle we work by is helping communities with their needs, but not forcing our ideas or programs on them.  This workshop was a great introduction to what this church could do with its amazing artistic and cultural capabilities, but it is now up to them to choose what to do.  There’s much more I can do there to help encourage local arts in church, but we will take it one step at a time and see what their needs and desires are.

I hope to hold another workshop like this in November for the churches here in the city, so we’ll keep you all posted!

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Filed under Dance, Ethnoarts, Food, language/culture, Music, religion, workshop

Batunjuk

During our last village trip, there was a huge church service and celebration to mark the end of the Christmas season.  Everyone from all over the area was invited and there was a big potluck meal afterwards.  Following that, there was batunjuk.  This is a tradition from North Sulawesi that immigrants brought with them to our area, and the best way to describe it is a good old-fashioned hymn sing.  Everyone sits in a circle inside the church and two people are chosen to start and are given flowers to hold.  They choose the first song and as everyone sings they walk around the circle in opposite directions.  When the song is over, the flowers are given to the person where they stop and those two new people pick the next song.  This continues for several hours, sometimes even all night!  The songs are chosen only from the old, traditional Christian songs that are rarely sung anymore, so it has a nostalgic feel to it.  Even though they were old songs, it was encouraging to see  people of all ages participating.  Coffee, tea, and snacks are served and everyone relaxes and enjoys the singing; occasionally there’s dancing as well.  I shot some video of the festivities to give you an idea of what it’s all about.  The singing went on for hours and hours and hours . . . but it was great fun!

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Filed under Church Events, Ethnoarts, language/culture, Music, religion, Village life

A week in the village

Just after the start of 2013 we headed up to the village as a family to spend a little over a week in our new village house.  It was an excellent trip: we met more of our neighbors, went to church and Sunday School, and generally learned a little more about life there.  The church also hosted a special community-wide service to celebrate the end of the Christmas and New Year’s festivities.  It wasn’t just a church service; afterwards there was a meal, singing, and then dancing (called dero) that went almost all night long.

This blog post is just a random sampling of some of our pictures from our time there.  Later I’ll post again with some video and more information about the singing – it was interesting to see and participate in!

Kara and the girls enjoying the beach. A little rocky, but otherwise excellent:

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Kids playing in a fishing boat by the shore.

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Elizabeth LOVES exploring the beach and wading in to look for special rocks and shells.

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Once everyone got over being shy, we had kids in our house nearly every afternoon:

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Not the greatest picture, but here’s Elizabeth in Sunday School.

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The inside of the church.  For being in a village, it is quite a large church building and the community is very proud of it.

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The church is on a hill, and this is a view from the front of the church looking back towards the beach and our house (not visible).

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Some of the best (and freshest) fish ever.  It may not look great to you, but don’t knock it until you try it!  Here it is chopped up and prepped for frying.

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The local sawmill.  It was really nice to order wood for some shelves and to be able to pick out the lumber myself and have it cut to my specifications. This sawmill has to obtain government permission to cut trees, and they are given seedlings to replant in the areas where they chop down trees.

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The kids playing in the field in front of our house:

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Overturned canoes make great benches:

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And toys:2013-01-11 16.01.18

 

That’s it for now!  Another blog post will be posted later about the singing tradition, batunjuk.

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Filed under Church Events, Food, our kids, Village life