Theme: Creation Faculty Speaker: Dr. Ellen Davis, Professor of Old Testament Lectionary Texts: Genesis 1-2:4a; Psalm 33; Romans 8:18-25; 2 Corinthians 5:16-21
In our morning plenary, Dr. Davis presented and RE-presented the story of creation in a way that opened up the idea and possibility of Genesis 1 being “Poetic Liturgy” instead of simple prose. Students and staff alike were in awe of Dr. Davis’ rendition of the historical significance behind the Babylonian exile of the Israelites and the need to include much symbolism in their story of the creation. During this time, Genesis became more than just a historical account for our origins; it became a pillar of despair as well as a beacon of Hope.
“Even though the temple had been destroyed in Jerusalem, there was still the Sabbath…a temple in time.” – Dr. Davis during plenary
“You know, Israelites invented the weekend. And for that we remain truly thankful.” — Dr. Ellen Davis, regarding the Sabbath, as an aside to a story about the Israelites in Babylonian captivity
“Now that we are God’s ‘new creation’…we have been given a new name: Christian. Make it count.”— Rev. Shane Benjamin in worship
Today was the initial day for students to experience the Arts Village, and it was the perfect day to begin because of our theme of Creation. Students were able to express scripture and prayer through dance and bodily Movements. They also contemplated and sought God through Prayer with clay. They were introduced to prayer with water colors and how to interpret and express the Holy Text in many different forms through the Story Telling Workshop. Later this evening we were blessed by a sermon by Dr. Shane Benjamin, whose booming voice and subtle humor, kept the attention of us all reminding us to take care of each other as we are all God’s creation and the mistreatment of another is to essentially mistreat God himself. We are called to have dominion but not to dominate.