“Justice, truth, and beauty are sisters and comrades. With three such beautiful words we have no need to look for any others.” — Simone Weil
A Note From International Arts Movement
As I sit here and write this, I am overlooking a marsh in South Carolina, where I’ve come with some dear friends to get away from my (somewhat lonely) apartment and have a semblance of “normal life” (whatever that looks like right now). Many of us are in similar positions, perhaps, thinking about what our lives have looked like over the past six months and trying to anticipate what the world with look like over the next six months. Thinking back to March, when this whole thing began, seems nearly impossible. For me, it was the start of something new: a phase of life filled with change and transition, marked by serious fear and anxiety. I’m sure many of you can relate.
Now, we find ourselves at the end of August, savoring the last days of summer and thinking ahead to the crisp, shorter days of fall, and then, eventually, winter. I’ll admit that I am nervous about a winter in quarantine. The darkness and cold that normally mark the start of the season feel especially foreboding right now, as I consider the possibility of spending so much time by myself in a small space.
I’m trying to remind myself that everything has a season. For many of us, this season feels particularly long. It’s also particularly unique, in the sense that so many of are sharing in the disappoint and seclusion and hardship that this season has brought about. The wonderful thing about seasons, though, is that they often encourage creativity. They do not last forever, and suddenly, when our perspective shifts, we are able to produce in new and generative ways. I want to encourage you, over the next month, to join me in seeking out beauty and truth and hope in what may be very dark days. We are not alone and this will not last forever.
A Note From Makoto Fujimura, Founder of IAM Culture Care
A bit of a personal news. I am now engaged to be married! Many of you have journeyed with me in my darkest of years, and counseled and prayed for me. Thank you… I am grateful for meeting Haejin Shim, the intrepid co-founder if Embers International to journey into the New. How did we meet? We met through a dating app that my daughter showed me! The strange thing is, the app did exactly what it was designed to do — to match people who have overlapping social relationships, and interests that draw to each other. Haejin and I have many overlapping experiences and friends. But we have never met. She was part of Gotham Fellowship at Space 38|39, while I was sequestered in the back studio working on illuminating the Four Holy Gospels, but we never met. In Haejin, I’ve met someone that will be able to co-join our passions of ministries, and one I desire to serve in her capacity to rescue literally thousands of lives from oppression and enslavement. Beauty and Justice will merge in our journey.
Because of our current pandemic, we will have a small family gathering but we do plan to celebrate after the pandemic is over, in various locations so we will keep you posted. These local celebrations will be a way to feature Culture Care and Embers and we are looking forward to greeting many of you then. It was the Pandemic shut down, however, that allowed two extremely busy leaders to spend quality time together to creating a lasting bond (as well as adding 16k miles on my car!)
2020 has been a not only a disruption, but a paradigm shift toward the unknown future. Both Haejin and I believe that our new journey is emblematic of the hopes in the times of darkness and anxiety. May we, like our journey, be of Kintsugi mending toward the New.
Be sure to also check out my YouTube channel for regular video updates, as well as the newly-released Culture Care podcast!
Notes From The Road
- An interview with James K.A. Smith, who shares why it’s so important to revisit ancient wisdom, how questions can lead us to Christ and why tangible compassion to children in extreme poverty is important.
- Take a virtual nature walk.
- An important piece by Elizabeth Dias about the powerful roots of American evangelicalism and their political ties.
- What superheroes can teach us about biblical justice.
- A life with art at the center.
- What Chaim Potok can teach us about holding on to faith.
Header Image: Wesley Clark, “My Big Black America,” stain, spray paint, latex, salvaged wood; 2015