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November 2022 Culture Care Newsletter

  • Posted: November 30, 2022

It is a miracle when we see the precarity of others and we decide to carry the weight of their stretchers instead worrying about the groceries.” — Kate Bowler

A Note From International Arts Movement

Like many of you, I find myself thrown back into the end of the year busyness that so often accompanies this season. While I love the hustle and bustle, I have to remind myself that it is not always restful. As an introvert, it’s important for me to build in time to be by myself and practice (relative) silence and solitude. This year in particular, I have found a lot of comfort and restoration in a daily Advent meditation or prayers (we’ve listed some incredible resources below). There is something about the daily rhythm of taking a brief pause in your day to contemplate something more important and higher than yourself. 

As a Christian, the season of Advent and the practices and rituals that surround it are deeply comforting to me. Having grown up in a liturgical church (a place where I still spend many of my Sundays) I love the almost rote nature of the church calendar. I know what to expect and my mind and body are quieted by the routine nature of doing the same thing, week after week, year after year. 

This season, as the noise of the holidays and the world continues to swell around us, we can practice #culturecare by quieting our hearts and minds. When we stop and practice silence and solitude, we make space to invite creativity, kindness, and love in. When we allow ourselves to pause, we often hear and see things that we would otherwise miss. I’m often disappointed when I miss the big moments” that come with these big seasons… but really, I’m looking for the wrong thing. 

A Note From Makoto Fujimura, Founder of IAM Culture Care

I am delighted to be the recipient of 2023 Kuyper Prize, as Abraham Kuyper has been a seminal influence as a theologian who became the Prime Minister of Netherlands, and wrote extensively on public theology. What call #theologyofmaking undergirds #culturecare, both terms I coined and both rely heavily on Kuyperian vision. 

I am extending this public theology to articulate how God the Artist (the only true Artist) calls us to New Creation by being all to be artists with a small a”, but this unimaginable invitation on this side of Easter is a Beginning of the New. I write about this in Art+Faith: A Theology of Making.

I am donating all my prize funds to be seeds to create matching funds for organizations I love including IAMCultureCare, so please consider supporting and celebrating culture care as your end of the year giving. 

Your contributions to either of these efforts will be doubled from generous donors who care about our Beauty+Justice movement to affect creation of the good and the beautiful. 

On the day that we had a private meeting with Pope Francis, the Kuyper Prize was announced. God sees all people with eyes of compassion, giving us a kintsugi mending to make New” vision. 

More from our precious private 25 min with Pope Francis whose heart for beauty and goodness we were able to share. Here, my bride Haejin shared kintsugi history of this Korean bowl mended with gold in Japan. Two nations still fractured by symbolically coming together. 

His Holiness’s face as he holds the bowl is absolutely precious. In the day that US elections were held, we held the broken vessel together, made into the New. 

Pope Francis exhorted us to be the creator of beauty and goodness, through mercy. 

As ever, thank you to Sister Dorcee of Servants of God’s Love ministry to make this miraculous 25 minutes possible!

- Mako from Rome

Web Links

  • Read more about Mako and Haejin’s kintsugi visit with the Pope here.
  • Betty Rollin reflects on her experiences with friends and family as she has dealt with grief following her husband’s death. She offers practical advice to help readers lovingly engage with widows.
  • Researcher Maryanne Wolf considers the impacts of information overload and helps us better understand how we can pause to truly read and reflect. 
  • Advent calendars from Image Journal and Biola University’s Center for Christianity, Culture, and the Arts help you to reflect on the beauty and sacredness of this season.
  • George Stanciu, a physicist, reflects on the meaning of beauty in our world, considering art, science, and nature.
  • Tish Harrison Warren makes the case for hibernating” in the New York Times. 

Header image: Virgin Mary and Eve; Crayon and pencil drawing by Sr Grace Remington, OCSO
© 2005, Sisters of the Mississippi Abbey.