H2O Staff Field Trip

H2O Staff Summit at the Cleveland Art Museum

Our church is gearing up for the new year and the new semester with a bunch of meetings this week involving our Leadership Team and our Staff Team. And even though we’ve got a long list of items to be discussed on our agenda, we decided to start with a Staff field trip to the Cleveland Museum of Art.

H2O Staff Summit at the Cleveland Art Museum

Part of the reason for this is that we often like to prioritize spiritual interaction and relational interaction before we get too deep into the weeds of planning events and determining distribution of job roles.

H2O Staff Summit at the Cleveland Art Museum

But it also seemed to feel especially strategic for this semester. We had a jam-packed Fall Semester that left a lot of us feeling over-extended. So, we wanted to set a reflective tone for the semester. And in particular, we wanted everyone on our Staff team to reflect on what God might be saying on the individual level, as well as on the church level. It can be easy to get so caught up in the activity of running a church that we don’t give God enough space to speak into our lives. We miss the big picture while working out all the little details.

So we gave everyone time to just sit before the Lord and listen for his voice. And then, after a lovely lunch at Brassica, we drove to the Cleveland Museum of Art and tasked the team to find a work of art that might help to serve as a visual anchor point for the things that we each felt like we were hearing from God. We didn’t know exactly how it would go (and we told the Staff that it might end up fizzling) — but it honestly ended up being really meaningful to get a few different perspectives on where God might be taking us in the next few months.

One person on our team was inspired by a Japanese print of two people standing by a waterfall, as a reminder of our smallness compared to God’s greatness. Another person was drawn to a large metallic sculpture, as an anchor point for the familial nature of God’s Kingdom.

H2O Staff Summit at the Cleveland Art Museum

I found plenty of pieces that spoke to what God’s recently been showing me from Psalm 100. But I was especially drawn to a 19th Century Impressionist painting by Camille Pissarro and a 15th Century sculpture of a shepherd and his sheep.

H2O Staff Summit at the Cleveland Art Museum

The statue showed me that there are elements of both “sheep” and “shepherd” to my life, just as Jesus was both “The Lamb of God” and “The Good Shepherd.” And the Pissarro painting showed me that life goes on, in beautiful ways, even when I’m napping. It wasn’t exactly profound new insight — but it did provide a couple of extra anchors, in addition to the songs and Scripture passages upon which I’ve been meditating, that I hope will help to keep these firmly in my mind as the students return to Kent State University. I’m excited to see what the Spring Semester holds.

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