Tuesday, November 10

Telling Time Together

There was a helpful question in the comments on my post Teaching My Children to Tell Time.  In short, the question was: what does it mean to live the church year if it isn't part of your tradition?  Is it something you need the church to support or can it be something you do alone?

The answer to this question is quite complex and something I would love to delve into at some point.   But the short answer is that while having a church community celebrating the church year together is ideal, I do believe it is something a family can do on their own.  I know families who are in churches that only celebrate Christmas and Easter; and yet these families live out the church year more fully at home.  Faith development happens primarily in the home and not at church.  The church is an important, even crucial part of faith development, yet home is the space where most of life happens and the foundations for faith are laid.

Our church is Episcopalian, but is also evangelical; so it is made of a unique mix of people from various backgrounds.  The banners change colors in front of our church, but many congregants would look at a circle of the church year and have no idea what they were looking at or why it would matter.   Others are outright skeptical of adding this extra-biblical element to the life of our church.  And while I love the church year, I don't think you need the church year.  It is fine to go through your spiritual life without it.  It simply has been the best tool I have found for orienting our lives around the biblical story and I cannot imagine life without it at this point.  It works so very well for us and we love the connection with the historical church. 

I am truly blessed to have friends at church who are also excited about living the church year intentionally.  And I am also blessed to have friends who are intrigued, happy to learn more and who will come along for a craft night, even if they aren't sure what it is they are making.

A friend organized a little get together to make wall hangings of the church year for in our homes and one for the godly play room.  Seven women came and with some good coupons and sharing the expense they cost around $5 a banner.  It is certainly a project where many hands make light work.  Some women cut while others glued and ten of these came together in a couple hours.  It was a lovely night of being together and working at something that will hopefully be meaningful in our individual homes and our life together as a community. 

Crafting Notes::

The burlap (we used a blue tone) is cut into 24 x 21 inch rectangles.  After the top is turned over to make a casing for a stick to hang the circle the completed banner is a 21 inch square.  I used a running stitch with embroidery thread to make the casing, others used the machine.

The tan wool-blend felt is cut in an 18 inch circle.  It is important to use felt so the arrow will stick in place while hanging on the wall.

The wedge shaped pieces that represent the weeks of the year are cut of wool blend felt.

The arrow is black wool-blend felt with a button hole cut at the end.  The button hole goes over a button you sew to the center of the circle.

We used clear tacky glue to put everything together.  Do be careful though if you use burlap as it goes right through.  Don't let your banner dry to the table.

The stick was found in my yard and the hanging string is off a large spool of jute twine that is an essential item on my crafting shelves.

*If I were to do it again I would make the wedge shaped pieces that represent the weeks slightly smaller and put them about a cm farther in from the outer edge of the circle.  I would then use a running stitch or blanket stitch to attach the circle to the burlap.

Happy Crafting!


gmyo said...

Thanks for responding to my comment. I still need to read this more carefully. I began a burlap circle similar to this several years ago but didn't finish. One question I had while doing it was the problem of sewing/gluing the squares down when the number of weeks of Ordinary Time fluctuates on the three-year cycle. How did you handle this?

Watkins said...

Yes, this is problematic. We went with the average number (how it is made in the godly play lesson.) We will simply make it work by skipping a week of green time or sticking on one for two weeks when the weeks are a little off. If I'm paying attention I'll try to do this adjustment in the middle of the green time so right after a holiday we can see we are 3 weeks past pentecost... and so the weeks leading up to advent or lent are right toward the end. There is definitely a countdown to advent around here the last couple weeks.