It is New Year’s Eve and it is time to look back and reflect on 2022. In going through my journal for this year, I remembered that I refined my personal mission statement:
My mission is to cultivate the gifts and passions that God has given to me so that I might help others grow deeper in the love of God for the sake of the world. My life is a fusion of ART and THEOLOGY.
Here are the highlights of the year…
On the Home Front…
This has been a big year for the Thomason Family. Here are some highlights:
- We finished the basement and moved into it in January. That means I have had an actual, permanent studio, with a window for a year. I LOVE IT!!!
- Our brother-in-law, Russ, died in March in Anchorage, Alaska. Sad beyond words.
- Lona and I got to travel to Arizona in March (Lona left that trip to go to the funeral in Alaska) and Alaska in July.
- My oldest son turned 30 (can you believe it) and finally received Social Security Disability after five years of trying.
- My daughters got their own place and moved out (taking the dog and one of the cats with them). Now it is just the boys living with us (and Ethan’s cat, Nia).
- Lona and I replaced our shower by ourselves! It was a challenge, but we did it!!!
On the Work Front…
This has been a MAJORLY HUGE YEAR for me regarding my vocation. On August 1 I started a new call as the
Associate Professor of Spiritual Formation and Discipleship
at Luther Seminary.
I finished five years and two months at Easter Lutheran Church in Eagan, MN on July 30. I am grateful for the time I had serving the good folks of that wonderful congregation. I am still a rostered ELCA pastor, but my letter of call comes from the church-wide office and am officially rostered in the Eastern North Dakota Synod. We still live in the south metro and I commute to Luther Seminary in St. Paul. It’s only a 35-minute drive (on a good day).
Scholarly Work this year…
- The Visual Preacher was officially published on July 19.
- Illustrated and published A Cartoonist’s Guide to John.
- The work of A Cartoonist’s Guide to the Bible continues to expand. Each week, on Mondays at 4:00pm CT I offer an online Visual Bible Study for members of the CB Network and publish a visual guide to the Revised Common Lectionary and the Narrative Lectionary every week.
- I’ve been taking visual notes for courses online: Jesus De/Constructed and Christianity in Process.
- I took visual notes live during Theology Beer Camp in Chapel Hill North Carolina.
- Taking visual notes on Spirituality: A Brief History.
- Half of my job is to create content for Faith+Lead Academy. I get to do animation as part of my job! Can you believe it!!!! I’m currently finishing up two courses: Introduction to Matthew and Overflow: An Introduction to Growing in Faith. Both of these courses will be released in early 2023.
- Now that I am officially a professor, my quest is to figure out exactly what my niche in the academy is. I know the broad field is Christian Spirituality/Spiritual Formation. More narrowly, I am being led to do a deep dive into Art and Faith as a form of Christian Spirituality. It seems to make sense and resonate deeply with who I am. Stay tuned…
On the Art Front…
My new job allows me more freedom to pursue free lance art. I actually have weekends to myself now. That is a major shift in mindset and lifestyle. It has been a fun year of creating art. Here is a small sampling of some work I’ve done. Enjoy!
Click to View Sketchbook 2022
in Google Photo Album
This is an animation I did for part of my overflow course…
Some fun with oil on canvas…
at Easter Lutheran Church and Prince of Peace Lutheran Church. Good Friday at Easter and Advent/Christmas at Prince of Peace.
I continue to participate in the Figure Drawing Co-op at Art Works. Here are some drawings I can show you from a couple clothed sessions (most are not clothed, so I never post those drawings).
There have been several freelance illustration jobs this year as well, so that’s awesome.
Thanks for taking the time to reflect on this year with me.
Blessings on your new year!
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Live art meets liturgy? Work of the artist meets work of the people? Whoa . . . .
We’ve done it with song forever. Dance, too I suppose as we have the example of David leading the procession of the ark, the priests of Baal and their dance-off with Elijah.
In the Orthodox world and those who stand with them, iconographers fast and pray and meditate as they undertake their work. The resulting icon is accorded a level of respect in and of itself, a weightier being or reality because of both how it functions as sign and how it came to be. Do you see the product, the work of art as sacred or sanctified by its production and its role in liturgy? Surely this is a sacramental process in the deep root sense? Is this perhaps a kind of eucharist? Ritual, at least, in making present to the assembly some significant element of the past. . . . I bet this must give Abba great joy.
Thanks, Don. It is definitely a sacramental experience for me as the artist.