Pentecost Panel Project
"Seasons of Faith: Opening to/of the Spirit"

First Lutheran Church
St. Peter, MN

Click on an image for design details


West Panel Installation

The Altar Guild of First Lutheran Church of Saint Peter, Minnesota approached me when they, led by chair, Susan Peterson, were considering new hangings for the season of Pentecost. This season, the longest of the church year, which celebrates God's presence as it manifests itself in our lives and world spans the seasons in Minnesota from the first greening to the first snowfall.






These panels are intended to open us to God's ever changing and yet constant Presence. First Lutheran has a rich artistic tradition which includes needlepoint kneeler cushions designed by Pornpili Burana and executed by members of the congregation. These new hangings needed to work with the colors of these cushions, but also needed to reflect a similar spirit of community.

I proposed this front hanging and a series of side panels to hang in the spaces between the open brickwork. These panels are hung sequentially in pairs throughout Pentecost from the first pair of the green branches in May to the final pair of snowy night in late October when the entire installation is complete a month before Advent.

The abstract nature of the patterns produced by shibori techniques lend themselves more to images from the natural world than human, so I chose to show the glory of God's presence in nature as a metaphor for the presence of God in each of us.

The water on the east panels refers both to the baptismal water of the nearby font, but also the Minnesota River which flows to the east of the church a few blocks away. The grasses on the west panels refer to the prairie which begins to the west of the church.

The result is a collaboration with five women who worked with me through the tests and in much of the shaping -- Gretchen Bray, Rene Bryant, Nancy Helgeson, Mary Long and Lynn Wunderlich.