This article was originally published by The Mennonite

May 2020 Call for Submissions: The presence of beauty

The Mennonite, Inc., invites your original submissions for our May 2020 print magazine issue and corresponding online content focusing on The presence of beauty.

Description of the theme:

God communicates through beauty—in nature, in art, in each other. Some say beauty can be seen in everything, if we look for it. Jesus Christ is the Word of God incarnate, God’s beauty in flesh. As the body of Christ, our diversity reveals God’s beauty. Beauty can even be seen in difficult circumstances such as the loss of a loved one and in ordinary matters such as a meal with family. Visual art is less commonly used than other expressions in Mennonite church settings to express beauty. SaeJin Lee writes: “We excel at embodying our faith through sound in singing and preaching, but we have practiced our faith in worship less fully through the visual arts. They can be a powerful way of moving us beyond our heads and into our hearts.” In this issue, we invite stories describing where you have seen and experienced God’s beauty—in worship, in creation, in art, in relationships, as well as music and other multimedia that communicate beauty.

Submissions may consider one of the following prompts/questions, among others:

  • How have you observed God communicating and expressions of the Divine through beauty? Tell us your story and be sure to include the voices of all involved, with their permission.
  • How has your church or faith community cultivated beauty in worship through music, singing, preaching, visual and/or performative arts? Tell us your story and be sure to include the voices of all involved, with their permission.
  • Where have you experienced beauty amid brokenness, loss or struggle? Be sure to include the voices of all involved, with their permission.
  • How do you understand the Bible’s teaching about the beauty of diversity? In what ways have Anabaptist-Mennonite followers of Jesus done well at celebrating the beauty found in diversity and where could we do better?
  • Where have you found beauty where others have not? How has embracing and prioritizing beauty been life giving and important to your well-being?

Submissions are due to no later than April 3.

We welcome articles—personal stories, biblical or theological reflections, stories about your congregation, and more (800-1,200 words)—as well as original photography, videos and artwork on the theme. Please note we are committed to anti-oppression reviews as part of our editorial process. When developing your submission, please review our updated anti-oppression guidelines as well as our updated editorial guidelines.

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