Cameron Silsbee, Pastor of Communities & People
Novel: A Canticle for Leibowitz, by Walter Miller.
This post-apocalyptic sci-fi novel is considered one of the best of all time. Miller explores themes of humanism, nihilism, fatalism, and human nature seemingly bent toward self-destruction. It’s a novel that I keep returning to as a source of perspective as a follower of Jesus and to challenge my hopes, idealism, and despair.
Levi Warren, Director of Worship
Painting: AA72, by Zdzisław Beksiński
This haunting work by Polish surrealist Zdzisław Beksiński helps me to meditate on the way I carry the light of Jesus in a dark world. Sometimes chaos and death seem to tower over us, and we are left with a choice. Do we surrender to the darkness, allowing our light to be extinguished? Or do we boldly carry the flame and continue on our narrow road?
Taylor Long, Director of Kids
Sculpture: Prisoners, by Michelangelo
Michelangelo believed that sculpting was the act of freeing the subject from the constraints of the stone. In his unfinished work, Prisoners, four figures are left to struggle within their stone confinements for an eternity. For me, the visceral tension in these men feels so familiar to the now and not yet of Jesus’s sanctifying work in me. I may feel the bondage of being unformed, but I won’t be left unfinished. I am being set free from the excess, from my flesh, from sin; I am not a prisoner.
Patrick Porter, Pastor of Operations
Album: The Shape Of Punk To Come, by Refused
This record is inspiring to me on two levels. The music is impressive. There are risks and creative choices that would inspire listeners and other bands for decades. But the passion with which the band performs might be what I find most inspiring. As I follow Jesus, I am inspired by those who take risks—those who have a wild, unhinged passion for what they do inspire me to do the same.