Arts in Church

The line between heaven and earth blurred for awhile at DC Christian Reformed Church this past Sunday afternoon: poet Rod Jellema, painter and sculptor Lori Dykstra, and jazz musician David Jellema choreographed a Celebration of the Arts.

David grew up in our church and now lives in Austin Texas where he plays in a jazz band on Riverwalk. He was in the DC metro area for a four-gig weekend including a book party for his father at The Writer’s Center in Bethesda. David had graced the worship service that morning, accompanying congregational singing with cornet, recorder and clarinet and going all-out creative for the offertory, “Because He Lives,” in an improvisational duet with Katie Roelofs on piano.  For those who stayed after lunch, David mused merrily, opening peepholes to the conversation and community that forms and is formed by jazz. He demonstrated two contrasting moods by improvising and embellishing the Happy Birthday song two new ways, one raucous, the other bluesy.

Rod Jellema, pictured here signing his collection of poems titled Incarnality, taught at University of Maryland for many years and says he had a late start publishing poetry. Years fell away as he revealed the birth story of “Sisters and Daughters” and then read the freshly-phrased poem. Rod’s previous book, published in 2004, was A Slender Grace.

Lori Youngman Dykstra–pictured here with one of her paintings, two sculptures and a modeled piece–has taught art at various levels in several states and at the Christian Academy in Japan. She has worked in a variety of media including collage and metalwork. Her alabaster sculpture titled “Ruffled” was on display for three weeks this spring at St. John’s College in Annapolis.

Lori and Rod reopened our eyes to the tangible Creation which beckons us to respond; the Creator’s signature talent blossoms in human creativity throughout every life everywhere.