'Seeds of Faith' Mosaic Project

by the Sunday School of First Congregational Church

The Sunday School of the First Congregational Church of South Paris, Maine took the entire school year 2006-2007 to create the mosaic 'Seeds of Faith'. The project idea was to have a dialog with the children through the year about our connection to other NACCC churches, which grew into talking about the missions the NACCC supports, which led to talking about the 'Gods Garden Mission' in Jardin America, Argentina, which let do building an art piece and raising money to send in support of the mission.

The outcome of a year's work is what you see. A 4 tall by 8 foot wide (in 4 panels) mosaic, made entirely with Italian vitreous glass. All of our project goals were met including having a lot of fun!

Judy Mayberry, a mosaic artist and wife of Don, the minister of First Congregational, led the art project. We read what we could find about the mission to get some ideas about Gods Garden and used 'artistic discretion' for the rest. The children drew all of the pieces for the art piece first . . . . bees, vegetables, chickens, etc. . . . with the occasional venus flytrap thrown in. They saw pictures of the chapel at the mission with many children inside and decided that should be part of the mosaic too. Every child was encouraged to participate, with each class taking a turn on Sunday morning.

After the picture was drawn on the backer board the mosaic was begun. The children had much patience, some working on the same thing weeks in a row, gluing and placing each tile as they were directed. Thousands of tiles later the most fun occurred when the grouting began. What a glorious green mess! One child mentioned the grout was the texture of a cow pie and the enthusiasm took off.

Through the year, while working on the art piece, we talked about the earth and how God provides through it, how important it is to share, what it might be like to be hungry, not go to school or not to see the doctor when you're sick, and how we are connected through our church to this church in Argentina and others throughout the world.

In addition to the art work we gave offering boxes to the congregation asking for their spare change through the school year. Combined with the Sunday School Offering we raised nearly $1,000 which went directly to the mission through the NACCC. The children counted all of the change and it became its own lesson in giving. The 'Seeds of Faith Mosaic' is hung in our Sunday School foyer.

It's amazing what can happen with a little 'seed' of an idea!