God has blessed each one of us with a unique set of gifts and we all have a role to play. Some of us can sing, some can draw, some can run, some can organize, some can make people feel welcome, some can write, some can teach, some can manage finances, some can bake... The list goes on and on and on with infinite combinations and variations, each one just as valuable and important as the last.
Expressions Sunday is a way for us to share with one another some of the ways that God has blessed us with creativity. The gallery below is filled with examples of the diversity of God's gifts within Highland.
Comments are open for you to share reactions and encouragements with one another.
The Expressions are divided into categories. Take a look at each one, there are amazing and diverse submissions. Many of the submissions include multiple images for you to scroll through. The submissions are best viewed on a larger screen, like a computer or tablet.
Bread and Soup
by Cara Abrahams
Sourdough bread making and chicken potato gnocchi soup with spinach. It is very satisfying to have meals where almost all the ingredients were raised or grown by us.
by Jean Imbach
In making these flower arrangements, I feel the joy and delight of taking some of God’s creations and putting them together. As I work with such beauty, I feel humbled and appreciative.
by Tim Rempel
A countertop project of fermented growth and culture that has turned into a tasteful family food.
by Bonnie Wedel
This is a watercolour fish I painted and gave to Simon for Christmas.
by Moreen Sharp
I have always loved to draw faces. From little up, my school books were scribbled with faces. God has created such variety--features, colours, character all expressing such beauty each in his or her own way. I had the privilege of taking a two-week art course while attending Regent at which time we practiced many different forms and techniques using charcoal as we drew each other's faces in the cohort. It was a time of real growth for me. God has made us all creative in some way following His creative heart. I'm thankful for this gift of expression which He has given me.
Beauty in Nature
by Gerald Neufeld
The beauty of God’s creation changes with the seasons but is always there if we only take the time to notice. This selection of images represents some places I have been during 2020. While Covid restrictions limited my being out and about with camera in hand, I have continued to enjoy the beauty in nature and lean into the grace and peace that God is for me, especially during this time. I am thankful and look forward to more freedoms ahead.
by Jessica Fehrenbacher
I took up birding during COVID to enjoy the little things and find wonder in the everyday. I like to do a little watercolour sketch of each new bird species I see to fully appreciate them. Here are some of the recent species that I've painted.
Growth From the Stump
by Jennifer Rempel
This is a tree I saw growing along the Lower Falls trail at Golden Ears Provincial Park and the imagery of it resonated with me and some things I have been reading lately.
Waterfall through Azalea
by Jim Van Meer
A view of my waterfall through an azalea. Work in my backyard doesn’t feel like work in this environment.
Expressions Sunday Artwork
by Trevor Wight
Each of my paintings are created using a process of acrylic paint, and photo-based screen-printing. In the most general of terms, the images I use are metaphorical, speaking to the human experience. If you would like to see more of my work, please follow me on Instagram.
by Sarah Abrahams
by Sandi Ernst
From J's Bible Study Focus Series, this month I set out to memorize Psalm 84. How perfect!
"In worship of God, our God-formed identities become deeply embedded in us" Eugene H. Peterson, The Message, Intro to Ezra.
Photo – Camp Squeah – taken by Naomi Unrau.
by Wendy McFarland
Before the pandemic, a group of Highlanders went on a study tour to Kenya to observe all the programs that Meg G(from Highland) had been involved with in her three year assignment with MCC. We were very fortunate, because we were able to visit farms, agricultural sites as well as schools and orphanages that were given aid through MCC. MCC gave some of the people of Kenya and some organizations the tools to help themselves. We were also shown some of the huge slums in Kenya where women were given instruction in child care to help themselves and their children.
Afterwards, a small group of us went on a safari in another part of Kenya. The animals were amazing and we had the privilege of traveling with a guide for four days during the day and living in big canvas tents at night. During this time we saw lions, leopards, hippos, giraffes, water buffalo, elephants, gazelles, a huge amount of birds and of course zebras. My picture of the zebras caught my eye in the first few days of our safari and I just had to paint it when I got back.
God's artwork...glory of our Creator. View from our patio in Gold Canyon, Arizona. No wonder we love coming here.
Shirley and Fred Kehler
by the Verdes
We have been enjoying painting a variety of rocks, and "hiding" them along our nature walks for others to enjoy, and eventually claim. I always say a special little prayer for whoever decides to pick each one up to keep.
In order to ensure the rocks continuing looking their best, I spray a clear coat on them before exposing them to the elements. These are a few of our most recent inspirations.
by the Learning for Life kids
For Easter 2021 the L4L kids were invited to take part in colouring this beautiful mosaic butterfly. Each of the kids received one or two pieces of the butterfly to colour and then the L4L team put the images together. They did an amazing job and created something truly beautiful.
by Nicole Giesbrecht
Back to Basics
by Naomi Unrau
The humble cylinder is the place we should start but we don't always start where we should. 12 years ago when I started pottery, everything "wanted" to be a bowl, which simply meant my technique was not correct. Over time I succeeded in churning out mugs, which are cylinders with handles.
A good cylinder makes a good mug. That brings me to January 2021. Time to learn to make a good cylinder. Better later than never. I worked with only one pound of clay for each cylinder. I made 50 cylinders and finally at 40, I got it.
In addition, Herman challenged me to explore different decorating/ carving ideas than I'd been using for a long time. That was enough to make me consider walking away from pottery forever. Seriously. Out of the 50, I may keep 1/3 or less.
Lesson learned:. The next piece comes out of the last piece. The last 10 wouldn't have happened if it weren't for the previous 40.
These are my humble offerings.
by Bonnie Wedel
This is a beach wreath I made this year.
by Gerald Neufeld
This relief wood carving was an interesting and challenging project that provided many hours of enjoyment. I started off with a pattern but before long was modifying various elements. Basswood carves easily but the intricate shapes were a challenge to get right. While a carving novice, I enjoy working with wood and hand tools in the quiet of my own space – no noisy Dremel for me!
by Jim Van Meer
Twenty-five years or so ago I got my father-in-law’s help to make an integrated two-piece art glass to replace the yellow/orange glass inserts at the front door of our house on Sherwood Crescent in Abbotsford. Two years or so ago, each of our children said that they would like to have the panels, in memory of the grandfather (Dee’s dad) and in memory of the house they grew up in. I asked them, “Where would you put the pieces?” and “Do you realize how expensive it would be to remove the panels and replace them with…?” Last Expressions Sunday I was inspired to respond to the kids. What you see is a scale model replica of what we had at our front door. I didn’t finish them in time for Christmas but I showed the kids one completed set and promised they would choose their set when both were done.
by Matthew Janzen
On March 1st last year, we started renting a house that included a detached garage, perfect for all sorts of things, including setting up a woodworking shop in one part of it. Given this past year, I took advantage of my little shop space for a bit of a creative outlet as I was able. Whether the stereo is playing Scattered Prayers or blasting music, it's been a special place for me in this season and some fun projects have come out of it. Some of these have included: building Summer Fun Boxes with some of the youth for VBS last year, some Christmas cutting boards that got sent to family across the country, and a few pieces of furniture. Hope you enjoy.
by Ed Wedel
I guess l’m trying to say as I retire I feel I’m being repurposed. As long as “I am above concrete“ He’s not finished with me yet. God takes the good & mess we’ve made of life & builds beauty & purpose out of it. Thanks Lord.
by Gerald Neufeld
This winter I experimented with woodburning as an art form. This simple pattern of trees worked perfectly on the long and narrow basswood slab. With proper burning tool tip temperature and a steady hand, I was able to complete this little project – not too bad for my first attempt!
by Nathanael Rempel
I picked this up last summer after watching some videos about table top games and the miniatures that go with them. I was inspired by how good the work of some of the creators was and one specific game caught my attention, Warhammer 40,000. These Ork miniatures are part of that game.
by Lois Klassen
During the end of the past year of social isolation I embarked on a Grandchild Quilt Project. My goal? To complete, in 12 months, 9 single-bedspread-sized traditional quilts — one for each birthday. I started with an unfinished quilt top which I had pieced but not quilted (and which I had exhibited in its unfinished state in a long ago Expressions Sunday). These many years later, I finally quilted it in time for my oldest grandson’s January birthday.
It is called Blue Skies and Sunny Weather. The detail photos show some of the machine quilting.
by Jennifer Rempel
This year I have tried to both learn some new things and complete some projects that have been languishing for quite a while.
The scarf was a new pattern where stitches are increased and decreased to create the woven look. The blanket has been a work in progress for a few years and I finally completed it.
by Learning for Life Kids
"Thanksgiving Gifts" was the theme of this quilt put together with love by Connie Peters.
The L4L children (ages3-Grade5) were invited to read Psalm 104 with their parents then draw a picture of something that was related to those verses.
by Leah Wight
I learned how to knit using a round loom. Lots of my friends started bringing their looms to school and then I learned too. I enjoy doing this, it keeps me busy and I like creating things. I can make toques for adults, kids and babies. I also learned how to make little purses.
by Bonnie Wedel
I finally finished putting this scrappy quilt together. It had been partially finished for years. Next time my little granddaughter comes to visit, she can use it.
by Esther Rempel
This year I have started to learn how to sew. I made a pillow and used fabric markers to decorate it. Now I just need to stuff it and sew it closed.
by Connie Peters
I have two friends that have elderly parents who have dementia.
During our life we keep busy with our hands creating and working and making things. Then when we age sometimes we are forced to have a more sedentary life. When people are bound to their wheelchairs for the day it must be very hard to not have something to do. Fidget quilts give them something to touch and turn and move. I enjoyed creating these.
by Cara Abrahams
Expressions! So many. My creative expressions these days are mostly edible - like the weekly sourdough bread I’m making or homemade meals. I sketch at times too - mainly while listening to Scattered Prayers recordings.
I also experience daily, the expressions of a creative brain. I seem to be constantly brainstorming or composing articles in my head.
I find great joy in ‘making’ other people laugh - and smile when a quick comeback or funny expression or an awkward energetic jig makes one of my family members gaffah.
Lately, I have been walking around my block after my son hops on the bus in the morning - as opposed to running, like I have so often. This slowing of pace has allowed me to notice the clouds, blossoms and birds of my neighbourhood. I sometimes stop to observe something and am an awe-filled quiet observer in the natural world God has created and ordered.
I enjoy interacting with young people. I’ve missed these opportunities after church or at family gatherings this past while. So, I put together a little conversation I had with a flying squirrel this past Sunday - just for fun. Enjoy!
(Just click on CC if you have trouble hearing it, closed captioning is available)
by Ray Klassen
Probably the most political song I've ever written. Actually encouraging people to trust experts is a bit of a new line for me. Expresses uncertainty and weariness with the conspiracy theory crowd, and even contains an oblique reference to video conferencing.
Gotta Be Patient
Sung by Dee Van Meer
(Originally by Michael Buble, Sofia Reyes, Barenaked Ladies)
by Ray Klassen
This song is reminiscent of Jeremiah's servant, who was told not to seek great things for himself.
Lessons Given by an Amaryllis
by Marg Neufeld
My Table is Crying
by Marilyn Klassen
by Robert Martens