Judy Oatway to visit

January 7, 2014

Knox United at Edwards will welcome a special guest to the Jan. 26 service. Judy Oatway will bring the Sikri altarpiece for us to view. Judy has been working with the people of Kenya through missionary and social justice projects for several years. We first heard about the amazing Sikri altarcloth project when Judy’s daughter Karen spoke to us at our anniversary service in June. We hope you will join us to appreciate this project in person and meet Judy.

“Sikri is a rural village in the Diocese of Southern Nyanza, in western Kenya near Lake Victoria. It is an isolated farming community that has known poverty for much of its existence. In the 1980s it sank further into decline with the adverse effects of globalization and the ravages of HIV and AIDS.

Medieval altarpieces often present the Gospel narrative within a medieval context of history, social life, religious life and family life during times of upheaval and transition. The anxieties experienced during the Middle Ages are not unlike many of the anxieties experienced today by rural Kenyans, and the creation of an altarpiece based on a medieval prototype is one way to encourage healing and transformation in individuals who have experienced long-term oppression or trauma and are unable to recover or move on.

In August of 2011 “The Search for God: A Journey of Self-Discovery” was begun. Thirteen frames were made to form an altarpiece that tells the story of Sikri as interpreted through the Gospel narrative. Men and women gathered to tell their story in colour, thread and bead and with each stitch they were able to lay their pain to rest; they were able to reach out to one another; they recreated themselves anew, and discovered many new talents and rediscovered many that had been forgotten.

These talents led to them reaching out to new families, building a safe and healthy community where children and youth can play and participate in sports, and engaging in best practices to share and provide foods and fruits so that all can share in their prosperity.

In this transformation the people of Sikri are discovering themselves, their potentials, their strengths and their joys — and their faith. The central, angled panels express the people of Sikri’s belief that as they journey down the road to resurrection they will meet Christ and experience God.

Once it is returned to Sikri, the altarpiece will go into their new church building, aptly named the Church of the Resurrection.”

[Adapted from The Search for God: A Journey of Self-Discovery — The Making of the Sikri Altarpiece by Judy Oatway and Wilfred Osuri Alero. For more information, contact judyoatways@gmail.com]

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Knox Edwards United Church

1450 Yorks Corners Road Edwards, Ontario K0A 1V0
Phone: 613-821-5193


Currently enjoying pulpit supply as we search for a new minister

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