Can the Church Celebrate American Craft Week?

A stole with a unique design-
Inspired by Matt. 6:26
October 1-10th is American Craft Week. I like "craft" defined as: An occupation or trade requiring manual dexterity or skilled artistryThis is not a celebration that Christians and churches should ignore. Scripture makes it clear that God is interested in craft/art. If this is a new thought, you might enjoy delving into Exodus 26 where much detail is shared about the particulars of the tabernacle. Throughout the history of the church, art has been crafted for precise purposes such as Communion serving pieces, calligraphy in Bibles and even the architecture of a church building. 

Carrot Top Studio of course focuses on the art and craft of textiles (particularly ministry stoles) to aid worship. In our case we apply the definition of craft as: making or constructing something in a manner suggesting great care or ingenuity. We aim to offer a clever, unique product that has evolved from the original purpose for a stole.The story goes that the stole originally derived from a kind of liturgical napkin called an orarium. Some think it is linked to the napkin used by Christ in washing the feet of his disciples, and is therefore a fitting symbol of the yoke of Christ, the yoke of service. Today the craft that comes from our studio supports those in ministry that make a visual connection using color and symbols for those that you minister to.

Do you ever question what art or craft is for?  I like to apply author Lauren F. Winner’s quote for an answer: “God reveals himself to us—if only we take the time to linger.” So I encourage you to linger in spaces where you happen upon art and craft and be moved by how the artists react to the world around them. You might also pray for the artists. And last but not least, help the church to identify artists in your community and push their gifts outwards to share their creativity on a Sunday or as beacons of Christ’s light as their serve outside of the church building. So, I wholeheartedly say YES we can celebrate craft week...worldwide.

*pictured green stole can be found on the Carrot Top Studio website here.