My friend Sarah is the Presbyterian Church (USA)‘s latest pastor! This was on the cover of her ordination service bulletins. 


Oxford, MS, 2018. {Cardboard, acrylic paint, and ink. (Also used some bubble wrap.)}

It seems fitting to paint with splatters for ordination art. Splatters are hard to predict, and there’s some risk involved. You can do your best to guide their direction but honestly the drops are going to fall where they want. Sometimes it’s freeing to not have total control. Sometimes it’s nerve-wracking. The Holy Spirit tends to show up either way. (Hi, Church.)

Fun fact: the PC(USA)’s symbol (in gold paint) is made up of a bunch of different images related to being the church. A cross and flames are probably the most obvious, but there’s also a descending dove, an open Bible, and a pulpit. Others have mentioned the form of a robe, a triangle for the Trinity, a fish, a baptismal font, and a chalice. If you’re interested, there’s more to read here.

Bonus fun fact: the stamped text in the background is an adapted version of the vows that PC(USA) pastors (aka teaching elders), ruling elders, and deacons take when they’re ordained. If you’re curious, here are the questions we answer (the last one varies depending on the office to which you’re being ordained).

Do you trust in Jesus Christ your Savior, acknowledge him Lord of all and Head of the Church, and through him believe in one God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit?

Do you accept the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments to be, by the Holy Spirit, the unique and authoritative witness to Jesus Christ in the Church universal, and God’s Word to you?

Do you sincerely receive and adopt the essential tenets of the Reformed faith as expressed in the confessions of our church as authentic and reliable expositions of what Scripture leads us to believe and do, and will you be instructed and led by those confessions as you lead the people of God?

Will you fulfill your office in obedience to Jesus Christ, under the authority of Scripture, and be continually guided by our confessions?

Will you be governed by our church’s polity, and will you abide by its discipline? Will you be a friend among your colleagues in ministry, working with them, subject to the ordering of God’s Word and Spirit?

Will you in your own life seek to follow the Lord Jesus Christ, love your neighbors, and work for the reconciliation of the world?

Do you promise to further the peace, unity, and purity of the church?

Will you seek to serve the people with energy, intelligence, imagination, and love?

Will you be a faithful teaching elder, proclaiming the good news in Word and Sacrament, teaching faith and caring for people? Will you be active in government and discipline, serving in the councils of the church; and in your ministry will you try to show the love and justice of Jesus Christ?