Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION
Posted: 10/19/2013 1:00 AM | Comments: 0
Last Modified: 10/19/2013 12:36 PM | Updates
When Christians from around the world gather in Korea in a few weeks, they'll all sing from the same songbook, thanks to the work of a local graphic artist.
Winnipegger Judith Rempel Smucker designed the cover of the 254-page worship book for the upcoming 10th Assembly of the World Council of Churches in Busan, South Korea.
"I tried typographically to convey the idea of increasing volume, momentum and enthusiasm," she says of the hymnal entitled Hallelujah!
About 800 delegates from 345 member churches, and about 2,200 guests and observers are expected to gather in Busan from Oct. 30 to Nov. 8.
The World Council of Churches represents an estimated 500 million Christians from a large variety of Christian denominations, including Orthodox, Protestant, Anglican, Lutheran, Baptist, Methodist, Reformed and United. The Roman Catholics are not members of the WCC. The assembly meets every seven or eight years, and in 1983, Vancouver hosted the meeting.
In addition to the songbook cover, Rempel Smucker also designed five large banners measuring three by seven metres, which will hang in the main assembly room, as well as several informational kiosks for the assembly's display area. She also put together banners detailing events and photos of the WCC's previous nine assemblies dating back to the 1948, when the council met in Amsterdam.
One of several designers from across the globe preparing materials for the assembly, Smucker had to balance small details with the bigger concerns of a multilingual gathering. For instance, for the upcoming assembly, all materials are printed in English, French, Spanish, German and Korean.
"It's important to retain simplicity with style, and in the case of WCC, the added challenge is finding a universal visual language that communicates in a variety of cultures," she says of the design issues she faces.
Although Smucker's work will be an integral part of the assembly, she will not be flying to Busan for the 10 days of business, prayers and ecumenical conversations. If she could attend, she predicts her favourite part would be the large-scale worship services, and not only because her art adorns the songbook.
"I would look forward to many radically different people worshipping together; the singing, the communion, the coming together in a common spirit, regardless of denominational persuasion," says the 58-year-old native of Steinbach, who moved to Winnipeg in 2012 after several decades in Pennsylvania.
"I think when we encounter others in such settings, a global respect for each other emerges."
And those settings also remind Canadians of the diversity, size and common purpose of the Christian church, says Rev. Susan C. Johnson, national bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada, who is attending the Busan assembly.
"I think the purpose of bigger organizations like the World Council of Churches is to remind us of the vastness of the Christian church," says Johnson, the only Winnipegger in the ELCIC delegation.
"It reminds us to open up to the size God is."
For Smucker, who has devoted about half her working time to WCC materials over the last year, designing materials for the largest ecumenical Christian body reminds her that people of faith everywhere have common concerns.
"It's exciting to be part of the global church community," says the designer and visual artist, who recently self-published a book of collages and reflections on the meaning of home.
"In my work with various denominations I have also discovered that themes such as peace, justice, caring for the environment, gender justice, interfaith conversations are common to the majority."
Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition October 19, 2013 D15
Updated on Saturday, October 19, 2013 at 12:36 PM CDT: Added colour photo.
Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories? Please use the form below and let us know.
Having problems with the form?Contact Us Directly
Manitoba's CFS to stop housing kids in hotels in June
Byfuglien to face hearing for 'violent, deliberate' cross-check
Mayor Bowman target of online post inciting people to attack him; police examining situation
Ethics commissioner dismisses counter-complaint Vic Toews made against Pat Martin
Racist Facebook page part of smear campaign against Winnipeg woman
Hiding the truth when CFS fails
City to use smoke bombs to control gopher population
Sentencing today for driver in crash that killed two students
Nova Scotia tall ship towed inshore
Police seek girl, 13, missing a month
Relief after house where 3 kids killed torn down
Senator miffed about expenses audit
Annual Litter Index reveals Winnipeg's messiest streets
Tragedy strikes family of Canadian diplomat
Manitoba Hydro has spent $31 million on Conawapa station since report calling for spending to stop
War against ISIL to cost extra $528 million
Police investigate assault on Hargrave
Cynthia Lennon dies aged 75
As Nigeria celebrates Buhari's stunning win, challenges loom
Feds trample on Downs racing
California governor orders mandatory water restrictions
Lifting veil off attitudes about niqab, hijab
Joni Mitchell hospitalized in Los Angeles
Maple Spring turns sour in Quebec
Gary Dahl, creator of 70s fad Pet Rock, dies at 78 in US
Google Maps turns into Pac-Man's chomping grounds
Elegant Easter meal brings forth flavours of spring
Agricultural fertilizing can begin early: province
Rally against Bill C-51 to be held in Osborne Village
We pledge to not blab to the media
Fair Elections Act is actually unfair
Bombers add Oxendine to roster
Winnipeg students to compete in U.S. ethics bowl
Compassion in the courtroom
Take party sandwiches up a notch
Passover seder a culinary challenge
Warm today, but frigid Thursday
Don't destroy Arlington Bridge
Drawing aboriginal voters to polls
Parking pass cooks up storm