Mixing past journals with present reflection is another way to incorporate the art of theological reflection. I faithfully kept a written journal of key events and experiences during the first year of being the organizing pastor of a new church development. Then, four years later when I finally paused to take a breath and reflect on all that had been happening in the life of the church, I blended to written text within the two volume mixed media art journal which included photos, mementos, newspaper clippings, and a review of all that had been happening with the church. The written text enhanced the eclectic pieces in the new journals and also provided important pieces to the big picture of theological reflection.
Blending bits of an old journal with a collection of other items rounds out the story. The pages to the left include image transfers; one hand colored with pastels (left) and one a line art image (top right) with various memorabilia from two outreach events plus the important reminder from the original journal of the dedication of a high school student who gave up a family weekend at the coast to help with a mission event.
Pieces of a written journal also fill in the details regarding the specific details like the gnats and hot temps that added unique challenges to the ministry, mission, and worship under a 20'x40' tent winter-spring-summer-fall in south Texas. The journal pages have more of a scrapbook feeling, but the colletive pieces help with theologically reflecting on the early life of this new church development.
A piece from a written journal also can be incorporated into the new journal in such a way that the words can be read but the words are not the primary focus of the reflection. Here, the words summarize challenges the church had experienced and then they shift to the importance of looking forward and preparing the property for Advent and Lent.