Sisters Lynn Casey and Pam Hinkle invited participants in a recent retreat at Marillac Center to enter into the day playfully and prayerfully during time interspersed with talks, contemplation and working with clay. Annette Becker works with clay during the retreat. 

Eighteen persons attended the “I am the potter” session on Saturday, Feb. 22 at the retreat and spirituality center of the Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth. They heard messages of encouragement to slow down and be observant and to use art as prayer by allowing contemplation to inform their shaping of the clay.

Sister Lynn explained prayer as a way of being with, listening to and reaching out to God. Art, she said, is communication and expression. Self-expression – through art and prayer – contributes to self-knowledge. The SCL recalled her own experiences of using art to “doodle her way into the heart of God” — a phrase Sister Lynn adopted from the book Art as Prayer by Jeri Gerding.

Describing the elemental nature of clay, Sister Pam focused on the process of working with the clay and not on the outcome. She asked participants to think of themselves as both the potter and the clay as they did the shaping and as they were shaped by the experience.

Probing the questions “Who am I?” and “Who is God?” takes time and is part of the challenge and discovery awaiting individuals as they strive to become the best versions of themselves. Sister Lynn offered that the process of transformation is slow and takes time. She concluded asking participants to “celebrate who you are and know the unique gift that you are and that you are loved unconditionally by God.”