Photography as Spiritual Practice: A Language of Faith

July 22, 2013 - July 28, 2013


Workshop ID: G13A744
Dates: July 22, 2013 – July 28, 2013 Price: $370.00

Our Signature Course this week is Great Creating Spirit with John Philip and Ali Newell. While this class will allow participants to discover and experience the Great Creating Spirit in their lives and in our world, other classes will integrate that same creating spirit in their learning and creations. Come and partake of an inspiring and generating week – let the Spirit blow where it will…

How do you find a common language that is inviting, welcoming, and affirming for those who are relatively new to Christian faith as well as for those who have been part of Christian faith since birth? How do you communicate the Gospel of Jesus of Nazareth to those who are unfamiliar with Christian faith? How do you hear the messages that newcomers bring to a Christian faith community? The issue of communication – communication that is mutual and affirming of all – who are part of our society is often a major issue in ministry.

In the past few years Richard Choe has been experimenting with visual images and poetry in small group conversations and in Sunday worship celebrations to seek and find vocabularies that facilitate and enhance communication amongst people with diverse histories and backgrounds with respect to the Christian faith. This is because in his experience traditional theological words, concepts, and images often complicate and even hinder conversations of faith and spirituality. There have been instances in his ministry where the study of biblical passages hindered conversations because each person – regardless of where they would place themselves on a theological spectrum, left, right, or center – could easily get stuck in finding the “correct” way of interpreting the scripture. Richard believes that the process of finding a common language through photographic images and poetry will foster Christian community in becoming more inviting, welcoming, and affirming for all. Such a process invites and encourages individuals in Christian communities to connect the Gospel of Jesus of Nazareth from their own faith context and help build a common faith base for all.

Two ideas have been immensely helpful in facilitating the conversations:
1. Paulo Freire, Pedagogy of the Oppressed, for the process of helping people to make meaning out of their experiences and to connect with Christian faith rather than imposing traditional concepts onto them.
2. The Practice of Lectio Divina, for conversations that encourage participants to share what they hear through the heart.
During this program we will be connecting with the beauty of creation in and around Ghost Ranch through photography and conversations with self and with one another through spiral conversations.

The week will be filled with self-discovery in relation to nature and in spiritual community with people who are committed to finding beauty and the sacred in the ordinary. Please bring musical instruments, if you have any, to enhance in developing visual presentation.


richard ChoeRichard Chung-sik Choe is minister at Kingston Road United Church and has been photographing professionally for over 20 years. He shares his sense of beauty in and through worship celebrations, workshops, public speaking, and teaching photography as a spiritual practice. Richard’s photography captures the sacred in the ordinary. Capturing Zen – zooming into the subject to capture the essence of its mood – would describe his photography technique. He believes that the essential task of a photographer is to connect the beauty within oneself with the world around. Art, a form of spirituality, is a process of discovering, discerning, encountering, and expressing the beauty experienced. Spiritual enlightenment is when harmony is experienced between the beauty within and the beauty around oneself. He photographs for faith organizations and media agencies in and outside of Canada.

His clients include the World Council of Churches (WCC) and its related agencies, the World Association for Christian Communication (WACC), the National Missionary Baptist Convention of America, Sojourners Magazine, the United Church Observer, and other mainline denominations in Canada and the USA. Richard also taught photography and spirituality through the United Church’s learning circles over the past few years. He taught a course to explore the intersections of faith and world through art, culture, and education – An Active Faith: A Certificate in Church and Community – a new Continuing Education program launched by Emmanuel College in 2011.

Need more info? Call us at (505) 685 – 4333 ext 4152

Three ways to register:

  1. Download printable registration form and mail to: Ghost Ranch Registrar, HC77 Box 11, Abiquiu, NM 87510. OR scan and email your completed form to: [email protected]
  2. Register by telephone at 877-804-4678, extension 4152 or 4155 — available Monday-Friday 8:30 a.m. – 4:45 p.m. MST.
Categories: Courses  |  Spirituality  |  The Arts