Rev. Kurt Shaffert's Cartooning Ministry

Comic created by God's Imaginarium Conferees

Comic Explanation

In early July, through a Clergy Continuing Education Scholarship, I participated in a workshop on "Making Comics" and then an Educators Symposium on Educational Uses of Comics at the Center for Cartoon Studies in White River Junction, Vermont.  In the workshop, I learned the skills of cartooning; in the symposium, I learned about the ways various educators use cartooning with students, making use of "multiple intelligences". So far as I know, I was the only participant at either the workshop or the symposium who was there on a clergy continuing education scholarship. I am glad for the imagination and encouragement of the New Haven Association for me to explore how cartooning can be a part of ministry.

In the end of July, I volunteered as a counselor in a conference for 5th & 6th graders, "God's Imaginarium", at Silver Lake Conference Center and taught cartooning to the conferees. On Wednesday of the week-long conference, UCC missionaries from Church World Service shared a presentation about a mission project. On Thursday, the 20 conferees composed a cartoon book about what they had learned, creating and cartooning a story they titled, "Giala and the Sand Dam". Together, we re-told the story of what we had learned the day before, created a cartoon character through which to tell the story and then each conferee cartooned a page of the book. At the end of the week, we had printed comic books to share the story of what we had learned through Church World Service.

Many thanks to the New Haven Association for the scholarship for me to develop the skills to have led this project. I look forward to further opportunities for cartooning how God is Still Speaking!

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