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On Discerning the Creative Work of the Spirit

Arranging a sabbatical, the Rev. Dr. Alison Halsey thought to engender in herself and her congregation the seeds of “hozho,” a Navajo sense of the good life that integrates order, beauty, balance and harmony. That had been missing in Halsey’s harried pace and in her artistic but frenzied congregation. So Halsey oriented her sabbatical around separate arts experiences for herself and her church. The separation caused chaos, the chaos created crisis, and the crisis gave birth to a new vision for an arts-oriented ministry in their Baltimore neighborhood. In an essay, Halsey recounts the journey and reveals the nascent direction of her congregation’s rebirth. Along the way, she reveals the warp and woof of joy and difficulty that combine in the creative act of weaving new beginnings, and she shares the pain and wonder of reforming inspiration. The essay, “Hozho”: Finding Harmony to Walk in Beauty’s Way, is archived on the Resources for American Christianity website.

Although she set out to explore the arts in relationship to spirituality, what Alison Halsey discovered during her sabbatical experience was the need to pursue “hozho,” a Navajo word best approximated in English by combining the meaning of order, beauty, balance and harmony.

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