About the Project
Camp Kintail is inviting our community to participate in the Kintail Psalter Project in these days of living through a pandemic. We are not able to be together in person yet, but we are still connected by our love of God, the words of scripture, and our participation in the body of Christ. We are inviting everyone – campers, church members, alumni, staff, WMS members, clergy, and friends – to consider hand-writing a psalm to become part of the Kintail Psalter.
A psalter is simply a book containing the Psalms. For over three thousand years, people in times of trouble have turned to the psalms for comfort and reassurance. Psalms encompass a wide variety of human emotions, from anger to awe, worry to wonder, and pain to praise. In the psalms we find many evocative images for God, reminding us that words can capture an understanding of God, but will never fully express the fullness of God. The psalms can move from earthy descriptions of creation to the sweeping majesties of the heavens. They were written at various times, reflecting all of life’s ups and downs. Hebrew Testament scholar Walter Brueggemann says that psalms lead us through our orientation to God with wonder, our dis-orientation to God through troubles, and then to our re-orientation to God’s goodness. Jesus knew and loved the psalms, and he turned to them in his times of distress. Presbyterians have a particular love of the Psalms. Throughout the Reformation, many congregations did not permit congregational singing, unless it was the from the book of Psalms. Today most Presbyterian churches read or recite a psalm each week as part of their worship. Many of our most deeply loved hymns and songs are based on words from the psalms. At camp, every day we sing words from the psalms with our campers.
Writing scripture by hand is an ancient practice. Before the printing press, all scripture was retained and shared in this way. Beautiful illuminated Bibles were produced and are works of art. A recent example is the Saint John’s Bible in Minnesota. It is easy to read scripture and skim over the words. Writing the psalms allows us to linger and wonder about the words, participating in the scripture in a new way. It is a spiritual practice that allows us to see the scripture with new eyes and experience it anew.
We are excited to begin receiving your creations! We hope for drawings from campers, chicken-scratches from those us with a love for God but poor handwriting, reflections on a life-time of re-reading the psalms, calligraphy and illustrations from those with a gift for art, and everything in-between. We hope for different translations and languages and expressions of the psalms. When they have all arrived, they will be bound together as a reminder of our connection in this time when we feel far apart.
Here are some examples made by Kintail Staff:
Reminder- you don’t have to add pictures! Our staff just like to doodle!
Guidelines & Tips
- Other languages are allowed and encouraged!
- Choose your preferred translation (e.g. NIV, NKJV, NLT, CEB, NRSV, ESV, the Message…)
- You can copy the text from your personal Bible, or you can find it online. Bible Gateway is one site that lets you read, search, and choose your translation.
- Write on regular white copy & multipurpose paper, letter size (8 1/2” x 11”).
- Pen or marker are best for writing text so that it’s visible. It’s okay to start with pencil, but then retrace.
- Write in portrait orientation (vertical, not horizontal).
- Please write the reference of your chapter- and verses if you’re doing part of a larger Psalm -clearly at the beginning of your text. You do not need to copy the little numbers with every line. (I.e. Psalm 1, Psalm 118: 23-29).
- You’re welcome to write a short personal reflection at the bottom of the page, telling us what the text means to you or why you like it. This should be just a few lines.
- Show your creative flair! If you’d like, include a drawing/illustration with your text, or add calligraphy of individual letters, etc.
- This is a spiritual formation project, and everyone can participate! Your submission doesn’t need to be perfect! It will be beautiful in its own way.
- Make sure to email or mail your submission by July 31st, 2020.
For questions, email [email protected]