Friday, October 24, 2014

Dear Friends of St. Christiana... Our Open House with Yard Sale & Old World Bake Sale is coming up on Saturday Oct 25. We are not only have our usual schedule but will be featuring our 10th anniversary as well as the 100th anniversary of the building we are using for our temple. There will also be a mini choir presentation.  See you there!



Dear Friends in Christ, the Perfect Icon of the Father,
I learned as a practicing iconographer that what I see is as important as what I hear. It is true that “Faith comes by hearing; hearing the word of God”(Romans 10:17). It finally dawned on me that faith also comes from seeing: seeing what? The word of God in images and color.
An icon creates a visual place to pray. Just ‘gazing’ reverently at an icon can lift my spirit to contemplate the realm of the Holy Spirit. That is why Icons are called “theology in color”. They express the Gospel truths through visual medium, and so are also known as “Windows to Heaven”.
Icons have lately been rediscovered broadly among Christians who thirst for the beauty of God and the Gospel. God is not just beautiful, God IS beauty, just as He is Love and Truth. An Icon is a work of beauty and beauty bears witness to God. Of course we pray ‘with icons’ not to them.
Over the past year I have “written” (painted) these six iconic events in the life and work of Christ specifically for our retreat:
The retreat describes the meaning of each Icon. Then we are prepared to contemplate the Icon by simply “gazing” at it, and through it to the reality each represents, relying on the sensitivity of our hearts more than the rational function of our minds. It is an activity of the spirit whereby we place ourselves in the presence of the Lord and His saving work depicted in the Icon. This is because the Icon transmits the Christian faith in line and color.
Please register now for the October 11th retreat at San Damiano Retreat Center P O Box 767 Danville CA 94526-0767
I look forward to sharing with you what I have learned by personal experience over many years.
See you there!
Fr. Leo Arrowsmith
Priest-iconographer and retreat-master

The above Retreat will take place on October 11, 2014.  Please contact Fr. Leo at


The icon workshops I have been doing of recent months have been very successful. A lot of folks want to try their hand at icon ‘writing’ which is an art genre all its own. Most everyone has different schedules because of work and other commitments, so I decided to make our workshops “open workshops”, that is, I will continue to do workshops each Wednesday from 9 am to 11:30 am, but each participant can choose when they can attend as fits their schedule. To do this, each student will be instructed individually even though in a group setting. Some will be just starting a new icon; some will already be completing their icon. Everyone can pace themselves as time is available.

If you are interested in taking advantage of this ongoing opportunity to learn to write your own icon or to improve your skill, please let me know by email or phone. (925) 456-0845. There are no pre-requisites, but some drawing talent is needed. Please let others know of the open workshop. We will continue to use acrylics as our chosen medium. Included in the cost of $50 per session is the pre-gessoed board you will be painting on and all other materials needed except four brushes which you can purchase from me at the workshop at cost if you do not already have brushes.

Give me a ring and let’s chat about the feasibility of working together to produce beautiful icons worthy of veneration by the faithful. There is lots to learn and I am eager to introduce you to the art and spiritual exercise of iconography.

Fr. Leo