Dean R. Heetderks

Dean Heetderks (info@reformedworship.org) is art director of Reformed Worship and director of Proservices for the Christian Reformed Church.

 

Articles by this author:

  • Heightened Awareness

    Last summer we moved to a new house about forty minutes away from where we lived before. (Note: If you’re nicely settled and have twenty years of living neatly stashed away, I wouldn’t recommend moving. It’s fun to think about, but the execution can be rough.)

    Different Roads, Eyes Open Wider

    We’re settled now, but the newness has made us sensitive to everything around us: our neighbors, their houses and yards, the sky, the landscapes we’re passing on new routes to work and shop.

  • Joy

    After the two 5′ x 12′ inkjet-printed banners were hung, the church office manager came up behind me and said, “I think we might need to include an artist’s statement in the bulletin.” What? Who could possibly not see what we were trying to visualize here?

  • Going

    A friend contacted me to ask if I had designed any worship visuals around the theme of missions—more specifically, the Great Commission of Matthew 28:16–20: “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations . . .”. I’m sure I had done something at some point, but I couldn’t find a thing. Well then, that time is now.

  • Awash

    It’s been twenty years or so since video projection took over many of our worship spaces. Because we were so enamored by the new technology—guaranteed to take our worship to the next level, whatever that was—it quietly snagged the top spot in the visual hierarchy of our spaces.

  • Funeral Palls

    Funerals are odd events. Normally, if you are going to invite all of your friends and family over, you have weeks or months to prepare—think of the resources called into play for most weddings. But for a funeral, the deceased might have left a few notes about Bible texts they’d like to be read or their favorite songs, but often there is very little put down about colors or flowers or who will attend and who might speak. Add the fact that you usually have to pull something together in days, not weeks or months, all while working through raw emotions.

  • Big Little World

    Some years back, a biology professor gave a presentation at our church that included photos taken by the latest high-powered microscopes. The photos were amazing, but what I remember more was the awe in the professor’s voice as she described the complexities of God’s creation in the very, very small world she studied. Even though she’d taught for years, she acted as if she was seeing these splotches and patterns for the first time. Her presentation was a prayer of praise to the limitless creativity of our God.

  • Not My Hands

    Over the years in this space we’ve talked about inspiration—where and how and when we’re moved to make something new and fresh. For me recently, it was a something very old: the song “Not What My Hands Have Done,” LUYH 624, PsH 260 written in the 1860s by Horatius Bonar. There were fewer than twenty people at a staff retreat where this song was part of the morning’s opening worship.

  • God is With Us

    At a 2018 Worship Symposium workshop, painter and calligrapher Matt Plescher (mattplescher.com) showed participants how to do brush calligraphy. With Plescher’s permission, his work “God is with us” is adapted here for an Advent/Christmas visual. His original art is available free of charge at viascriptura.com.

  • Witness-Trees

    Jennifer Holberg, writing for The Twelve (blog.perspectivesjournal.org), describes a term she was recently introduced to: witness-trees. Witness-trees designated property lines or notable locations that are part of an area’s history.

  • Shining Through

    Since I first saw pictures of Janet Echelman’s sculpture made from thirty-five miles—yes, miles—of technical fiber hanging over a park in Greensboro, North Carolina, I’ve been thinking of ways to capture some of the same airy, flame-like look for a Pentecost visual for worship.

    What if we strung netting of some sort—dyed or left natural—from floor to ceiling? But to keep it from looking like a spiderweb, it needs an anchor of some sort—something to give it focus and a purpose.