Glen Yakushiji and Liz Vail: Faith Journeys

Glen Yakoshiji

The assignment I have been given is to report on the way the spirit of church enters my work. When I asked Deborah what that was really about she said that I should talk about what goes on in my life too. So I will devote 2 minutes to my job and 3 minutes to the rest of my life. That is an interesting thought. To describe my life in 3 minutes. The time for this introduction will come out of my work description. I’ll say one thing about both of those areas.


There have been a few aphorisms which I remember because they are the ways that I think about my life.

  1. Follow up good ideas.
  2. There is never time to do things right, but there is always time to do it again.
  3. If not me, who? If not now, when?
  4. Chop wood, carry water.


I work at GWU as an electronic technician. When I think about the work I do and my spiritual life outside of Seekers I don’t know what to say. Religion rarely becomes part of my work. Here is a description of my job:

I fix all kinds of electronic machines at my job. Machines that record sound or pictures, machines that playback sound or show pictures, machines that route signals, machines that modify signals. Electronics is a spiritual science on an abstract level and like any other medium can teach a lot of good life lessons.

Quote from a book about video production:

Assuming everything is properly connected, there is another cause to consider. Even so-called inanimate matter such as electronic circuits and pieces of metal and plastic are all made up of atoms and molecules that must bind together in a certain absolute pattern. A kind of INTERNAL INTELLIGENCE and energy is necessary to maintain this pattern…the internal intelligence of VTRs and cameras will definitely respond to highly negative or positive emotional fields generated by people…This is why equipment works for certain people and doesn’t work for others…COSMIC INTERFERENCE may be your problem rather than the machine’s. If you’re convinced the equipment will break down on the job, it definitely will.

Liz Vail

Being Church.

I see self as wanting to participate more fully in the "life of Christ". I consider an institution, however small, essential to this. Thus my call to be church includes being a part of building the institution and what it stands for. I think we are fortunate to have inherited an ecumenical structure which has given us freedom to experiment with forms. Being part of the core group is a way to help design an institution while being under the authority of it. I am using the word institution rather than community. There is a lot of alienation from the word institution today and it is part of my witness that it can be good. I see participating in the artist mission group gives me a chance to see how other Christians try to live their lives out in faith. I find the ups and downs of the creative process particularly fruitful in showing the faith journey in its "Via Positive" and "Via negative" as Matthew Fox called it in Original Blessing. As a created being I feel my life is to be lived out as a thank you.

I see my volunteer efforts in an artist run gallery as mission. It is a way to encourage artists to hang in with the process of showing their work as well as making it. "Are you getting your work done?" is often a question which elicits some new description of a working process or a faith place.

As an artist the criteria for my art is to be authentic. Authentic to my uniqueness. I find this is defined by my participation in a community of other unique beings. The call to be artist is to claim that.

Another aspect of my life is aging and dealing with a changing health situation with Hollis. This is a constant challenge and in many ways diminishment calls forth a lot of creativity and faith.

All of the above is a faith statement as I am never sure about how God feels about what I am doing. Living with not knowing is easier with a community.

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