About the book
Open Our Eyes is a welcome accompaniment to Advent days, anticipating Christ’s birth. Follow its invitation of prophetic prayers and vibrant artwork to watch and wait for the coming of the Holy One. Open your eyes and heart to the wideness of God, and God’s gentle but persistent call for justice and mercy.
Prayers and images are sequenced into weekly themes:
● I am near, so near
● I will lead you
● I am yours
● I am with you always
Return to the book during other seasons as well, to be immersed in God’s presence and to hear God’s call anew.
Ann Gerondelis is an author, architect and design educator in Atlanta, Georgia, where she lives with her husband and two daughters. She is the founder of Sketch Prayers Studio, exploring questions of the role of sacred communities, and the power of images in shaping perceptions of God’s holy imagination. Ann is a Friend of the Iona Community - a dispersed Christian ecumenical community working for peace and social justice, rebuilding of community and the renewal of worship.
PRAISE FOR OPEN OUR EYES
'Ann's gorgeous art carries me to the intersection of love and justice, where the Word gives birth to new incarnations of peace. This book will stir up our hearts to welcome the Holy One.’
Rev. Bradley Schmeling, Senior Pastor, Gloria Dei Lutheran Church, St. Paul, Minnesota
‘The artwork is beautiful, the colors vivid and entrancing. A mantra-like phrase printed on the illustrations focus the mind and stay clearly with the reader. This is a gorgeous book to sit with and meditate.’
Rev. Lisa Bodenheim, Author of Disturbing Complacency: Preparing for Christmas, Associate of Iona Community and Pastor of Clark-Grace United Church of Christ, St. Paul, Minnesota
‘In and through arresting images and words, Ann Gerondelis has opened a way to live our Advent days, ecumenically inviting us to attend to the divine/human mysteries. These "sketch prayers" call me to a new and startling Advent solidarity: honest, earthy, beautiful and wise. Take up and pray.’
Don E. Saliers, Wm. R. Cannon Distinguished Professor of Theology and Worship, Emory University
‘In this little book, Ann Gerondelis invites us to pause for a while to look at our world with its violence and divisions in the larger context of that reign of welcome and justice and mercy that God has in mind for all of us. Her simple and beautiful “sketches” invite contemplation, reflection, and – maybe – action as we are reminded of God’s dream for the Creation and welcomed to take our place in it. It is the work of Advent and of life.’
H. Julian Gordy, Bishop, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Southeastern Synod
‘Rooted in the life of the local church but ever attentive to the complex reality of a diverse and often distracting world, this beautiful collection is a moving and elegant resource for helping Christians everywhere to live more faithfully as the people of God.’
Ian A. McFarland, Author of Out of Nothing: A Theology of Creation, and The Cambridge Dictionary of Christian Theology with David A. S. Fergusson, and other books, Regius Professor of Divinity, Fellow, Selwyn College, University of Cambridge
‘The captivating images and the prophetic prayers in this journal emerge from the enacted spiritual practices of one who dwells with regularity and mindfulness in the presence of the divine and who lives her faith forward in engagement with those who are poor and vulnerable. The abundant color and intentionally spare use of words opens the one who participates with this journal to the power of the deep – the deep presence of God in one's life and in one's communities, the deep spiritual reawakening that the Hebrew Bible says occurs in your gut, and the deep relationship between God and each who seeks to encounter God anew. This emblem book of mutually interpretive images and prayers will draw one in, making the reader into a listener and the viewer into a seer.’
Jan Rippentrop, Axel Jacob and Gerda Maria (Swanson) Carlson Chair of Homiletics; Director, Master of Arts Programs, Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago