What is faithbooking?
This following article is from
People are preserving their religious
memories in scrapbooks.
Scrapbooking - creating photo albums and memory books with decorative
papers - is one of the hottest hobbies around, bringing in $1 billion a
year. As scrapbooking’s popularity has grown, people of faith have
adopted it as an informal outlet for sharing their religious beliefs,
both within and outside of their own faith communities. Some refer to
this hobby as "faithbooking." There are clubs for Jews, Catholics,
Mormons and other Christians all over the country. Many use pages and
albums to commemorate religious holidays, such as Easter and Passover,
and religious passages, such as first communions and bar and bat
mitzvahs. In some places, members of different religions work side by
side in scrapbooking classes and clubs, sharing religious ideas as well
as paper, scissors and paste. All agree that scrapbooking the religious
milestones in their lives is an innovative way to preserve family faith
traditions for future generations.
One of the main characteristics of modern religious practice is the way
many people seek religious fulfillment and meaning outside organized
religion. Religious scrapbooking – which some people call "faithbooking"
- is one of the newest ways people are carrying their religious beliefs
over into their secular lives and activities.
In Dallas, Texas, Marni Kaner organizes a Jewish scrapbooking club. Most
members are Jewish, and say scrapping religious milestones and holidays
is an effective way to pass on Jewish traditions. “When my children look
through their albums, it shows them the importance of all the Jewish
things they do,” she says. "They know those things are important because
mommy put them in their albums."
Sandra Joseph frequently speaks to groups to spread the gospel of
scrapbooking and has just founded a company that will publish five
how-to books on transforming scrapbooks into chronicles of family and
individual faith. A Christian, she has used a Bible software program to
discover that the Bible commands people to "remember" 262 times – a
direction she says can lead to scrapbooking. She cites the Book of
Joshua’s description of God's command to the Twelve Tribes of Israel to
leave a stone in memory as they cross the Jordan River. "It was a
scrapbook," she says. "A visual reminder of God's faithfulness. That is
where I see the calling for us to document the day-to-day examples of
God’s faithfulness in our lives."
Brent Plate is a professor of religion at Texas Christian University and
he sees many reasons why scrapbooking lends itself well to religious
expression. Both are about community and tradition, and passing on both
through ritual. "We used to sit around and share stories of our
ancestors and this is along the same lines," he says. "Now we sit around
the living room and do the same thing. But the format of it – the formal
arrangement of it – there is something in that that becomes religious.
People are gathered together with a set of actions, intending to make
meaning and continue memories. And one of the most important things of
all to religious ritual is memory."