Parker Bowen Graphic Design Thesis Spring 2019

Spirit & Truth

Centuries of separation between white and black churches in America have proven that we don’t actually need each other in order to function as individual entities. We have spent hundreds of years with our faith communities growing in parallel, and we continue to do so with little to no interaction. But while we may be able to support our individual congregations in this state of division and isolation, we cannot live out the full extent of our calling, identity, and hope as followers of Jesus this way. We cannot claim to be loving, understanding, and empathetic people if we are not striving to embrace, hear, and know one another.

After a few months of weekly meetings to discuss this split between our communities, AJ Kimbrough and I invited our family and friends to join with us in that conversation. Spirit & Truth was a night to talk, sing, pray, and simply be together as Christians with different skin colors—a regrettably rare opportunity in Portland. The evening was led by a small band composed of musicians from both AJ’s home church (Emmanuel Temple Church) and mine (Mosaic). And through music, reflection, conversation, and prayer, we met one another at the feet of Jesus: the one who sought us out while we ran from him—the one who now offers our communities common ground at the foot of the cross.

Each poster I made for Spirit & Truth revolves around a word which completes the following sentence: We need each other to ________. With their churning mixture of book quotes, song lyrics, scripture references and personal reflections, each poster is a wandering record of my experience this year—little fragments of my heart for the Church.

This project was always meant to be the first step into something larger. I don’t know exactly what the next step is, but I want to search for it and keep moving forward. If this is something that weighs on your heart, let’s find a way to move forward together. 

Contact me: or @parkerbwn 

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