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    Pastor Stacy Boorn of herchurch Shares Her Art and Creative Wisdom

    By Kit Kennedy–

    For this issue of the San Francisco Bay Times I spoke with Stacy Boorn, who is a creative visionary, ordained Lutheran pastor, leader of herchurch, photographer, painter, road-traveler, ritualist and storyteller.

    Kit Kennedy: Let’s begin with art. Your photography has appeared in this newspaper. You began as a photographer, but recently have focused on painting. 

    Stacy Boorn: I was five when I held my first camera. My father made a living as a photographer. In school I did drawing and watercolor until a gifted boy tried to improve my work by saying, “Here, this is how you do it.” No surprise, that didn’t work! In seminary I was associate editor of a theological magazine in charge of layout. I also did line drawings to accompany articles. I’m interested in photojournalism and especially the Depression artists, such as Dorothea Lange. I love to capture nature. In nature, no one talks back to you or gives you advice!

    Recently, I took a herchurch goddess painting class modeled after Shiloh Sophia’s color of woman techniques. I don’t follow the instructions exactly as I often use one of my photographs from my travels as a starting point for the goddess image. The universe is a wondrous canvas; in fact, prophetic. Even in painting, I look through the lens of photography—composition of line and color. In both photography and painting, I’m smitten by blue and green, which translate to me as Earth and sky.

    Kit Kennedy: Please tells us about your paintings illustrated here.

    Stacy Boorn: Let’s start with Hina Breathes Creative Playful Life in All. Hina is a generating force in Hawaiian cosmology. Hina is subtle, yet adorable. I love sea turtles, dolphins, the moon (rising or falling)—all part of the divine, feminine energy. Plus, a scent of plumeria. Hina is youthful, and above all, playful. With the crazy mess our country is in, we need playfulness. 

    The second is The Tree Goddess. I love pomegranates for their lushness, because they represent the seeds of life and the life of a woman. And who can resist a hummingbird? The color green speaks to me as a symbol of peace and hope, our birthright to a beautiful life.  

    The third is Hathor’s Gaze. Hathor’s eyes look out into the world, gazing at us. She’s powerful; she’s beautiful and she wears makeup. Although I’ve worn makeup 2 or 3 times in my life, and perhaps lipstick once, I like seeing it on women, men and non-gendered-conforming folks. I admit that the hieroglyphics are not technically accurate. I created representations that spoke to me: eye of Horus, waves, pot, a ring of snakes—symbols of the divine. Lots of power here. 

    The fourth is Ancient One, who was first captured in my camera in Namibia. She is a Himba elder and connects with thousands of years of nomadic traditions and still wears her ancestors’ fashions and scars. Looking over her shoulder is a young cheetah that is also a nomad in her homeland. Both of their eyes look beyond the viewer, hoping that there will be a future for them to wonder into. 

    Kit Kennedy: In a prior interview you said, “Creativity and spirituality are two threads in the same cord. Sometimes it is music, sometimes dance, sometimes words. Mostly, for me, it is imagery, splashes of color and placed objects that enhance and embody the Sacred and her Presence.” Please elaborate.

    Stacy Boorn: Whether it’s art or science or both, that spark is also our spiritual compass. Our core values are sacred beyond us, connecting us with other beings to create justice and equality. 

    Kit Kennedy: Anyone who knows you, Stacy, knows that you are passionate about many things.  What’s the synergy among road trips, social justice, art-making and cooking?

    Stacy Boorn: I’ve travelled to Alaska several times; each time it’s about something new and retracing footsteps. When I recently returned to Valdez, it was shocking to see the Columbia Glacier. The effect of global warming on such geological wonders is horrific. In cooking, it’s about composition. I gather ingredients in all of their bits of beauty and plate them aesthetically. So, travel, art and cooking all spark inward journeys, tickle the senses, heighten consciousness.  I believe all artists show us a path to wake up, so we can act for social justice.   

    Kit Kennedy: You invite 3 folks (living or dead) to a dinner party. Who comes, what’s on the menu, who’s cooking?

    Stacy Boorn: Thanks, but I’m inviting 4. The first three are Elizabeth Stanton, Susan B. Anthony and Sojourner Truth. The fourth is Judy Chicago, because she knows intimately dinner plates. I cook; Judy plates the food. I don’t follow recipes. I improvise with the seasonal.

    Kit Kennedy: You are an ordained Lutheran Pastor and call your homilies wisdomscape. You also confess that you are an unabashed eavesdropper. How does eavesdropping influence your wisdomscapes and your art?

    Stacy Boorn: My eavesdropping role model is San Francisco Chronicle columnist Leah Garchik. Vignettes have an entire life of their own. There are snippets of wisdom even when you don’t know the context. I don’t spend time in cafés, but I relish a conversation overhead in the Arboretum. Seriously, wisdom isn’t restricted to religious texts. Holy wisdom happens all of the time. It’s woven throughout our everyday. I love landscapes and seascapes. However you enter the scene, the viewer needs to participate in the art.

    Kit Kennedy: In addition to being a storyteller, you are a blogger who refers to your posts as visual meditations. Please explain.

    Stacy Boorn: I started blogging 7 years ago. I wanted to give the backstory to what I was photographing, sometimes incorporating a technique tip. With so much threat to environmental protection, it is difficult for me not to become stymied. I’m hoping to get back to blogging on a weekly basis.

    Kit Kennedy: You are offered 2 unconditional wishes. What are you asking for?

    Stacy Boorn: It’s got to be 3 wishes, Kit.

    A change in U.S. government structure and organization.

    A true equality and divinity for all sentient beings.

    The spiritual community I’m involved with (herchurch) will expand and engage more creative and peace-seeking folks.   Open invitation: Sundays at 10:30 am. 

    Kit Kennedy: I can’t imagine that anyone who meets you doesn’t think of you as being playful.  What’s the journey like to playfulness?

    Stacy Boorn: It’s heredity. I got the humor gene from my family and grandparents. A bit of sarcasm, too. I say, let’s separate the crap from the beautiful. You don’t have to take yourself too seriously. Yes, there are hardships, but also joy in the playfulness of life.   

    Kit Kennedy: So, what’s next for you creatively? 

    Stacy Boorn: My goal has been to complete 2 paintings a month. I create what I like and hope that others find something in the piece. It’s curious for me that folks view my painting differently than my photography. I might go back to photography and do something new. Perhaps a series of toes and feet!

    Kit Kennedy: Recently I’ve heard you sing the praises of the word “yummy.” Let’s make that the final word and with gratitude to you, Stacy.

    Stacy Boorn: Indeed, if we could all find the yummy light in each other.

    For more information please visit:

    For an interview with Stacy Boorn on her spiritual journey, see Birthing God: Women’s Experiences of the Divine by Lana Dalberg (Skylight Paths Publishing, Woodstock, VT).

    Kit Kennedy is the Poet-in-Residence of the “San Francisco Bay Times” and at herchurch Ebenezer Lutheran (

    She has published 5 poetry collections, and for the past several years she has hosted the poetry series at Gallery Café. For more information, please visit her blog: