Sunday Worships:  8:30 & 11:00 AMSunday School Hour:  9:45 - 10:45 AM

Join us at 9:35 for coffee and fellowship in the Parlor or snacks in the dining room for Youth.

Member Musings

The Legacy of the Good Shepherd Painting

Reflections by Lloyd A. Duffney

I am writing about the Good Shepherd painting in the Children’s Library of Bethany, which was painted in 1997. I have been approached a number of times over the past years from folks who recognized it with wonderful comments. I thought I would like to share some information and memories about it. The painting itself has a lot of interesting background.

First of all, when I was a young boy, I saw a painting of the Good Shepherd with Jesus carrying the lamb and I thought the scene was beautiful – so beautiful I never forgot it.

I still had fondness for the Good Shepherd painting when I became an Art Teacher. I saw it as beautiful design, in which the elements of Art were used: the Principle of Design, balance continuity, repetition and powerful unity with the large image of Jesus in the center of the painting with other objects leading one’s eyes toward the interest or impact of the design – Jesus carrying the lamb.

I used the Principles of Design in my art classes when we were critiquing students’ artwork and they looked forward to that.
The painting is very much a replica of the original painting. I liked it so much I really only painted it with minor changes. For example, I used my hands for a model as I thought they looked more like that of a shepherd.

The original painting, “The Good Shepherd” was done by a German painter from Frankfurt, Germany in 1872 and its basis is found in the Gospel of John (John 10:1-18) where the Good Shepherd has come to gather God’s flock to defend and lead it to the pasture of salvation.

When the children’s library was set up, I couldn’t help thinking about this painting on its wall, a perfect scene for children. Barb Brockshus was the Parish Ed Director and she agreed. I then bought the acrylic paint for it. She really would have liked to have it done for the Open House, but the time was too short to paint it. I did get a drawing done with Jesus carrying the lamb.

I really enjoyed doing the painting. I loved working with young children as I taught Art K-12. I felt I was still doing something for them. And, I’m thinking about Mark 10:14 “suffer the little children to come unto me and forbid them not: for us such is the kingdom of God.” This is what Jesus said when some women wanted Jesus to bless their children. Jesus was tired from his long journey and the disciples wouldn’t let them approach so as not to disturb. Jesus heard this and rebuked the disciples and told them to let the children come to him.

I am pleased to have done this painting as a tribute to the Sunday School children. My late wife, Patricia and I worked over nine years in the St. James School for Boys at Faribault, MN as teachers and house-parents (dorm counselors) as it was a boarding school. I had also been a Sunday School teacher here at Bethany and served as Sunday School superintendent.

Lloyd A. DuffneyLloyd Duffney, a long-time member of Bethany and former Art teacher, did this wall-size painting back in 1997. It is a replica of the Good Shepherd painting that was originally done by the German painter and graphic artist, Bernard Plockhurst.