As pastors and teachers work to convey the eternal truths of our annual ministry theme to RCLS's students, they employ the use of at least two tools to do so. First, of course, are the words of Scripture itself, often extracted from historical narratives such as Joshua’s commission to bold leadership in the task of leading the Israelites into Jordan. As Joshua was commissioned to be strong and courageous, so we will charge our 2019-20 school community to “Be Bold":
Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go (Joshua 1:9b, ESV).
In chapel and in the classroom, this theme verse and the principles it contains will be explored for its Biblical and present-day applications, and RCLS students will write these words on their hearts as they commit this verse to memory.
Also, to support our year-long reflection on these words, RCLS has adopted a ministry theme logo, a visual representation of "boldness." This logo serves as a symbol of the truths in the ministry messages and as an image that unites us all in our consideration of the theme. The logo is displayed on banners at the school, on a theme t-shirt, on classroom newsletters, and in our Wednesday chapel meetings as pastors divide the words of Scripture for young listeners. In short, the logo is on display in various contexts all year long, so it plays an important role in the broader theme and even in the life of the school itself.
This year, we are thrilled to introduce RCLS alumna and current parent, Mrs. Kelly Hicks, as the artist of this year’s ministry theme logo. A graphic designer, Kelly got her own start at RCLS, where she was a student from 2nd-8th grade. After RCLS, Kelly attended Century High School and then UW Stout, where she graduated with a BFA in Multimedia Design. Now a small business owner and the Creative Director for the IBM Events Team, Kelly is grateful for her experience as a student at RCLS, she says, because of the biblical foundation that was granted her.
As an RCLS mom, Kelly has new appreciation for that foundation, for she and her husband, Dustin, see their boys––Jack, 2nd grade, and Liam, Kindergarten––acquiring that foundation. She is particularly grateful for the priority that teachers have for encouraging each of their students to have a relationship with Jesus. As she expresses her gratitude for this priority, she considers that some Christians in Rochester may dismiss too quickly the idea of enrolling their children in a Lutheran school for some wrong idea that it is just a school for Lutherans. Instead, she says gratefully, RCLS is a place that “makes Christ the backbone of everything” that happens in the classroom and otherwise, so it is the commonality of Jesus that makes RCLS such a desirable place to be. “I love that my kids will be able to celebrate the real meanings behind Christmas and Easter in their school,” she continues, and she appreciates that they “come home with Bible stories [that] become a jumping-off point to family discussions around the dinner table.” In this sense of partnership, the warmth that she experiences in the school hallways every day, and in the convenience of having her boys in the same school––“it is great [that] I could send my younger son to preschool during the same hours as his brother was in school and that these shared hours will continue through 8th grade,” she notes––RCLS has been a great blessing to Kelly’s family.
For that reason, this talented designer is eager to be a part of the life of the school, most notably by creating what is one of the more visible elements of the school year: the ministry theme logo. We were inspired to hear about the design and Kelly’s design process, so we thought all of our school community would value the story behind our “Be Bold” logo, too.
RCLS: Where do you start when a client contracts you to design a logo?
Kelly: I always start with the goals of the client, and I ask them a series of questions. Then I ask them for any inspiration they have. I also find my own inspiration based on their answers.
What does it mean, then, to design? What does that work actually look like?
I like to start with pencil and paper, where ideas flow freely, and then I move to my computer. Every good logo should work in grayscale, too, so I start designing in black and white before I add color. When I am sure I have a solid design and I’m ready to add color, I always choose colors based on the main feeling I want the logo to convey. Usually there are a few revisions in the process after a client reviews it, but the final step is handing off the artwork in all the various forms.
Can you tell us a bit about the Bold ministry logo design in particular? What symbols or scripture connections inspired you?
I love that I got to design for the Bold theme. One of the images that came to mind immediately is the sun over mountains. Mountains are mighty and stable like God, and the sun symbolizes Christ as our guiding light–– with us wherever we go. I also thought of the idea of being “bold” within the context of Joshua, leading the Israelites into the promised land.
Is this where the logo’s significance lies then? In the symbolism of the mountains and the sun?
Yes, and I think there is more. For example, all the colors and the outward direction of the lines make the connection that we, as Christians, ought to go out and be a light to the world. We can do so boldly, without fear, because, in the case that a mountain can present a challenge, we can say “’move from here to there,’ and it will move” because in Christ’s strength, nothing is impossible. This is what we read in Matthew 17:20, which I also thought about as I was designing. This is another possible significance. I am sure there are many other connections people can make from the logo, but those are the ideas that initially inspired me.
Your boys will be wearing this logo this year and hearing the message of being courageous in Christ. In what way do you hope your boys are bold or in what way do you hope they’ll grow or act courageously?
I often pray my boys act boldly and courageously––whether they intervene if they see another child in a difficult situation, share an unpopular opinion, or even just try something new. I never want fear to dictate their actions, but I equally desire for them to act in wisdom. I know RCLS is a place that encourages children to learn and grow in their faith and ultimately to share Jesus beyond RCLS’s walls. They can boldly do so when they are first grounded in their faith. This is the message of boldness at RCLS and my hope for our boys.
As we welcome the 2019-20 school, RCLS thanks Mrs. Hicks for this extraordinary visual reminder that God is with us. We may Be Bold, indeed!
RCLS students will receive their “Bold” t-shirts by mid-September from their classroom teachers, but we’ll start talking about having courage in Christ just as soon as the bell rings on August 27.
To view more of Kelly’s designs or to contact her for your own design needs, find Kelly Hicks Design at kellyhicksdesign.com. We are so grateful to have her talents at RCLS.