In the last few years, our church has had the opportunity to start a deaf ministry. We have several deaf members attending, and the number of people who have learned to sign in order to translate for them is steadily increasing! Off the top of my head, I can think of at least five women who regularly participate in translating some part of the service, whether it be announcements, music, or the message, and I know that there are others who sit with the deaf and participate in their worship, even if they are not translating.
I'm kind of mesmerized by the activity in the deaf section... I often get so caught up in watching that I forget to pay attention to whatever is going on, lol. One of the things I think is so beautiful about the language is the sheer beauty of the signs and the way that this language really involves the whole body of the worshipper.
I've long had a yearning to take my camera and capture some of this beauty, but I was a little shy about approaching the signers for fear that I'd make them feel "watched." Last week at cantata rehearsal, I was sitting near one of our youngest translators, Jenna, and I made some mention of someday wanting to photograph the signing. She told me that her mom had just been lamenting the fact that she didn't have any pictures of her signing, and I eagerly offered to fix it!
Jenna was the perfect subject. :) She completely ignored me, which was awesome, so I got to circle and shoot without feeling like I was in her way.
The pictures are a bit grainy because of the stage lighting and whatnot, but I did manage to get a few nice shots. I'm hoping to do this again in better lighting conditions, especially now that I have a feel for the "flow" of the two songs she's translating.