By Scott Giger

This summer I had the privilege of being Dean of Camp Arcadia for a week in June. That means that I led a few worship services, taught Bible Study each morning, and did a few other pastor-type things. My partner for the week was Pastor Jim Wetzstein, the campus pastor from Valparaiso University. I had never met Jim before and when I was first introduced to him via email I committed a textbook “Giger Gaffe.” The Camp Director invited us to share potential topics for our week of lectures.

Jim wrote first, “I was thinking I would draw on my experience of fourteen years cartooning the [the series of Bible readings for each Sunday of the year].”

Now this seemed too ridiculous to let go. I responded, “Figuring that Jim is joking, I would accompany that with interpretive slide-whistle renditions of the same readings.”

In return, Jim graciously wrote, “It does seem outrageous, but it is actually true –”

I ‘sheepishly’ opened the link to find a website that I had frequented! I groveled and apologized, and Jim showed restraint and forgave. So much for good first impressions!

Auspicious beginnings aside, Jim was a great partner. I learned to view the text simply, and yet with complete understanding. He taught that cartooning is “amplification by simplification.” By reducing the text to three frames, he zeroes in on a single memorable point. It is not a form of reductionism, it is an attempt at simple understanding.  

Attached is the cartoon that was created with ideas from the group at Camp Arcadia. Reflect on the cartoon – and see how you encounter the amplified, simple truth from the Gospel reading from Luke 16:14-31.