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Why the Name Tilma?

Colleen Little
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When we first started Glass Canvas, we were rallying around an idea we could not shake: we wanted to bring beauty and innovation back to how we communicate the Gospel.

A lot of that meant unlocking pastors and parish teams to better meet people where they are at—or in other words, online.

We built Tilma as a way to help parish teams better reach their people through digital tools. But we knew it wasn’t about the technology but rather what God could do through the people who were now empowered by the technology in a way that had not been before.

So where did the name Tilma come from?

Our story starts with Juan Diego. In the 1500, he was a local worker in Mexico. While walking one day on Tepeyac Hill on the outskirts of Mexico City, he had a vision of Mary.

She spoke to him, asking him to build a shrine on the hill. But in order to do that he had to get approval from the Bishop.

When the Bishop heard his request, he told Jaun Diego to get proof that Mary had spoken to him. The Bishop asked Juan Diego to gather roses from the hill and bring them to him.

So Diego gathered roses in his Tilma, a worker’s garment, and brought them to the Bishop. When he opened his Tilma, an image of our Lady dressed in Aztec clothing was pressed into his garment.

Just like the Tilma is used as a merchant’s garment, we want to bring our humble technology before God for Him to do miraculous things through. The magic behind great ministry is not in the tools, but in relationship with God and with one another.

When we let go of trying to do anything out of our own will, we get access to power far beyond what we can do and the opportunity to participate in something beyond our wildest imagination.

It's about surrender.

None of us can do our work alone. To be in the business of proclaiming the gospel and helping people encounter God means He has to do the work. Just as we surrender our tools, we also surrender ourselves.

So are you willing to be a tilma? Are you willing to let your work and life be the canvas for God to use? For more information about Tilma Parish or our Diocese solution, set up a call with someone from our team.

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