Why Art Matters

Art Matters

We recently had an Art Sunday at Antioch. Art Sunday is something we came up with our first year of church back in 2006-2007 to force ourselves to think more deeply on how to include art, beauty and aesthetics in the service and message, as well as create an opportunity to speak more directly to the role art and creativity play in helping us know and understand God more deeply.

If God created us in his image, then that must mean we are men and women who have the ability to create. Another way of saying it is that when we create, we are participating in the image of the one who created us. 

Another thing that we do on Art Sunday is collect art from members in the congregation—jewelry, painting, photography, floral art, installation art, etc., and have it on display and for sale after the service. Some of my best memories are seeing people in the church realize for the first time that the mortgage broker that sits next to them in the service is also an incredibly gifted watercolor painter. There is something powerful in people being able to demonstrate their giftedness and thereby have others know them in a fuller capacity. It’s shocking how many people who sit in church services have artistic gifts to offer to the church of which we’re completely unaware of. Additionally, giving the people of the church an opportunity to purchase art in order to not only affirm artists, but to decorate their homes with work created by people in our community is incredibly significant.

This particular Art Sunday we were talking about the connection between reclamation art and peacemaking, and the example Jesus set as a peacemaker–literally as one who would offer bread and wine to the one who was soon to betray him. This was illustrated during the sermon by Paul Crouse, who helps lead the Antioch internship program, with chalk on on a 4×7 sheet of plywood.

If you’re ever planning to visit Antioch, you might want to aim for the month of June and catch one of our Art Sundays and be reminded, along with us, why art matters.

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