Students express faith through the arts

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    Students gathered on Tuesday night to join in an intimate evening of art and worship.  A new addition to the campus, Christian Spirituality and Art allows students, faculty and staff to express their spirituality through different art mediums.

    Heather Shoop, a senior art education major, created the event last spring for another religious group that she was involved in.  Shoop said she wanted to do something artistic to combine Christian worship with collaborative art pieces.

    “I think it’s a really unique way to connect with God just because in a typical worship service its either purely auditory or you're singing something that is not really hands-on,”  Shoop said.

    Associate Chaplain Jeremy Albers from the Office of Religious and Spiritual Life worked with Shoop last year to incorporate art into a night of worship.  He said that the worship service is a great idea because it infuses scripture reading and meditation with communal art.

    Shoop and Albers decided to bring the worship program to campus and extend it into a five-week series on Christian art and spirituality, concentrating on a different art medium each week.

    “We can use that to deepen our own spiritual journeys, find relevant ways to express our creativity, and see God in new ways to help deepen our faith,”Albers said. 

     On Tuesday night, the students closed their eyes in worship as they listened to Albers give the sermon and pray.  After the scripture was read, Albers played music and the students began to paint, rotating the canvases from table to table.

    “This really allows you to go straight from your mind to a canvas where words aren’t involved, and you can have a feeling that you may not be able to explain but you can get it out through paint and through your emotions,” Shoop said.

    Albers said the series is designed to benefit participants whether they decide to come weekly or only once.

    The Christian Spirituality and Art worship series will be held in the Hillel room of the Brown-Lupton University Union Tuesday nights from 5 p.m to 6 p.m.