Arts Ministry at First Lutheran:
An Emerging Vision
At one time in history, the church was a primary patron of the creative arts. Michelango’s Sistine Chapel and the passions of J.S. Bach are prime examples. In eras when few people were literate, visual arts and music communicated spirituality, rather than the printed word. Today, there is a longing to once again give a wider spectrum of creative works a central place in our spiritual lives. Thereby, First Lutheran seeks to develop a ministry that intentionally connects the arts with Christian spirituality. Our vision is:
A journey discovering community interactions
connecting arts and spiritual practices.
We believe that art inherently reflects God’s presence in creation and, therefore, should be embraced and supported by Christian communities. Because of these beliefs, and because we believe that all truth is of God, we do not limit the art we feature to pieces having a specific scriptural reference or are traditionally ‘religious.’ Nor do we limit our collaborative partnerships to persons who are Lutheran or Christian.
In Spring 2017, we launched two initiatives, one for visual arts and the other for musical arts. Our first juried exhibit, titled “River of Life,” showcased the creative skills of eleven artists displaying twenty works. Our “house concerts” foster local musicians by providing a unique environment for acoustic performances. We also became the rehearsal home of the San Marcos Artists’ Retention and Training Orchestra (SMART) and look forward to a growing partnership with them.
In April 2018 we held our first concert in cooperation with the Texas State School of Music, where we received donations to help a phenomenal emerging musician fund an opportunity to study at a prestigious European music festival. We plan to make this an ongoing opportunity for emerging musicians in our community to share their talents while raising support to further their musical training.
Future goals include
(1) to update our exhibit space to better support art displays so as to incorporate visual images in worship,
(2) to create an even better environment for music and gatherings, and
(3) to establish space for a community art studio/classroom.
If you need a space for artistic expression, whether it be visual, musical or other performance art, we want to support you. We welcome new partners on this journey to renew an ancient connection between art and faith.
As this vision continues to emerge, we are seeking guidance from several who have been down this road. Particularly we have been inspired by the following:
Mermaid Society SMTX: http://mermaidsocietysmtx.com
Cultivating connection between artists, river protectors, historic preservation, and local entrepreneur communities.
Hope Chapel Austin: http://hopearts.org
A congregation where the arts have a central place in ministry.
Partners for Sacred Places: http://www.sacredplaces.org
A national organization seeking to change the way congregations view their role so that their sacred place remains a rich and vital part of the social fabric of a community.