The arts and spirituality intersect often at Westport. They have to intersect, because there are so many spiritual ideas that are communicated by:
- Written and spoken word
- Sculpture, painting, drawing, wood cuts, and photography
- Dance and movement
- Poetry! Drama! Theater!
Some of us began to really understand Easter when we saw Paul Granlund’s sculpture Resurrection #2 displayed on a gigantic screen during a worship service.
Some of us had our understanding of Holy Week and Christmas Eve deepened when we participated in Illuminated Nativity Story and Illuminated Good Friday worship services that involve displays of art on a large screen while the Holy Week Bible narrative or the Nativity Story are read and hymns are sung.
Some of us really understood the nature of our journey after a catastrophic fire destroyed out church building after Christmas, 2011 and the next Sunday, tenor Jedd Schneider sang the moving African-American spiritual My Way is Cloudy.
Our staff has created a number of Illuminated Insights worship services, which feature art, singing and reading of Bible texts and interpretations—Illuminated Lord’s Prayer, Illuminated Beatitudes, Illuminated 23rd Psalm, Illuminated Life of Jesus, Illuminated Faith of Jesus. Through these worship services we are invited to experience the faith of Michelangelo and Caravaggio, Frank Wesley (India), Rosemary Namuli (Kenya), Henry Ossawa Tanner (USA) and Jacob Lawrence (USA), and many others who become present with us as we sing, read and experience the ways in which they experienced the lively presence of God in their lives.
When our choir sings both European and African interpretations of the hymn When I Survey the Wondrous Cross, we are able to experience both the somber reality of what it meant for Christ to give his life as well as the feeling of celebration that someone loved enough to give his life so that humanity might be transformed, redeemed, the earth saved from destruction, all of us encouraged to transcend the harder, harsher dimensions of human existence.
Want to spend some time at the crossroads of art and spirituality? Spend some time with us!