Faith & the Arts Overview

St. Matthew’s has always been a place where the arts have thrived. We are blessed with many creative people within our midst: singers, poets, photographers, painters, writers and playwrights, potters, and musicians. We are blessed with an intellectual curiosity which provides the freedom for art to be expressed. We have the beautiful setting of our church building to offer for programs, musical events in particular. 

The Faith and Arts Series began in 2010 as a result of St. Matthew’s desire to be more intentional in our support of the arts themselves, rather than simply thinking of them as something providing support for other activities. We regard the gracious and hospitable use of our church as outreach to some who may not be so accustomed to being in sacred space. We hope to challenge and deepen our own faith and its expression in our lives through exposure to artistic expressions of faith and doubt.

Faith and Arts is at the heart of St. Matthews. It is one of the handful of ministries here that is distinctly us, that make us who we uniquely are. Faith and Arts does three amazing things: 1) it brings joy and vitality to the parish like nothing else; 2) it connects us to the vibrant arts and crafts community in Hillsborough and beyond, supporting artists in their vocations; and 3) it allows us as Christians to plumb human experience to a depth and with a poignancy not often achieved in church.  This last gift is critical: the deeper we go into our humanity, the more deeply we can encounter Christ. This is why I refer to Faith and Arts as a ministryof St. Matthews, to be held as at the core to our parish life and identity as pastoral care, social justice, preaching and teaching.

As we begin 2021, still in the throes of the pandemic, outlines of a new Faith and Arts ministry and structure are emerging at St. Matthew’s. Given the excellence of her ministry as the Director of Christian Formation, her involvement in local arts communities, and her graduate-level work on the intersection of faith and art, I have appointed Kim Powell Cox the Executive Director of Faith and Arts for 2021. Kim will be responsible for gathering a group of Faith and Arts volunteers to support her in the practical running of the program as well as convening, with Robert+, a larger council of artists and art-lovers to envision future programs and sustain connections with the local art scene.

While Covid dampens most Faith and Arts offerings, we are actively laying the groundwork now for a splendid re-emergence of in-person programming when health guidelines allow this. Stay tuned!

— Robert Fruehwirth+

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