January 17-18, I had the privilege, along with a few others from JKPC, of attending a conference in Seattle called Transformation: Worship, the Arts, and the Renewal of Christian Imagination.

The conference was sponsored by Fuller Seminary Northwest, Bethany Community Church, and the Brehm Center of Fuller Seminary, and featured a diverse group of artists, speakers, and presenters. Visual art, drama, poetry, and music were all incorporated into the conference sessions, in addition to talks from noted pastors, authors, and professors.

Part of our time on Saturday was spent in break-out sessions on various topics, including a session on Visual Arts in Worship led by artist and friend of John Knox, Matt Whitney. Matt asked me to serve on a panel for the session, and to share with the group about how John Knox has incorporated visual arts into our worship ad congregational life. I shared some specific ways that we seek to engage the congregation in worship through art — Family Art Night, rotating art exhibits, evening gallery talks, and projected images during worship services, to name a few. The panel also discussed the challenges and blessings of visual art in a worship setting, and shared ideas about how to support and encourage artists within our congregations. It was an honor to represent JKPC in this conversation, and to share stories of how God has been at work in our community through the visual arts.

Submitted by Haley Ballast,
Member of the Worship Ministry Team