This is the sixth piece of art for our series “We Believe.” You can see the explanation to the entire series here.
6.) THE GOSPEL:
We believe that the gospel is the good news of Jesus Christ. The gospel is utter folly to the world, yet the power of God to those who are being saved. This good news is Christological, centering on the cross and the resurrection. The gospel message is: “Christ died for our sins…[and] was raised.” The gospel is not proclaimed if Christ is not proclaimed, and the authentic Christ has not been proclaimed if his death and resurrection are not central. This good news is also biblical, theological, historic, apostolic and intensely personal. Jesus’ death and resurrection are according to the Scriptures. He died for our sins to reconcile us to God, if the events did not happen, our faith is worthless, we are still in our sins, and are to be pitied more than all others. The message was entrusted to and transmitted by the apostles, who were witnesses of these saving events. Where the gospel message is received, believed, and firmly held, individual persons are saved.
This piece of art, titled “Share the Road”, was inspired by a town, its people and their journey. The design originated from a video clip of bicyclists’ on Bike to Work Day in Old Town Fort Collins. A photo from the clip was then sketched and burned onto birch wood and stained. The three primary wood stain colors were taken from the Colorado State flag, and represent the blue sky, red rocks and golden sun as it rises on this cool, crisp winter morning. The title “Share the Road” comes from a sign commonly seen on the roads in Fort Collins, reminding vehicles and cyclists to share the road; however as Christians, I believe we are called to share the road that leads the way to Jesus Christ. In John 14:6 Jesus says, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” So as I live, move and breathe in this community, I realize we’re all on a road going somewhere, looking for that something that will bring peace and happiness. “Share the Road” is a call to share the Gospel and tell others about the good news of Jesus Christ. We’re to let them know Jesus overcame sin and death on the cross so that we can have everlasting life with Him. In Mark 16:15, Jesus tells the disciples, “Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation.” So whether at home, or work, or biking to work, my prayer is that we “Share the Road” to eternal life through Christ, and let the real journey begin.
This is the fifth piece of art for our series “We Believe.” You can see the explanation to the entire series here.
5.) THE PLAN OF GOD:
We believe that from all eternity God determined in grace to save a great multitude of guilty sinners from every tribe and language and people and nation, and to this end he foreknew them and chose them, all to the praise of his glorious grace. In love God commands and implores all people to repent and believe, having set his saving love on those he has chosen and having ordained Christ to be their Redeemer.
The idea behind the piece came from Romans 8:28, specifically the words “all things work together for good…according to his purpose.” The earth is interlocked with gears which represent God working all things together according to his good and perfect will. The clock represents God’s foreknowledge and preordination and his perfect timing in all of these things. The thread stitching the earth points back to God’s hand in carefully and lovingly ordaining all things.
The backdrop is made up of words (as defined in Webster’s Dictionary) and their synonyms (as found in a few thesauruses) from or pertaining to this doctrinal statement as well as song lyrics that point back to God’s plan of salvation. The words are laid out in a seemingly random order. This is intentional and eludes to the nonlinear process of sanctification. The background also fades from black to white, as you move from bottom to top, to represent the great multitude of guilty sinners being saved by the grace of God, moving out of darkness into the light of our loving God.
This is the fourth piece of art for our series “We Believe.” You can see the explanation to the entire series here.
4.) THE FALL: We believe that Adam, who was created in the image of God, distorted that image for himself and all his offspring by giving into Satan’s temptation and sinning against the Creator God. As a result, all human beings choose sin and are alienated from God, corrupted in every aspect of their being, and are condemned to death apart from God’s own gracious intervention.
This is a 4 panel print carved into linoleum. Each panel represents a different aspect of The Fall. Moving clockwise from the top left: Adam’s hand grasping the fruit God commanded man and woman not to eat. Next to the fruit is the serpent, Satan, tempting Adam and Eve to go against God, their Creator. In our choosing sin we are separated from God – represented by the finger of God in the bottom right, demanding our removal from his presence. In the final panel the consequence of death is depicted by the human skull.
Each of the four panels is connected to one another through a section of the blood-red cross in the middle. Sacrificial blood radiates out from the center of the cross as it moves across the panels. Apart from God’s gracious intervention through the shedding of blood in the death of His Son, these four panels are the end of the story. But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ. (Ephesians 2:4-5)
This is the third piece of art for our series “We Believe.” You can see the explanation to the entire series here.
3.) CREATION OF HUMANITY: We believe that God created human beings, male and female, in his own image. Men and women are made equal in the image of God and enjoy equal access to God by faith in Christ Jesus. Both men and women are called to signiﬁcant engagement in family, church, and civic life.
Children have an immense capacity for creativity in communication through art. The elementary aged students (5 years old through 5th grade) worked for two Sundays on family portraits. They were instructed to draw their families enjoying one another, serving or participating in the community at large, or their family in the context of church life. Their 36 separate images create one large piece of artwork conveying that we all are made IN HIS IMAGE!
Artists: The Town Kids and Melody Shaddix, Cassy Reeves, Renee Rillo
This is the second piece of art for our series “We Believe.” You can see the explanation to the entire series here.
We believe that God has inspired the words of the sixty-six books of the Old and New Testaments. These writings alone constitute the Word of God, which is utterly authoritative, without error in the original writings, complete in its revelation of his will for salvation, and sufficient for all that God requires us to believe and do.
Psalm 12:6 says: “The words of the Lord are pure words, like silver refined in a furnace on the ground, purified seven times.” This scripture is the basis for my artwork. In the center of the quilt are 66 blocks representing the 66 books of the Bible. This segment of the quilt is quilted in a freeform wave pattern to illustrate that all scripture is God-breathed. The blocks are arranged in a triangular layout because we believe in a triune God. Additionally, they are various shades of gray, with a silver tulle quilted as an overlay, to convey pure silver. The surrounding background in vibrant blues, oranges and reds conjure up the idea of a refining fire. There are seven flames embroidered in the quilting to represent the seven purifications. I’ve been quilting since early 2012 and I love creating works of art with fabric.
On April 28 we began a 13-week study of our doctrinal statement. Each week we will cover one point of this statement in an attempt to grow in our affections for the God of the Bible. You can follow along and listen to each of these sermons here.
Several months ago we gathered the artists of The Town Church to ask them to consider representing each of these doctrines in a work of art. Each week we will present the work as well as an artist’s statement about the work. Below is the art for week 1.
1.) THE TRIUNE GOD
We believe in one God, who eternally exists in three equally divine Persons—the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit—who know, love, and glorify one another. This one true and living God is worthy to receive all glory and adoration.
This piece is an imperfect attempt to represent the triune nature of God. The triangle shown is a variation of the Penrose triangle, an optical illusion that pushes and plays with our limits of human understanding. This felt appropriate because it is impossible for our finite selves to fully comprehend the infinite nature and being of God. Each equal section of the shape represents 1 person of the triune God:
God the Father (YHWH)
God the Son (The hand of Jesus)
God the Spirit (Dove wing as a representation the Spirit at Jesus’ baptism)
Each section of the shape folds back into itself as a representation of the 3 persons of the Trinity knowing, loving, and glorifying each while each being part of the whole.
The primary colors represent the Triune God being the foundation and author of creation and beauty.
On January 22 we began a new sermon series in the book of James. The sermon series is called STEADFAST. God has blessed The Town Church with so many gifted artists who have helped with this sermon series – everything from title graphics, video bumpers, notebooks and stage design. Our Creator as given us many creative people to help us in our study of James. Take a look at some of the work below!
On May 31st we began a series in the book of Judges. We will spend 11 weeks looking at the ongoing cycle in the book of Judges. The general nature of the cycle is something like this:
The people of God do what is evil in the sight of God.
The anger of God burns against them.
God hands them over to an enemy.
The people cry out to God (at times in repentance).
God raises up a deliverer (judge) to deliver the people from the enemy.
There is rest or renewal in the land.
The deliverer dies.
The cycle repeats.
This cycle is seen most clearly in Judges 3:7-11 with the judge Othniel. To simplify this cycle, we have shortened it – REBELLION | REPENTANCE | RENEWAL | REPEAT.
As is the case with every sermon series, we have a very talented artist (Andrew Steger) who has come up with imagery to help us remember the themes we’ll be seeing throughout the book. The image chosen for this series is a zoetrope. What is a zoetrope? Good question.
The name zoetrope comes from two Greek words for “life” and “turning.” The zoetrope was invented before film animation existed to produce the illusion of motion by displaying a sequence of drawings to show the progressive phases of that motion. This device consists of a cylinder with vertical slits cut into the side of the cylinder. Inside the cylinder is a row of sequenced images. As the cylinder spins, the viewer looks through the slits at the rotating images. The scanning of the slits keeps the images from blurring together, and the viewer sees a rapid succession of images, producing the illusion of ongoing, cyclical motion.
Here is a quick video explaining the process.
Andrew used the zoetrope image for the book of Judges to clearly communicate the ongoing cycle in the narrative – REBELLION | REPENTANCE | RENEWAL | REPEAT.
Below is the video bumper we are using to intro our series on Sunday mornings. In the video below you will see a man walking (representing God’s people). As the man walks, a burden is placed on his back which leads to confession and crying out to God. You will then notice the hand of God placing a judge in front of the burdened man, pointing forward away from the enemy. As the man follows the judge, you will notice several colored hands reaching up to distract the man (representing the sin of falling back into idol worship) – and the cycle continues.
We are thankful for the creativity of so many who are a part of the ministry of The Town Church. The work they produce is one of the ways the truth of God is communicated to us. To God be the glory!
On August 24th we began a sermon series in the book of Ephesians. One of our talented artists (Major Chisholm) put together an entire series of paintings based on the book of Ephesians. Read his statement and look at the images below. The size of this painting commands the attention of the viewer, but you will have to experience that in person. Stop by the building this Sunday.
But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us,5 even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved—6 and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, Ephesians 2: 4-6
Made Alive was one of the hardest concepts for me to express in a painting. As an abstract expressionist painter this verse didn’t lend any of the iconic credo one wishes it would. Instead I looked at the verse in two ways. The first from Gods perspective and the second from mans perspective. “God being rich in mercy…made us alive with Christ.” The idea that God sacrificed His son for our salvation is displayed through the silver line bleeding into the casket and taking us to the white circle at the top of the painting -representing fellowship with God.
Man’s perspective is deserving of death. The casket. A place of finality – “Even when we were dead in our trespasses.” What we deserve but have not given is this; God “made us alive together with Christ – by grace you have been saved – and raised us up with him andseated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus.”
The silver line descends from heaven into our caskets, the place from which we can never remove ourselves. We have to be removed from death and brought into life. Only then are we Made Alive.
On August 24th we began a sermon series in the book of Ephesians. One of our talented artists (Major Chisholm) put together an entire series of paintings based on the book of Ephesians. This Sunday (September 7) we will be looking at Ephesians 1:5-6. In these verses Paul talks about our loving God’s adoption of those He’s chosen and predestined. Below is a brief statement about one of Major’s paintings called ADOPTION. Read his statement and look at the images below. The size of this painting commands the attention of the viewer, but you will have to experience that in person. Stop by the building this Sunday.
Ephesians 1 : 5 says “he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to thepurpose of his will…”
I’ve long been interested in adoption. The act of adoption points to the abilityof selflessly grafting a child into the inheritance of the family. This is what Godhas done for those who have been chosen before the foundation of the world. He has done this in His Son Jesus.
InADOPTIONI chose to show the unconditional love of the parent to the child through the child holding the fingers of his loving parent.The child is being led by the parent to Christ. The silver line in each of the paintings in this series represents Christ.