Category Archives: Art

Sermon Series Art

Last Sunday (9.22.19) we began a new sermon series in the Minor Prophets. Every time we begin a new sermon series we ask one of our many artists to come up with a graphic for that series. We have a desire to see the creative people in our church using the gifts God has given them for the building up of the church.

Andrew Steger of Maple Key Studio put together the graphic for the Minor Prophet series. We are calling it – “A People Restored.” (listen to the sermons here)

Below is the graphic for the series and Andrew’s description of how this series came about.

Artist Statement: On September 12th this design came to me quickly, clearly, and I can honestly say, from outside of myself. Usually when I’m working on a design for a sermon series I spend time in the passage, then have a fairly strong design feeling that I work out through trial and error. But this one was different. At 11:09 am that morning I had absolutely nothing and at 11:10 the Spirit put this in my head.

Throughout the Minor Prophets, God keeps calling His people back to to Him, back to his heart. He’s holding it out, offering himself to an unrepentant or temporarily repentant people. Not embracing Him leads to destruction. There’s nothing we can DO to earn this restoration, only when we’ve fully surrendered to his embrace and his will, will we be restored. 

There is more symbolism in this design, some that I understand and some I pray that the Spirit will continue to reveal over the course of this series. But I feel like I’m not supposed to explain it further but instead call all of us to engage and interpret it together over the course of the next 13 weeks as we engage His word.

13.) The Restoration of All Things

This is the thirteenth and final piece of art for our series “We Believe.” You can see the explanation to the entire series here

Read more about our doctrine here.
Listen to the sermons from the series here.

The inspiration for my work comes from Revelation 21, where John is lifted in the Spirit to a mountain (v10) and given a vision of the New Jerusalem descending from heaven. The work itself is a digital composite of four photographs taken locally in Colorado with a few added elements. Each element is meant as a symbol that relates back to Revelation 21:

  1. The background sky is a long exposure shot of the Milky Way to represent the new heaven (v1) which no longer includes the sun or moon (v23).
  2. The distant ground is a photograph taken at the Black Canyon of the Gunnison representing the new earth without seas (v1), and the cliffs glowing red from the lake of fire below (v8).
  3. The New Jerusalem is described as a “jasper, clear as crystal” (v11); thus, the city is represented with a macro shot of a polished and shining red jasper. The city has 12 sides to represent the 12 gates for the 12 tribes of God’s people (v12).
  4. Each gate has an angel standing guard (v12), and the 12 rays of light signify God’s redeeming light spread through the 12 apostles, whose names are written into the 12 foundations of the city (v14). The city is described as being “prepared as a bride adorned for her husband” (v2), and thus is lightly veiled with the galaxy Andromeda.
  5. Finally, the light source, and the source of glory, is the victorious lamb. John “saw no temple in the city, for its temple is the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb. And the city has no need of sun or moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and its lamp is the Lamb.” (v22-23).

Hallelujah He has risen, and will return again to make all things new. John writes in Revelation 7:9-12
After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!” And all the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures, and they fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, saying, “Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might be to our God forever and ever! Amen.”

Artist: Jeff Shaddix

12.) Baptism and the Lord’s Supper

This is the twelfth piece of art for our series “We Believe.” You can see the explanation to the entire series here

Read more about our doctrine here.
Listen to the sermons from the series here.

The sacraments, or sacred practices commanded by Christ, of baptism and the Lord’s supper are both elements of our corporate worship which speak to and from our hearts about the death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. In this piece each color and pattern represents different parts of these sacred practices. The blue represents water baptism, in which we unite with Christ in His death, burial, and resurrection. The waves bring to mind how God has promised to wash our sins away. The red and tan represent the bread and wine of communion. With drops within the red, we are reminded of Christ’s blood shed for us on the cross, and the x-stitching in the tan reminds us of His body broken for us. The work is bordered with red and blue, representing how God’s work of redemption and renewal are tied together in our worship and daily lives. These are continual works of the Holy Spirit in our lives.

Artist: Mildred Jessee

11.) God’s New People

This is the eleventh piece of art for our series “We Believe.” You can see the explanation to the entire series here

Read more about our doctrine here.
Listen to the sermons from the series here.

1 Peter 2:4-5, 9-10 says, As you come to him, a living stone rejected by men but in the sight of God chosen and precious, you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. … But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.

We as believers in Christ Jesus and members of The Town Church Fort Collins are God’s New People. While we are currently privileged to meet in a beautiful historic church building, the actual church is made up of individuals. My piece conveys this by incorporating the names of current members of The Town Church, Fort Collins into the very fabric of our current building, with Jesus Christ as the cornerstone. The members we have sent out are grouped as a shadow on the sidewalk symbolizing God’s New People going out into the world. It serves as a snapshot of who we are at this time and in this place.

Additionally, I wanted to capture that God’s new people are global and historical as well. God’s new people are comprised not just by us but by those who have gone before. The clouds highlight a variety of names featuring Biblical individuals, leaders in the reformation movement, missionaries, civil rights activists, martyrs, humble servants, etc. God’s New People are remarkable and by His grace their influence can span across generations. My prayer for The Town Church comes from Hebrews 12: 1-2 which says, “Therefore since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.”

This artwork was rendered in ink, colored pencil, and Chartpak AD markers on bond paper.

Artist: Melody Shaddix 

10.) The Kingdom of God

This is the tenth piece of art for our series “We Believe.” You can see the explanation to the entire series here

Read more about our doctrine here.
Listen to the sermons from the series here.

The first words Jesus declares when he kicks off his public ministry at his baptism are an announcement that the Kingdom of God has arrived. I often have made the mistake of equating the kingdom with some future coming reality that’s not here yet, but that’s not the message proclaimed by Jesus. Jesus taught his followers to that the kingdom is here now, and to pray that his kingdom would come here on earth just as it is in the heavenly realm. We get to experience a foretaste, a partial unveiling, of what he will complete at his return. So we live now in the tension; the kingdom is here, but not yet fully. So we work to see justice fall like rain and oppression cease, we persist in trust in our heavenly Father even when our minds and hearts cannot make sense of our experiences, and we love one another as he loved us for this very reason: we know that one day it will happen as we dream and hope. The king will come. And the king has come. 

The central figure in the kingdom of God is its king. Just as the crown reminded members of the United Kingdom in wartime to “keep calm and carry on,” so the symbol of the crown for me has been a great encouragement in life. Whatever may come, the king is on his throne, governing in wisdom. And he will come and make all things right again, just as he promised.

Artist: Pete Avery

9.) The Power of the Holy Spirit

This is the ninth piece of art for our series “We Believe.” You can see the explanation to the entire series here

Read more about our doctrine here.
Listen to the sermons from the series here.

See the process of making this work below.

“And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters” Genesis 1:2

“And the angel answered her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy—the Son of God.” Luke 1:35

“But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.” John 14:26

“God poured out the Holy Spirit abundantly on us through Jesus Christ our Savior.” Titus 3:6

“And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.” Ephesians 4:20

This piece is called…In the Beginning…It is finished. 

The continuous white line represents the Holy Spirit hovering, coming upon and overshadowing all of humanity. The fetus represents Christ. During Christ’s life he depended upon the Holy Spirit. The Epoxy Resin represents the face of the waters the Holy Spirit hovered over during creation. The white figurines imbedded in the epoxy resin represent those who are filled with the Holy Spirit.  Aesthetically, I wanted to create a white painting with visual texture. The white line and figurines achieve this effect. The epoxy resin is used to give depth to the painting.  Instead of painting the wood grain white I wanted to use the color variations in the grain to also accentuate texture.  As we talk through this weeks doctrine you may see other things in this piece that remind you of the power of the Holy Spirit.

Artist: Major Chisholm

8.) The Justification of Sinners

This is the eighth piece of art for our series “We Believe.” You can see the explanation to the entire series here

Read more about our doctrine here.
Listen to the sermons from the series here.

In this image the lamb is cut in two to show the sacrifice which leads to justification for our sins. When I picture Christ removing our sins and making us justified and pure before God I think of the verse in Isaiah 1:18 “Come now, let us reason together, says the Lord: though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool.” On top of this image we see the chaotic blackness of sin and death. The sacrificed lamb in the middle is what purifies this-resulting in the whitest of snow-and justifying us before God.

Artist: Patrick Richardson  

7.) The Redeeming Work of Christ

This is the seventh piece of art for our series “We Believe.” You can see the explanation to the entire series here.

Read more about our doctrine here.
Listen to the sermons from the series here.

This piece is inspired our recent study of Hebrews, specifically Chapter 12 verse 24. “(You have come) to Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel.” Soon after the fall, Abel was murdered by his brother Cain. It says in Genesis 4 that God heard Abel’s blood crying out for justice and vengeance. Cain was cursed, like Adam was cursed, like we are cursed. The blood on the bottom half of the painting is cursed and dead, representing our lineage of sin. But through that lineage, came Christ, who was conceived by the Holy Sprit and born of the Virgin Mary. The hand of Christ in the image is holding a hyssop branch with His own sprinkled blood on it. It is a symbol of the perfect Christ willingly taking on the debt for our sins as our Passover sacrifice. As the lineage of death passes through Christ, the curse is broken and God’s vengeance is satisfied. The blood is made pure and has been given new life. This only happens through Christ. The gold essence rising to the the heavens represents Christ’s ascension and His preeminence as He goes before us to sit at the right hand of the Father and to prepare a place for us.

Artist: Andrew Steger  

6.) The Gospel

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This is the sixth piece of art for our series “We Believe.” You can see the explanation to the entire series here.


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.

Artist: Vickie Silvas  

5.) The Plan of God

This is the fifth piece of art for our series “We Believe.” You can see the explanation to the entire series here.


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. 

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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.

Artist: Cassy Reeves