OUR Artistic Philosophy

At Emmaus Way, we believe that the arts have an essential role to play in the spiritual and communal formation of the church. Each week we affirm the centrality of art in our lived experiences of the Christian life, and the importance of artistic expression in the interpretive work of our community. Because we believe art has genuine life to offer the church, we see our commitments to the arts and to local artists as an intuitive and necessary outgrowth of our core values.

  • Art is a primary, not secondary, activity of the church

    We believe that our spiritual and theological formation takes place just as substantively in our engagement with the arts as it does in all other aspects of community life. Art is not decoration or supplement to the other spiritual disciplines of our community, but rather works as an equal partner with them. This commitment to art as uniquely communicative of sacred truths is directly related to Jesus’ use of parables to communicate seemingly simple ideas in irreducibly poetic packages.

  • Art comes alive in our conversations

    We believe that art only properly exists when it is embedded in a community of people who are interested in wrestling with and living into the story that art is trying to tell. This commitment to artistic creation and interpretation demands our active participation in the art-life of the community through liturgical practices and intentional conversations.

  • Art embodies a new economy and a new way of being together

    We believe that art reveals a different economy than that which governs the majority of the world. Art encourages collaboration rather than competition, reveals abundance rather than scarcity, and prizes beauty over efficiency or utility. In our engagement with art (as with our engagement with scripture or the Eucharistic table), we see that God makes room for all our voices in the ongoing work of redemption in the world.

  • Art is a prophetic voice that engages us with the world redemptively

    We believe that art should be interested in telling hard truths and asking hard questions, inviting us into the difficult and broken places. As we acknowledge together these places of lament in our lives and in our world, we also imagine how the redemptive presence of the Gospel might transform them.

ART IN Community

Both inside and and outside our worship gathering, communal arts and visiting artists in residence shape who we are and who we are becoming. By centering the arts, we open ourselves to God at work in the world in more expansive, creative ways. In addition to being shaped by our musical artists and special projects they've created, we're also shaped by other creative resident artists that include a commissioned painting by Carol Baker, writer Marie Curran, printmaker Grace McMullen, and multiple communal art projects we've created.