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Ormond Beach Observer Wednesday, Apr. 16, 2014 4 years ago

St. James Church launches art ministry in time for Easter creativity

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by: Emily Blackwood News Editor

One Ormond Beach church is tapping into their creativity to express their spirituality. 

BY EMILY BLACKWOOD | STAFF WRITER

St. James Episcopal Church is bringing more art to the Ormond Beach Arts District.

Driven by Gretchen Neal, The Morning Light Project, an Arts Ministry was started this past summer to integrate the creative process with theology, liturgy and ritual of church as a form of worship. Neal helped drive a few art ministries up in other states and said this is the first of it's kind in the Ormond Beach area.

"I think it's the only one in Volusia County," Neal said. "It taps into the gift that so many members have but haven't had the chance to express. It's a wonderful tie-in and a great opportunity to express your spirituality through visual means."

The ministry had their first event April 12. It was an art gallery with an Easter theme where about 50 members came to drink wine and talk to the artists about their paintings. Though many projects are spiritual, they don't all have to focus on their religion.

"This is our first effort as an exhibition," church member and artist Samuel Harrison said. "It was for Easter and had all kinds of talent level.

Of the 500-600 church members, about 15 people have dedicated time to serve on the ministry's committee. The reaction from members at their recent event and the fact that the majority of ministry members have no experience makes Harrison believe that it will only continue to grow.

"The response has been wonderful," Harrison said. "The creative process is a gift of God for the people of God."

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