Summer Forum Series


Summer Forum Series

St. Bart’s and the Arts
Sundays at 10 am: July 10 - August 28, 2016

Join us for a season of artistic exploration as clergy, staff, and friends of St. Bart’s share the spiritual and devotional meaning of a wide variety of treasured artistic creations both near and far.


July 10 Bob Dannals: St. Bart's and the Arts

  • Series Introduction: “The Theology of Art.” Wendell Berry, one of the most perceptive commentators of contemporary culture and spirituality, wrote, “We think it ordinary and productive to spend the first seventy years of our life getting ready to exercise our intended purpose and then doing our work until such time as we retire. We spend enormous amounts of time, energy and money on this enterprise, but then fail to look around us and recognize some of the beauty, blessings and grace within and beyond us along the way. It is in what contemplative theologians have called ‘beauty’ or the ‘arts’ that one detects aspects of God's life-giving grace. Everyone needs elements of this for the soul.” This Sunday, our Interim Rector, Bob Dannals, will take a closer look at a “theology of the arts," with a special focus on detecting God's grace in the element of “beauty.” 

July 17 Lynn Sanders: Theology and the Arts
The Rev. Lynn Sanders finds a theological conversation between two recent, powerful books: When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi and Being Mortal by Atul Gawande. Both books are available at St. Bart’s Bookstore; copies will also be available at the Forum.

July 24 Matthew Moretz: The Art of St. Bart's Chapel I
The Rev. Matthew Moretz explores the hidden meanings of the fourteen, story-telling carved capitals in our chapel, carved by the famed Piccirilli brothers, nearly one hundred years ago.

July 31 Retta Blaney: Spirituality and the Arts
Parishioner Retta Blaney, author of Working on the Inside: The Spiritual Life through the Eyes of Actors, will discuss the ten elements of the universal spiritual life and their importance to practicitioners of the arts and the Judeo-Christian tradition.

August 7 Patrick Bergquist: Theology and the Arts
Patrick Bergquist, Director of Children, Youth, and Family Ministries, will walk us through the history and uses of icons. Icons have aided in the prayer life of the church for hundreds of years. We will take a look at ways that this powerful art form can draw us into a deeper and more intimate relationship with God. Join us as we explore some of the icons found in our own church and how they can empower your own life.

August 14 John Wirenius -- Modeling the Faith: Susan Howatch’s Starbridge Novels as Theology in Action
Popular novelist Susan Howatch’s six linked novels set in the fictional cathedral City of Starbridge dramatically depict clerical life from 1937 through the 80s, focusing on how her characters live (or fail to live) their faith. We will look at the novels’ portrayal of how different theological schools of thought play out in the lives of their adherents, and how no school of thought is sufficient in itself.

August 21 Matthew Moretz: The Art of St. Bart's Chapel II
The Rev. Matthew Moretz will lead a lively exploration of the hidden symbolism and spiritual meaning of the stained glass and carvings of our stunning Chapel.

August 28 Bob Dannals St. Bart's and the Arts, Series Conclusion:
The Russians are Coming!
Interim Rector Bob Dannals will explore two primary and influential Russian writers, Leo Tolstoy and Fyodor Dostoyevsky, with a particular focus on their theology, religious pilgrimage, and greatest contributions to both literature and spiritual quest. Having fallen from the ideals of God (Tolstoy), we have the outstanding possibility of landing in the safety net of grace (Dostoyevsky).