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Art Exhibits return to Columbia Theological Seminary: Art and Activism: A Congregational Approach

Decatur, GA—The Center for Lifelong Learning (CLL) at Columbia Theological Seminary announces its new art exhibit, which showcases the response of one congregation to the issue of gun violence.

The exhibit, Art and Activism: A Congregational Approach tells the story of North Decatur Presbyterian Church’s (NDPC) commitment to addressing the issue. According to co-pastor Elizabeth Waltemath, “NDPC has been praying for victims of gun violence for nearly a decade. In this time, we have marked the lives lost through ribbons, names read aloud, origami prayer boxes, and photos on a screen. The 10 panels marking these over several years on display at Columbia Theological Seminary show how just one congregation combines art, prayer and activism.”

The Center for Lifelong Learning (CLL) is hosting a virtual tour and live conversation about Art and Activism: A Congregational Approach, currently on display at the Harrington Center at Columbia Theological Seminary. Exhibit curator and arts educator Ellen Gadberry will guide the works on view and talk about arts-based initiatives for social justice that she and others have participated in at North Decatur Presbyterian Church in Decatur, Georgia. Gadberry will introduce Leslie Lee, founding artist of the Soul Box Project, who will share updates and future plans for this national response to gun deaths in the US. The hour will conclude with a time of idea-sharing and brainstorming about other ways to address peace and justice concerns in your church community with originality and creativity.

You must register in advance for the conversation:


Gadberry recently completed a Certificate in Spiritual Formation through the Spirituality Program at the CLL where she focused on the intersection of spirituality and creativity. She frequently leads workshops and retreats on crafting as a spiritual practice and likens herself to a conductor in a musical ensemble, helping the members use their gifts to tell a story and evoke a response.

Her hope for this exhibit is that other congregations will be inspired to address one of their outreach priorities by engaging in a similar project. “Whether engaged in advocacy for fair housing, food insecurity, human trafficking, racial justice or any other justice-oriented work, art and activism can go hand in hand to inspire engagement and tell the story,” she says. “We do this work because we follow Jesus, seeking to live out his commandment to love God as we love our neighbor, and as the prophet Micah says, to “seek justice, love kindness, and walk humbly with God.”

To view the exhibit, call 404 687 4577 to reserve a time and receive instructions to access the exhibit. The exhibit may be viewed from 8:30 – 4:30 PM, Monday – Friday, through December 9, 2022.

For an article in the national publication, Presbyterians Today, about NDPC’s craftivism ministry related to gun violence go to https://www.presbyterianmission.org/story/pt-0522-ms-socialwitness/

 About Columbia Theological Seminary

Columbia Theological Seminary was founded in 1828, and is an educational institution of the Presbyterian Church (USA).  We are led by Rev. Dr. Victor Aloyo, and we are committed to educate, equip, and nurture students to become a new generation of pastoral leaders for the church and the world; to become a community that embodies welcome, hospitality, justice, and belonging; to build partnerships that bring vibrant spiritual, cultural, and academic exchanges; and to embrace boldness, enabling us to learn, teach, serve, and live joyfully.




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