The Art of Glory
Image: Gary Gnidovic

Click here to view a pdf of the article, which includes the images of the Church of the Transfiguration.

The Church of the Transfiguration, located near picturesque Rock Harbor on Cape Cod, Massachusetts, may be the most art-intensive worship space built in recent years. Everywhere you look there seems to be carved stone, cast bronze, mosaic, fresco, or stained glass.

But the Church of the Transfiguration is art-intensive in another way: From the beginning, the worshiping community has attracted members with an artistic impulse. The Community of Jesus, the intentional ecumenical community that worships here, is widely known for the quality of its musical ministry—from a choir that has toured in 24 countries and produced 45 CDs to a world champion marching band.

As the community built its new structure, it retained master artists in traditional media and apprenticed members to those artists. As a result, the community not only learned new skills and partly underwrote the building with sweat equity, it also deepened the community's creative spirituality. When the community outgrew its original worship space, it thought carefully not only about what worship activity would happen in the new space, but also about what that new worship space would say, what its witness would be. Thus, the building's focus on art with a biblical message.

The church building was dedicated in June 2000, and in June 2010, the congregation celebrated the completion of the extensive artwork. Christianity Today editor in chief David Neff interviewed Community of Jesus spokesperson Blair Tingley about the biblical message of the church's art.

What is the point of all the art in this church?

When we thought about the art, ...

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The Art of Glory
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October 2010

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