This week in PCUSA Mission:
Advent Devotional Art
The Gallery at
West Side Presbyterian Church
in Ridgewood, New Jersey, recently showcased the paintings, photographs and poetry of local artist Andrew Weatherly. Weatherly is the 26-year-old man with Down syndrome who created the artwork for
2018 Advent Devotional,
God Lifts the Lowly.
Many of the paintings from the devotional, which is based on Mary’s Song of Praise, were part of the exhibit. West Side Presbyterian Church also provided copies of the devotional to the public. Weatherly was chosen to illustrate this year’s devotional, as his work exemplifies Mary’s praises to God, citing how God sees beyond limitations and afflictions. “There aren’t really any limits to what people can do,” Weatherly said.
Weatherly first met
editor and co-author of the devotional, the Rev. Donna Frischknecht Jackson, in 2006. Frischknecht Jackson was a seminary intern at South Presbyterian Church in Bergenfield, New Jersey, where Weatherly attended. “His positive outlook made an impression on me,” Frischknecht Jackson said. “And so, when the time came to plan the 2018 devotional, and seeing a growing interest among our churches to include all ‘abilities’ in our worship services, I knew I wanted to share how God was working
For the gallery committee at West Side Presbyterian Church, it was the spirituality in Weatherly’s work that captured their attention. “His work demands focused concentration from the viewer, and then suddenly there is a spiritual revelation that expresses not just an artist’s vision, but also his very spirit and soul,” said John Ianacone, chair of West Side’s gallery committee. “Andrew’s search for meaning is every soul’s longing for understanding.”