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717 South 32nd Street
River Park, IN, 46615
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thoughts

Advent Altarpiece

Jonathan Grant

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This little altarpiece was inspired by my time retreating in the forest during the winter at St. Gregory’s Abbey in Three Rivers, Michigan. It uses the text from Isaiah, that says- “Out of the stump of Jesse, A shoot will rise”… basically- “Out of something decaying… new life!” The news can’t get any better than that, right?

This piece was commissioned for the Advent season at the Chapel of the Holy Spirit, in South Bend, but is available on loan to any church or chapel that wants something new for their Advent season.

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New Icons for Urban Village Church, Chicago

Jonathan Grant

Dorothy Day Icon, 2018

Dorothy Day Icon, 2018

As I am finishing up my residency with Urban Village Church in Chicago, my supervising pastor asked for a way for the congregation to create and remember those who have shown us God, or given us hope. We started a series of workshops where congregants could create paintings (they are not technically icons) that bring the "cloud of witnesses", faith heroes, or those who have shown us God, into our weekly worship space. This will be an ongoing project for the church, and it already seems to have unleashed some folks to dream up new and creative ways to create and remember together. 

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A Conversation on Art and Faith with Nathan Michael

Jonathan Grant

"I have inherent value that was given to me regardless of what I create... but because of that, I'm able to bring that gift back to the World." In this episode, Low Res Studio founder, Nathan Michael and I discuss "Embracing Mystery", and the importance of the creative work we do in non-Church spaces.

Production / Video / Direction - David Vosburg http://davidvosburg.com/ Nathan Michael Special thanks to Low Res Studio for hosting us! http://www.lowresstudio.com/ Theme song by Dena Dena Dena  https://denadenadena.bandcamp.com/ 

 

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Mural For The Well, River Park (Details)

Jonathan Grant

I will post better photos soon, but here are some snaps from my recent mural for the Well in River Park. This faith community has been a beautiful addition to my hometown- a space for so many of the folks who don't fit into traditional churches. I adore what they are building and dreaming up together, and it was an honour that they commissioned me for this project. 

More soon. 

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Recent Civic Engagement

Jonathan Grant

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One of the benefits of being in Chicago, is being surrounded by a community of activated clergy. Of the pastors and priests I know here, I have a strong crew who are committed to justice, inclusion, radical welcome, restoration, and reparations. It is a community that works across religious boundaries to bring forth change. Many of these I meet with each week, and are some of the clergy who are mentoring me personally. It has been a huge space of transformation for me to be so supported, surrounded, and challenged. 

On Monday, a few of us gathered with faith leaders from around the city to stand along side those who will be left vulnerable by the repeal of DACA. We affirmed that our faith is an immigrant faith, that our God is in solidarity with the marginalised, and that we are committed to shepherding faith communities that advocate for immigrants and shield them from policies informed by greed and violence.  

We will gather again on March 5th (the day DACA protections are set to expire) If you are around the city at that time, please join us. 

A conversation on Art and Faith with Randy Chen

Jonathan Grant

This video series has been in the works for a few years now, and I am excited to share the first episode with you! 

Produced, Directed and filmed by David Vosburg

Hosted by Jonathan Randall Grant

Theme Song by Dena Dena Dena

Special thanks to Low Res Studio, Chicago for letting us film in their beautiful space!

My Journey Toward Inclusion

Jonathan Grant

Many people have written me, to inquire about my gradual shift in understanding LGBTQ inclusion in the Church, and toward a queer-affirming theology. Rather than respond to each of these e-mails and messages separately, I thought I would answer a few of these questions in a video: 

I would love to hear what you are digging up in your theological exploration! 

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Reunion Realisations

Jonathan Grant

Last weekend I returned to my alma mater to celebrate my 10-year class reunion. It was a lovely time of seeing friends and meeting lots of adorable old people. But mostly it was a gorgeous reminder of a place that shaped me deeply.

The theme of the weekend came from a quote by E. Stanley Jones. Never mind if you have not heard of him. haha. He happens to be our most important alum (Dean Jones can take a seat for a second).

E. Stanley founded an ashram in India, and was close friends with Gandhi. It was Jones' biography of MG that brought him into the public eye in the west, and most noticeably introduced MLK to formal concepts of non-violent protest. (MLK's annotated copy of Jones' biography is on display in his museum)

Anyway, the quote: 
"Here we enter a fellowship; At times we will agree to differ; Always we resolve to love, and unite to serve."

(((The quote references John Wesley and George Whitefield, (patron saints of Asbury) who litereally invented the phrase "agree to disagree. #funfact)))

It seems simple, but at a time when our nation is deeply divided, I am also a part of an alumni base that is divided too. Asburians are spread around the world and represent a variety of perspectives. So it is not insignificant that the school chose this message for this time.

It is a complicated time for Christian Liberal Arts institutions... and loving them can be just as compllicated. I am still feeling that out.

Most of all, I am feeling grateful to be a part of this group of wild things who dare to love each other, and to serve those in need- regardless of our differences.

Love Always, Grant

LightLab // Collab

Jonathan Grant

This July I collaborated with a few friends in LA. We constructed a set for an (upcoming) video series. But before we started filming, we used some spare time to set up and photograph an altar. It was fun to create together, combining some food styling props along with my dream of simple, wooden, plant cut-outs. I hope we can create more sensory installations like this for faith communities in the future. 

Blue and White Plant cutouts built by Luke Beavers, Angie Lister, Brianne Curtis

Photographed by Caroline Ingram Lee at LightLab in Los Angeles

Props provided by Anne Sage

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