(PASTOR + ARTIST)
Rev. Lisle Gwynn Garrity is a Pastorist (the best titles are made up), retreat leader, and creative entrepreneur seeking to fill the church with more color, paint, mystery, and creativity. Her ministry is rooted in the prophetic and freeing power of art to connect us more deeply to God and one another.
She is the founder and creative director of A Sanctified Art LLC, a collaborative arts ministry providing multimedia resources for worshiping communities. She works with a team of three other artists in ministry to bring scripture and theological themes to life through visual art, worship films, poetry, liturgy, graphics, banner art designs, devotionals, and more. Their mission is to support churches with practical resources to get creative beyond the barriers of limited funds, expertise, and time.
In addition to her work with A Sanctified Art, Lisle travels widely to work with congregations and communities of faith. She leads creative retreats of all kinds, facilitates communities in creating large-scale art together, live paints for worship and events, and creates commissioned art for churches and individuals. As an ordained Minister of the Word and Sacrament in the Presbyterian Church (USA), she approaches her work as an artist primarily through the lenses of pastor and theologian, and vice versa. Her unique calling is to fully integrate both of these roles in ministry to serve the wider Church.
After many years away, Lisle and her husband Paul moved back to the beautiful blue ridge mountains to live in her hometown, Black Mountain, NC. Lisle lives for creative opportunities of all kinds, the intersections of art and justice, yoga, mountains, and long walks with her energetic pups, Max and Maven.
Bachelor of Arts, English, Davidson College, Davidson, NC
Master of Divinity, Columbia Theological Seminary, Atlanta, GA
Master of Practical Theology, Columbia Theological Seminary, Atlanta, GA
Feel free to copy/paste the following short bio for promotional purposes:
Rev. Lisle Gwynn Garrity is an artist, ordained Presbyterian (USA) pastor, retreat leader, and creative entrepreneur. As founder of A Sanctified Art, a collaborative arts collective creating multimedia resources for churches, Lisle and her team resource worshiping congregations all across the globe. In addition to her work with A Sanctified Art, Lisle travels frequently to serve churches as a retreat leader and artist-in-residence. She believes in the prophetic and freeing power of art to connect us more deeply to God and one another. Based in the beautiful rolling hills of Black Mountain, NC, with her husband Paul, Lisle can often be found running with her wiggly pups, Max and Maven, drinking matcha tea lattes she makes herself, or tending to her ever-growing indoor and outdoor plant babies. Learn more about her work by visiting lislegwynngarrity.com and sanctifiedart.org.
A Sanctified Art LLC is a ministry Lisle founded to bring more arts and creativity into the Church. As a collective of artists in ministry, the A Sanctified Art team works collaboratively to offer creative resources for worship and beyond. Learn more at: sanctifiedart.org
You can also learn more about A Sanctified Art and how it got started by listening to Lisle and SA collaborator, Sarah Are, interviewed on aijcast podcast.
I believe that the core of faith is beautiful mystery; that mystery cannot be contained or dissected, but is infinitely accessible. Though God cannot be reduced to words, images, or concepts, pursuing knowledge of God through many mediums is the constant vocation of faith. Our holy scriptures guide us in the work of uncovering and widening God’s mystery; in them we find space for questions and assurance, wrestling and clarity. Paraphrasing Calvin, Scripture provides spectacles through which our vision of God, ourselves, and the world is illuminated and refined. The Word offers us sight—in it we see all that God has done and is doing.
I believe in God the creator, the Divine Artisan, who shaped the womb of the world out of the dark, watery depths. God the father/mother crafted the universe with beauty and goodness, sowing in it seeds of abundance. Scooping up the dirt, God breathed humanity into existence. Sharing in God’s likeness, all humans possess the capacity to be creative and to nurture God’s abundant creation with mastery and skill.
I believe Jesus is the One who drew God intimately near to every corner of human experience. I see Jesus, the Human One, in the faces of those who hunger, for food and for joy. Jesus is embodied love, who teaches, models, and lures us to live out truth and compassion in all we do. God’s love is expressed most profoundly in suffering; in Jesus’ death, God chose to suffer with and for human beings. In Jesus, our with-us God suffers in solidarity with the poor, broken-hearted, and sinned-against. Because of this, God calls us to be vehicles, not of charity, but of shared hospitality. This requires being in solidarity with others who suffer; in sharing our brokenness, we open paths to healing for all.
In our suffering Savior, we find unconquerable, self-giving love. This all-powerful servant love banishes evil, shines light in the darkness, and outlives the grave. The narrative of Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection inspires and guides us in living as resurrection people; we are called to breathe the mysterious hope of the empty tomb into the shadows of darkness and death in our world. We are not meant to supply answers, but to sustain one another with the radical promise that God is making all things new. In order to do this, we must continually draw upon the model Jesus set, in spilling grace into the most unlikely, messy edges of society. This grace is not deserved or tempered by logic; it is boundless.
I believe that the Spirit dwells in magnificent places, like stained-glass cathedrals, but also in desperate places, like alleyways and slums. I feel the Spirit’s nearness when I paint, or manipulate clay in my hands, or inhale a mountaintop’s summit breeze—in these moments, God feels as close as my very own breath. The Trinity reveals that God is not distant; instead, God is near and tangible and active. God is human flesh; God is living Word. God is the breathing, beating heartbeat of our world.