(PASTOR + ARTIST)
Lisle Gwynn Garrity is a Pastorist (pastor + artist), retreat leader, and creative entrepreneur seeking to fill the church with more color, paint, mystery, and creativity. In the midst of a rapidly reforming church landscape, she is convinced that new models for ministry are emerging all over the place, we just have to be willing to discover and pursue them.
After many years away, Lisle and her husband recently moved back to the beautiful blue ridge mountains and currently reside in Black Mountain, NC. A graduate of Davidson College, where she majored in English (and unofficially minored in visual art), Lisle has a long history of formal and informal art training. After being offered a wild and unique fellowship to attend seminary, Lisle completed Master’s degrees in Divinity and Practical Theology (with a concentration in worship), all with a sense of wonder and openness to the unique work she is called to offer to the world.
As a visual artist, Lisle loves to get her hands messy using just about any medium, including paint, clay, charcoal, pastel, fabric, and film. She is passionate about re-claiming worship as a sacred form of art and inviting all to participate in creative faith.
Serving the church at-large, Lisle travels widely to share her gifts as an artist and pastor. She loves leading retreats of all kinds, facilitating communal art workshops, speaking on the intersections of art and faith, and creating live worship art and banner commissions for churches.
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:
Lisle Gwynn Garrity is an artist, retreat leader, and worship consultant working primarily within the Presbyterian Church (USA). Through her ministry, A Sanctified Art, she uses visual art to help communities explore and express faith. She holds master's degrees in divinity and practical theology from Columbia Theological Seminary in Atlanta. Based in the beautiful rolling hills of Black Mountain, NC, Lisle is passionate about creative worship, the intersections of art and justice, yoga, and long runs with her pup, Max. 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
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.