January 12, 2020: The Art of Nonviolence by Brian Smith

By Brian Smith, Director of Christian Formation

What brings you peace? A prayer, retreat, or walk in the woods? For me, it is all these things and more. Often I’m moved by the tranquility found in art museums. Like churches, museums are places of quiet observation and reverent attention. And like spirituality, art of all kinds can put the soul at rest.

Building on our successful Poetry Night series and summer poetry slam, and based in shared commitments to art and peace, to the spirit of beloved community, and to the principle of non-violence that the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. called the “guiding light of our movement,” I am proud to announce The Art of Nonviolence, a collaboration between All Souls and the Prince George’s African American Museum and Cultural Center. We are excited to bring you two days of art, performances, and conversations that honor the legacy of MLK, and celebrate the art of peacemakers old and new. 

It all begins on Sunday, January 19, when our Adult Forum will encourage conversation around a viewing of one of Dr. King’s calls to justice and non-violence. In church we will hear a special sermon from one of our featured speakers, Sophfronia Scott. Scott is a respected journalist and author who co-wrote a book with her son, Tain Gregory, chronicling their family’s spiritual awakening after surviving the violence of Sandy Hook. They will share more of their story on Sunday at 2 pm, highlighting ways that art can heal trauma. Then on Monday at 11 am, Scott will share the stage with a panel of DC artists on art and non-violence. Following lunch and a teach-in, events will conclude with a prayer pilgrimage to the MLK Memorial. 

On display for the duration is an exhibition of paintings, prints, and sculptures that inspire reflection and contemplation while shining a light on women as artists and peacemakers. Happening in and around the exhibition will be pop-up performances from local actors and musicians, boldly proclaiming a non-violent spirit of love and justice. Sunday evening, after a prophetic poetry slam, Mother Diana will offer a special edition of Evening Yoga and Prayer.

Now, perhaps more than ever, we need to make the peace on earth that art can nurture and inspire. For a full schedule, please check out The Art of Nonviolence in the events section of our Facebook page. See you there!

Last Published: January 9, 2020 4:14 PM
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