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RELIGIOUS UTTERANCES – art of faith introduces the reader to humanity’s historic relationship between art and faith. This daily series of articles examines the interlacing of art and faith from across the Anglican Communion. The title of the series, Religious Utterances, comes from systematic theologian Dr. Cecilia Gonzalez-Andrieu, whose work seeks “a recovery of humanity’s religious utterances through art.”


Eighteen in a series

Welcome Home Cross by Gurdon Brewster

Theme: Vision

About the Sculptor, The Rev. Gurdon Brewster

Gurdon Brewster, born in 1937, has pursued a double calling during his life: being a university chaplain and also being a sculptor.

His interest in sculpture began in high school and continued during his college years at Haverford College. Studying sculpture throughout college, he donated a bronze bust of one of his favorite teachers, which remains on display in the music building. While attending Union Theological Seminary in New York, he studied with various individuals and institutions, including the Art Students’ League where he worked briefly with Jose de Creeft. During his senior year, he made a portrait bust of Reinhold Niebuhr, which is displayed in the Union Seminary library.my family full size

While at seminary, in 1961, he was invited by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. to be an assistant minister during the summer, at the Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta. While there he lived with Martin Luther King Sr. and worked in the church with its youth group and youth groups from around the city. He returned again in 1966 as an assistant for the summer with his family, his wife, Martha, and two daughters. He has written about his experiences in a memoir entitled, No Turning Back.

Rev Brewster is the Founder, with Mrs. Phoebe Griswold, of Episcopal Church and Visual Arts. More about Rev Brewster is available at his website here.

About the Sculpture, Welcome Home Cross

Welcome home is at the heart of our spiritual life. This sculpture is more than the father welcoming home the prodigal son. It is also the mother and daughter, the son and the mother, two friends long apart, two people who love each other, as well as the lonely, the lost, the rejected and the guilty finding God’s absolute acceptance in the heart of the cross.

The vertical and horizontal beams are joined by the circle. The shape suggesting unity, coming together, and the infinite, the eternal God with us. The bronze figures are placed in the center of the Celtic cross where different worlds come together to make “all things new.”

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