The old adage is true – you can’t spell “earth” without “art”.

While that phrase makes a great bumper sticker, it’s also one we can take through our spiritual and daily lives. Sometimes the art of our earth is hidden - in the complex geometry of plant cells and leaves, in the sprawling mycelium highways underground, or in the concentric rings of a tree. Other art of our earth is more apparent, in the striking patterns of native birds and the kaleidoscopic colors of changing leaves. With so much beauty in nature, it’s no surprise that here at IPC our congregations have tackled some projects that embrace the “art” in “earth”. Through mural installations, IPC and our partners have worked to transform urban congregational spaces into inviting homes that celebrate the beauty of this planet. 

If you travel to Knox Presbyterian Church on Eden Street or Christian Liberty Church on Baker Street in Baltimore City, you’ll find dazzling murals celebrating the earth on their campuses. At Knox Presbyterian Church, a large, 3-D mural spanning the length of their side wall features a dove soaring over a mountain lake, surrounded by the hands of God. The hands of God hold blooming flowers, butterflies, and a bird. The 3-D element of this mural comes from a pollinator garden planted at the painting’s base, providing an oasis for creatures like those featured in the mural.

Knox Presbyterian Church Mural

Christian Liberty Church’s mural is a homage to the beauty of birds, with a Gold Finch and Male Scarlet Tanager perched in front of a scenic landscape. They’re joined by a Bible passage celebrating clean water, reading “Jesus said… the water I give will become a fountain springing up to eternal life (John 4:13-14)”. These murals remind passersby and congregation members of the beauty of our earth, embracing the sacred lands and waters that create it. 

Christian Liberty Church’s mural

Projects like the murals at Knox Presbyterian Church and Christian Liberty Church may not have a measurable impact on the waters of the Chesapeake, like tree plantings and conservation landscaping do, however, their impact is as valuable. These grant funded murals allow congregations to claim ownership of their space, while displaying values important to them. The murals are highly visible in the community, underscoring the deep, sacred connection between faith and the environment. 

If you’re interested in embracing the “art” of earth, please reach out to your regional outreach coordinator!