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VineArts Boise

VineArts Boise


Art and Worship at NNU

By on October 13, 2017

VineArts is getting ready for a special ministry event that takes place every 2 years on the Northwest Nazarene University campus, through Dean Estes.

The event is next Friday morning, October 20. Our art team has been preparing large 5×7 foot canvases, designs based on scripture, and most of all, scripture passages and spoken content to share with the 60 to 80 students who will join us for this time of reflection, worship, and co-creating with God.


It all started back in 2005 when Dean Estes and Jim O’Halloran hosted a roomful of NNU college kids who painted 3 panels depicting “The Descent from the Cross,” as Dean and Jim spoke life into kids gathered there. You might have heard some of the stories.

Ever since 2005, Dean has hosted this event every 2 years in conjunction with NNU faculty, with 60-80 students joining us each time. We create a different image for the canvases each time we host it.

This will be Dean’s last year to lead this endeavor. Dean, we appreciate all that you have created! Our VineArts ministry team might well choose to continue this partnership with NNU in future years (2019, 2021, etc). I certainly hope to continue this tradition.


This event is designed for NNU pre-seminary students who have signed up as part of a larger, multi-day conference at NNU, “The Call,” to prepare students for a ministry-focused life. Most have never painted before.

We scatter pillows for the students and faculty to relax, journal, pray, and worship as everyone takes turns painting. Everybody is encouraged to paint. Meanwhile Dean and NNU faculty share from the microphone, speaking scripture and words of life. NNU’s musicians provide soft acoustic worship between people speaking.

This year, I’m excited that Dean has invited Jim O’Halloran to once again speak at this event. Dean has also asked 2 or 3 VineArts leaders to share at the mic, so they’ve been preparing to speak; please pray as they share what God puts on their heart.

The NNU professors frequently refer to the book, “Can You Drink The Cup?” by Henri Nouwen during this event. This is the first year I’ve read the book myself, and although very short, it’s quite a deep read. It’s about contemplating the life you’ve been given using the art of reflection, choosing your path with courage, and living it out with intentionality, community, and action.  (Also available on Audible.)

The NNU faculty have this to say: 

“We lead into this with the Art/Worship Friday morning with a sub-theme of “co-creators” with God.  This is an important part of our theological tradition, that God, through his ENORMOUS grace, calls us to work with Him in restoring all things in creation. This is why the way we live matters. I love the way we partner with God to make something beautiful, joyful, creative, and vibrant, to build the Kingdom of God in this realm of creation here and now. Whether or not these students follow God’s call into vocational ministry, they will get to continue bringing to light the God-colors (Peterson’s “The Message”, Matthew 5) that are present in our world. What a scared privilege! I have so much trust that God will, again, be present with us and guide us in our time together. I am so grateful for our partnership with VineArts in this endeavor.”

Please pray for our VineArts leaders as we speak into students’ lives, guiding them through painting, scripture, worship, and prayer.

Posted in: Blog
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