Arts of Mediator

Arts of Mediator Recognized in Publication

The Autumn 2022 Feast magazine contains a story about our Arts of Mediator. To read this story, click here and go to page 22. 

Celebrating Native American Heritage Month

On Sunday, Nov 14, the Rev. Richard Emrich, our guest priest, delivered a meaningful message on Native American Heritage Month. One of our members, Ruth Merrifield, is of Chippewa heritage and set up a display of Native American works. These will be displayed at the church through Sunday, Nov 20. During the week, the church is open Monday – Thursday, 9am – 12pm.

Click here to view a slide show on Ruth’s work.

Creating Art through Poetry

The Gearen family — John, Ann and their daughter, Cameron — are passionate about poetry. All three are published poets who edit each other’s work, share book recommendations, and attend authors’ readings together. Literary creativity was fostered and encouraged in their home.

Learn more by clicking here.

Creating Art through Food

Upcoming Shows 

Our own Julie Bender has an exhibit with the Episcopal Church & Visual Arts (ECVA) call Praying the Hours. To view the exhibit, click here. Julie’s work can be seen by clicking here

The ECVA is also looking for artists to exhibit their work. Click here to learn more about this opportunity.


In addition to Julie’s work, we invite you to stop by the Tiny Art Gallery of Mediator located next to our Little Library on Lake Shore Road (directly behind the church). Park safely along Lake Shore Road or use the church parking lot and walk around the back of the church. A bench was recently installed if you would like to sit, look, and enjoy this quiet area.

Lastly, we invite you to visit the Labyrinth located a few steps from the Tiny Art Gallery. To learn more about the Labyrinth, including steps on walking the Labyrinth, click here.

Previous Shows 

On Sunday, August 28, 2022, our in-house artists work was on display for the public viewing. We also extended the open house on the first three weekends in September.

Some of our in-house artists included Jan Anderson, Julie Bender, Mick Lantis, Bob Gleissner, Bill Card, Phyllis Norris, Peggy Lefebvre, and others.

To learn more about Arts of Mediator, scroll down. You may also click here to see the Tiny Art Gallery’s Facebook page.

If you would like more information on Arts of Mediator or have a comment, click here and complete the form. You may also call the church office during business hours and request information. Our number is 269-469-1441. Thank you!

Below are some photos taken during our Opening Night, including photos from around the fire pit. Click on the image to enlarge for better viewing.

The Episcopal Church & Visual Arts

Currently, we have Arts of Mediator members who participate in and work with this organization. Julie Bender, one of our members and a member of the Episcopal Church & Visual Arts (ECVA), will be featured in an upcoming Zoom session called “Praying the Hours” on Saturday, November 5, beginning at 5pm (MI time). During the Zoom session, there will be an opportunity to look at the art in the exhibition, time to talk with the artists, and discuss how each person can make the art an available resource to share with your own diocese and parish.

For any questions prior to the Zoom sesson, contact Joy Jennings, President and Exhibitions Director of ECVA, at

Click here to read a brief but informative piece on Episcopal Artists interpret “Praying the Hours” in The Episcopal Journal & Cafe Newsletter .

Zoom session: 
   Click here to join 
   Passcode: 529833

All are invited to join.

To learn more about this program, including current and previous shows, click here.

The Importance of Art at Church of the Mediator

Below and attached is a message from Mother Darlene and the importance of art in the church. Mother Darlene’s message can also be found in the October 2022 edition of the Mediatorite, our church newsletter.

Why are the Arts important to the church and the community?

“It is self-expressing the world/God’s beauty in each individual’s artistic way. Personally, I feel heaven or one’s thought on the afterlife, can also be an extension of their art. I think it will be much more complex than what we see and experience here. I also personally feel connected sometimes, to loved ones who have passed while painting certain pieces. Each piece is a very personal, emotional, and meaningful journey. Joy, love, fulfillment, compassion, contentment, and expression are all happening while I create. It’s about a certain level of connection, a higher level of connection.”
Judy Sutherland, artist and sister of the rector

In the Episcopal Church we stand, we sit, and we kneel. We sing, we sashay and wave streamers, we listen, and we pray. Our worship is very sensual and pleasing to all our senses. Churches have the lingering scent of incense, flowers, and beeswax. There is the visual beauty of stained glass, or in the Mediator’s case, faceted slab glass windows. There is the beauty of wood panels and unobstructed views out to God’s beautiful world. There is the touch of silks and linens and beautifully ornate vestments and hangings. There are the rich sounds of bells and pipe organs and parlor grand pianos and guitars. The taste and aroma of wine and bread and coffee hour and potlucks. Where there is a church there is food.

Click here to continue reading Mother Darlene’s note.

Prayer for Artists

God, may you be born anew in our hearts, hands and minds.
Bless us as we use our gifts.

In gratitude, we recognize the divine in all living things, to rich and poor, Jew and Gentile, professional and beginner.

Let our words and hearts be guided by our search for truth.
Make us mindful of how you reveal yourself as love divine, hour by hour.

Lead us to revelation and insight; encourage us to never stop learning, growing and accepting change.

Help to heal our prejudice and blind spots.

Be with us as we strive to live in love, the true bond of peace and virtue, without which we are lost.

God, Creator, Truth, Lover, Divine Being
We rejoice as we learn to trust and honor our divine qualities.
We worship with joyful spirits through our actions, connections and creations.
We join with the angels who proclaim in sound and sight, “Glory to God in the highest and peace to people on earth!”


Compiled and Written by Julie Bender with selections from The Book of Common Prayer BCP and Christianity Today, Jan. 7, 2022 What is Epiphany and is it a Biblical Holiday?

To learn more about Julie, click here for her website.


In the summer of 2021 and within the community of Episcopal Church of the Mediator,  Jan Anderson, Julie Bender, and Phyllis Norris began an active ministry through visual art. Using the vision of Phyllis Norris, long time educator and Episcopalian who realized art was a natural spiritual connection for people, Arts of Mediator began with the creation of the Tiny Art Gallery of Mediator. Similar in structure to a Little Library, the Tiny Art Gallery was built by Bill Card with help and support from Julie Bender, Phyllis Norris and Jan Anderson.

Using the Tiny Art Gallery as a venue, artists, including some of our own parishioners, are represented throughout the year. With the intent of displaying and offering art to anyone that passes by the tiny gallery, we are proud to say someone has visited and/or taken a piece of art every week since the gallery opened in Summer 2021.
Note: Julie Bender co-led a spring 2022 online session of The Artist’s Way* with the Reverend Cynthia Caruso, St. Augustine’s Episcopal Church, Benton Harbor, MI. One of the participants was drawn to the course due to their knowledge and understanding of our Tiny Art Gallery.

With the Tiny Art Gallery launched, we began to expand our vision; to promote awareness of our congregation through art activities. To help underwrite our vision, we applied for and received a Whittemore Foundation grant through the Episcopal Diocese of Western Michigan in July 2022. With the help of this grant, we are organizing art shows for our parish, and then opening the shows up to the community by inviting artists to submit work and the public to enjoy the art and our beautiful church building.


*The Artist’s Way is a deeply spiritual program that helps participants to become co-creators with the Creator. It is founded on the premise that all people are creative because they are made in the image of God, the Creator. It is also a great tool for discerning next steps. To learn more about The Artist’s Way, click here.


To coordinate with the other Episcopal parishes of Southwest Michigan (South Haven, Saint Joseph, and Benton Harbor) and share display materials as well as works of art encouraging them to mount an exhibit or borrow an exhibition. The project includes the following:

  • Community Art Shows
  • Inclusion in Harbor Country’s “Art Attack”
  • Trainings for other churches / how to curate an exhibit
  • Traveling visual art exhibit
  • Arts of Mediator is an affiliation of artists who are passionate about their work as a way to enhance spiritual experience.

In examining our works of art, we try to discern: how it resonates or illuminates some aspect of our faith; how it causes us to see the world and God’s people in new ways; and how it nourishes our hearts and minds.

We try to make meaningful connections among our faith, the works of art, and the artist. Visual art, music, drama and dance can help us to “see traces or hear echoes of God’s far-reaching presence in the world.” (Relationship between Faith and Art).

Come Visit Us!

We are part of a unique Lake Michigan community just a short drive from New Buffalo, MI on Red Arrow Highway. We are also conveniently close to another lakeshore community, Saint Joseph.