Connections: Jan Richardson

As I get older, I am increasingly convinced that spiritual formation is better viewed as an “art” than as a “technique.”  Jeannie has taught me more about this than anyone, and I see her creative, right-brained spirituality expressing itself every day in a variety of media and ministries.  In a real sense, she is my “connection” to the world of artistic spirituality.

But I also find Advent to be a fertile time for considering this.  It is arguably the most “artistic” season in the Christian year–at least it seems so to me, with all the poetry, hymnody, anthems, dramas, artwork, stories, meditations, and narratives that have been produced in relation to it.  I will use Connections during Advent to link you with some of the artistic expressions of spirituality that I am familiar with.

I begin with Jan Richardson, a United Methodist clergywoman right here in Florida.  Some of you may already be familiar with her, but if not, here is your chance to do so.  Simply log on to her website entitled “The Painted Prayer Book” ( and you will be off and running.  Rather than try to put into words what you will find at this website, I will let it speak for itself.

About Steve Harper

Retired seminary professor, who taught for 32 years in the disciplines of Spiritual Formation and Wesley Studies. Author and co-author of 42 books. Also a retired Elder in The Florida Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church.
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