The Project: 

With the help of an Artist in Residence (AIR), we seek to intentionally nurture a cohort of artists who will, through study and communal practices, contribute to the faith formation of the church as a whole. This cohort of artists will help Fellowship Church worship corporately by creating art, both with and for the congregation, so the world may know the Lord is God.

The Artist: 

Joel Schoon Tanis’ painting explores God’s creation and stories from a whimsical, child-like perspective.  Joel is a celebrated painter who has shown his work around the Unites States and as far away as Kenya.  His murals can be found in many schools, children’s hospitals, and churches. As an illustrator, Joel has contributed to more than half a dozen books for children. Most notably, he illustrated the New International Reader’s Version Kid’s Study Bible for Zondervan. In addition to his artistic pursuits, he is also the creator and writer of Come On Over!, a children’s television program that has won two National Telly awards, and 13 regional Emmy awards, including one for Joel as host of the show.

Get Involved!

  • Join the artist cohort. If you identify yourself as an artist, this group is for you. This is a committed group who will work closely with our AIR from September through June. This is a unique opportunity for artists to study scripture, discuss the role of art in the church, and create in community. Members of this group will learn what it means to be an artist who creates both for and with the church.
    • Who is this for? For people who consider themselves artists at heart and are looking for a community in which to learn what it means to be an artist for the church specifically as it pertains to leading the church in worship through their art. This group will create, study, and pray together throughout the year.
    • When do they meet? The Artist Cohort meets every Monday night from 7:00 PM to 8:30 PM with open studio just for cohort people to follow.
    • Is this a big commitment? Our goal is not to overwhelm busy lives with more busyness. That being said, the Cohort is a commitment to a community of learning, prayer, art, and worship. Members of the Cohort are encouraged to attend Cohort Meetings and will be looked to throughout the year for contributions to Fellowship’s worship.
    • How do I get involved? Contact our Minister of Creative Arts & Worship (Jordan Clegg) or our Artist in Residence (Joel Schoon-Tanis). If this is the right fit for you we will invite you to the Artist Cohort Facebook group for further communication.
  • Attend a book study. Led by our AIR, this group will meet over dinner every 4th Wednesday during Fellowship’s Community Nights starting in October. We will be reading and discussing Liturgy as a Way of Life: Embodying the Arts in Christian Worship by Bruce Ellis Benson.
    • Who is this for? Anyone interested in learning more about a Christian perspective on the arts.
    • What book will we be reading? Liturgy as a Way of Life by Bruce Ellis Benson. The book can be purchased new through the Baker Publishing Group ( for around $17 or at Amazon for less. Discounts are available through Fellowship for those who need it.
    • When will this group meet? Once a month over dinner on a Wednesday Community night. More details to come!
    • Wasn’t this supposed to happen in the fall? That was the original plan. We are finding it necessary to adjust course from time to time throughout the grant project based on staff availability and feedback we receive from participants.
  • Explore your own creativity. Open to the public, Fellowship will host open studios twice a week on Monday evenings and Wednesday afternoons/evenings, starting August 10 through May 30. Don’t miss this opportunity to explore and experiment with artistic materials (both provided and brought by you). Learn or develop skills with the help of the AIR and members of the artist cohort.
    • Who is this for? Everyone. Open Studio times are open to the public. You don’t have to belong to the Fellowship family to use the studio. 
    • When is the studio open? Official Open Studio time is every Wednesday from noon until 8:30 PM. The studio is available at any time that the church is open. Just sign in at the front office so we know you’re here! 
    • Do I need to bring my own materials? All are encouraged to bring their own materials, especially if you are working on a personal project. Free materials(acrylic paints, pastels, colored pencils, watercolors, paper, etc.) are available in limited supply if you are working on something for Fellowship’s worship or if you simply want to experiment with a medium you’ve never tried before. 
    • Will there be more formal learning opportunities as part of the Wednesday Open Studio? Yes. As part of Fellowship’s Community Nights we will occasionally be offering workshops for various mediums such as acrylic painting, watercolors, photography, and more. We’ll also be hosting a number of area artists throughout the year as part of our learning together. 
    • Where can I find the studio? Room E26 in the Northwest corner of the Education Wing.
  • Worship on Sundays. Praise, confess, lament, give thanks, and remember God’s Story through the Narrative Lectionary and through art created for our worship and, at times,in our worship on Sunday mornings.
  • Simply enjoy. Give God thanks for the beauty and truth proclaimed through art and artists in our community.

For more information contact:
Artist in Residence: Joel Schoon-Tanis
Project Director: Jordan Clegg