Over the past few years, Shepherd of the Hills (SOTH) Lutheran Church has employed the work of Artist Paul Omen to create stunning watercolor paintings for the church. This year, SOTH is offering members of the community the opportunity to express themselves by painting a mural designed by Oman.
Clubs, families, school groups, assisted living residents, organizations and churchgoers are all invited to take part in this paint-by-number canvas mural in which all paint supplies are provided at no cost. No experience is needed and the community is encouraged to sign up for time slots of 30 to 45 minutes with a maximum of 12 individuals per group.
Painting takes place Aug. 27 through Nov. 15 and the project will be unveiled during the first week of Advent, Sunday, Dec. 3, at the 8:30 and 10:30 a.m. services. As a special feature, the mural will include a black light component which will illuminate various aspects of the painting.
Painting depicts Jesus’ birth
The six-paneled 15x8 ft. mural will be a colorful depiction of the nativity scene with animals, shepherds and angels gathered to witness the birth of Jesus. Words of peace, love and joy will be inscribed throughout the mural and in bold letters across the painting, a message will read, “For Unto Us A Child Is Born.”
When complete, the mural will be displayed above the bell choir in the church sanctuary.
“When you see it, you’re overwhelmed,” church volunteer and leader of the mural project, Kathy Patterson said, who has witnessed Oman paint live during a number of special services. One such painting hangs in the SOTH sanctuary and was completed by Oman upside down and revealed to the congregation in the middle of the service.
According to SOTH Pastor Jeff Teeples, the mural will bring the congregation and community members together in unity by participating in a Christ-centered activity.
“We have a mission that says to know Christ and to make him known,” Teeples said. “It’s a very festive and wonderful time, but what’s really neat about this project is it’s going to bring people together.”
Students from The Inspiration Academy, which meets on the SOTH campus, will also take part in painting the mural.
Paul Oman Fine Arts, LLC
Through his full-time ministry entitled Drawn to the Word, Oman has painted for and designed murals for audiences throughout the world including Germany, Tanzania, China and Alaska. Based in Wisconsin, Oman says Drawn to the Word reinvigorates churches around something meaningful, particularly the word of God.
“While they paint, they will very likely have curiosity about what they’re painting,” Oman said. “Adults and children can laugh next to each other, side by side.”
According to Oman, Drawn to the Word was a response to the COVID-19 Pandemic when many churches lost their sense of connection even after restrictions were lifted. Oman wanted to create something meaningful as a way to invite communities back to church and keep them involved.
Throughout his artistic ministry, Oman has worked with public and private schools, non-profits, camps, seminaries, colleges and inmates at correctional facilities. Last year, Oman had five churches participate in the mural. This year, at least two churches per week have signed up to participate recently as Oman continues to spread the word about his artistic ministry.
“My mission is to bring the word of God to life before the eyes of my audiences using a paintbrush and a canvas,” Oman said.
For information on the community mural or to sign up for a time slot, visit sothaz.com, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 480-837-9532. Alternatively, the public is invited to attend weekly Sunday Worship at 9:30 a.m. Shepherd of the Hills is located at 16150 E. El Lago Blvd. For more information about Paul Oman, visit drawn-to-the-word.com.