In response to the need for “warming up” First Church’s new spaces completed in the long construction process, the Visual Arts Council, or VAC, was born.
This group of people dreamed of setting standards and implementing beauty in worship and community gathering spaces with a focus on historical perspective. The mission states: The Visual Arts Council of First United Methodist Church of Orlando seeks to glorify God with visual beauty in worship and fellowship (gathering) spaces. This committee will create and maintain adornments appropriate to the church season or event, honoring stated guidelines.
Using the authoritative book, Methodist Altars, as a guideline, the challenge began. The Endowment Committee granted a requested budget. Additionally, gifts from the Doris Manuel Memorial were designated for use by the VAC. This funding has allowed the committee to achieve multiple goals.
*The living plants and containers were put in place after consulting with a plant specialist. Green Team and VAC members, along with other First Church members, comprise the Plant Keepers, who work a weekly schedule for plant upkeep.
*The original paraments (altar and pulpit cloths) from the yellow church were framed and are hanging in the Gathering Space. Near them hang three doves, original serigraphs by Marian McCall. The doves are the same as the dove we see in the Sanctuary Pentecost dossal.
*The crosses hanging on individual canvases above the couch in the Gathering Space were designed by Georgia Williams. This collection is representative of multiple missions of our Youth Department.
*The welcome scripture lettering in the Gathering Space was ordered and installed by Michael Perkins.
*Altars and lecterns for the Chapel and Contemporary Worship Spaces were designed by Kelly Carr. She was instrumental in locating an excellent carpenter who is in the process of seeing the work through to completion.
*The completion of the Parlor refurbishing is close. A Karastan wool rug has been purchased, dining chairs from the old parlor refinished and recovered, art and mirrors hung. The Brides’s Room has a new much-needed full length mirror. The Vestibule leading from the Sanctuary to the Gathering Space also has art and a mirror from the old parlor. Many thanks to Gino Bouquet for the hours and patience he has given hanging these items.
*The reception office now has a clock and stained-glass art which add warmth to this highly visible area.
The VAC is excited about the progress made. Several other projects are in the works. With Advent upon us, the goals include making Chrismons for the Contemporary Worship and Gathering Space trees. Additionally, “Deck the Halls”, a church-wide event, will take place Wednesday, November 28th. All are invited to participate in decorating our beautiful church for the season of Christ’s birth! Details of this event will be published soon.
Members of the VAC include Ethna Bergstrom, Judy Berry, Kelly Carr, Suzanne Gifford, Regina McCall, Jane McCloskey, Jo Petteway, Rose Mary Renick, Barb Shortal, Georgia Williams. Bill Shortal serves as the staff advisor.
Members of the VAC include Ethna Bergstrom, Judy Berry, Kelly Carr, Suzanne Gifford, Regina McCall, Jane McCloskey, Sarah McClane, Jo Petteway, Janine Reed, Rose Mary Renick, Barb Shortal, Georgia Williams. Bill Shortal serves as the staff advisor.