The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


Without words

Icons point us to the mystery of God

When Gary Safrit retired from the pulpit of Lutheran Church of Our Saviour, Greenville, S.C., he didn’t stop sharing the message of God’s love. He just changed his method.

Even before he entered first grade, Safrit sat drawing at the family’s kitchen table. Though he never had formal training, his artistic talent helped support him financially through college and seminary.

So in the early 1990s, when church conflict resulted in depression and he began to question his call to ministry, it was art that provided light at the end of his tunnel.

His wife, Brenda, often suggested Friday/Saturday “getaways” to help him cope. On one of those outings he walked the streets of Atlanta on a Saturday morning. He stopped in front of an antiques store that was closed and stood at the window admiring a display of religious icons.

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February issue


Embracing diversity