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'Approaching the Cross' looks at Passion Week and Rembrandt
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David Barnes, director of the Shafer Art Gallery at Barton Community College, will mix art education with religion during an upcoming presentation at St. John’s Episcopal Church, 2701 17th St., Great Bend.  The free program “Approaching the Cross: Why Rembrandt Matters,” will be presented at 11 a.m. Sunday, March 17, at the church.
“It will be a talk imbedded as the sermon part of the regular Sunday service at St. John’s,” Barnes said. “The attendees will be given a good color reproduction of (“The Return of the Prodigal Son”) by Rembrandt at the door for them to use as a reference point. Rembrandt has always been known for his ability to communicate the complexity of human pathos.
“The Prodigal was his last finished painting when he was infirmed, alone and destitute. It seems to be  a poignant personal plea for acceptance and forgiveness,” Barnes continued. “I have always thought it was the perfect piece of religious art in that he uses the visual elements and techniques of his age not just to create drama but to communicate a powerful image of caritas and grace. Light is not just the spotlight of the natural world, but in his painting it becomes a metaphor for spiritual enlightenment and the awakening of love and understanding.”
This event is in conjunction with the “Signs of the Passion” exhibit going on at the Shafer Gallery through March 29.

Upcoming events at St. John’s
This Sunday, March 10, Father Brian Viel, chaplain at the Hutchinson Correctional Facility, will conduct the Eucharistic service.
March 17 will be a special Service of Morning Prayer with Barnes and Teresa Lahar conducting the service.
March 24, Palm Sunday, St. John’s will welcome the Rev. Phyllis Flory’s return to her duties as pastor. She will again be in charge at the Easter service on March 31.
All services begin at 11 a.m. The church is located on the corner of 17th and Adams St.