Rescheduled! Praying with Icons and Paintings

conducted by The Rev. Dr. Judith Davis

Saturday, March 12 from 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.


The practice of praying with images or Visio Divina is similar to the monastic practice of Lectio Divina, praying with Scripture readings. Please join The Rev. Dr. Judith Davis, an experienced artist and art historian as she leads us in a quiet day of contemplation using images of the Passion and other helpful paintings and icons as we prepare for and experience Lent.

This workshop will take place online via Zoom on Saturday, March 12 from 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. The cost is on a sliding scale at either $49 or $24 per person. There are a limited number of scholarships available for those who would like to request one. Please email our Registrar FLORA BROOKE for information on scholarships. Registrations are now being accepted via EVENTBRITE HERE.

Praying with visual images began in the medieval period for those who could not read the scriptures. The faithful would visit churches and cathedrals with great altarpieces that showed the scriptural stories, like the famous painting by Fra Angelico of the Adoration of the Magi (now at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC). Iconographers, particularly in the Eastern Church, created icons of the Nativity and other stories as devotional aids. The faithful viewed these icons as a way of entering more deeply into prayer. Many people had icons in their homes as well. The modern time of the 21st century is also a great time to pray with images and icons, even on Zoom, or perhaps, especially in our Zoom time of COVID!

Participants in this online event will receive materials with images to use during the workshop. These images will be shown in the Power Point Zoom presentation as well. No art history knowledge is required.

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The Rev. Judith A. Davis, Ph. D. is an adjunct priest at St. Philip’s Church in Brevard, NC, having retired from the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts in 2018. Raised in Eastern North Carolina and ordained in the Diocese of North Carolina, she served parishes in CT, RI, MA, and Washington, DC. Her first career was as a college professor. She earned her PhD at the University of Florida and her MDiv and STM from Yale Divinity School. She is an Oblate of the Benedictine Sisters of Erie, President-elect of the Transylvania Choral Society, and Vice President of the Transylvania County Bird Club. She teaches in the Diocesan IONA program for formation for bi-vocational priests and deacons. She is enrolled in the Great Smokies Writing Program of UNC-Asheville and the Great Smokies Review will publish one of her poems in its Fall edition.

Judith has been painting watercolors for more than 30 years and was a board member of the Guild of Harwich Artists in Harwich, MA and a member of the Capitol Hill Arts Workshop. She has written/painted four icons and created an illuminated manuscript during the COVID shutdown in 2020-2021. She has presented numerous workshops on art history and “Visio Divina,” and led art and faith retreats in several dioceses. She lives with her family in Brevard.


(sliding scale of $49 or $24 per person)

St. Hildegard of Bingen icon by Judith Davis