September 10, 1961

April 29, 2022


We are shocked and saddened by the sudden passing of Matthew Nelson. Matthew died of a heart attack on April 29, 2022. We treasure a large collection of his art work in our church, among which is his series "The Beloved."

Our thoughts and prayers go out to his wife, Nancy, and his children Mallory, Nathaniel, and Genevieve.


Matthew's Installation: Stations of Lament


Stations of Lament

This art installation, created by Matthew Nelson, our artist in residence, is a unique and moving meditation on the events of Good Friday. It was on display in our deconstructed Sanctuary on Good Friday 2021. People signed up for time-slots to visit. 

Stations of Lament consists of seven images that are accompanied by scripture, psalms, and poetry. Each station slowly walks us through the trial, crucifixion, and death of Jesus, in a combination of the Stations of the Cross and the Seven Last Words. 


See Matthew's publication "Seeking Love's Light"


Matthew Nelson is a visual artist originally from the Midwest, who moved to Oregon in 2014. He has a BFA in Painting and Drawing from St. Cloud State University in Minnesota. He has worked as a certified Chemical Dependency Counselor with Dual Diagnosed population, and trained in Liturgical Art, Pastoral Care and Social Justice at Luther Seminary/United Seminary in Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota. He was the Artist in Residence at Luther Seminary in Minneapolis, Minnesota from 2011 through 2013. He has exhibited throughout the US and is included in multiple corporate, public and private collections including  the national Jerry Evenrud Prodigal Son Collection.

Matthew’s form of expression rises from an 8 year discipline of creating a piece of art daily. It is this consistent creative process that drives his work. The discipline of daily art has pushed Matthew into working thematically using multiple disciplines and stylistic approaches that best fit each conceptual series.

His figurative work flows from a social justice and recovery focus. His landscapes are most often an exploration into the human experience of community and isolation. His abstracts explore a meditative and direct response to words, music and poetry. Connecting all of these approaches is his use of “the sound of colors, the contrast of surface, the shape of simplified forms, and the harmony of tension and silence”.  Together, this visual language creates a dynamic surface that confronts, connects, and comforts the viewer. 

Artist Statement
 I paint the part,
The moment sublime,
That stands in for the whole,
The conceptual essence unseen
Made visible in it’s simple
Form pared down,
Barely holding
On the edge of perception,
Finding life in
The sound of colors,
The contrast of surface,
The intimate connection
Of shapes and tensions and
Creating a place and a time
Of resonance
With something oddly familiar.