The multi-faith art in our Sanctuary
The Tapestry Project
Seattle Unity honors and affirms the truth of all sincere spiritual paths. As a living symbol of this ethos, we are adorning our Sanctuary with 4 by 6 foot tapestries accompanied by altars celebrating these diverse spiritual paths. The project of designing and creating the tapestries is ongoing; we are currently working on the eleventh (Tao) of twelve tapestries.
Gallery of the 12 Tapestries
A vision in creation
In 2000, Rev. Steve Towles, formerly a senior minister at Seattle Unity Church, envisioned the major world religions’ peace prayers collated by James Twyman illustrated with banners depicting the symbols of these religions displayed in our Sanctuary. The Peace Prayers
Annie Christensen, a Seattle Unity congregant, deeply inspired by his vision, started the Tapestry Ministry to carry this vision into our Sanctuary. She visualized wall hangings of much more depth than simple banners: tapestries depicting the essential spiritual essence of these spiritual paths.
She visualized an “emotional snapshot” of each faith – looking at the Tapestry, and being able to “get” that faith without words.
Out of these inspirations, the Tapestry Ministry was created.
The selection process
In 2000 Annie researched the 12 largest populations of religious or spiritual faiths by number of practitioners. This determined which faiths the 12 tapestries would depict. She measured the Sanctuary, and figured out how large each one needed to be to fill the space.
Each spiritual path was meticulously researched, then the group designed and created the tapestry depicting that faith. Each tapestry took a year or two to complete.
The side altars
After a couple of the tapestries were completed, Seattle Unity hosted a world chant day, with chanters from many faiths and countries gathering to lead chants from their traditions. Because the tapestries were taking so long to complete, the Tapestry Ministry created a small altar underneath where each tapestry would be hung, so that people could know what would be coming to grace the spaces. Over the years, people have enjoyed bringing various sacred objects to include on the altars of their hearts.
The tapestries are:
Click below to see each tapestry image, peace prayer, and a brief note about the construction of the tapestry.
- Islam 2001 – Dedicated to the Children of Afghanistan
- Hindu 2002 – In memory of Elaine Wick
- Native American 2003 – In loving memory of Bette Anne Brewer DeAvalos
- Jewish 2004 – In loving memory of Sally Haimo
- Buddhist 2005
- Wiccan/Gaian 2006
- Christian 2007
- Shinto 2009
- Sikh 2010
- Native African 2012
- Tao 2016
- Baha’i 2018 – in memory of Ellen Matilda Christensen