“Meet Halie” is part of a series of interviews written by Elizabeth Nasman about families and people who call Terra Nova home. The church is a family we’d love to invite you to be a part of and we hope this helps you to meet some our family members. Thank you for reading and be sure to follow along with our other stories in the News section of our website.
Late last month, I had the pleasure of meeting up with Halie Smith at one of her favorite North Adams hangouts – Ramunto’s Brick Oven Pizza – to learn all about who she is while we chowed down on our favorite slices. We quickly realized talking while eating would be too difficult, so we gobbled down our pizza and then chatted for the better part of an hour.
Halie, 21, is a senior at the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts (MCLA), located in North Adams. She’s busy finishing up her Bachelor’s of Arts degree, with a minor in Psychology, and will be graduating in May. Halie’s after graduation plans involve more learning, as she is continuing on to pursue her Master’s in Fine Art Degree. She won’t be moving far though, just into Boston, to attend MassArt.
It would be impossible for me to write about Halie without talking about her as an artist. Halie doesn’t remember a time when art was not a part of her life. She has craved creating art her whole life, and she’s extremely talented. When she’s happy, when she’s sad, when she’s stressed or when she’s bored, Halie seeks to fill her time creating masterpieces. While she works mostly in oil painting, her favorite medium is actually a pencil. Halie feels most comfortable drawing and most confident in her abilities as an artist when she’s using pencil and paper as opposed to using a brush and canvas.
Halie has incredibly blessed Terra Nova North Adams with her artwork. She has been working on a mural in the parent manned toddler room, and she was also responsible for installing the logo for The Green on the back wall of the meeting space. She was one of three artists who created live art during the Poiema Worship Event in February. Halie played a huge role in Crucifixion Sunday, where she painted a portrait of Jesus on the cross to help worshipers to lay their burdens down at the cross. Her ability to paint quickly, yet with great detail, has allowed her to have an impact on her audiences and to see Jesus in new light. Her paintings can be seen around North Adams, as well as at MCLA, where she most recently painted a mural in an English lounge!
Halie comes from a large family. She is the oldest of four children, boasting two younger sisters and one younger brother. While she was growing up, Halie and her siblings were schooled at home, and as a result, she has developed deep relationships with her siblings. Halie loved the homeschool experience. She was able to work while in high school, and also take college level classes while still at home. As a result of this, Halie will be graduating from MCLA an entire year early.
Her love of family is what has attracted her to Terra Nova. She has been with Terra for about 18 months, and refers to church as her home base. As someone who doesn’t like to be coddled, Halie is attracted to how Terra makes her feel challenged in her faith. Challenged to dig deeper into Scripture, challenged to grow more like Christ, and challenged to love those around her better and deeper. She also feels that the church has genuinely cared for her, despite the fact she will soon be moving. Halie is authentic and honest about who she is, and loves that she doesn’t have to pretend to be someone she isn’t around this body of Christ. She feels safe when she is with her church family. She’s thankful that the church tries to showcase the skills of all of its members.
For the future, Halie hopes to see Terra Nova strengthen its presence on the local college campuses. After being on a college campus in North Adams for three years, Halie has seen a lot of brokenness and aching among young adults. She hopes that Terra can come alongside college students to fill their lives with love and truth, and reveal to them the Gospel story.
Personally, I feel blessed by Halie. I love how she’s so real about who she is and where she’s at. I love that she doesn’t take this life for granted, but pursues Christ in all things. I love that she is unashamed of the gifts she has been given. I love that she has a desire to be light. Halie, thank you for loving Terra well, for loving your family well, and for loving your Lord well. We can’t wait to see what the Lord has in store for you in Boston!