[Prefatory note: the kind folks over at the "Transpositions" blog, aka grad students associated with the Institute for Imagination, Theology and the Arts at St. Andrews University, have engaged a lively discussion not only of my book, but also of the conversation around useful and useless art. It looks lively already.]
Good people, we have a date for the next "ministers to artists" retreat at the Laity Lodge. That deserves an exclamatory sentence! On May 26-29, 2011, Thursday through Sunday, the Laity Lodge will gather another great bunch of folks who feel called to shepherd artists and who want to grow in the skill required to shepherd them well.
Who should come?
If you sense a strong desire to care for artists, to seek their well-being, to help them grow in the knowledge of the Triune God, to aid the work of integration in their lives, to mentor their fledgling efforts and to do whatever you can to help them flourish in their respective callings and occupations, then you're a good candidate for this retreat.
You may work in the context of the church, officially or unofficially, or in a para-church setting, or in an educational institution or in a professional society, or you may be a floater who feels called to be in the lives of artists whenever, however and wherever the Spirit leads. This retreat is for you.
You may have decades of experience or you may just be starting out in this work. This retreat is for you.
Where will this retreat be?
It'll take place again at the beautiful Laity Lodge. Here is the info about the retreat this past spring on Laity Lodge's website. Registration for 2011 will open soon.
Who will be the speakers be?
At this point we are still working on finding our second speaker. I will be in the mix somehow. But we also value giving the retreat participants a chance to share knowledge, skills and experiences with each other and we will carve out time accordingly to ensure that that happens.
What was it like the past two years?
See here for a brief description of year one. See here an advanced note about this past spring. Here is one participant's report of the recent retreat.
Here, finally, is a good word from somebody who attended both retreats. His name is Jeffrey Guy and he helps lead an arts ministry at Trinity Anglican Church in Atlanta, Georgia. He's also quite a fine visual artist.
"Entering the retreats with skeptical expectations, I met authentic Christians who shared my passions relating to the arts. I witnessed also how the Holy Spirit is at work in His body, the Church, and discovered art's importance in God's economy. All of the lectures by accomplished artisans and pastors (and I've been twice now) were meaningful. However it was the retreaters encountered at Laity that by far resonated, inspired and instructed me by way of their collected experience. Whether we were trekking through the canyon, enjoying a delicious meal or putting our hands together for some creative time, it far surpassed my expectations and laid my skepticism to rest. These retreats were where I found my 'tribe'."
[NB: the artwork is by the lovely Shannon Steed Sigler. She created the work to accompany her master's thesis which she wrote on Charles Wesley's hymnody. This fulfilled the requirements of her program at Asbury Seminary.]
[UPDATE: Frederica Matthewes-Green will be one of our featured speakers. See here for info.]
(Folks who attended this past retreat at Laity.)