Official Notice @ Retreat for Ministers to Artists! (March 4-7, 2010)

I'm getting very excited about our retreat plans. I am certainly grateful to all of Steven Purcell's hard work to get the word out and the right folks connected. This past year's retreat went so well, it filled up in fact, that the Laity Lodge staff has graciously allowed us to do it again. Here's my description of last year's, and here's my report in the aftermath (with the title "Michael Jordan Prayed For Me").

In this entry I'm including basic information about the retreat. As always we appreciate you getting the word out to folks who might want or need to come.

DATE: March 4-7, 2010 (Thursday to Sunday)

SPEAKERS: Luci Shaw, David Taylor (yep, that's me), Steven Purcell, and probably other folk TBA.

SPECIAL MUSICIANS: We're particularly excited to welcome Vito and Monique Aiuto, also known as The Welcome Wagon. Vito is the pastor of Resurrection Presbyterian Church in Brooklyn, NYC. Along with his wife and under the production genius of Sufjan Stevens, they produced an album of hymns, pop covers and folksy originals. Do click the link to read a full description of their work. It'll be super to have them at the retreat.

LOCATION: the Laity Lodge, just outside Kerrville, Texas. It's a gorgeous place, just ask anybody who's attended. If you want to see the middle of almost nowhere in Texas, then you'll definitely want to come.

THEME: the spiritual and artistic formation of artists.

FOR WHOM IS THIS RETREAT: for anyone who senses a call to shepherd artists. In the church. In the marketplace. In educational settings. In coffeeshops. In official and un-official capacities. This retreat is for anybody who feels a yearning to love artists and to help them grow strong and whole and holy.

WHO ATTENDED LAST TIME: Mako Fujimura (director of IAM), Brian Moss (Prayer Book Project), Duffy Lott Gibb (coordinator of arts at Regent College), Luann Jennings (director of arts at Redeemer Presbyterian, NYC), Matt Guilford (with Campus Crusade), Terri Fisher (a mom living in San Antonio who feels called to pray for artists), Troy Bronsink (senior editor, Generate magazine), Matt and Geinene Carson (directors of OM Arts Link), Adam Langley (seminarian, Baylor Truett Seminary), Lance Mansfield (brains behind the ByFor Project), Roz Dimon (Director of Communications at St. Bartholomew's Episcopal Church in NYC), Jack King (a 78-year old retired law professor), Travetta Johnson (music and arts minister at All Souls Church in Knoxville, TN) and Michael Jordan (Pastor of Music and Creative Arts at Greenwood Community Church in Castle Rock, CO). And that's only a smidgen of great people who came. We had folks from Georgia to Washington state, Iowa to California. It was a great group.

REGISTER: if you wish to join us next March, please register here.

TALKS: as of now Luci and I will give one talk each. We'll probably plan a panel like last year. We want to create as much space as possible for small group conversation, personal reflection and ample meal-time exchanges.

A. David Taylor's talk (as of today):

"Art and the Church:
Lessons from the 16th-century for the 21st-century"

In my talk we’ll look at how one leader in the 16th-century navigated the tricky waters of “church art.” In the course of his pastoral and theological observations, Richard Hooker, an Anglican divine, concluded four things:

1) Our external life ought to be an expression of invisible realities.
2) The wisdom of the ancients should hold heavier sway over the innovations of the youth.
3) When we do innovate—and the church has always had occasion to amend old forms and to introduce new ones—we should allow the authority of the church to decide these matters, chiefly because wisdom operates best in communal form.
4) The church should not enforce its guidelines too rigidly but rather allow for a degree of latitude in their application to the different circumstances of local churches.

Together we will explore what this looked like in his time—regarding music, architecture, poetry, clothing, images. We’ll also consider what it might mean for us in our time and in our different circumstances. We’ll discover, I think, that there’s very little new under the sun. The old ones, however, can certainly teach us a few things.

B. Luci Shaw's talk:

"Thumbprints: On the Art of Paying Attention"

Just as a crime scene investigator hunts for fingerprints to identify a perpetrator—or just as we examine impressions on a clay mug for clues to the skill of the artisan, so we watch for the fingerprints of God visible throughout Creation.

Such imprints are there for those with eyes to see, not only in the environment of objects and events around us, but in us, made as we all are in the imago dei. How else can we account for our human attraction to the beautiful, or for the form and pattern and significance evident in every civilization? How else understand our own human impulses to create and experiment and originate?

All of art is an imprint, a demonstration of what our imaginations glimpse and harvest and craft into a form. As artists we tell the world, “Here’s what I’ve been given to give away! Take a look! Take a listen!” We will discuss together how to encourage authentic responses in ourselves and each other so that our art may be evidence that we are open to the glory of God. We’ll search for their meanings by learning to pay attention, examining ways for our art to become incarnational, that is, to embody and en-flesh our vision of God, tracing his prints in the transcendent as well as the earthy and ordinary.

IN THE END: We invite you to join your kindred for four days of talking, playing, eating, resting, and praying on behalf of our artist brothers and sisters who are serving the church and the world. As leaders we will be committing to pray for everybody who needs to be at the retreat. We will pray for God's provision for you. And we'll pray that God's will be done in and through artists and those who minister to them. Please don't hesitate to ask if you have any questions.


Kelly W. Foster said…
I really hope to make it out there this year.
I would love for you to be able to be there, Kelly. For shore.
Haley said…
Hi David, thanks for the info! I have taken over in Visual Arts and some other things where Brian Moss left off at JKPC. I would LOVE to go to this... What can you tell me about the cost?
Haley, it'd be great to have you there. It's fun to see your work at John Knox P. Well done.

Laity Lodge hasn't yet posted our retreat on the website. I did see it in a mailout that we got recently. My guess is that the price will be similar to last time's, which was $285. This includes three nights plus nine meals plus, of course, all the other resources they offer, which is quite a bit.

I know finances are always a tricky thing, for any one of us I imagine. I am of a mind to write a blog about raising support. We live partially on support, so we experience the glories and woes of it. Here are two options you might consider if money is tight.

1. Start saving away a little money per month. It's five months between now and the retreat. If you stash away $25 bucks per month in a jar, that's $150. That could certainly help.

2. Ask family or friends or even your church if they would consider donating money to sponsor your registration or plane ticket. For some of you this may be something you've never done. But you'll be surprised how willing folk are to give to causes that they believe in. You're not begging for money. You're asking folks to join in the calling of God on your life. If you help them understand why you feel it's important that God might want you at the retreat, that this is an important part of your growth and development in your vocation, well, you never know. Somebody might give you the whole whopping lot without a blink.

A little philosophy I live by: Ye have not because ye ask not. Or: you can always ask, they can always say yes or no. But you'll never know unless you ask.

I'll be praying for these things. I know it will be harder for some than others.

Once I see the info go live on the LL website, I'll post it on this blog.

I hope this helps.
Haley said…

Thank you so much for all the info and suggestions... I am sorely disappointed to have consulted our church calendar in the meantime and found that we are hosting our annual Spiritual Renewal Conference that weekend. The only bright spot is that Brian is coming down to lead worship for us. I'll just have to make him talk to me about art and church and the grace & beauty of bringing the two together, and then we can both feel like we're there with you all. :) I'm praying for a fruitful season of planning and dreaming for you & your team between now and March.
d said…
I got the most-recent Laity Connections publication last week and it lists the following prices for the retreat:

Lodge: 285 / Black Bluff: 315

By the way, nice front-and-center on the cover of said publication! I love that red shirt! (It looks like facial hair was a requirement for that get-together?)
Haley, we'll be sorry to miss you but happy for the alternative that you'll be experiencing. I have to say I'll also be sorry not to see Brian M. again. What a good man.

D: I just saw a copy last night of the LL mag. What a funny collection of guys in that photo: Jeff Johnson, Phil Keaggy, me and John Wilson (editor of B&C). I don't know if beards were the requirement for the photograph or a certain measure of oddness. But I do think John looks like a certifiable mad scientist.

Thanks for passing along the cost. $285 is the same cost as last year and I still think it's a really good deal for all that they offer. I know it's not pennies. And for those who have to pay travel costs, I realize it makes the retreat almost impossible. I think there are creative ways to finance something like this. I also think lots of prayer is in order on my end on behalf of those who would like to come.
d said…
Funny—I wasn't familiar with Jeff Johnson before I saw that photo but Madeleine and I discovered tonight that an album that we were listening to over dinner that someone had given us actually featured his music.
sam said…

can artists themselves come? i was sad to have missed last year's, but since i quit my job to be an artist/illustrator full-time, i have the space/time now for travel, etc.

Samantha: Heck yea! Of course artists can come. I hope no artist would see themselves excluded from this retreat. I imagine many will already be involved in care-taking activities with other artists around them. So yes, I'd love for you to come for sure.
Selah said…
Hi David,

Great to find your blog and read about the retreat. It is the same dates as the IAM Encounter right? I feel led to attend this one and hope I can get CD's or DVD's of Encounter.

Will there be a group shuttle from the San Antonio airport to the retreat? Thanks.

Selah: trust me when I say that I am very sorry that the retreat dates conflict with the IAM Encounter. I have the greatest respect for IAM. Mako is a gem of a man; and the team around him is sharp as a tack. We actually had chosen our dates back in the summer. Laity Lodge has to fix its schedule far in advance. So by the time we announced the event, it was too late to change things. I think quite a number of groups were vying for the same spring break "real estate."

All that to say, I wish it weren't so. I bless the folks who will go to NYC. We'll trust God to lead people wherever they need to be. Both Encounter and Laity Lodge will keep doing their respective events in years to come.

About shuttle service, I'll check with the director of Laity Lodge. I'm sure I'll be posting info as we move towards March.

Thanks for saying hi and asking the question.
Selah said…
Hi David and thanks for the reply post. These things happen, not to worry. I may just alternate with IAM'next year.

Thanks for looking into it. If a shuttle isn't possible, perhaps some attendees who are also flying in would be open to carpooling. Thanks again and Merry Christmas.

Selah: attendees often do arrange car-pooling. Stay tuned.
Selah said…
Hi again David,

While I would still love to attend, it doesn't appear that things will line up for that. Is there any way that you could do some live feeds/dvd's of any of the sessions and charge for those?

Taking His Direction,
Selah, I have no idea whether this would be possible and I have a feeling that it's probably too short notice to get in place. But perhaps next year? So sorry you can't make it. All the best to you, though.
Unknown said…
Hey David, I would really love to attend with my staff, but the link for registration is broken and I would love to get some specifics. Let me know what I should do. Thanks man.
Sarah Kivell said…
Hi! I'd like to email you about this conference. Where do I send an email to?
Lee, I've sent the director at Laity Lodge a note and will post a notice here as soon as I hear back.

Sarah, go ahead and write me at david (dot) taylor (at) duke (dot) edu.
Lee and Sarah, the registration page is now open for this retreat.

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