Thanking the Lord For a Good Day at ARISE

It’s almost bedtime, and I’m reflecting back on the first day of the Arts Conference. My overwhelming feeling toward God is one of gratitude. The Lord was with us moment by moment, from the drum line beginning all the way through to the song Love at the end. The drum line is a group from the south side of Chicago, a neighborhood called Englewood, where I was actually born. It was started by a young leader who wanted to do something constructive to get kids in that under-resourced neighborhood off the streets.

I was struck all day long by a very sweet spirit in the room. As I taught the first session, it seemed like all of us needed a time of cleansing, confession, and renewed surrender. I hope others will dig into Psalm 40 even further, because it is full of riches for artists and teachers!

Mr. Gilles St. Croix is a delightful man. I think he’s one of those creative geniuses who is so good at what he does that he has trouble explaining it. I wanted so much more time with that interview than the 30 minutes. But I’m not sure if we had more time (based on my additional conversations with Gilles) that he could have articulated what I most wanted to understand – how he and his team have developed their artistic instincts for what makes something beautiful, what makes a moment work, how to fix it when it’s not working. I bet I speak for most of us when I say how much I would treasure watching Gilles at work, observing a creative concept session and an early rehearsal of a Cirque show. I know we only scratched the surface in the interview, and long to learn more from the artistic excellence of that amazing organization.

Finally, I was grateful for the stretching time we experienced with Brian McLaren. I know not everyone agrees with all that Brian writes and speaks about, but I certainly hope we can all agree that Christians need to become more intentional and passionate about bringing God’s kingdom to earth, helping to solve some of the gravest problems in this world. I thought Brian’s list of what artists can uniquely do was worth a lot of further thought and processing. “Humanizing the other” is such a beautiful goal for artists and pastors to aim for.

Well, it’s my bedtime. I look forward to teaching all day tomorrow, to connecting in more intimate settings with some of the incredible people who made their way to Chicago for this event. God has been abundantly good to me and to all of us on this day, and I can’t wait to see what awaits us tomorrow…


Anonymous said...

thanks Nancy for championing the arts in the local church.

God has used you to bless and change our church.

I am so grateful for this conference, and your leadership.

Anonymous said...

God has been using you as a funnel to deliver inspiration and wonder to leaders throughout the world. I praise Him for creating you! I came home from this conference with some learned hard truths about myself and inspired to reach farther into the creative wiring that God has for me and my church.

Tanya ps I guess i do have a MN accent!!!