J Scott McElroy

Archive for June, 2012|Monthly archive page

Creative Conferences on the Arts in the Church are Full of Inspiration

In Arts Conferences, Christian Art, Christian Arts Conference, Church Art, Creativity, Uncategorized on June 23, 2012 at 2:12 pm

“I think it will take me a lifetime to fully understand and express what God did during the Creative Church Conference. …(it is) allowing so many of us to finally find our creative tribe!!!! The effects this will have in the kingdom will ripple through eternity.” Tammy, Duluth, MN

“The sheer number of gifts that I received at the conference are STILL being revealed! God’s blow’n my hair back!” deAnn, York, PA

When The Creative Church Conference Indianapolis: Embracing the Arts in Your Church wrapped up, it was evident that God had pulled off something special. From the eclectic mix of speakers and their unique perspectives, to the practical, inspiration-packed workshops, to the extras like the Creative Room, live painting, poetry, dance, live music, the Prayer Ministry Rooms, the wonderful art gallery, the Spontaneous Prophetic Art, it was a conference full of surprises, inspiration, connections, and healing. As we had hoped, the conversation reached across denominational boundaries, bringing together leading practitioners from different traditions and backgrounds and we all learned from each other. But more than that, being together to talk

AnnaRose McCabe dancing during worship at the Creative Church Conference Indianapolis. Cathy Feeman paints behind her.

about and experience what God is doing with the arts provided priceless creative fuel and refreshing for the journey ahead.

The theme of the conference, “Embracing the Arts (and Artists) in Your Church”, was based on the concept that God IS creativity, that He designed the arts and creativity as a way for us to encounter and know Him, and the embrace of these things in the local church will mature the Body of Christ and change the world.  The wide ranging discussions all touched on this theme in some way. Jessie Nilo, in her blog post about the event took a shot at describing what went on:

” (Friday) Scott challenged us to do art for the sake of maturity in the Church. Beth Booram (Awaken Your Senses) opened our eyes, ears, and senses, and our imaginations were primed to soar through being present. Rory Noland (Heart of the Artist) melted our hearts with humble encouragement, speaking on some of the challenges of being artistic. (Saturday) Joe Boyd (Artist/Pastor)… well, this improv actor had us laughing hysterically, then  slammed us with clarity and truth on behalf of artists in our churches. Theresa Dedmon (Bethel Church) joyfully led many in the room into healing; spiritually, artistically, and even physically.

“The Arts in Community Outreach” Panel Discussion. Left to right, J. Scott McElroy, Joe Boyd, Kyle Ragsdale, Theresa Dedmon, Jessie Nilo, Christopher Greco

The workshops were riveting, filled with practical advice and spiritual experience on integrating the arts into the local church.  The discussions were electric, and nobody wanted them to end! The panel discussions and creative brainstorming were vital to all the churches represented in the room as we all pondered the future of the arts in the church.

This is a true movement of God.” (Excerpts edited.)

If you missed the Creative Church Indianapolis, a full DVD and cd collection of the sessions and workshops is now available!  Click HERE.

 

Continued Momentum at The Creative Church Boise, July 13-15

Manuel Luz

Less than a month later we did it all again with the Creative Church Conference Boise. This conference had a different personality than Indy, but was undeniably infused with God’s presence, as well.  Rory Noland, Jessie Nilo, and I spoke at both conferences, but Boise also featured Manuel Luz (Imagine That) a wonderful  “Renaissance Man”( he probably wouldn’t like that description, but it’s true) who delivered excellent messages and also led us in an amazing arts and worship time on Friday night. It was so enjoyable to watch him freely contribute his talents to the weekend.   Brie Tschoepe came in from Austin to instruct and enlightened us on the powerful gifts of drama and physical movement, and her presence alone added a unique sense of soul to the weekend. Rory Noland, a mentor to so many Christian artists, spoke from his vast experience of working with artists in the church. His talk on “Leading Artists” was remarkably practical and helpful.  And Dave Blakeslee, a former pastor and gifted potter who illustrates with clay as he speaks, completely floored us with unique insight on the relationship between pastors and artists. It was like he opened up a treasure chest of wisdom on the subject and started doling out rare gems. (I’ll post the text from that talk soon.)

A drama exercise. These people froze in position to illustrate the disciples in the stormy sea.

We knew from the beginning that the two conferences would have different vibes.  With Boise’s large and established VineArts Ministry to artists we thought that conference would lean more toward artists, and Indy’s proximity to a much larger population and more churches would skew it more toward arts and church leaders. These assumptions were generally true, but the way everything wove together at the individual conferences was truly astounding. There was a wonderful balance of ideas and insight for artists, arts leaders, and local churches at both conferences. It was clear that the Holy Spirit had inspired and guided these events, and there was clear affirmation that the movement to integrate the arts into the church–this New Renaissance–is God’s idea.

Now the question we hear continually, “When are you going to do it again?” We’re committing that question to prayer, and we’ll let you know as soon as we do!

As the words on the conference poster said:

A historic movement is underway.

A movement that will connect artists

with the ultimate Creator,

awaken creativity in the average person,

Invigorate the local church, and convey

God’s love to the world in authentic and creative ways.

It’s a New Renaissance,

And you have a part in it.

The Creative Church Conferences were sponsored in part by The New Renaissance Arts Movement. For more information on The New Renaissance Arts Movement go to http://TheNewR.org.

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Creative Church Conference Updated Schedule!

In Arts Conferences, Christian Art, Christian Arts Conference, Church Art, Creativity on June 4, 2012 at 5:56 pm

We just posted an updated version of the Creative Church Conference schedule, June 15-17 in Indianapolis. It’s gonna be fantastic!

 

Check in and last minute registration starts at 8:30am Friday morning. The first session gets underway at 9:30am.

Friday and Saturday will focus on teaching and workshops, with panels and round-table discussions.

Workshops include:

  • “Releasing the Healing Power of the Arts”—Theresa Dedmon
  • “Creating Sacred Space Roundtable”
  • “Awakening Your Senses: Cultivating Sensory Worship in a Congregational Setting”–Beth Booram
  • “Painting Live During Services”–Cathy Feeman
  • “Starting an Arts Ministry and Building Arts Community in Your Church”–Jessie Nilo
  • “Opening and Maintaining an Art Gallery in Your Church”–Jessie Nilo, Kyle Ragsdale
  • “Having Standards, while Being Inclusive: Helping all Levels of Creativity Flourish in Your Church”—Jessie Nilo, deAnn Roe
  • “How to Create a Drama Ministry in Your Church”–Amy Christie
  • More!

Rory Noland will be the main speaker Friday night and Saturday morning.

Theresa Dedmon will be the main speaker on Saturday night.

Then on Sunday morning we’ll “take over” both services (9:30 and 11:30) at the Indy Vineyard Community Church! It will be a time to dream what it might look like for the arts to be fully integrated into Sunday services, with a healthy dose of experimentation, as well! The conference will end after our Sunday services.

All three days will feature loads of inspiration, prayer, and encouragement for artists and art ministers, with practical, creative ideas on ministry, and open discussions where you can share what it looks like to love God and people through the arts in your church.

We’ll explore questions like: How can our churches manage the tension between inclusiveness and excellence in the arts? How can the arts be used in outreach? How can we be intentional about giving artists a place in our churches? How can we disciple and encourage them, and avoid burning them out? How can we facilitate true community among artists?, and more.

There will be opportunities to share and hear different ways churches can embrace the visual arts, film, street art, dances, writing, poetry, theater, and much more.

We’ve designed this conference to be not only a unique time of gathering ideas and inspiration from creative leaders, discovering resources, and sharing with peers, but also a time of spiritual and mental refreshing. In addition to the many valuable workshops, each day you’ll  have the opportunity to take a creative break in the Creative Room, connect with other attendees, or get specific prayer. And from the time you register for the Indianapolis conference, someone will be praying specifically for you what God has called you to.  We hope you leave spiritually energized and full of new ideas and inspiration.

Here is a schedule of the conference timing and main sessions topics.

Creative Church Indianapolis

Conference Schedule

Friday, June 15

9:30am- 10:45am            Session One—J. Scott McElroy–“A Vision for the Flourishing of Art and Creativity in the Local Church”

10:45am-11:00am            Break

11:00am-12:00pm           Session Two—Beth Booram–“Awakening Your Senses: Cultivating Sensory Worship in a Congregational Setting”

12:00pm-1:30pm             Lunch Break

1:30pm-2:30pm               Choice of:

  • Workshops
  • Peer Round Table Discussion
  • Creative Room
  • Prayer Rooms

2:30pm-2:45pm                Break

2:45pm-3:45pm                Choice of:

  • Workshops
  • Creative Room
  • Prayer Rooms

3:45pm-4:00pm                 Break

4:00pm-5:30pm                 Session 3–Panel Discussion–“The Power of the Arts in Community Outreach”–Theresa Dedmon, Jessie Nilo, Joe Boyd, Kyle Ragsdale, Christopher Greco

5:30pm-7:30pm                  Dinner Break

7:30pm–8:00pm               Worship—Steven Potaczek and 1000 Generations (Plus the Grace Community Church drama team)

8:00–9:30pm                     Session Four—Rory Noland–“Thriving as an Artist in the Church”

Saturday, June, 16

8:30am-9:30am                (Registration for single day attendees only)

9:30am- 10:45am              Session Five—Rory Noland–“Cultivating the Heart of the Artist and Dealing with Perfectionism”

10:45am-11:00am              Break

11:00am-12:00pm             Session Six–Joe Boyd–“Telling the Kingdom Story Creatively: Thoughts from an Artist/Pastor”

12:00pm-1:30pm               Lunch Break

1:30pm-2:30pm                 Choice of:

  • Workshops
  • Creative Room
  • Prayer Rooms

2:30pm-2:45pm                 Break

2:45pm-3:45pm                 Choice of:

  • Workshops
  • Creative Room
  • Prayer Rooms

3:45pm-4:00pm                 Break

4:00pm-5:30pm                 Session Seven–Panel Discussion–“Group Brainstorm: Ideas and Inspiration for the Arts in the Church”–Rory Noland, Theresa Dedmon, Joe Boyd, J. Scott McElroy, Jessie Nilo, Christopher Greco, Cathy Howie, deAnn Roe, The Audience

5:30pm-7:30pm                  Dinner Break

7:30pm-8:00pm                 Worship—Jason Barrows and The Heritage

8:00-9:30pm                       Session Eight—Theresa Dedmon–“The Creativity of God Released in His People to Change the World”

Sunday, June, 17

9:30am-11:00am                 Special Arts Service

11:30am-1:00pm                 Special Arts Service

1:00pm                                  Conference officially ends