Web version of our monthly eNewsletter. To receive in your Inbox, click the link in the “Receive News” box at right, or join us as a member!
In this issue:
- Connections: 5 Ways to Connect; Churches in the Spotlight; Member News
- Resources: New Leadership Blog Series; Best Resource Nominations
- Advocacy: How are Local Churches Supporting the Arts?
- C&A News: Mission Clarity to Serve God – and You – Better
We hope you like our new Network News format! After some refinement of the C&A vision, and “continuing education” about the best way to communicate it (see C&A News), we’ve made some changes. Let us know what you think! (email@example.com).
Beginning in July, we will split “Connections” and “Resources and Advocacy” into two separate emails, to be sent in the first and third weeks of the month. This will allow us to expand “Resources and Advocacy” content without the News getting too long.
C&A Members receive an additional Member Update email mid-month that goes deeper into arts-and-faith issues and contains special features for members. Not a member yet? Join!
5 Ways to Connect
Part of the new vision and focus for C&A communications is to get you connected to our community! Here are some ideas:
1 – Get to know each other! Visit Member Spotlight and Network Announcement websites. Pray for them. Email them with questions about their work or a note of encouragement. Contact info is generally available through their website, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
2 – Join the conversation! Comment on blog posts, the new “Advocacy” page, and Facebook updates. Use the Facebook page to start new conversations, and reply to ongoing ones. Write us with your ideas, questions, and feedback. You matter to our community!
3 – Become a member! If you’re not a C&A Member yet, join to get the full benefits of being part of our network. Membership is free and simply indicates a desire to be an integral part of the conversation. Members receive a second, exclusive email each month that goes deeper into arts-and-faith issues, and are included in the monthly Spotlight and Network Announcements. Members also guide the programming and “voice” of C&A.
5 – Spread the word! You probably have folks in your own network who would want to be part of our community. Send them a link to the C&A website. Write about C&A on your own blog, Facebook and Twitter feeds, etc.
“The church” is community – through our relationships and fellowship we serve each other and the world.
Let C&A help you connect!
Member Spotlight – Churches
Each month we spotlight members of our network that are making an impact in a particular realm of the arts-and-faith movement.
This month we say “thank you” to the churches in our midst that have made a commitment to engaging with the arts through innovative ministry programs. Please check out their websites, pray for them, and contact them to learn more about their work!
View this month’s Member Spotlight page!
Hal Moran is one of seventeen artists whose work is included in VSA Arts’ “Shift” exhibition in the Terrace Gallery of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. More info.
Dates: Through June 30
Region: Washington, D.C.
Ekphrasis: Fellowship of Christians in the Arts (Bethlehem, PA) will hold a poetry event to read from When Least Expected: Poems from Faith by John Alexanderson. More info: email@example.com
Date: June 14
Redeemer Presbyterian Church’s quarterly artist gathering, InterArts Fellowship, will discuss ways the Scriptures generate artwork. Guests for “The Artist and Beauty: Illuminating the Word” are actor Max McLean and director of the Museum of Biblical Art, Ena Heller. Music by Spark and Echo. More info.
Date: July 15
New Blog Series: Leadership
This month, C&A begins a summer-long focus on leadership on our blog, featuring guest bloggers from our network as well as our regulars. Be sure to set your RSS feed or subscribe to the blog, so you don’t miss anything! And add your thoughts and comments! (#2 in “5 Ways to Connect”)
Why leadership? See “C&A News” below.
Read the first post: The Reluctant Leader.
Network Members: Nominate Favorites
C&A Members, be sure to nominate your favorite resources! Share the books, audio or video recordings, or other resources in the “arts-and-faith” category and any “other” category that have been beneficial to you in your work. Use the survey form or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Watch for results in July!
How are Local Churches Supporting the Arts?
Using the article to generate thoughts, or speaking from your own experience, jump into our new monthly advocacy conversation, where we’re asking:
How have you seen local churches become advocates for or patrons of the arts in innovative ways? What were the results within individual lives, the church, and the community?
Mission Clarity to Serve God – and You – Better
I’m in the middle of C&A’s first fundraising campaign (prayers are very welcomed!). Although I’ve always had a gut instinct about what God was calling C&A to be about, I couldn’t articulate it succinctly and well. Then I had to make a case for why someone should give us money.
Three weeks, lots of angst, and a dozen drafts later, I think it’s there.
If you need direction for moving forward in your work, I recommend the process highly, even if you don’t need to raise funds. The business books and speakers will tell you that mission clarity actually makes you better at your work. I’ve seen greater focus in how I spend my time and how I talk with people, which I know glorifies God and serves you, the network, better.
Once the dust settled from this (sometimes grueling) process, what became clear is that C&A is about:
Building the church’s engagement with the arts through building up arts leaders in the church.
You can read more about it on the (new) front page of the website, and I’ll be writing more in the future.
Why focus on leaders? Two main reasons:
- Leaders make things happen. Several leaders of the arts-and-faith movement have expressed recently, and I agree, that we are leaving a time of introspection, study, and dialogue, and moving into a time of action. This forward motion will require empowering and supporting those who will make things happen.
- Leaders have unique needs. Arts leaders were trained to make art, but rarely to lead (start, run, and/or build support for initiatives and structures). Having accepted the call to lead, our needs change. We have plenty of opportunities to explore arts+leadership, or faith+arts, or faith+leadership, but few at the intersection of all three.
The specific tools we’ll use to pursue our mission together are:
- Connections to encourage us.
- Resources to guide us.
- Advocacy to advance us.
C&A programs and efforts will fall into these three areas, and communications will now reflect them. So watch for changes in the upcoming weeks.
It’s an exciting time!
If you’re interested in the workings of mission-clarification (or vision-casting, as another way of looking at it), I’ll be writing more soon in an upcoming blog/article.
The other big news is that C&A is now officially a “ministry department” of Artists in Christian Testimony Intl.
A C&A member and longtime advocate of those ministering through the arts, A.C.T. Intl will provide financial, logistical, and spiritual accountability that will move C&A ahead. For 30+ years, A.C.T. Intl has been “mobilizing and training church and mission leaders to more effectively worship and communicate the Gospel through music and the arts.” Check them out if you are seeking ways to grow your organizational or personal ministry in the arts.
As always, let me know if I can pray for or serve you in any way!
Blessings on your work,
Founder and director