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Visual Arts I


“Integrating the Visual Arts into the Life of the Church: A Panel Discussion”


First Evangelical Free Church, Hill Country Bible Church, Hope Chapel, Mosaic


Description: Four churches—in four different contexts—share ways they’ve integrated visual art into the corporate life, principles that have guided their decisions, and positive results and lessons learned.


Visual Arts II


“Visual Homiletics: How can we Preach to the Eye as well as to the Ear?”


Sandra Bowden, Christians in the Visual Arts (CIVA)


Description: This session will set the background for how the church lost contact with images, provide examples of art that help not only illuminate the Scriptures but also inform our theology and delight the eye.  It will show how art can be a vital part of the life of a congregation—from the pulpit and everywhere else.

Bio: Sandra Bowden is an artist and painter from New York and is a past president of Christians in the Visual Arts. A native of New England, Bowden's work is in the permanent collection of the Vatican Museum of Contemporary Religious Art in Rome and in the Haifa Museum of Art in Israel.




“Vivifying the Word: Scripture-telling and the art of Drama”


Brie Walker and Alison Siewert


Description: How can drama vivify our experience of the Scriptures? How can it help us reconnect to the gospel story? What are simple things pastors or non-actorly lay persons can do to dramatically enliven the Word? How can you not stress about not having a drama team of AMAZING actors on board?


Bio: Brie Walker is a writer, actress, director, former InterVarsity staffworker, graduate of NYU, and resident of Harlem. She is passionate about reconciling the warring siblings Theatre and Church.  Alison Siewert co-wrote and edited the Drama Team Handbook after leading worship at Urbana '93 and '96. She is cofounder and director of ransomTHEdonKey, a theater group that performs on campuses and in churches. Previously she has worked as a church planter, worship designer, and InterVarsity staff trainer. She is currently based in Toronto, Canada.




Worship Planning in an Eclectic Culture: Preserving the old, Releasing the new”


Greg Scheer, Calvin Institute of Christian Worship (Calvin College)


Description: The modern worship planner has to juggle more music styles, more instruments, more songs, and more expectations than ever before. In this workshop we'll look at techniques for bringing all these elements together in a way that flows smoothly.


Bio: Greg Scheer is Minister of Worship at Church of the Servant in Grand Rapids and Music Associate at the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship. His writings include The Art of Worship (Baker Books, 2006) and contributions to Worship Leader, Reformed Worship, and The Hymn. His music is available from Augsburg Fortress, Faith Alive and www.gregscheer.com.



“Five Ways to integrate Dance into the Life of the Church”


Sandra Organ-Solis


Description: From the simple gestures of bowing and hand-clasping to the more elaborate circle and festival dances, our physical bodies have the need to express themselves in our worship of God.   In this session we'll explore five ways in which churches can make use of dance as an aid to our adoration and celebration before God. Come prepared to move.


Bio: Sandra Organ-Solis was a soloist with Houston Ballet and its first African-American female ballerina, leaving the company after fifteen seasons to work as a guest artist, independent choreographer, and to become Artistic Director of Sandra Organ Dance Company (SODC), a contemporary ballet ensemble in Houston, Texas. 




“Principles and Practices for Transformative Architecture: Does your church building tell the story you want it to tell?”


Kelly Foster


Description: A practicing architect will discuss how built spaces in the Old and New Testaments tell God’s story and what they mean for 21st Century church design, including how buildings affect the narrative of our daily lives in community and a case study for redesigning a local church sanctuary and campus.


Bio: Kelly Foster is a registered Architect, holds degrees in architecture from Texas A&M and Harvard, and with Chris Cobb owns and operates the Austin-based firm CF Architecture, which focuses on modern and sustainable design for both residential and commercial projects.   Kelly spends his spare time reading normative philosophy texts as well as helping direct children's musical theater productions.




 “Moving forwards, Moving backwards: Moving Pictures as an Aid or Hindrance to the Gospel?”

Gateway Church and The Work of the People


Description: How can or should video/film be integrated into the life of the church?  Three groups share their context, examples of what they’ve done, principles that have informed their decisions, and lessons they’ve learned—the easy way and the hard way.




“Perspectives on Preaching Narrativally and Artistically”


Reg Grant


Description: In this session we will explore preaching as story-telling -- its epistemological requirements as well as the benefits of hearing the Word preached in the artistic form of story. We will consider the Cinematic Sermon (based on Joseph Campbell's monomythic structure) as a clear example of story form in preaching.


Bio: Reg Grant (Th. D.) is Lauren’s husband and dad to Rosalyn, Gabe, and Nick. He serves as Professor of Pastoral Ministries at Dallas Theological Seminary (1982 – present). He writes, produces and acts for radio, television, theater, and film (two Emmys, two Golden Apple awards for best educational film in America).


A Biblical Perspective


 “A Biblical Basis for the Arts and the Imagination”


Colin Harbinson


Description: This seminar will explore biblical grounds for the expression of the arts and the imagination in the life of the Christian and in the church.  It will also suggest ways in which such an expression can lead to the transformation of our surrounding culture.


Bio: Colin Harbinson has been involved in the arts and education for over 40 years. He created the internationally acclaimed stage productions Toymaker & Son and Dayuma, and has received numerous industry recognitions. Colin pioneered large-scale cultural exchange festivals with Russia, Bulgaria and China, and is currently International Director of StoneWorks, a global arts partnership for cultural transformation.


The Care of Artists I


“The Spiritual Formation of Artists: Nurturing Heart & Mind”


Rory Noland


Description: Artists are playing an ever-increasing role in the Church today. Unfortunately, most leadership and discipleship paradigms don't take into account the special needs of the artistic temperament. Drawing mainly from 1 Thessalonians 2, practical suggestions will be offered as to how to encourage, exhort, and implore artists toward excellence in character as well as craft.


Bio: Rory Noland, former music director at Willow Creek in Illinois, is the director of an organization dedicated to serving artists in the church. Rory is the author, among others, of Thriving as an Artist in the Church: Hope and Help For You and Your Ministry Team and The Worshiping Artist: Equipping You and Your Ministry Team to Lead Others in Worship.


The Care of Artists II


“Leading Artists and the Beautiful Mess of their Emotions”


Andy McCoy


Description: This workshop is for ministry leaders who seek to do more than simply survive the artists around them.  Emotion is a rich source of imaginative possibility but also can produce relational headaches.  In this session we will unpack the need for leaders to affirm the emotions as God’s creation as well as remain willing to confront emotions gone awry.


Bio Andy McCoy is a musician, counselor, and fly fisherman. He is also a Ph.D. candidate at the Institute for Theology, Imagination and the Arts,  University of St. Andrews, Scotland.


The Care of Artists III


“Called & Completed: A Vision for the Vocation and Maturing of the Artist of Faith”


Luci Shaw


Description: What does it mean to be called as an artist?   Is maturity ever achieved in this life? Growing edges, awareness of culture, bridge-building, risk-taking, compassion, healthy ambition—not for ourselves but for God and the work to which we are called. What does all this mean in terms of real life?  That’ll be the matter at hand.


Bio: A poet, essayist and teacher, Luci Shaw is writer in residence at Regent College, Vancouver, Canada. She has authored nearly thirty books of poetry and non-fiction prose and lectures widely in North America and abroad. Her most recent book is Breath for the Bones: Art, Imagination & Spirit. www.lucishaw.com


Pastors & the Imagination


“Cultivating the Imagination of your congregation”


Chris Mitchell


Description: Our aim here is to confront the uneasy relationship that the evangelical community has had with the imagination. We will do this by first, re-examining the divinely appointed place the imagination has played within the human story; secondly, allowing it to take is proper place alongside reason, faith, and emotion; and finally, exploring the various ways the church can harness the imagination for the effective witness of the Gospel.


Bio: Christopher W. Mitchell is Director of the Marion E. Wade Center and holds the Marion E. Wade Chair of Christian Thought at Wheaton College. Prior to this he served as a missionary and pastor. Mitchell received his Ph.D. from the University of St. Andrews, Scotland, where his concentration was Historical Theology.


Art and Children’s Ministries


“Children are Guests in the House: The Artistic Formation of Children”


Sarah Masen


Description: How do we introduce religious language and ritual to the youngest in our communities? Can "play" be an act of worship? Sarah Masen will discuss places of existential wonder for children in Church, using art as exploration and play with a creative God.


Bio: Sarah Masen has been writing and performing music for the last fifteen years. Most recently, she's developed at her church a Sunday School Curriculum for children which draws upon the seamless relationship between their creative possibilities and their lives in God. The program culminates in an annual arts show which publicizes this relationship.


Art and Seminaries


“Seminaries & the Aesthetic Formation of Pastors”


Fuller Theological Seminary (Craig Detweiller), Regent College (Dal Schindell), Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (Steve Halla)


Description: Three seminaries explore ways in which they’ve sought to integrate the arts into the formation of pastors.


Forming an Arts Ministry in the church


“How to start and sustain an Arts Ministry in your church—or should you?”


Joshua Banner and David Taylor


Description: With all of the best intentions and ideas about the arts and the church, what does it mean to foster an arts ministry? Two experienced arts pastors offer their own stories of how their churches have practically worked this out, with the good and the bad.


Bio: Joshua Banner is the Minister of Music and Art for Hope College in Holland Michigan. In 1999 he and several other artists created the Backroom Arts community at Bridgeway Church in Oklahoma City. Joshua is a song-writer, recording engineer, worship leader, teacher, aspiring essayist and husband to the poet, Susanna Childress. David Taylor has been the Arts Minister at Hope Chapel in Austin, TX, for the past eleven years. His artistic interests include playwriting, photography and film. Currently he is working on a book about art and the church and beginning the process of establishing an arts center in Austin.


The church as Patron of the arts


“Beyond B-Movies and Church Bulletins: 10 New Ways the Church can Patron the Arts and Practice Common Grace”


Erik Lokkesome


Description: If the baptized imagination should "fly beyond the stars," as Francis Schaeffer wrote, then why are we like moths circling a street light? Ten practical ways your church can embrace the creative mandate and populate the culture with astonishing art, entertainment, and media.


Bio: Erik Lokkesmoe is the VP of Strategic Partnerships at AFG/Walden Media/Bristol Bay Productions, the creators of THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA, RAY, BRIDGE TO TERABITHIA, and AMAZING GRACE. A former political speechwriter, Erik is the co-author of The Revolutionary Communicator and the founder of Brewing Culture, an arts and media non-profit. He and his wife, Monica, have two children and live in LA.


Art and cross-culture Mission


“Art, Missions, & the Cross-Cultural Incarnation of the Gospel”


Jim Mills (Creative Arts Europe), Brian Schrag (Summer Institute of Linguistics International), Pat Butler (Operation Mobilization, ArtsLink)


Description: How can artists serve the church’s purpose of cross-cultural mission?  What are new developments in art and missiology?  What are practical ways artists and missionaries can join together to communicate the gospel across borders near and far?


The church and Cultural Ideas


“The Contemporary Culture of Books, Literature and Ideas: Or What the Heck People are Writing About These Days and How All These Ideas Are Shaping the Imagination of Christians, Consciously or Unconsciously, Immediately or Eventually ... and Why This Matters to Churches”


John Wilson


Description: We hear too much about books that MUST be read "to understand what's going on in our culture." Today we're going to talk about books that are unnecessary--as unnecessary as Creation itself. And for that very reason, you need to hear about them.


Bio: John Wilson is the founding editor of Books & Culture, a bimonthly review, and an editor at large for Christianity Today magazine. He and his wife, Wendy, live in Wheaton, Illinois, where they are members of Faith Evangelical Covenant Church.


The church and Non-Christian artists


“Non-Christian Artists Respond to Pastors: A panel discussion”




Description: In this session non-Christian artists will have a chance to share their thoughts, impressions, and the possibilities of rapprochement with the church, Jesus, Christians, pastors, and so-called Christian artists.


Art and Evangelism


“Evangelistic Art, Artistic Evangelism”


Kirk Irwin (IAM) and Jennifer Cumberbatch (Agape Family of Churches, Austin), Kim Alexander (Co-Director, Trinity Arts Conference)


Description: Three artists wrestle with the evangelistic uses and misuses of art, the attitudes that inform the discussion, and the possibility of a graciously bold and new way forward.


Art and Social Justice


“Art and the Disabled, the Disenfranchised and the Hope of Shalom”






The Non-Traditional church and art


“‘Off the beaten track’: Ministering to artists in non-traditional church settings”


Mosaic (Austin) and Vox Veniae (Austin)


Description: Three churches talk about their experiences of pastoring artists through non-conventional means and settings, the insights gained, mistakes made, and the hope of lives restored.



Q&A with Eugene Peterson


Q&A with Jeremy Begbie


Q&A with John Witvliet


Q&A with Barbara Nicolosi


Q&A with Andy Crouch