Called Anew: Summer 2013
“What’s calling to you?”
This is the question we have been asking as a staff and community this past year. We have been meeting regularly as an artist group to encourage and keep one another accountable in our creative pursuits. These gatherings and conversations have spawned numerous questions:
Who am I as an artist?
What does it mean to be an artist of faith?
Do I feel that I have permission–either from myself or others–to be an artist? Is what I create “worth it?”
As we tried to determine a theme for this upcoming summer season, we realized that these sorts of questions are what many of our guests, students and community members often find themselves asking during their time at the Guild. So we have decided to explore them in a more purposeful way and to reaffirm the importance of calling in our lives…as creators, as people of faith, and as members of the human community.
We invite you to join us this summer and consider these questions for yourself as we explore them through times of discussion, worship, meditation, films and faculty presentations. Come prepared to be called anew.
shedding the old clothes
For the past eleven years I have served ‘professionally’ as the youth pastor (or youth director, depending upon the clerical requirements of the given denomination and what they deemed was appropriate or allowable to call me). For the past eleven years I have been obligated to be present at church every Sunday morning (whether or not anyone else was). I have had to be at every youth group gathering (whether or not anyone else was). I have sat in countless elder/administrative/ministry meetings. I have dealt with countless issues of theology and doctrine, as well as people’s personal fears/opinions/insecurities that they believe are issues of theology and doctrine, but are really just their own personal fears/opinions/insecurities. I have been reprimanded for viewing The Passion of the Christ because it was rated R and “that’s not really any sort of example to be setting for the youth.” I have been forbidden by a church elder board to light candles at youth group meetings because “it’s too Catholic,” as well as to extend communion to youth on a hiking trip in the form of water and an old peanut butter and jelly sandwich because “that’s not what the Bible says we’re supposed to use.”
And in three weeks I will be done. My time as a youth director and default associate pastor are finally coming to an end. To quote Danny Glover from Lethal Weapon: “I’m too old for this shit.”
I’m only 34.
What is art is faith?
For those of you who have visited the Grünewald Guild, you are no doubt aware of the countless (and often interesting) conversations that occur. We have found that if you get enough people together from various walks of life and faith backgrounds and journeys, the result is an interesting and rich tapestry of dialogue. Often times these conversations revolve around the themes of art and faith…which makes sense given that our mission is to be a place where people can explore the intersection of those two practices. However, I have begun to wonder if one side of the art/faith conversation is easier to have (or explore) than the other.