Last Wednesday an artist painted on my life, and on the lives of 45 others.
Dean Estes spoke at our “Envision” gathering on being a whole, unfragmented artist; he says we are all ministers who can speak life into those around us. He invited photographer Chad Estes and art missionary Lisa Marten to tell their stories about serving on the street. Lastly four people painted a large canvas collaboratively without saying a word. Breathe … (Soul.)
I haven’t been able to stop drawing since.
This is all thanks to God and my good friend Sherri Coffield. Sherri, one of the artists from our VineArts ministry, has recently launched an amazing forum for Christian creatives in our wider community. After only two meetings, I can’t believe how much encouragement, affirmation, and inspiration God has been pouring into me personally at these gatherings.
And there’s more to come.
What is Envision?
It’s inter-church, outside-of-church, and inter-denominational: A gathering of creative believers in southwestern Idaho. You’re invited into the art and the heart of artistic Christ-followers. We listen to stories and are encouraged to create. While anyone is welcome to attend, we unabashedly point to Christ as the center of our lives. Our “Code of Grace” reminds us to respect and appreciate differences among us in church tradition, denomination, and artistic experience.
It’s just a downright exciting time to be an artist in God’s Kingdom!
What is a typical gathering like? Not very typical.
The order changes every time because… well, we’re artists. We worship our Creator each time we meet, varying the style, form, and timing of our worship to reflect God’s love of variety. The setup of chairs, couches, easels, and furniture also changes each time, adapting to the evening’s art performances and spiritual topic. Guests may come in to find themselves seated in the round, or at tables, or all facing one artist, or maybe even facing each other. We might experience one artist sharing their story, or two artists, or three. We may witness a performance from one artist or five artists. We may experience a monologue, a painting, a cello performance, a dance, or a time of silent reflective listening to a singer. All within 90 minutes.
At the end of each evening we’re invited to process with others and get to know our fellow Envisionaries. Because that’s the whole point: We cannot live this creative life alone. Many of our new friends are coming from a place of painful isolation and are just discovering artistic friendship for the first time. Praise the Lord!
Envision currently meets in the VineArts Studio across from Vineyard Boise Church. So if you’re ever in the area, we hope you’ll join us on 3rd Wednesdays at 7 pm.
May God inspire you as you ponder this creative life.