The spirit of craft (or theology and art)

I’m really excited to be meeting with the Rev Dr Ann Laird Jones next week at Montreat Conference Center. Ann is an artist and theologian and director of Arts Ministry at Montreat Conference Center.

Montreat is Presbyterian but as far as I can see it’s a fairly liberal place which offering a huge host of programes but what i’m really interested in is their workshops which explore the relationship to ‘God’ (or however you name that spark of this great mystery which gave us life) existing within us through the process of making art.

Ann has offered some amazing workshops through the US including “Clay Forms: Restorative Table Justice” which examined pottery deepening the understanding of sacramental theology concerning justice. Participants made alter items as they engaged with bibical texts to offer new processes for spiritual discernment which provided them with new ways in which to work with their congregations and communities within their ministires.

This is how I engage with craft as it has so much to teach us about ourselves which we then can hold space to allow others to go through that process – like the workshops in working with sexual abuse survivors working with craft through healing.

Currently the Montreat programme has some great programes on offer this summer:

Pottery: Find Rest Through Clay

Handwork of any kind is healing, but clay has its own magical and restorative qualities. Join Becky in this fabulous, restful studio to explore clay as a healing tool. Learn to push this medium while tapping your untouched creative recesses.

Visual Journals: Sacred Spaces for Playing with the Creator

Never thought of yourself as an artist? Have you been a miserable failure in your attempts at keeping a daily journal? Problems focusing on prayer and Scripture? Come spend a week using a whole new approach to journaling and meditation – color, design, play, music, spontaneity, messiness, and creativity. We will hand make our own beautiful journals and use a variety of Scriptures and creative experiments to fill them with color, words, pictures, textures, and designs. Whether beginning or experienced artists, we all have creativity inside of us calling to get out and visual journaling is designed to help that happen…

So whatever name you shape the creator, mystery, god goddess it’s the focus of examining this connection through art and craft that inspires me!

Wither the words you use are theology or soul it’s the focus of art as a tool to teach us not just about ourself but as a means to understanding ‘god’ which resides within us. Even though we may use different words and my soul is clearly Celtic pagan the deeper we go we come to nearst a place beyond labeling and words and is purely the energy of the creator is all good with me.

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