Saturday, October 18, 2008

covenant artists retreat

Covenant Artists have been plenty busy, even if I haven't been so much on this blog -

Today we had our first annual retreat, a day at the Empire Mine state historic park in Grass Valley - it was a bit overcast, but a nice day in a beautiful setting.

We started with a devotional about creative prayer - that's the focus of our current study right now. It started with Psalm 19

For the choir director: A psalm of David.
1 The heavens proclaim the glory of God.
The skies display his craftsmanship.
2 Day after day they continue to speak;
night after night they make him known.
3 They speak without a sound or word;
their voice is never heard.*
4 Yet their message has gone throughout the earth,
and their words to all the world.

God has made a home in the heavens for the sun.
5 It bursts forth like a radiant bridegroom after his wedding.
It rejoices like a great athlete eager to run the race.
6 The sun rises at one end of the heavens
and follows its course to the other end.
Nothing can hide from its heat.

7 The instructions of the LORD are perfect,
reviving the soul.
The decrees of the LORD are trustworthy,
making wise the simple.
8 The commandments of the LORD are right,
bringing joy to the heart.
The commands of the LORD are clear,
giving insight for living.
9 Reverence for the LORD is pure,
lasting forever.
The laws of the LORD are true;
each one is fair.
10 They are more desirable than gold,
even the finest gold.
They are sweeter than honey,
even honey dripping from the comb.
11 They are a warning to your servant,
a great reward for those who obey them.

12 How can I know all the sins lurking in my heart?
Cleanse me from these hidden faults.
13 Keep your servant from deliberate sins!
Don't let them control me.
Then I will be free of guilt
and innocent of great sin.

14 May the words of my mouth
and the meditation of my heart
be pleasing to you,
O LORD, my rock and my redeemer.

*19:3 Or There is no speech or language where their voice is not heard.

We talked about how God speaks to us creatively through his what he's made for us to see, and how our words and meditations should be creative, to relate to him as he relates to us. And then we talked about reaching other people creatively, based on Matthew 5

Teaching about Salt and Light
13 "You are the salt of the earth. But what good is salt if it has lost its flavor? Can you make it salty again? It will be thrown out and trampled underfoot as worthless.
14 "You are the light of the world—like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden.15 No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house.16 In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.

I think God has given each of us specific ways to shine, and those of us who have been given creative gifts were made to shine creatively...

We wrapped up the devotional with Colossians 4

An Encouragement for Prayer
2 Devote yourselves to prayer with an alert mind and a thankful heart.3 Pray for us, too, that God will give us many opportunities to speak about his mysterious plan concerning Christ. That is why I am here in chains.4 Pray that I will proclaim this message as clearly as I should.
5 Live wisely among those who are not believers, and make the most of every opportunity.6 Let your conversation be gracious and attractive* so that you will have the right response for everyone.

*4:6 Greek and seasoned with salt.

It talks about our mind being alert and active when praying - certainly creativity gets our brain working - and then sharing that creative relationship with others again.

After all that talk, it was time to actually be creative! Becky took these photos of the rest of us getting into our workshop session, where we made rubbings and incorporated them into small accordion books - then we all got so into our creative time that no one thought to take more photos!

Hopefully, I'll get some scans of some of the finished books to post here later -

After the workshop we shared lunch together and then we had a couple hours of personal time to put creative prayer in action - whatever that meant for each of us personally at that time. I think we all spent most of the time in the lawns and gardens.

Finally, we came together to share what we had each learned that was most important to us - a special time & a good way to close the day.

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