2022 Artists Network
G.K. Chesterton wrote, “The function of imagination is not to make strange things settled, so much as to make settled things strange; not so much to make wonders facts as to make facts wonders.”
Artists of all types are tasked with inviting their viewers and hearers to see and listen. To make facts into wonders. Art is uniquely suited to enrich our prayer lives, catalyze renewed engagement with the Bible, foster empathy, enhance our spiritual perception, challenge our beliefs in healthy ways, and bring us into more intimate contact both with our Lord and the world. It invites us to slow down and gaze deeply. Art communicates, questions, and holds accountable. It stirs and reveals.
The arts in all their forms are good gifts from God, intended to be cultivated and employed, communicating God’s message for humanity. As artists, we need to mindfully consider how to practice the habit of seeing and listening on our own in order to create. At the 2022 gathering of the Artists Network, we will approach this way of contemplative seeing through the lenses of music, painting and visual arts, film, literature, and more.
Applicants should be artists who are engaging with society or the church. The Network provides a haven where Christian artists gather in community for relationship, spiritual nourishment, deep thinking, professional growth, and strategic possibilities.
Cristian Cazacu is a songwriter, worship leader, and performing artist for over 25 years. His passion is to see Christian artists engage their craft theologically, as an act of worship and witness to the risen Christ. Cristian is the director of imagoDei Romania, an emerging initiative… Read more
Andrew Fellows was appointed pastor of a church in Bradford, West Yorkshire in 1988 where he served for seven years. In 1995 his family moved to the English branch of L’Abri Fellowship, where they lived and worked for 21 years. From 2011 to 2016 Andrew was the chairman of L’Abri International.… Read more
Charles David Kelley is Latvian-American, a citizen of both countries. He serves as co-leader of the ELF Artist Network and the LausanneARTS Coordinator for Europe. Born in Los Angeles, he has lived in Oregon since 1980. His professional training is in Bible, theology and missiology. Before… Read more
Angela Courte MacKenzie is a broadcaster, pianist, vocalist, and worship leader. Her music has travelled all over the world through her Facebook live events and weekly Power of Praise program. Whether in person or through media, Angela’s music has been a witness to the glory of God in almost all… Read more
Natalie Meeks, co-leader of the ELF Artists Network, is the Executive Director for Bridge Builders International, which ministers to artists in multiple countries. As a freelance writer, she has penned articles about ministries all over the world. She is a lover of the classics (secular and… Read more
Liviu Mocan is a Romanian artist living in Cluj-Napoca, Transylvania. The rich Christian legacy that he inherited from his parents, from church, and from mature artists and theologians has guided his philosophy of life and formed the essence of his… Read more
Rodica Mocan is Professor at the Department of Cinematography and Media, specializing in digital media and the new media arts. She holds a Ph.D. in Sociology (2005), with a focus on e-learning and a Ph.D. in Theater and Performing Arts (2016), with research on interactive digital art… Read more
Tom Price is a lecturer at The Oxford Centre for Christian Apologetics (OCCA) and was made an Archbishop’s Evangelist in 2019. He has experience and interest in outreach, cultural engagement, Bible teaching, and discipleship. He has degrees in Philosophy and Christian Apologetics and is… Read more
Sunday, 22 May
Tim Keller said, “The church needs artists because without art we cannot reach the world.” Why? Because artists speak a powerful language that unlocks the soul, the language of art. From the moment of Creation, continuing throughout the New Testament and into the early church, artists have served the Lord with their gifts. Art is the language of imagination, values, creativity, experience, and emotions. Artists are especially created with the capacity and calling to speak to hearts.
In his book Surprised by Hope, theologian N. T. Wright states that “art at its best draws attention not only to the way things are, but also to the way things will be, when the earth is filled with the knowledge of God as the waters cover the sea.” If Wright’s argument is correct, then faithful artists must continually look intently and intimately at the risen Christ, through whom all things have been created and are held together, for the purpose of reconciling them to God, through the blood of his cross (Col. 1:15-20). In this session, we are invited to explore and make room in our minds and hearts for the theological reality that the new creation is central to our living and art-making.
Monday, 23 May
Why do some movies connect with us so deeply, speak to us so powerfully? It could be that movies offer some arrestingly honest reflections on the nature of humanity, the unanswered questions and important discussions of today. But is there more to it than this? This seminar will explore these questions and show you through viewing some fantastic film clips why engaging with movies is one of the most fruitful ways to go about engaging with those who need Jesus Christ. As well as giving you practical advice, full movie/film clip recommendations, and tips for those conversations and discussions.
In chapters 25–31 and 35–40 of the book of Exodus, the Lord God instructed Moses to build a special tent where He would meet with His people: the Tabernacle. The Tabernacle was a travelling exhibition of the most significant art in history with each piece representing eternal truths. God’s instructions began with highly skilled artists who were filled with the Holy Spirit and created the objects of art according to the Lord’s detailed instructions. In this session, we will consider how God used art in the tabernacle as an object lesson to help His people understand these deep truths, and we will examine the significance of these chapters for artists today.
Tuesday, 24 May
Because the New Testament doesn’t mention the connection of worship and the arts, artists in the modern church tend to turn to other sources for ideas on worship - friends, books, personal experiences, and culture. Yet, God has given us a “North Star” to know him and to know how to worship him in the Psalms. This seminar will unpack a biblically-based definition and vision of worship, demonstrating how worship can take a wide variety of forms.
Why does apologetics so often feel like an intellectual exercise? How can we engage the non-believer with all of God’s creation and all of God’s truth? This talk explores why living in a post-truth culture makes the arts critically important, and how this can be worked out practically.
Wednesday, 25 May
Scripture speaks of 200 leaders during the reign of King David who understood the times and knew what Israel should do (1 Chronicles 12:32). Today we have the same need for well-informed leaders – including artists – who also understand the times and know what to do. New ideas circulating and influencing our lives find new forms of artistic expression. This session will address some of the new emerging media arts and the ideas that inspire them, proposing a discussion on how we should relate to them in a post-Christian society.