Creative Arts are not just a way to reach out cross-culturally, but are also a way to connect with God on a deeper level. Finding Meaning In Making is a short course that ran at Worldview Centre for Intercultural Studies, in 2017 and 2018. Shelia Whittam, the course tutor explains that "art and creativity, plus time set aside, may be an opportunity to think and listen to what the Lord may be speaking to us in our very quiet moments. Listening and hearing are different and we need to learn how to find and act creatively with some of the store house of treasures from our inner voice."
So what did the students make of it?
I started with the idea of [making] a wire sculpture of a human heart, everything else came to me during the process of making it: To be able to shape us God sometimes needs to put us under tension. The wire [I chose] has a very strong memory, so it likes to jump back into its original shape. We sometimes don’t immediately do what God wants us to do, we like to jump back into our original habits. It takes strength to let the wire stay in shape. Making the sculpture out of wire lets the object be transparent, so you can see inside like I want people to see inside my heart.
The work of a Korean student who was exploring "how to enter another’s
culture and be accepted."
Other comments from former students:
"I loved getting back to a sense of play and experimentation.As someone who struggles to keep cup with journaling and reflection, I was encouraged to use these in my art creation”
“I was able to put into practice a way of translating meaning thoughts and events into creative expression”
“I learned that art is playtime.Nothing wrong, and it doesn’t have to be correct”
“It helped a lot with ongoing growth.Who knows where I will use it in the future - its in God’s hands”
“At first, I didn’t think about using this course for ministry, but now I have some ideas about how I could use art in ministry.”
“It was very useful in my desire to study spiritual direction and also for my role in member care as a way to walk with others. To explore their spirituality and bring meaning to life and circumstances through art”
“Being a formal trained artist, this course gave me the tools to run outreach groups with confidence"