This is the first meeting we have on the 6th Conviction “Disciplined creativity in the arts” under the ten core convictions of worship. This is in January 2011.
Worship is enriched by artistic creativity in many genres and media, not as ends to themselves or as open-ended individual inspirations, but all disciplined by the nature of worship as a prophetic and priestly activity.
We are glad that we have the worship environment committee to join us for this half year of worship study. It is a chance for fellowship, but also an opportunity for equipping for this much neglected area of worship.
The first 2 sessions of this worship study will focus on the theological and practical aspects of liturgical arts in worship. Cathy and Celeste starts off by sharing on what does liturgical arts entail. In Cathy’s article, liturgical arts can come in many forms.
a. Wind-chimes silenced by a covering cloth to symbolize time in the wilderness.
b. A collection of miniature lighthouses.
c. Many pieces of clothes weaved together.
d. A dove shaped kite flown during the procession to symbolize the HS.
e. Broken tiles to show brokenness
An artist should be a calling. Art is a process, a discovery. You need the skills as much as the theological understanding.
Tips for designing a banner
1. Fit the theme. 2. Consider all corners. 3. Think theological not convenience. 4. Books can help. 5. Think practical. 6. Call on many gifts, e.g. an electrician. 6. Pay the labor. 7. Involve children.
After which, Celeste shares on the tension within this ministry. Many prefer the verbal over the visual which si connected to idolatry. They prefer something you can use rather than something just to look at. However artwork is important because worship is a dialogue and art is is an instrument of communication. “Within this dialogue, liturgical art can create a setting (banners, projected images) and generate actions (people walk forward to put checks and cash in colorful porcelain bowl) that serve a liturgical purpose (offering thanks to God).”
(to be continued)
After looking at the theological aspects of liturgical arts which we will continue next session. Xiaohui shared on the practical aspects of planning a working team. Artwork planning is basically facilitating a conversation. It must illustrate a concept. And it must also point the answer towards God. In releasing the team to work together, say this:“Team members, release yourselves from coming up with the right idea immediately. Never is the first idea the right idea, but you have to start somewhere. Do not set time limits on yourselves,” Also, refrain from killer phrases such as ‘There’s no way’ or ‘People would never go for that’ or ‘We could never afford that.’
Give ample lead time. “Don’t follow the budget while trying to honor the Spirit. Follow the Spirit and try to honor the budget.
PeiSong continued the practical suggestions with the following:
1. Make sure the team you form is diverse.
2. Use scripture as the guide
3. Look after the spiritual needs of the community
4. Try to make the artwork have an interactive option
In starting the process of liturgical arts, first look at old things that needs to be replaced, then look at new thing. Whichever the case, the art should amplify one another instead of competing for attention.
1. Form a team (Mostly complete. This is the worship environment committee)
2. Evaluate the Environment (Will do this next session)
3. Set Long Term Goals
4. Start the conversation process