The Co-Mission Media Forum 2009 is on Saturday 7th February 2009 from 9.30am – 5.30pm.
It’s a day of talks, seminars and stuff for workers in, and students of, Art, Film, TV, Radio, fashion, comedy, music, theatre and design – and their families. And given that anyone can write a poem, take a photo, use Garageband, or edit a film on iMovie and it on Youtube , we’re all creatives. So anyone is welcome – from within the Co-Mission churches or any church.
We were told the Medium is the Message. Now Content is King. How do Christians respond to the call to creativity – in film, literature, art and design? Given that we can create whatever we want, paint a picture of anything – real, imagined or abstract – write a story in which anything happens, or design a building that looks like a Gherkin, what are we, as Christians, going to do? What will we create? What stories do we tell? What themes do we represent? Is the limit purely our imagination? Does the Bible have anything to say about the content of our work?
In the Morning
Dr Gavin McGrath will be leading two sessions.
Session 1: Why do we need Christians in Creative Media?
Session 2: How might Christians actually work in Creative Media?
Gavin has worked with L’Abri Fellowship and was a frequent speaker to university groups throughout the UK and Europe. He was vice-Principal of Trinity School for Ministry outside of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and is the co-editor of The New Dictionary of Christian Apologetics (IVP 2006). He now leads a church in Earlsfield and is passionate about film, jazz, cooking, wine and triathlon. But not all at the same time.
In the Afternoon
In the afternoon, we will break into smaller sessions more specific to different areas of art, media and design. These will be led by:
Matthew Mason on ‘Music and the Nature of God‘: What is it about God, his character and nature, that resounds in music?
Jez Carr on ‘Art, Imagination and Biblical Truth‘ What role do the arts play in both our understanding and our communication of Christian Truth? What is helpful and unhelpful about the arts when it comes to understanding the nature, content and method of truth?
Aly Gordon on ‘The Blank Canvas‘: All artists start with a blank canvas; all writers start with a blank document. Given that we can tell any story we want, or paint any picture, what stories should Christians be telling?
Tim Plyming on the ‘BBC and Public Service Broadcasting‘: What are the BBC’s responsibilities, what is its function and why do Christians frequently have such a problem with it?
Is it all junk?
Matt Searles on ‘Truth, Beauty and Goodness‘. A work of art can be good but ugly. A Christian can paint a picture of Christ that can be artistically bad. Who decides? And how? What are the links between truth, beauty and goodness in creative arts?
Ed Drew on ‘Using Media with Children‘: Some churches offer children “entertainment” with little Bible. Other churches work hard to teach the Bible with little concern to tailor it to children’s needs. How can music, art, film and drama help? Or do they just hinder?
The day will end with a panel discussion – where anything goes and we can address other themes emerging from the day.
All of the above will take place in the Factory, the new headquarters of the Co-Mission Initiative. We hope to provide a crèche and sufficiently broad programme that the event is suitable for families (since Saturdays are very precious!). Do let me know if you can volunteer someone for the creche/kids activities.
Find a map here: http://www.co-mission.org.uk/ddc/maps.php
It’s in Raynes Park (Nr Wimbledon) 577 Kingston Road SW20 8SA
The Factory is about 10 minutes walk from Raynes Park main line station.
Food & Drink
Breakfast, coffee, lunch and afternoon tea will be provided – since talking over food and drink and sharing experiences is a key part of the day. There will have to be a small charge to cover these costs (as well as offering money for use of the venue and paying travel costs for speakers). The cost, then, will be £5 per person. If you can pay more, that would be great. If that’s too much, you’re a student or poorer than a church mouse, pay less. The main thing is that you’re there.