Creative Christian Conference Review
This year the first Creative Christianity Conference was held and I attended. So this is what happened...
Why I went...
The sub heading to this conference is 'Exploring creativity, faith and community' Right up my street,the timing was perfect and I was really excited to attend. I have often wondered if my passion for creativity and design was just foolishness. When I worked in industry after I became a christian I would wander what God really thought of me working in this fashion industry, an industry where you needed to eat, sleep breathe fashion, all about profits and feeding off peoples consumerism and vanity... All of a sudden my passion felt empty and worthless. I felt empty. Whilst these are good things to consider, they were also lies from the enemy and robbed me from being who I was made to be - I am my Fathers daughter, made in His image and I am creative - He is Creator, He appreciates and loves beauty, as do I. Everything from God is good and therefore so is creativity and beauty. The enemy loves to stop us reaching our potential and sadly I let him twist my thoughts. Recently God has been renewing this passion within me, I'm not back in the fashion industry but exploring creatively. When I saw the opportunity to meet with other creative Christians I took it! Excited to explore this theme and see how others do it.
It was held on 15/6/2019 at a church in London. The conference was the brainchild of Menekse, the founder of cheerfully given. This is a website that sells and promotes christian businesses, makers and their creations. It cost £55 to attend which included 2 workshops, seminars and lunch. I thought this is a good deal. Another big craft event that takes place in London was around £18 a ticket with workshops, starting from around a similar price and did not include lunch.
Upon arrival we were handed a goody bag with a well designed quality name tag, program of events, postcards and our assigned workshops. Initially I was worried as the workshops that I wanted to attend were on the same time as the talks I wanted to listen too, but all the talks were going to be available for download later. Tea/coffee refreshments were available but the queue for these were massive. I liked how the venue encouraged you to bring your own travel mugs to cut down on plastic usage. The venue was beautifully decorated and you felt that you were in a creative Godly place. I loved how the program had space for you to write your thoughts on the seminars attended. I loved how it had 'what was your biggest take away from this session?' at the bottom. I like this wording, showing they were expectant of you meeting with God, which is why I came.
There was disruption on the tubes which meant we arrived late, but so did a lot of others so the start was delayed by around 30 minutes. They opened in prayer, scripture and then opening keynote speaker. I really enjoyed Rev Dr Paul Blackham's session. I found it really interesting how he talked about how important creativity is to God. We then had a time of worship, led by guitar and harp. I was really blessed by this time. The worship was led by Luke and Judith Rollins.
After this, it was time to attend either your scheduled workshop or seminar, approx 30 mins and then a swap over. Lunch was around 1pm. I am both gluten and lactose intolerant and was wondering what the options would be. Thankfully the options were really good. The free from foods were served in a separate area and there was a good choice - also no queue as there aren't as many of us! I find sometimes venues do a vegan offering for milk/gluten free/veggie so one choice to cover all the bases but here there was a selection of salad, breads, meats, humus and even pre-made sandwiches to enjoy. If you wanted crisps/fruit then you needed to join the larger queue, which I didn't want to join! The food for the normal eaters, was a buffet and looked nicely presented and seemed like there was lots of choice too. After lunch there were 2 more sessions of seminars/workshops to attend. 3pm refreshments were served and time to look around the market place. The market place was not huge and had sellers from cheerfully given. At 3.30 there was an interview with the panel, a chance to ask questions, more worship and closing thoughts. The day ended at 4.30, keeping to time but did feel jam packed and sometimes the work shops felt a little rushed in order to make up the time.
The breakout sessions (seminars):
Creativity and worship
The power of words and truth
Creativity and work
Visual storytelling & social media
How to build a local creative community
Making him known through creativity
The workshop sessions:
Paper cut illustration
I went to Creativity and worship, which really blessed me and then Making him known through creativity. The last session is not what I would have chosen to attend but its what fitted with my workshops. It was good and was about testimonies.
The workshops I attended were brushlettering and embroidery. I loved them both. The brushlettering I felt most inspired by and ordered a set of brush pens on the way home. I loved the embroidery too but I didn't get to finish my piece as time was short. Its a shame as I'd loved to have completed it. I don't have a hoop etc at home but it was a good introduction.
The day was inspiring and encouraging, most importantly I felt I met with God. It was busy and I was so, so tired. There wasn't a lot of breathing room to absorb what I had just learned before the next activity started - my head was full - I needed another day to process everything!. They plan to run the conference again next year but at a different venue. I was pleased to hear this as there were quite a few stairs and I found the stairs difficult to manage. There were hand rails but they were prettily decorated so hard to use and because the stairs were wide people sat on the side of them meaning I had to go down the middle with no handle to hold. Hopefully the next venue will be more accessible.
I thought the day was good value for money and I would recommend it. The price will increase at the new venue and they are planning to get in outside caterers in to help with the queues but that doesn't put me off. I unfortunately won't be able to go as next year its being held on my sons 10th birthday, otherwise I would! Great day spent with God and other Christians!