For a few years, I’ve been working for the diocese behind the scenes, mostly keeping to the shadows. Up until now, my contribution has looked like being tucked behind a screen as I assemble Discipleship Pathway classes, post inspiration on our social media, and craft the new look and feel of The Witness magazine.
Now that I’m taking on a more central role in our diocesan communications, I thought I’d take a moment to share a little more about myself. And since I’m a creative type, it could be a good chance to pause to think about the ways we can make space for the artists and innovators within our midst – as well as appreciate our own creativity.
I’ve always been eager to use my creative skills in some Christ-serving capacity, but I’m learning more and more how much room there is for people like me in the Church.
Art and beauty is more important than we sometimes give it credit for. Think about how God blessed the constructors of the Tabernacle, making them skilled artisans and designers. How he clothed his priests in meticulously weaved garments of fine linen, each colour holding symbolic weight. How he demonstrated his glory in Creation when he first painted the skies and feathered the birds.
So, in my mind at least, God’s works remind us that artistry and imagination have their place. And they don’t always need to be justified with a Christian message – what purpose does an aurora have other than to be a beautiful sight? I think that enjoying our expressions of individuation glorifies God as he takes joy in his Creation.
While art can stand by itself, I’ve been learning that it also marries so well with communication. It’s not just about accompanying a memorandum with some fun illustrations to make it more palatable. Nor is it just about slapping a Bible verse onto a beautiful sunset photograph to make sure it has a message.
This is an idea I’ve been trying to keep in mind as I begin to work more collaboratively in the diocese. The most powerful creative expression is not always the most flashy or attention-grabbing, but the work that supports and amplifies the voices of others. Whether it’s creating a brand identity, producing a video or designing a magazine, the goal is always the same: to support the message and make it as impactful as possible. I feel immensely blessed to be a part of these projects, knowing that my work is helping to make a difference in our little part of the world. And I get to do it as the creative introvert that God made me to be.
Now as I continue in this new role, I’m stepping out of my comfort zone to help tell more stories from across our region. I hope you’ll be stirred this year by reflections from voices you may not have heard before, and be inspired by where God is leading our whānau in this Season of Discernment.
Reach out to me if you have a story to be shared from your corner of the diocese. Maybe you want to want to stretch your creative muscles and do your own writing. I hope we can creatively collaborate!
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We have invited these writers to share their experiences, ideas and opinions in the hope that these will provoke thought, challenge you to go deeper and inspire you to put your faith into action. These articles should not be taken as the official view of the Nelson Diocese on any particular matter.