The first scheduled event of The Creative Life conference was dinner on Wednesday evening. I joined a table of other conference attendees and we enjoyed meeting one another and finding out what brought each of us to the conference. There was something familiar to me about the lady sitting across the table from me, but it wasn’t until she started sharing more about some of her current projects that it hit me who she was. After a couple questions we concluded that sure enough, she was Mary Jo Tate, the lady who interviewed me for a broadcast on Fun and Easy Musical Activities for Young Children.
How fun to discover that I sort of knew someone else at the conference after all! Also, meeting various individuals at dinner was my first glimpse into all the incredibly fascinating people that were attending the conference.
After dinner, the program director welcomed us and shared that they had been praying for each of the conference attendees by name and had three specific things they were praying for each of us:
- That we would be well served by the Glen Eyrie staff.
- That we would meet deeply with God during our time there.
- That we would leave a different person, better equipped to impact others.
I was very touched by the fact that the staff had been praying for each of us by name and could feel an incredible sense of care from each one with whom I interacted during the conference.
The opening session by singer/songwriter/author/speaker Michael Card was a general introduction to creativity. One of his main points was that “the heart of creativity is listening.” He talked about how listening is one of the greatest expressions of love, and that the imagination is the bridge between our mind and our heart. He went on to explore briefly what we can learn about creativity from the life of Jesus and then give an overview of creativity in the Bible.
Creativity is all about giving yourself, not creating artifacts. This was a recurring theme throughout the conference. Michael summarized his message, saying that “the creative call is a call to fresh creation in response to loving God by listening to the Word, silence, and life…With hearts and minds reintegrated by the Spirit, we must respond to the call to creativity with fresh, new works.”
After he finished, the program director gave us a list of discussion questions to talk about with the others at our table. These are the questions posed:
- Who are you? (Introductions)
- Are you a head or a heart person?
- Who are some biblical characters with whom you identify?
- Describe a time when you were able to listen to the silence.
- Is there something that God is asking you to create?
This was a wonderful way to quickly meet new people, get to know each other, and build relationships that have continued beyond the conference week. There were five of us at our table, all from different backgrounds, with differing beliefs and life experiences – which all made for a fascinating time of discussion.