The Barna Group – How Different Generations View and Engage with Charismatic and Pentecostal Christianity


March 29, 2010

Charismatic and Pentecostal expressions of Christianity have been part of the American spiritual landscape for more than a century. How much staying power does that set of beliefs and behaviors have among the youngest generations of Christians? A research study conducted by the Barna Group explored the degree to which four different generations of American adults identified themselves as charismatic or Pentecostal believers. The research also examined generational gaps in terms of beliefs about the Holy Spirit, speaking in tongues, and spiritual gifts.

Read the full and very read worthy article via The Barna Group – How Different Generations View and Engage with Charismatic and Pentecostal Christianity.

Just Keepin’ it on the One: Bootsy Collins: the answer to all your bass groove problems


I remember this video from when Rock-School was on the Dutch TV. How can you not love this video?

BOOTSY’s BASIC FUNK FORMULA.

And here’s how that formula works out on stage:

And don’t come back without a groove anymore. This is all there is to know.

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University of Oxford Researcher Discover Heaviest Element Known to Science


Oxford University researchers have discovered the heaviest element yet known to science.

The new element, Governmentium (symbol=Gv), has one neutron, 25 assistant neutrons, 88 deputy neutrons and 198 assistant deputy neutrons, giving it an atomic mass of 312. These 312 particles are held together by forces called morons, which are surrounded by vast quantities of lepton-like particles called pillocks. Since Governmentium has no electrons, it is inert. However, it can be detected, because it impedes every reaction with which it comes into contact.

A tiny amount of Governmentium can cause a reaction that would normally take less than a second, to take from 4 days to 4 years to complete. Governmentium has a normal half-life of 2 to 6 years. It does not decay, but instead undergoes a reorganisation in which a portion of the assistant neutrons and deputy neutrons exchange places.

In fact, Governmentium’s mass will actually increase over time, since each reorganisation will cause more morons to become neutrons, forming isodopes. This characteristic of moron promotion leads some scientists to believe that Governmentium is formed whenever morons reach a critical concentration. This hypothetical quantity is referred to as a critical morass. When catalysed with money, Governmentium becomes Administratium (symbol=Ad), an element that radiates just as much energy as Governmentium, since it has half as many pillocks but twice as many morons.

Free Guitar Lesson: Ruben Diaz on Bossa Nova


Here’s a great lesson on bossa nova rhythm by my good friend and master flamenco player Ruben Diaz. Ruben is a professor at the Royal Conservatory of Toronto and founder of Contemporary Flamenco Guitar Studio / CFGstudio (Toronto) www.cfgstudio.com

Don’t forget to check out his other videos, albums and  other material at http://www.rdiaz.org/

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Serving through Art


The connection between arts and religion has been strong throughout the centuries.  For some reason however and perhaps with the exception  of music this relationship seems to have been valued less valuable or important in the twentieth century. In this article I will explore some options where it comes to servant based creativity. Which brings us to the question: how can artists benefit their churches and is there a need to consider the possibility of a community based approach involving the local churches?

In this post I use “art” as meaning visual arts, music, dance, writing, poetry and whatever else you can think off.

Where it comes to music I think it has by now well integrated into many ministries, but that is just one of the many possibilities. Also art may well serve as a means of ministry, of means to “bring others back home.”  Just look throughout history and it is hard to deny that there are many great works of art, music, literature, dance and even cooking that have been inspired by God. I only have to look at my personal conversion history to realize that Christian music has been a factor to keep my interest besides others, and ultimately a very important factor in “bringing me back home.” Art has this innate possibility to show us different sometimes less obvious aspects of reality, it has this power to touch us deep within. With this in mind I could imagine art being used even as a form of evangelism.

Think Local

Consider being a mentor or teacher without having an eye on the elite of the discipline or congregates. Would it not be great to be seen without the hype and marketing of industry “gatekeepers” and make art, music, writing something that is accessible for each and everyone, either to enjoy as a spectator or an actual creative. It is exactly the hype and dramatization that end up seeing the artists removed from its own community of support often for the sake of pursuing the big bucks. Consider the local community as a first focus and any successes as a local attractor. All of this without giving up any big, international aspirations (art as evangelism).

Serve Instead of Being Served

I may well misunderstand things but as far as I can see it the desire of a Christian artist looking to serve though art is not to be a star, but to serve God. Regardless of any achievements in terms of status inside and outside your community: any achievements were God’s plan for you and not your own great things. Your talents were God-given and so are any achievements based upon these talents. Therefore it makes sense to stay faithful to your local community and effectively and efficiently serve them as one way to ensure that you are effectively serving ‘the body of Christ.’

Be a Servant

Paul instructs us to do our work ‘heartily unto the Lord.’ In the context of this post that means that your art, craft, music dance, writing or handiwork is an offering of worship to God, whose image we bear: YOU CREATE BECAUSE HE DID (the imago Dei). The motive or motivation comes not from a pursue for fame but from gratitude an to be who He wants you to be to the best of your talents, you work for the glory of God as opposed to your own. Since it is part of your calling to entertain and since you are most likely already part of a church – the body of Christ – it is makes sense to connect with people locally (besides the other endeavors).

In this all there is no room for elitist mentality. Let’s by all means not lose sight of  the fact that we are given our gifts by God to serve His people. So does it not make sense than – in order to create a niche for your gifts – that you be a servant to your congregation or community with your specific talents? We can exercise all our God given creativity to make our work and skills available to our congregation or communities without compromising our dedication to excellence.

Be Creative

Often times, with the exception of music, pastors and leaders do not have a clear view on where to fit in the possibilities of an artist. At the same time, and bringing it back to the artist: we are creative people and therefore it is up to the artists to look at trying to find ways in which to integrate our arts and crafts into the lives of our fellows. Therefore we will have to look for ways in which our art can truly support our ministries, while at the same time providing an opportunity for discipleship, fellowship and community and encouragement meeting both material and spiritual needs.  Would it nit be just fantastic is we’d be using our creative gifts for the blessing of others and through that the glory of God. So, it is not just about the big events, but also for instance the personal band to small group or even family type of setting, in which praise and encouragement are the leading factors: a direct involvement which cannot be replaced by any other experience.

Be a Mentor

Use your skills to sharpen the skills of others and through that your own. Christian mentoring in this setting is more than just teaching. It is discipleship: a relation in which artistic skills are part of the equation next to a Christian worldview. You may well think that your success comes from creating that one thing that you my well never achieve. In actual fact your real achievement may well end up to be in how you reached or influenced others to get the best out of themselves. Our creativity and art gives us an opportunity to invest our lives in that of others.
Therefore, any elitist mentality should be banned: ELITISM ALIENTATES.

Serving God Through Art

If there is anything that is clear than it is probably that there are a lot of creative people associated with Harmony Church. I felt I needed to do something with that given. So I ended up looking around to find that there is room for an artists’ organisation within the context of Christian life and ministry.

Historically there appears to be a rise of the influence of the Gospel and with that a rise of its influence in the arts. This connection has been strong throughout the centuries but for some reason seem seems to have been valued less valuable or important in the twentieth century. Where there was and is attention for it more than once is turns out to be market driven “copy-catting” or avant-garde elitism. TRULY SERVANT BASED CREATIVITY appears to be a RARE OCCASION.

An initial hurdle appears to be posed by having arts seen as an actual profession. The concept of being a professional artist does not seem to come natural to everyone. Admittedly it is somewhat easier nowadays when you are into music or design, but how many of us know at least someone that got told “what about you try to get a real job” or “how about you first learn to do something useful.” In addition to this we all know probably one example of someone making it known to his pastor or reverend that he is an artist to be told that “the choir can always use more singers.” In that sense the church more than once appears to be a reflection of the material world, in which there is not always a place for the artist (other than music).

The life story of Van Gogh, one of my favourite Dutch artists is probably highly illustrative. Van Gogh was initially trained to be part of the Dutch pastorate. However, he found out early that he was not so-called “pastor material” or a “leader.” That is in the more traditional sense of the word. At the same time however he longer deeply to serve with his gifts, it was just that the church had no place for him. Instead of accepting him and welcoming someone with such unique abilities and talents, he was cast aside and now, looking back, see what the church has lost with that.

Which brings us to the question: how can artists benefit their churches and is there a need to consider the possibility of a community based approach involving the local churches.

Think Local

Consider being a mentor or teacher without having an eye on the elite of the discipline or congregates. Would it not be great to be seen without the hype and marketing of industry “gatekeepers” and make art something that is accessible for each and everyone, either to enjoy as a spectator or an actual creative. It is exactly the hype and dramatization that end up seeing the artists removed from its own community of support often for the sake of pursuing the big bucks.

Consider the local community as your first focus and any successes as a local attractor.

Serve Instead of Being Served

I may well misunderstand things but as far as I can see it the desire of a Christian artist looking to serve though art is not to be a star, but to serve. Regardless of any achievements in terms of status inside and outside your community, it is important to remember that those achievements were God’s plan for you and not your own great things. Your talents were God-given and so are any achievements based upon these talents. Therefore it makes sense to stay faithful to this local community and effectively and efficiently serve them as one way to ensure that you are effectively serving the body of Christ.

Famous examples are easy to find as to how this works out. Consider Bach or Rembrandt. Hey did their thing and shined there where God had planted them. Their real fame was not in their lifetimes but after they died.

Be a Servant

Paul exhorts us to do our work heartily unto the Lord. In the context of this file note that means that your art, craft or handiwork is an offering of worship to God, whose image we bear. YOU CREATE BECAUSE HE DID (the imago Dei). The motive or motivation comes not from a pursue for fame but from the glory of God. Since it is part of your calling to entertain, it is important that you connect with people locally.

In this all there is no room for elitist mentality, to make us lose sight for the fact that we are given our gifts by God to serve His people. So does it not make sense than – in order to create a niche for your gifts – that you be a servant to your congregation or community with your specific talents? In all this we need to exercise all our God given creativity to make our work available to our congregation or communities without compromising our dedication to excellence.

Be Creative

Often times, with the exception of music, pastors and leaders do not have a clear view on where to fit in the possibilities of an artist. At the same time, and bringing it back to the artist: we are creative people and therefore it is up to the artists to look at trying to find ways in which to integrate our arts and crafts into the lives of our fellows. Therefore we will have to look for ways in which our art can truly support our ministries, while at the same time providing an opportunity for fellowship and community and encouragement meeting both material and spiritual needs.

We need to be using our gifts for the blessing of others and through that the glory of God.

So, it is not just about the big events, but also the personal band to small group or even family type of setting, in which praise and encouragement are the leading factors: a direct involvement which cannot be replaced by any other experience.

Be a Mentor

Use your skills to sharpen the skills of others and through that your own. Christian mentoring in this setting is more than just teaching: it is discipleship: a relation in which artistic skills are part of the equation next to a Christian world view.

You may well think that your success comes from creating that one thing that you my well never achieve while in actual fact your real achievement may well lie in how you reached or influenced others t get the best out of themselves.

Our art gives us an opportunity to invest out lives in that of others. Therefore, any elitist mentality should be banned: ELITISM ALIENTATES.

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Chrysalis Seed Trust to close down


It is with sadness that I had to read that the Chrysalis Seed Trust will be closing down its organizational structure and operations as per 1 April this year.

csart

Chrysalis Seed – important announcement

The vision of Chrysalis Seed has been to ‘generate multiplying groups of artists in a subculture centered in Jesus’. This will be continuing even though the structure and operations of Chrysalis Seed as a Trust will finish from 1 April, 2010.

The reasons for this are financial, personal and spiritual. The asset base of the main supporter of the Trust has been severely reduced through the economic crisis. We see this as a sign that God will multiply the work and vision of Chrysalis Seed, without the organisation itself. A grass roots movement will continue to emerge as fresh shoots sprouting out of the stump of the tree that is being cut down. Artists and activists will continue to build on the foundations we have built in the last 14 years.

The following will continue in 2010:

  • eight groups of Christian artists meeting regularly throughout New Zealand.
  • a social network of over 540 artists and supporters. (csartspace.org.nz)
  • an intact and comprehensive library of art and faith materials available nationally to artists and students through Knox College, Dunedin.
  • our personal networking with artists throughout New Zealand (Peter & Jessica Crothall)
  • all published CS Arts magazines available online (we will have an update on in the next e-newsletter)
  • a monthly prayer newsletter for artists, groups and arts institutions
  • csartspace (artists’ social network)

With over 545 national and international members, we are committed to csartspace continuing (where participants in the visual arts meet and chat online, share ideas, news and information). This will either be through another organisation taking it up, or some individuals looking after it on a voluntary basis. Let us know if you have any ideas or offers!

Newsletters

Our next and final e-newsletter will be sent in March and will confirm final arrangements for csartspace and this website. Peter and Jessica Crothall will continue the CS Prayer newsletter.

Should you wish to contact the director Peter Crothall, for more information please send an email to: director@cs.org.nz

ABOUT CST

In 1995, founding directors Peter and Jessica Crothall, received the initial vision for Chrysalis Seed – to generate multiplying artists groups in a subculture centered in Jesus.  The mission was to equip artists to integrate their art and faith and reconcile art and faith communities.  The primary focus of Chrysalis Seed, which was legally constituted in 1998, has always been to encourage and empower contemporary visual and professionally minded artists.

We have explored a range of different ways of outworking this vision including a range of artist groups and collectives, publications, catalogues, a poetry anthology, various newsletters, an arts festival, a libray of art and faith resources, our website and the recently developed online social network www.csartspace.org.nz

Chrysalis Seed has also facilitated seminars, organised an Easter arts festival and produced the poetry anthology With Our Eyes Open.

The mostly widely known service, however, offered by Chrysalis Seed, was the production of the CS Arts magazine between 2001 and 2008 with a national distribution to artists and arts institutions. Copies of the magazine are available on this website under magazine archives CS Arts started out as a two-sided newsletter in 2001, distributed to 200 supporters and artists and grew into the 36-page edition last produced in 2008. With a print run of 12,000, this final edition went out to a mailing list of 6,000.  It was sent to a cross section of individual artists, art schools, high schools, contemporary galleries, and libraries across New Zealand and internationally. Through interviews and articles, CS Arts aimed to showcase what Christian artists and spiritual seekers were doing in the contemporary arts community, as well as reveal how their personal faith impacted their lives and work. Moana Tipa explored the intersection between Maori identity, contemporary art and Christian faith in Aotearoa through a series of interviews commissioned and published between 2005 – 2006.

Key achievements

The team 1999-2010: our team of staff and key contractors, always small and cohesive, grew from a team of two in 1999 to 12 at the height of the production of the magazine in 2008. Volunteers have helped with mailouts and exhibitions, lead artist groups and served on the Trust Board.

Group exhibitions 1998 – 2009: most years we have held a group exhibition at the Centre of Contemporary Art in Christchurch, New Zealand.  Between 1996 and 2009, 18 group exhibitions were held including two at the Peter Rae gallery in Dunedin and one in Nelson in association with The Suter Art Gallery and Auckland artist Allie Eagle.

Website and social network 2007 – 2010: this websiste was carefully designed and re-developed for artists in 2007. It was intended to connect artists and fine arts students with information that could help strengthen their professional arts practice, their faith and the fit between the two.  By February 2010, our new social network csartspace has grown to 540 members. csartspace was started in October 2008. We wanted this tool to be the part of our website that would be driven by artists and be fully interactive for them. This site has huge potential as a way to break isolation for artists of faith online.  It can connect the most isolated artist with information, networks, groups and other artists with similar interests and passions around NZ and beyond.

A national network and new groups: directors Peter and Jessica Crothall undertook networking tours to visit artists, galleries and art schools around New Zealand in 2003, 2005, 2007 and finally in 2009.  As well as increasing the membership and more use of csartspace, the four-month journey of 2009 resulted in seven new groups based in Invercargill, Dunedin, Waikanae, Whangarei, Lower Hutt and New Plymouth. Also in 2009, two regional gatherings of artists happened in Lyall Bay (Wellington) and at Waikanae (Kapiti Coast). Links were strengthened with existing groups in Christchurch, Auckland (St Paul’s Arts and Media) and Wellington.

Global movements and networks: visits to sister organisations and conferences in the UK and USA 2000, 2007 and 2009 reinforced our relational links with a growing global movement of Christian artists that has been evolving for over 30 years. These organisations include: Christians in the Visual arts, International Arts Movement (Mako Fujimora) Artisans (Steve Cole), the Arts Centre Group, Genesis Arts (Nigel Goodwin) and Fuller seminary (William Dyrness).

Other stakeholders in NZ: Otago University Theology department (Murray Rae) and Knox School of ministry (Jason Goronchy), Laidlaw College (Alistair McKenzie and Steve Graham) and the Bishopdale in Nelson (Tim Harris) all are key players in then emerging conversation between theology, leadership training and the arts in New Zealand, and have enthusiastically supported the work of Chrysalis Seed. This is most clearly encapsulated by the major works of leading Christian artists installed in the new campus of Laidlaw College in Condell Ave, Christchurch.

Curating art for worship: Mark Pierson, Mike Riddell, Steve Taylor and Peter Majendie have also been valued supporters, as they have explored creative ways of curating art for worship experiences. Contemporary Stations of the Cross were pioneered by Mark and most dramatically developed by Dave White in the ambitious works installed in the Hamilton Gardens for six years, every Easter between 2004-2009.

Artist’s symposium and exhibition in Dunedin Jan 2008: in January 2008, we worked with Murray Rae to organise an artist’s symposium at Otago University, which attracted about 25 artists from around the South Island and Australia. This was part of the visit to Otago by Scottish Professor Trevor Hart, who took a summer intensive school on Theology and the Arts. The course ended with an exhibition at Salisbury House Gallery showcasing some of the work by artists at this symposium.

Developments in 2010

In February 2010, an extensive collection of art and faith library resources was relocated to Dunedin under the care of Hewitson Library at Knox College, and is available to the public.

By the end of March,Chrysalis Seed offices in The Arts Centre will be vacated; this website downsized and csartspace handed to another entity to manage. Our last staff member, Gisela Kraak completed her 3.5 years with us on 12 February. This marks the end of a decade of staff generated services for artists through Chrysalis Seed.

The vision and work of Chrysalis Seed in New Zealand continues in more organic ways, even with the end of its organisational life and direct services.

via Chrysalis Seed Trust: helping resource contemporary artists.

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Seth’s Blog: Publishing books to make money…


Publishing books to make money…

is a little like hanging out in a singles bar if you want to get married.

It might work, but there are way better ways to accomplish your goal.

If you love writing or making music or blogging or any sort of performing art, then do it. Do it with everything you’ve got. Just don’t plan on using it as a shortcut to making a living.

The only people who should plan on making money from writing a book are people who made money on their last book. Everyone else should either be in it for passion, trust, referrals, speaking, consulting, change-making, tenure, connections or joy.

via Seth’s Blog: Publishing books to make money….