February Ventures course to focus on creative church

By Kendra Flory

The February online offering from the Ventures in Christian Discipleship program at McPherson (Kan.) College will be “Divine Creativity and Holy Imagination: Cultivating a Creative Church” to be presented by Liz Ullery Swenson. The course will be held online in two Tuesday evening sessions, Feb. 13 and 20, both at 7:30 to 9 p.m. (central time).

Before we know anything else about God, we know of God’s creativity. God created day and night, water and land, fish and birds, calling them good. God created humanity in God’s own creative image, and in doing so, imbued us with the capacity for creativity and imagination.

How are our faith communities fostering that sacred creativity and holy imagination? How do we create opportunities for open-ended exploration, integrated artistic reflection, and a spiritual practice that is tactile? Theologian Sallie McFague invites us to marvel in the wonder of the Divine presence in all things: “We might begin to recognize the extraordinariness of the ordinary. We would begin to delight in creation, not as the work of an eternal deity, but as a sacrament of the living God.” Through God’s holy and creative imagination, all of creation is alive with the ever-creating breath of God, and we are invited to be co-creators.

This course will explore the possibilities for cultivating space for creativity and imagination in our daily lives and on Sunday morning. How might our prayers change if we prayed with finger paint or sidewalk chalk? What if we worshiped God with our hands in rich soil? Have we created spaces to encounter a colorful God?

Created in the image of the Divine Creator, every person contains the capacity for creativity and imagination, whether you are an experienced artist, social media content creator, gifted quilter, or haven’t doodled since elementary school. This is an opportunity to expand our idea of what it means to be a creative person.

Liz Ullery Swenson lives at the intersection of spirituality and creativity. As the planting-pastor with WildWood Gathering she is cultivating and reimagining faith community. Starting in 2016 WildWood is creating safe spiritual space for those on the margins. She has a bachelor’s degree in Theater Arts, a master’s degree in Library Science, and a master of divinity degree. She is an overly ambitious gardener and mama to her five-year-old daughter, and she spends too much time on social media.

Continuing education credit is available for $10 per course. During the registration process, you will have the opportunity to pay for CEUs and give an optional donation to the Ventures program.

To learn more about Ventures in Christian Discipleship and to register for courses, visit www.mcpherson.edu/ventures.

— Kendra Flory is advancement assistant at McPherson College.


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