A Guiding Light: Thoughts from an Arts Ministry Coordinator

July 2012
by Maria Fee

Kenyon Adams and I are privileged to gather annually with arts ministry leaders and pastors to artists at beautiful Laity Lodge in the hill country of Texas. These encounters are remarkable in that we’re able reflect on what God is doing in our ministry and observe how he is working in other artists around the country. In the short time span of four years we have seen numerous arts ministries develop throughout the country—a thrilling validation of the arts. Furthermore, through various Laity conversations we recognize how Redeemer has been a beacon to other churches and artists in this movement. As an arts ministry existing in a prominent church we have helped pilot similar ministries all over the world. By our mere existence here in NYC, we are able to lead artists and the arts in other cities and communities. 
 
As I transition out of my staff position at Redeemer, I would like to offer Redeemer my multifaceted gratitude. The arts ministry has afforded opportunities to hundreds in our city and thousands beyond. I can attest to the praises I often receive on Redeemer’s behalf and include myself among the multitude. Tim and Kathy Keller laid the foundation for the Center for Faith & Work (CFW) with their unique vision of a church for the city. This vision has shed a strong guiding light. As I look back to my initial involvement as a volunteer leader in the nascent years of CFW I remember feeling that I had finally found home. 
 
Every home needs a housekeeper. I could, therefore, relate my duties to the vision and shape of the existing arts ministry, but the profound truth lies in how Redeemer has shaped me. Both the extraordinary experiences and the wonderful people with whom I have dialogued have contributed to the next stage of my faith and art journey—formal studies at Fuller Theological Seminary’s PhD program for Theology and Culture. 
 
More thanks should go to all involved, especially to the dynamic and loyal colleagues and leaders I work with. Our collective mission has led many artists to find their place in the church and in the world. And I hope that our artists have blessed the rest of the congregation with our exhibits, performances and culture club events over the years. As Redeemer grows and stretches out into the city with three worshipping communities it will provide more strength to the beacon; this movement of the gospel. The arts can provide a special quality to this light. As three and one, Redeemer will continue to illuminate glimpses of God in order to lead many home. 
 
I’ve been honored to work in the Center for Faith & Work and am even more privileged to exhibit my art, offer thanks and say farewell at the next InterArts Fellowship. Please join the arts ministry in thinking about Eternal Life at the next InterArts Fellowship on July 16 at the W83 Ministry Center. We hope to celebrate Eternal Life on this summer evening as we hear about and glimpse how Eternity affects our present lives as artists.


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