My purpose in attending the Beauty of God Conference last week was twofold. A reoccurring theme in my columns has been how God creates us in His image, therefore making us creative souls. My writing is better when I focus on God's gifts, and friends who are painters, dancers and musicians also feel the same way. When you acknowledge and give thanks for your gift, God seems to bless it even more. My first reason for attending was to learn more about how to incorporate thankfulness into my writing. Even the secular stories need to be centered on what would please God.
The second reason I wanted to attend the conference was because I live in a small town that is loaded with all sorts of artists and creative types. Fairhope has long been known as an artist colony. My church has artists who want to contribute, but it's often hard to find a place for them (us) to serve. We can be an opinionated and overly colorful group (so I've heard), and often churches love us for decorating bulletin boards, but nothing more. That needs to change and my church leaders were happy for me to gather information so we can begin embracing those with creative hearts.
The majority of the conference, presented by Beeson Divinity School, was held in and around Hodges Chapel on the campus of Samford University.
A unique feature for me was that this gorgeous chapel is on the original site of my father's dorm when he was a student there.
The traditional worship service was an overload of beauty. It left me breathless. I can't begin to tell you about all the details of this protestant chapel which is used for interdenominational worship services, so I hope you click here to watch a video tour. It's amazing.
I learned so much and thought a great deal about what it is I need to be writing. God doesn't need all of us to write and deliver serious sermons. God also wants us to be joyful, lighthearted and happy, I think God sends dancers and actors, storytellers and painters to help make this world more bearable. Our talents are varied, and uplifting the weary people of the world is a good thing. Laughter is a blessing and that's what I want to be.