Dazzle Gradually Forum

Dazzle Gradually begins. Kirk delivered welcome and opening remarks Friday night—for the written transcript go to: opening remarks

The line we walk… Our desire is to do three things in ministry: cultivate community, mentor artists, and create cultural artifacts. (read more about this here) Being a liaison between the Church and the Art world and pursuing these goals can be something of a tightrope. On January 31st – February 1st we had our annual Arts Forum called Dazzle Gradually: the Allure of Poetic Truth-Bearing. We organized this event to help reach the first of our three goals—cultivate community. We believe creating these moments where artist & non-artist, Christian & non-Christian can meet together over significant content, generates a place for God to work.

To give you an idea of the divergent responses that we walk between, consider what these two attendees had to say about the forum:

“I don’t like the veiled Christian message in the content.”

“I’m a gay Jew and I have no problem with what has been said from up front.”

We take heart that we are doing something right when we hear these two types of comments. We don’t want to apologize for loving and following Jesus, but neither do we want to completely alienate a group of people (the art world and their patrons) by making our Christianity the only thing we talk about.

It’s truly inspiring to see the community come together—not simply to observe—but to participate in a vital and hope-filled conversation…”
–Maurice Manning, poet & speaker at the Dazzle Gradually Forum

Professor and art historian Hans Rookmaaker used to shock his church audiences by sometimes starting his talks with, “Everything is relative…” and he would pause for effect (usually shock) “…to Jesus Christ.” If everything is held together by Jesus (Colossians 1:17), then what couldn’t we talk about as Christians? Over 100 people from around the country and the world attended. Many of the people that attended we will have continued contact with. Pray that God allows us to bring His “salt and light” to their lives.

Please pray:

  • that we would find a house—the one we have been pursuing has become complicated, but not impossible.
  • for wisdom as we continue to lead this wonderful group of people.
  • that our monthly financial needs would be met.


  • We’ve made progress with the team of volunteers in working through the Vision, Mission, and Values of Friday Arts Project. But we still have a ways to go. Thanks for the prayers.

Dazzle Video

Watch the video

 Sarah and Kirk

“2014 Friday Arts Project Forum in Rock Hill, SC
January 31 & February 1, 2014

Photos were taken by myself or Kirk unless otherwise noted.”

From Dazzle Gradually Forum 2014, posted by Sarah Kennedy Irwin on 2/20/2014 (57 items)

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