I am coming off of a high from Saturday’s Faith & Culture Writers Conference-Taking our writing to the streets, the coffee shops, and yes, the Church.
It was such a joy to see the creative community of faith interacting, sharing, networking, and enjoying one another. With about 220 people there, which included attendees, speakers, volunteers and the dedicated leadership team, the place felt invigorated. There just was a lot of positive energy. And what I was hearing from people was that they felt they knew they needed to be there. And they were hearing just what God wanted them to hear, and that is what the day was supposed to be all about.
After the first key note session, I saw a friend of mine from my Rolling Hills Writers Connection. After giving her a welcome hug, I saw she looked teary eyed. I asked her what she thought of the conference so far, and she said, “God used each of the key note speakers, both Gina and Paul, to speak to me in a particular way. I know I am supposed to be here.” Just hearing that made my day.
Then, after the workshop I taught on Freelance Writing, several people stayed on after to talk to me. One gentleman named Jack was there with his senior in high school son. They had heard about the conference the night before and made the four hour journey from Seattle that morning! They too felt that they needed to be there. Jack wants to sponsor a similar writers conference in his area up in Washington, and is staying in touch on matters of faith, culture and writing.
And, earlier in the morning, Keith Turley from Bellingham Washington introduced himself to me. He had contacted me through Facebook and really felt he needed be there as well. He too wants to continue connecting. I so enjoy hearing the stories of people being encouraged.
I loved having lunch with Martin French (who designed our WORDS logo), Brad Harper and Paul Louis Metzger and others, and saying hi to Gina Ochsner who sat next to a former student of mine, 17 year old Tori Trost, who came by herself and later helped us with the drawing. I enjoyed seeing people talking and exchanging business cards and hugging and laughing and interacting. There was a buzz of energy. Of excitement. Of fellowship. Of the love of Christ.
What I heard throughout the day was people feeling encouraged to risk writing what they want to write and what God called them to write. Dare to write. Dare to dream. Dare to create. Dare to risk. And as you do, you will impact culture.
And, the repeated theme that I heard during Saturday’s Faith & Culture Writers Conference was that people wanted to continue connecting on matters of faith, culture and the arts. I love hearing this and am excited to see what God is doing bringing people together into on ongoing community celebrating creativity and its impact in culture.
Here’s to what God is doing in bringing people together who desire to make a difference with the WORDS God has given them.
We will continue this dialogue. Feel free to share your story in the comment section.