Arts Ecclesia - training Christians in creative arts to worship using the whole of their being in God's service.
Bible-based teachers offering workshops in the UK and Worldwide.
Basic training days can be held at the invitation of any church. Shirley Collins, Director of Arts Ecclesia, can run several workshops simultaneously in different rooms. Participants may like to spend a whole day on one discipline, or Pick and Mix - choosing two subjects. Popular workshops are banner making, drama, dance, music (instruments and singing) and writing.
A theme is chosen and each group works on items which are brought to a service of celebration and worship at the end of the day. Basic days are a good way of involving all ages in creative activities which can also bring healing, as well as a deeper knowledge of self and our Saviour Jesus Christ, God the Father and the Holy Spirit.
If there is a church group already proficient in a skill, then an alternative is to hold an advanced training day on one subject. This allows participants to gain further knowledge in their giftings.
In addition we also run weekend courses and occasional summer schools.
Here, people of all ages can experience the Christian faith through creativity: dance, drama, fine arts, multi-media, music.
The Biblical Basis For Movement In Worship
One of the neglected areas of Christian teaching is the understanding that human beings are a single entity and not a composite of two or three parts, either of body and soul, or of body, mind and spirit. This is seen in the resistance there is in the majority of churches to the use of the physical body in expressing a relationship with God and therefore in the isolation that Christian dancers feel within the Church.
Biblical evidence is to regard a human being as a single entity. They do not have a soul, they are a soul. The Hebrew undestanding of humanity wasn't that they had a body, but that they were a body. It is with this understanding of body-soul that Paul writes of the body as being a temple for the Holy Spirit: 1 Corinthians 6:19.
Dance/movement is the way to experience a re-integration of body and soul and so is a means of bringing wholeness and healing to broken lives. This has long been recognised in secular therapy, but the Church has so much more to offer when movement is used as a way to open up lives to the healing power of God.
The Psalms often refer to the whole body as being an expression of the individual to God: Psalm 35:10, 38:3. Many of the Psalms also include movement verbs but it has become second nature to intellectualise these and the intended meaning is weakened.
In a lot of modern churches kneeling to pray and other movements have been abandoned for sitting. Psalm 30 will communicate so much more to you if you physically perform the movements mentioned. Physical movement is an outer expression of an inner reality and demonstrates the God given unity of body and soul. It is a way in which we can experience a closer relationship with God for ourselves; through which we can intercede for others; an expression of praise and worship. Within the Christian Church there is one thing that is common to all people: everyone possesses a body. God created us to be physical, moving human beings and it should be natural for each of us to be at home in our body and comfortable using it as an expression of our relationship with God. To ignore our physical nature is to ignore part of God's creation.
"Therefore I urge you...offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God - which is your spiritual worship." (Romans 12:1).
Extracted from an article by Frances Pavey