Makoto Fujimura is an artist, writer, and speaker who is recognized worldwide as a cultural influencer by both faith-based and secular media. A Presidential appointee to the National Council on the Arts (2003-2009), Fujimura has contributed internationally as an advocate for the arts, speaking with decision makers and advising governmental policies on the arts. Fujimura’s work is exhibited at galleries around the world, including Dillon Gallery
(New York), Sen Gallery (Tokyo), The Contemporary Museum of Tokyo, Tokyo National University of Fine Arts Museum and Oxford House, Taiku Place (Hong Kong). He has painted live on stage at New York’s legendary Carnegie Hall as part of an ongoing collaboration with composer and percussionist Susie Ibarra
. He was commissioned to create The Four Holy Gospels
by Crossway books to commemorate the 400th
anniversary of the King James Bible with a special exhibition at MOBiA (Museum of Biblical Art) through October of 2011. Fujimura founded the International Arts Movement
James K.A. Smith
James is Professor of Philosophy at Calvin College where he also teaches in the department of congregational & ministry studies and serves as a research fellow of the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship. Jamie is an award-winning author whose books include Who's Afraid of Postmodernism?; Desiring the Kingdom: Worship, Worldview & Cultural Formation
and most recently, Letters to a Young Calvinist.
His writing has also appeared in magazines such as the Harvard Divinity Bulletin, Christian Century, First Things,
and Books & Culture.
He is the Senior Fellow of The Colossian Forum on Faith, Science, and Culture
? He & his wife Deanna have 4 children and are committed urban dwellers who make their home in the East Hills neighborhood of Grand Rapids, MI.
Workshops & Leaders
Stay tuned for a listing of workshops for our 2013 C3 Conference!
Our March 2012 Conference featured over 15 workshops from artists, authors, teachers, musicians, and theologians. Workshop leaders included Ian Cron, Kenny Benge, Carter Robertson, Jason Elkins, Steven Guthrie, Tim Jones and all of our Plenary Speakers. See our list of 2012 classes below.
Interested in learning more about our Workshop speakers? Read about them on our Speakers page
Children, Youth & Parenting
Raising Creative Children
Makoto & Judy Fujimura
How do parents nurture children who are creative? How do we restore a high value in our culture placed on creativity in our young? At a time when young people seem less creative, our society, paradoxically, tends to worship its creative types, such as actors and musicians. This workshop will explore how parents can show their children that they are "loved with an everlasting love” and help parents (and those who work with children) nurture children’s gifts, as well as find an internal sense of direction for their lives. This workshop is designed to encourage parents of creative children that they can provide a firm foundation for their child that will allow them to grow up to be successful, happy, values-based leaders.
Houses, Homes and the Heart of Culture Making
How can we create culture-making (rather than merely culture-consuming) families? It’s wise to be wary of parenting "advice"--every family is different and every child is different. So rather than give advice, in this workshop Andy Crouch will simply describe the choices he and his wife Catherine have made to encourage their kids (now ages 14 and 11) to be creators rather than just consumers. We will discuss the role of Sabbath, joyful noise, restful quiet, fasting and feasting, interior design and layout--and why the Crouches call their MP3 players "wePods" rather than "iPods." A workshop with lots of practical and inspiring commentary (and invigorating discussion)!
Independent Music, Youth Subculture, and the Spiritual Impulse
Popular media critic Chris Dahlen claims that, “…there is almost no strain of music as secular as indie rock.” Whether its punk rock, independent hip hop, or indie rock, this recent music comes from a youth subculture that longs for community and wants to critique the status quo. It springs from a desire to create something authentic that uncovers both pain and spiritual longings. There’s also in such music a prophetic insight, and even a helpful approach to the complexities of faith. The music has sparked a surprisingly earnest conversation in online communities. What can we learn from such musical expressions about young people and how to minister to them?
Families and Social Media - Distractions, Dangers and Delights
This class will look into the overwhelming amount of connectedness from Facebook and other social media that pull for our attention and how to set “social ground-rules.” We will discuss the benefits of being connected all the time and how to detect warning signs of social bullying and social media addiction.
Almost Christian: Understanding Youth & Young Adult Culture Interview
Kenda Creasy Dean interviewed by Dixon Kinser
This class will continue the insightful discussion on Kenda Creasy Dean's book, Almost Christian in a smaller group using a question/comment format. Parents of youth and tweens and pastors and youth leaders will especially benefit from the dialogue.
Creating Missional Imaginations with Young People in Congregations
Kenda Creasy Dean
Dean posits the loss of the church's "missional imagination" -- thinking about the church as existing for God and others rather than for ourselves -- as one of the contributors to Moralistic Therapeutic Deism. How can congregations begin to "seed" missional imaginations in young people and adults? What are some of the ways your congregation enacts a missional imagination in your community?
Marriage & Relationships
The Art of Marriage
Makoto & Judy Fujimura
This workshop will conceptualize marriage as an art, or a craft. People generally believe, in our independent westernized world view, that if their marriage goes well, it is because they are "lucky." Most people don't realize what skills they bring to bear on their relationships and marriages, and that those skills can be developed. Life in a fast-paced, stress-laden culture demands that in order to be a great partner, people hone those skills, and at times make the extra effort to be creative, thereby creating the vibrant marriage they want. The workshop will delineate the relationship skills that people can develop through a "Healthy Marriage Top Ten List," as well as the bad habits that can make otherwise kind people frustrated with a look at "The Miserable Marriage Habits." It will also show how all of these points can avoid disintegration and move toward a narrative called "The Story of Us."
Being a Couple in the New Millennium
One of the best ways to revive a culture is to restore and care for its close personal relationships. This workshop will ask, What are the unique cultural pressures that affect couples? Our wider culture tends to the idea that "Every man is an island," and therefore people engage in a solitary process to determine if the other person is a suitable marriage partner; or if the other person will find them so. Judy Fujimura will offer practical help on forming and maintaining healthy relationships amid current social pressures. We will look at, for instance, the Marital Readiness Qualities tool, that can help dating/engaged couples assess/discern their suitability to be a married couple. The workshop will describe ways people can keep their marriage feeling like a marriage, including emotional and physical intimacy.
Human Flourishing in a Technological Culture
Given the ever present nature of technology in our daily lives, we have surprisingly little conversation regarding its influence on our families, relationships, and spirituality. Most talk about technology focus on the benefits the ways that technology helps us do things. There is very little conversation about how we as persons are formed and shaped by technology. Drawing on the insights of Albert Borgmann, one of the leading thinkers on the place of technology in daily life, Kenny Benge will echo Borgmann’s conviction that to flourish we need to restore what he calls “focal things and practices” – those things that take time and work, but offer a richness not available from a device or machine.
Faith, Culture, and Social Media - Sharing Your Faith in a Distracted World
The Great Commission of Jesus compels us to share our faith. With social media, we have an amazing opportunity to connect with others and truly show our faith online. We will explore techniques for engagement, and what to consider as you discuss meaningful issues in sound bites!
Art & Creative Living
Living an Authentic Life This Side of Eden: An Artist’s Story
Carter’s Robertson’s story is an inspiring and at times irreverent look at growing up in two diverse and opposing cultures. Her mother was a small town Pentecostal Lay Preacher while her father was hard livin’ and rebellious to a fault. She came of age with one foot planted firmly in the Jesus Movement and the other planted in the infamous “Outlaw” Movement. Those two worlds colliding not only make for a captivating story of disillusionment and survival but the startling picture of redemption in the most unlikely places.
Culture, Creativity, and The Creator Spirit
Many people – both within and outside of the church – have the intuition that there is something “spiritual” about art and beauty. But why should art be singled out in particular as a “spiritual” activity? What do people mean when they speak of art or beauty in this way? And what should Christians make of this supposed connection? In this seminar Steve Guthrie will consider some of the ways that our culture at large uses the category of spirituality. We also will discover some of the ways that our experience of art and beauty can indeed help us to think more deeply and more faithfully about the God who is Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
Poetry: An Embodied Practice for Real Life
Poetry provides a window of understanding ourselves and our wider culture. This workshop seeks to introduce participants to poetry that speaks to humanity’s universal themes of celebration, suffering and issues of social justice. Engaging poetry stirs the imagination to encounter the holy in powerfully creative ways. And experimenting with writing poetry can help anyone find a helpful tool for learning the delicacy and beauty of writing of any sort. In this workshop students will learn to read poetry and become familiar with poets of various ethnic and cultural backgrounds who have used words’ power and beauty to embrace ways of knowing and being in the world. Participants will practice one in-class writing activity and encounter varied readings of poetry.
But What if I’m Not an Artist? Why All of Us Are Needed for the Next Artistic Renaissance
The arts are not just for artists. In fact, they cannot survive without a rich "ecosystem" of non-artists who love the arts, and love artists. In this workshop we will take a tour of the many facets of the artistic ecosystem that need tending for the arts to thrive in a society. We will reflect on what our own role may be in creating a healthier ecosystem for the creation of works that advance the true, the good, and the beautiful in, but not separate from, the contemporary world of the arts. This workshop is animated by the hope that far from being too late to restore a thriving ecosystem in the arts, we are on the threshold of more opportunities for influencing and restoring the art world than have been available for centuries. Come to consider your part in the comprehensive flourishing that only exists when the arts are thriving.
The Christian Life
Thread of Grace: Discovering God in the Stories of Our Lives
All around us we see a renewed interest in story and narrative. What does the wider culture's fascination with personal stories tell us? And how do our own stories help us understand God's presence and working? This workshop will help us see how our own life stories can be revelatory. They even tell us something about the nature and character of God. Author Ian Morgan Cron will lead a conversation on finding the thread of grace that is weaved into each of our stories and how discovering it can bless the world.
Christian Humanism through All the Stages of Life
As a continuation of his plenary, this workshop is inspired by the Iranaeus quote, 'The Glory of God is man fully Alive!' George Carey will address five components of the Christian life: accepting our humanity, the importance of health, living without fear, adorning the superficiality of modern culture, and living in the light of the permanent.
Developing Culture Care Principles
Just as we have learned the need to care for our environment through Creation Care values, we need to develop Culture Care values to see cultural stewardship. Makoto Fujimura will discuss principles of generative creativity as a fundamental pillar of Culture Care.
Life in the Marketplace: Your Work, Culture-Making, & the Kingdom of God
Does our work matter to God? Does God look at some jobs as "spiritual" and others as "secular," or is this a man-made separation? How can I be involved in culture-making if I'm not an "artist" or "pastor"? What if I'm an accountant? A stay-at-home mom? A manager? In this workshop, we will explore the basis of work and how God has called us all to culture-making and Kingdom work wherever we are and whatever we do. We'll discuss:
- Key issues that prevent us from connecting our daily jobs to God's work in the world
- The tensions, challenges, and compromises we experience as Christians in an affluent culture and fallen world where “God-substitutes” abound
- What a Christian approach to engagement might look like in organizations that attempt to reverse or ignore the Fall
- What spiritual "fitness" looks like and how Kingdom-living will likely lead to levels of discomfort as we participate in God's culture-making efforts
- How our relationship with God and the Church flourishes as we participate in what God is doing in the World
Creating Culture Awareness in the Local Church
The Revs. Leigh Spruill and Timothy Jones
Many of us minister in a cultural setting where people are conversant about the latest American Idol or sports icon but unaware of basic Christian knowledge. Even in church settings sometimes the members seem unconscious of powerful cultural influences (and opportunities). How can church leaders better shape members' beliefs and behavior? How do we equip people in our care to truly engage culture, not just be absorbed by it? This workshop will look at how clergy and other leaders can inspire people both to be more discerning and also to have a more profound influence. We will look at how such nurturing happens through programs, classes, small groups, sermons, and personal mentoring. The Revs. Leigh Spruill and Timothy Jones of St. George's (and leaders of St. George's Institute) will share ideas and stories of churches that have caught a vision for helping people in the pews navigate culture. They will also share about the formation of the Institute and C3 Conference.
Formative Practices in Home & Classroom
James K. A. Smith
This workshop will equip you to look at cultural formation with new eyes, seeing the formative power of a range of cultural practices and institutions, like education, commerce, and athletics. We will also consider how intentional Christian practices in education and the home can be counter-formative. In other words, how can our leadership in the home and classroom help our young people grow in Christian faith and character?
2012 C3 Arts Festival a Success!
Thursday, March 1, the St. George's Institute of Church and Cultural Life hosted our first-ever Arts Festival, celebrating visual art, books, and music and the connection between art and our faith. The event served as the opener for the 2012 C3 Conference. About 300 guests enjoyed the evening which included an energetic reception featuring live jazz music played by students from Belmont.
The C3 Art Salon, showcased local and regional visual artists including: Trudy Cunningham, Matthew DeBardelaben, Kathryn Dettwiller, Kim Erickson, Paul Eshelman, Anjeanette Illustration, Tim Joyner, Agatha Nolen, Bets Ramsey, Anna Sircar, and Kim Thomas.
Authors Lee Camp, Ian Cron, Makoto Fujimura, and Enuma Okoro shared excerpts and stories from their written works followed by book signings. Local husband and wife singer-songwriters Andy Gullahorn and Jill Phillips played a brief concert for our featured speaker, Makoto Fujimura who delivered an address called "A Creative Journey." Makoto was the first of 6 plenary sessions over the entire conference weekend.
Our Arts Festival was a fantastic way to kick off our 2nd Annual C3 Conference. We hope you were there!
2012 C3 Sponsorships & Partners
Partners of C3 and St. George's Institute