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Oct 2011

The Green Room

What would it look like if a group of imperfect, yet creative, gospel-centered, grace-driven, and mission-minded artists intentionally created opportunities to both reflect and influence the cultural milieu of Richmond with a Christian worldview?

This is a question that I asked myself a few months ago as I was sitting down to dream about what the next two years of Music and Arts at Redemption Hill might look like. It’s was easy to dream about some of the cool things we might be able to accomplish, especially considering the immensely talented artist and musicians in our church. But the more I reflected on this, the more I became reminded of just how fleeting and vain these cool things are. And as I reflected on what God has done for me through his son Jesus, and where he has providentially placed me and family, I was reminded that we don’t need to pursue the arts for the gospel to be cool, or relevant, to our culture, we need to participate in God’s work of transforming people’s lives for the power of the gospel to remain relevant to us.

I believe the Arts are vital and necessary for sharing the gospel. God created art, and uses art to teach us about Himself, our own hearts, and our world. It is a gift that allows us to move past purely rational expression and glimpse God’s truth and beauty – a way to more fully understand the nature of our own humanity and means of experiencing His divine nature that extends beyond what our minds can comprehend. It engages our imaginations, exposes us to new ideas, and allows us to experience life more fully.

Here at Redemption Hill, we are committed to learning together how to think, do, and be distinctively Christian in everything we do, particularly the culture that we live in, and interact with, daily. This means learning: What in our culture is good and can be enjoyed and celebrated? What in our culture is anti-Gospel and must be rejected? What in our culture can be renewed and adapted for good?

To this end, we are resolved to have a knowledge and appreciation of the culture here in Richmond, whether that be movies, books, music, or the local performing and visual arts scene. We do this that we might understand the culture’s hopes, dreams, stories, and fears; and then show people that only Jesus can fulfill their greatest desires. We have started this with our Film and Theology series, and are now looking to branch out into other cultural havens. Enter The Green Room.

The Green Room is traditionally defined as a transition space in an arts venue which accommodates performers not yet required on stage. It is also a space that accommodates both artist and patron, where they can gather together and discuss meaning behind a particular medium. Beginning next month, Redemption Hill will be starting a new series called The Green Room, where we provide opportunities to learn about and experience the range of arts events that Richmond has to offer. We do this not only to benefit the church and our city, but to lead and encourage us to mindfully engage with the arts in Richmond and with its artists, for the purposes of exalting Christ, and advancing the kingdom of God in Richmond, Virginia.

Our goal is to regularly provide opportunities to attend a performance, exhibition, film, or other arts event, with an artist from Redemption Hill who can knowledgeably speak of the artistic discipline and history of the event, as well as speak to the worldview presented and how that lines up with a biblical worldview. Attending cultural events with an artist whose heart has been transformed by the power of the gospel will allow us to experience not only the inherent beauty in whatever cultural event we may be attending, but also the beauty of the artist’s gift as it speaks with clarity from the heart of God.

Plan on joining us Saturday, November 12, as we kick off The Green Room and host an evening with the Richmond Symphony Orchestra.



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