Miller Village Guild: A Day to Encourage the Creatives of Hamilton's Churches

On November 10 a group of creatives from at least nine different Hamilton churches gathered at Eucharist Church to encourage and inspire each other in their various callings as worship leaders, visual artists, songwriters, dancers and writers. Miller is the name of a lake in the Northern Bruce where we’d love to have an artists’ retreat some day; Village represents the Levitical villages surrounding Jerusalem in Nehemiah’s time; and Guild points to a desire for an ongoing association amongst the uniquely gifted artists we are blessed with in our city.

The day featured writers John Terpstra and Deborah Bowen in conversation; a songwriters circle; a Psalm writing workshop; an interactive worship session led by Randy Neudorf from The Commons; and a presentation by Anita VanZeumeren from Meadowvale CRC on the effective use of the visual Arts in worship spaces.

There was an eclectic variety of worship styles from Burn worship, to Taizé and Benedictine Psalms to songs sung in Swahili.

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A potluck lunch provided a unique opportunity to network with other artists in Hamilton churches including Alicia Wilson from Restoration Project. By the end of the day, we sat together in a circle on the floor in the sanctuary to vision together about how we can continue to develop the “creativity pillar” in the house God is building here in Hamilton.

A few days before this event, the hip hop artist Shad was at Eucharist in conversation with Kevin Makins, where a line from one of his songs was a repeated refrain: “Let the creators create.” While the attendance was much smaller at our Miller Village Guild day than at the Shad event, we’re confident that we’ve amplified that refrain.

We aim to move forward, not despising this day of small beginnings.

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Written by Peter Tigchelaar, November 2018. This article is published for GOHOP’s newsletter.