Collyde Summit Day 1: Reflecting on Mako Fujimora’s Workshop Post 2 #Collyde13

Last week I attended the Collyde Summit and agreed to blog about it.  You can read the previous post on what I thought of their Concept here and soon I’ll post on the events that happened on Day 2 and the Main Presenters.  Also check out fellow conference blogger Evan Curry or his quick summary.

The Workshops
I like conference workshops and while Collyde didn’t use the words “pre-conference,” it’s what I heard.  In fact, the pre-conferece  was one of the highlights of the Justice Conference for me.  They tend to give those who are already in the conversation a deeper take on the content that is being presented (so when I saw Makoto Fujimora and Joan Ball scheduled for the morning, I was excited).

The level of content is always challenging for any general conference event as to draw in a wider audience, the presenters have to have some “101” and cannot exclusively use insider language.  And then you have snobs like me who think they’ve heard it all and really want to be challenged and engaged.  But if a presenter is too complicated then we’ll feel sympathy for those who are not tracking.  It’s hard to win with some.

So this is among the reasons I liked Collyde providing two workshop options all throughout Friday – one in the sanctuary and one in the chapel. Though the chapel was hard to get in and out of and if you walked in late, not only did everyone see including the presenter, the only place to stand was either behind the presenter or find a seat by awkwardly crossing in front of the presenter. Some people tried to remedy this by coming from the exterior doors which were all locked.  I  doubt there were any other real solutions and Princeton Alliance Church is a great venue but it did seem to limit the chapel workshop presenters.

After beginning the Summit with a word of encouragement from Pastor Rob Cruver (Sr. Pastor at Zarephath Christian Church) and a time of worship with the Jason Yost Band (whose music you can download free through Noisetrade) the workshops were led off with Mako Fujimora in the sanctuary and Rob over in the chapel.

If you don’t know Mako, he is a brilliant and renowned artist and his presentation opened up with a preview of  “Golden Seas”, his new documentary by Plywood Pictures being released soon and available here.

He began his time by sharing that before his conversion, he would wrestle with the idea of beauty.  There he was creating beautiful art and was being rewarded for it but he was disturbed by what was going on in his heart which was not beautiful. His wife had just started attending church and though initially he was skeptical and outright defiant, he soon found himself with his wife on a new spiritual journey in search of beauty, goodness and encountering the divine.  He would go on to quote C.S. Lewis idea of his imagination being baptized before he was and the Tolkien concept of the all myths point to the creator God.

In reflecting on his presentation, I’ve been trying to identify the beauty I am a part of and the not so beautiful parts I’ve kept hidden in my heart.  Our imaginations suffer, so does the non-fiction/fictional/mythic narratives of our lives.  As always, more to be said but it was a solid presentation and I really encourage you to check out  Mako’s work.  Grateful that Collyde brought him in as he is not only a fantastic workshop speaker but for many of us he is a great bridge for great art, nurturing our creativity through the lens of faith and life.

Looks like I’ll have turn this post into a second part as I want to spend some time on what Joan Ball shared at the second hour.  Thanks for reading and check the preview of Mako’s documentary “Golden Seas.”

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