On a recent trip to Rome I was once again struck by the numerous magnificent basilicas throughout the city and St. Peter’s Cathedral itself. Standing in them again reminded me that once these churches were the centre of not only religion but of art and culture. It was also obvious that no one thought that these different aspects of the human imagination and inspiration should or even could be separated.

The construction of European basilicas and cathedrals required an inspired vision, a genius of architecture, a religious dedication and generation after generation of labourers to set stone on top of stone, working for an outcome that few workers would see completed.

It is the hope of incarNATION ministries that it will help those artists who likewise have the inspiration, genius and dedication required to create personal cathedrals to stand as new centres of the arts and culture in our pluralistic society.

Gone are the days when we could assume everyone would enter a cathedral seeking the highest and best of the arts and culture, inspired by and offered to the source of all Truth and Beauty. It is our desire that people find a place of refuge and awe and challenge in the works of IncarNATION ministries-supported artists. We hope that our fellow citizens receive meaning in their lives and in our culture through the music, visual arts, written arts, dance, theatre and films and the underlying Trinitarian theology that our ministry supports.

When we undertook the creation of incarNATION ministries in 2003 we realized that building such an edifice, where the glory of Father Son and Spirit was revealed through artistic expression, would probably not be finished in our lifetimes. But we knew that we could help pour the foundation.

Will you be part of that vision? During the last four hundred years the Christian church has been galvanized to proclaim the gospel beyond its borders to foreign peoples in a language most Christians did not understand. We only need to look to the vibrancy of the Christian church in Africa, South America, and parts of Asia to see how successful that spreading of the Gospel has been.

We too are called to witness to our Christian faith and hope to peoples who hunger for meaning, for Truth, for Beauty. Most of them don’t speak the language of the Christian church, but their fears and aspirations are the same regardless. They may live across the world or just across the hallway. While once we would translate Bibles, we now need to translate or interpret the arts and culture they experience into something that gives them a sense of what it means to be fully human. We know that Beauty and Truth are found in the person of Jesus Christ, in whom, by whom and for whom all of created was made. And we anxiously wish to share our sense of that Beauty and Truth with a culture that wallows in delusion and ugliness.

The Missions movement of the 18th and 19th Century succeeded because Christians saw that “vision” was not enough: it required hard work, dedication and money. We invite you to join us in building a foundation with us so that peoples many years from now can rejoice in the celebration of the arts as a wonderful way to glorify the Father, Son and Spirit and to enjoy them forever.



David Jennings is a lawyer in Vancouver, Canada and has served as Convener of the Assembly Council of the Presbyterian Church in Canada, a director of the Centre for Cultural Renewal, a director of Pacific Theatre, and in various other capacities with Christian charities.