“Your God-given gift is irrevocable”: Heartfelt conversations on faith and art in new book
Gracia Lee // February 4, 2020, 7:08 pm
Irrevocable Gifts, a book aimed at encouraging Christian creatives to embrace their God-given gifts, was launched on December 6 last year. Photo taken from Book Launch of Irrevocable Gifts' Facebook page.
Did God give me this gift as a blessing or a curse? How do I use my gifts within a church context? How does my gift help me to make sense of who I am?
If you are a Christian creative who has asked yourself these questions, you are not alone. They characterise a struggle that songwriter Dawn Fung, 40, dubs a “gift issue” — something she says is common among creatives.
It is exactly this issue she hopes to address in the book, Irrevocable Gifts, comprising personal perspectives from Fung and five other creatives on how their faith and creative mediums meet.
The book, published by The Group, a community of about 50 Christian creatives, was launched on December 6 last year.
Instead of prescribing straight answers, the six creatives — Fung, editor Bernice Lee, children’s book author Emily Lim-Leh, poet Madeline Ang, artist Favian Ee and musician Calvin Chong — simply share their heart about why they work and how their faith and art inform each other.
Faith and art
In the book’s introduction, Fung, who is the group leader of the book and founder of The Group, wrote: “Irrevocable Gifts is built on the premise that whatever gifts God has given you, they are irrevocable (Romans 11:29).
“The perspective you have — need — of God in your situation determines how you utilise what has been given to you.
“The stories and struggles of creatives … have sparked a desire to connect more meaningfully with this community.”
“If God is Father to you, then you are Child — this creates enjoyment of your creative expression, wherever you choose to park it. If He is Master, then you are Servant — your creativity is to be stewarded responsibly. If He is Friend, the creative journey intensifies the perception of his companionship.”
At the end of the book, which took two years to produce, the authors provide some reflection prompts that encourage the reader to ponder more deeply their gifts in relation to their faith.
When asked how The Group hopes this book can help Christian creatives, Fung told Salt&Light: “I think the Singapore Church is ready for heartfelt conversations about faith and art.
“Sixteen years ago, I met worship pastors who were convinced that theatre would corrupt their young church goers. Today, worship pastors are also avid art consumers. There is a generation of young that have grown up to serve the church, and their questions have changed.
“Instead of forbidding people to enter the arts, they are asking, ‘How do we journey with you?’”
Visual artist Boedi Widjaja, 44, said the book helped to develop his sense of belonging in the church. “The stories and struggles of creatives – individuals with whom I share His Spirit and creative impulses – have sparked a desire to connect more meaningfully with this community.”
Irrevocable Gifts can be purchased online at Graceworks for $14.90.