Lockdown Encouragements.

Lois Adams 24 Mar 20

At present you are maybe disconcerted or anxious with everything that is going on in the world around us.  But as the Arts Network Team we wanted to encourage you to keep close to Jesus and keep making artwork! Let’s bring glory to God in this time, making the most of every opportunity to grow in grace, worship Him by making artwork and being a blessing to others. 
We pray for wisdom for our government and safety for the people who are suffering in various ways around us. You might have gone home to support family members or you have self-isolated. Whatever your situation, here are some things that might help and encourage you to keep going and making good out of this opportunity.
Let’s make sure we look after ourselves both physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually.

1. Keep close to Jesus.

We encourage you whole heartedly to dive into God’s Words and meditate on Scripture to grow deeper roots.  If you struggle with this, like the rest of us, Peter Dray has started a brilliant blog to help us. It’s called ‘ Walking With God's Word ; helping students make sense of ourselves and our world today. It’s a resource from UCCF specifically started to help students centre around the Bible during this unique time.
In addition Word Alive each Sunday is releasing previous talks and sermons online and I know of many churches who have graciously shared songs and resources online.


2. Keep creative...

Despite the fact that some of you have had to end your studies abruptly, making art has more value than achieving a grade. Our sympathies are with you in your disappointment, but I pray that God will show you that making art is ultimately for His glory and you are worshiping Him by continuing to create art. I’m sure you’ve all seen how the Coronavirus have sparked people all over the world to be creative and imaginative. We often complain in our busy schedules that we don’t have time to create and make art! Well! The time has come! Social distancing is one of the answers! Time to hide away in your studio or bedroom and make art! 
Let’s take this time as a gift, time to explore your creativity. Let’s sketch, draft, make and reshape! (I only encourage you to share your creativeness on social media if that helps you in a motivational way). I’ve started to embroider and draw dragons for my imaginary Welsh children’s book! 


... and show and tell

As you make art it is important to keep sociable and accountable. What about arranging a group Skype or Zoom where you show your friends what you have been working on and give feedback and encouragements to one another. This will encourage you tremendously and grow your friendships. What about praying or offer pray for one another in the group? 


3. Book Club

This is a great time to brush up on your reading or listen to podcast or talks! What about initiating a small group who would like to read/listen to the same resource. Then you can have online discussion about what you’ve all discovered. On the Arts Network website you can view some recommended books or online resources that are helpful. 
For starters and something light I would recomend Art & the Bible by Schaeffer and then for something more comprehensive on being a Christian in creative arts subject I would go to Alastair Gordon’s book - Beyond Air Guitar.


4. Eat well  &   5. Exercise

Make sure you eat healthy food that will sustain you and keep your vitamins up!  Please do follow government advice on going out. (At present 24/3/20 we can go out once a day). What about going for a walk? – take pictures – enjoy nature. Please do this wisely and not place yourself or others at risk. Enjoy the amazing nature that God has given to you. 


6. Book Forum

Book Forum! We are still hoping to hold Forum – great speakers, luncheon for specific subjects and Arts Network Track.  We have super exciting plans and you can get involved by submitting artwork, (a potential coronavirus project?), here how you can submit work and be part of Forum 2020!

Please click here to Make Artwork for Forum 2020.


7. Community

What about phoning someone different each day? We are made to be in community and be social like our heavenly Father. Social distancing and staying at home will be hard in some way for us. God has not designed the Christian to be alone and created the Church. I urge you to be in touch frequently and regularly with friends, family and your church. We can thank God for technology that we can phone, text, Facebook, Facetime, Skype, Zoom etc!!! 


8. Keep Praying

Keep praying and trusting in our sovereign God. I am reading Jerry Bridges's 'Trusting God, Even When Life Hurts' (in my parent garden!) at present and this quote helped me lots, hope it does the same to you.

To finish please send your art, stories and activities to the Arts Network (arts@uccf.org.uk) so we can post it on our Instagram, mailout or website to encourage others in our network. 
Take care and look after yourself.

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