There are just some things that stick with you longer than others. There wasn’t any earth shattering new way of doing business that struck me. There wasn’t a big idea that I’d never heard of before. There wasn’t a new way to get ahead of the competition. Instead I found a quiet camaraderie, a softness found between friends that made a way for replenishment, encouragement and maybe the sole reward for giving everything you have for the sake of the cross. For some like myself, it was indeed a breath of fresh air.
Here’s a glimpse at CRE:ATE 2010. Their 10 year anniversary started out with a wonderful night at Pucketts. My fear of “I’m not going to know anyone” subsided when I realized that these were just people much like myself. I didn’t know anyone but it didn’t matter. We quickly found that we had much in common…most with families juggling the demands of full-time ministry and looking for ways to stay connected with people like themselves. With a great meal we listened as Amy Grant took the stage. Now, I’ve been in the church scene for a while and have to say that I have listened to Amy since she was on the cassette.(No remarks about my age…at least it wasn’t an 8 track!) That Monday night I sat in awe at the quiet grace and emotion filled testimony that emerged through her singing. Some of my favorites had indeed been reborn. I found myself caught up in the atmosphere as she spoke of her loves and her life.
I headed in to Tuesday with great anticipation and I was greeted with the most amazing worship set that I’ve experienced with Matt Maher, Audry Assad & Ian Cron. Ian is the one who wrote “Chasing Francis” and I have to admit I didn’t know a whole lot about him before this experience. In combination with the worship, he led us in some of the most meaningful experiences I’ve had in years. I can’t even begin to tell you about the communion experience that happened on Wednesday. Never did I think that one could be so filled with the most humble sense of awe. I was touched to the core with the liturgical experience that moved me in ways I thought were untouchable. I was a wreck, but eventually pulled myself back together:)
One of the things that I loved was the ability to of CRE:ATE 2010 to simultaneously create these wonderfully moving experiences of the cross and at the same time that ability to completely turn up the volume and rock out the room. Now keep in mind that we’re in a 150 seat venue that’s set up around tables. We’re literally 25 feet from the stage when Big Tent Revival went on. I didn’t grow up with their music and knew very little about them, but I may have to go out and get their latest cd. I love a good worship set, but there’s just something about feeling the drums in your head that gets you going. Some others that were there were Matt Papa, who only did one song but it was one of my favorites, Leeland who look like they are just teenagers when in fact that are in their mid 20’s. Funny when you get older everyone else looks younger! Michael Gungor…oh my! I didn’t get to stay for his concert but Bill was nice enough to get the CD and they are simply amazing! If you’re looking for a new sound you’ve got to check out their cd. Simply amazing! Mandisa took the stage on the final day and literally blew the lid off the place. We were moving in ways I didn’t think were possible…at least in church anyway!
Not only did we get to experience some great music during the day, but each evening around dinner were more great artists and great song writers. Now where else but Franklin, TN could you see such talent each night? My brother was here for the final night where we sat 5 feet away from Jars of Clay as they shared from their life and took requests from around the room. Those which seem bigger than life are really just average people with some average and not so average stories.
Oh wait..did I tell you yet that all the ladies from Women of Faith were there too! I’m talking the whole gang! There was Patsy Clairmont, Lucy Swindoll, Shelia Walsh, Marilyn Meberg who individually took that stage and had us laughing and crying with them…sometimes all at the same time. I hugged them all! Now we’re family:)
There was always something that came unexpected but never unnoticed. For all the other creative minds in the room, thanks for the breath of fresh air. Can’t wait until next year to see what’s on the agenda, but more than that I can’t wait to catch up with friends.
Have a great week!