“It was the first time I realized that painting could capture the Word of God, speak into people’s lives and give me the opportunity to share my faith.”

Janice T. (Alliance & Short-term team member)

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Every day all around the globe, artists on mission are creating, cultivating, and contributing in their communities. As they seek to see their art used in the work the Lord is doing, we want to share their stories to encourage and inspire.
This blog is a place to read those stories, giving you a glimpse into how the Lord is using the arts around the world.
Monday, 27 November 2023 21:40

GCAMM 2023: A Personal Testimony

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Last week, we shared the experiences several staff members had at the Global Consultation on Arts and Music in Missions (GCAMM). The following article was written by Artist Mentor Frank Fortunato, and it highlights his experience as part of the leadership for GCAMM. 

 The seminary stage was delightfully cluttered with instruments from varied continents. The opening moment involved singers and dancers who joyously proceeded into the meeting.  They held various instruments which they offered unto the Lord which represented their artistic devotion and expression.  

This was the commencement of the sixth GCAMM, the Global Consultation on the Arts and Music in Missions. I had the privilege of co-hosting the seven plenary gatherings with delegates represented from more than twenty nations and five continents. Previous consultations took place in Europe, Africa and Asia.  However, for this consultation, we returned to the United States, at the Dallas/Ft Worth Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary where GCAMM began twenty years ago

FIVE WORSHIP BANDS: Over the four-day event, five global worship teams led us in vibrant singing that included various ethnic-based songs. The worship featured musicians with backgrounds from Asia, Africa and Latin America. A South Korean team, which was comprised of students from the seminary ended their time of worship with the entire gathering praying for North Korea in “Korean style.” The entire congregation prayed out loud, simultaneously. The voluminous outpouring to God for the salvation of North Korea was overwhelming.  

STIRRING SCRIPTURES: My good friend and professor from the Robert E. Webber Institute of Worship Studies, Jeff Barker, provided Scriptures readings each session. He presented entire chapters from Revelation from memory, and involved various ones to dramatize the Scripture presentations.

VIGOROUS DANCE: A dance team from Houston overwhelmed us, as we watched its vigorous, intricate, and artistic movements choreographed to powerful Christian singing. We experienced an all-encompassing devotional time of worship rarely seen in corporate America. 

Sam Rotman, a world-class pianist who played more than 3000 concerts in sixty nations performed a stirring concert and delivered a poignant and memorable testimony of his life in Christ. 

On the final evening of the Consultation, we sang the popular song “The Blessing” in five languages. A brass ensemble from the Dallas Salvation Army band performed a prelude concert and accompanied our singing. We ended our consultation with the brass leading us as we sang Handel’s magnificent “Hallelujah Chorus.” 

Throughout the week dozens of workshops and short “Tea Talks” unfolded a plethora of themes related to exploring and using the arts to build bridges into reaching the people groups across many nations. 

THREE KEY OUTCOMES: Similar to previous GCAMM events, this recently-concluded consultation resulted in three key outcomes: First: the strategy of networking is likely everyone’s favored highlight, with relationships that go back over many years. Second, networking results in strategic partnerships, as people focus on potential projects in various parts of the world.  Third and final: personal enrichment and infused inspiration result from the many workshops provided from practitioners as spiritually mature men and women share their life’s experiences and concepts from their various artistic domains.   

Personally, it may have been the culmination of involvement in co-hosting global events like GCAMM which I found so encouraging and engaging in my own life. Future events may become local and/or regional at various locations, which would allow for a cost-saving way to increase participation greatly. 

 Regardless then of the locality chosen, ultimately, GCAMM will still celebrate the universal and cosmic call of what many of us refer to as our favorite global mandate- Psalm  96:

1 Sing to the LORD a new song; sing to the LORD, all the earth.  2 Sing to the LORD, praise His name; proclaim His salvation day after day. 3 Declare His glory among the nations, His marvelous deeds among all peoples. 4 For great is the LORD and most worthy of praise.