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The very first thing we read about in the Bible is God’s mighty acts of creation. Our God is a creative God and since we are made in His image, we too are creative people. This doesn’t make all of us artists, actors, dancers or musicians, but it does mean there is the urge to make, rather than destroy, in each one of us which can be nurtured and embraced.

In 2017 I founded the Dearne Community Arts’ Festival to ‘champion creativity and celebrate community.’ I was overwhelmed by the creativity of people in my local community who produced knitted cardigans and crocheted blankets for my new granddaughter with nonchalance. I wanted to give others the opportunity to see the dazzling array of creativity that goes on every day in my local community and to celebrate all that is good rather than focussing on the negative. We are now planning the fourth festival and I have been amazed at the creativity which pours forth: paintings, drawings, photography, pyrography, encaustic art, sand art, pottery, wood-turning, sewing, knitting, embroidery, crocheting, dancing, music, singing, circus skills, writing, mosaics, decoupage, to name just a few!

Embracing creativity means pursuing the desires of your heart (Ps 37:4), following the dreams God plants within and learning new skills. It may well seem a very selfish thing to do, but I believe in embracing creativity, we actually mirror God’s flourish of creation and become the people He has made us to be. The arts (in the widest sense of the word) provide so much benefit to our health and wellbeing; as a friend of mine says, ‘art changes hearts.’ I urge you to embrace creativity and be open to finding God through the skills and talents He has given. At this bizarre time when so many are being urged to isolate themselves, let’s use the time we have to be creative. My first project will be to create a ‘thankfulness jar’ which I’ll be painting and trying to put in a slip of paper each day naming things for which I’m thankful. What will your project be?