SEARCH Journal

Welcoming creativity with choreographer Maria Nilsson Waller

“I WANT TO WORK WITH ARTISTS”. This was my immediate response when, many years ago, two-thirds of the way through theological college, I was being asked to give an account of myself and my sense of vocation: “What type of ministry would you see yourself in in the future?”

I couldn’t explain it in any more detail. I didn’t know what it meant or would look like in reality. I just knew that I enjoyed art and creativity. Not maybe the most refined aspects – more street art and contemporary dance. The abstract, quirky and participatory – I knew I had a deep attraction to these modes of creativity, and an interest in the creative process of people who did these things.

I also knew that these would probably be viewed as somewhat fringe interests. But it seemed to me there was so much life and energy, and the gift for perceiving the world in different ways, to be found in these fringe places. The fringe, to me, seemed an exciting place to be. How was I going to integrate street art and contemporary dance into a future ministry in whatever Church of Ireland parish I (hopefully) was to end up in a few years hence?

* Full article available in printed copies.

Abigail Sines

Formerly Dean’s Vicar at Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin, is Associate Minister in the Carrigrohane Union of Parishes and working on a PhD on a theology of sanctuary.