Story, Value, and Becoming More Real
Welcome to Cultivating Summer 2018 - Image (c) Pahtyana Moore for The Cultivating Project
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Welcome Summer 2018!

July 8, 2018

Lancia E. Smith


Well, here we are blessed to be in the midst of this glorious season.  What a grace to welcome Summer 2018!

In this Summer issue, you will get to explore a feast of offerings from The Cultivating Project writers and be introduced to a number of artists you many not yet be familiar with. In keeping with our Spring 2018 issue, you will find new essays, images, songs, poetry, and video. Poet Malcolm Guite graces us with his benediction for Summer specially written for Cultivating. And I have continued the collaboration with The Cultivating Project team member Adam Bradley of Spiration Media to create the video narration made for this issue of Cultivating.

In READ, we are blessed with a bundle of new works for Cultivating readers! Author Amy Lee takes us on a journey of memory to Korea and back in her exquisite piece, An Inheritance of Stories. Matthew Clark gives us an insightful piece about pilgrimage, homegoing, and keeping company along the journey in Together, On the Way.  K.C. Ireton blesses us twice. She brings us a short-story about the experience of living out what we choose to see in Reflections – Bringing Outside In, and then a beautiful collection of her favourite recommendations for summer reading with children in Books to Enjoy With Your Children this Summer. Brian Brown, founder and executive director of the Anselm Society, shares a glimpse of his majestic vision for a renaissance of the Christian Imagination with Cultivating readers in his piece titled The Shaping of God’s People and the Role of Art. I am deeply honoured to announce that Kris Camealy, founder and executive director of Grace Table and Refine {the Retreat}, has joined The Cultivating Project. In this issue, Kris brings us a delightful reflection on the seasons of life and what it means to become grown up in her piece titled Over the Hill. And it is my joy to be introducing our newest member of The Cultivating Project – Sadie Miller. Sadie’s debut offering is entitled Encouragement for Young Writers. Writers of every age should read it and pay attention to the wisdom Sadie shares there.  

On our SEE page, we’ve presented you with three new Cultivating galleries, including one expressly dedicated for downloadables for use on Instagram! Then we bring you short and sweet introductions to three of our favourite visual artists – Jonathan Kirkpatrick, photographer extraordinaire; the fabulous and inspiring author / illustrator / entrepreneur Ruth Chou Simons; and finally the delightful children’s book illustrator, Breezy Brookshire. You will be seeing interviews with these artists in the seasons ahead, so consider this an early introduction and a taste of good things to come!

On LISTEN, as we have before, we give you the soundtrack for the season – Cultivating Summer Playlist on Spotify ~ happy listening! Then come hear a sample from two of our favourite artists, singer-songwriter Teressa Mahoney, and fabulous bass guitarist, Scott Mulvahill.

On our TASTE page, author Ashlee Cowles gives us a feast with her beautiful post titled Let Us Feast. Brian Brown gives us a happy glimpse of the hospitality that comes from creating cocktails gatherings and the conversations that come as a result in his piece, Summer Hospitality – Parties for Introverts. And you’ll likely find a surprise post or two from me related to Berries and Cream and Lemonade Stands in Summer!

In PRACTICE, Cultivating brings you three new interviews with remarkable believers living out their faith and practicing their respective crafts with a full heart and long commitment. I am delighted to share the long-awaited interview with Malcom Guite, about his brilliant biography of Samuel Taylor Coleridge titled Mariner. I am so thrilled to share the interview with Christie Purifoy, author of Roots and Sky. And then, we have an interview with one of my most favourite performance artists – the acclaimed acoustic guitarist Trace Bundy!  

In PRAY – we will continue to share two classics for personal prayer that will nourish and anchor your prayer life. Nothing preachy. Just beautiful, humble, well rooted prayer of saints who have gone before us. Each season we will add to this gathering. Over time you can view them all in a single spot for what will form a beautiful library of resources for prayer with a balance of recommendations of books from earlier periods of our faith and ones coming out of our own contemporary times.

And finally, in GO – we’ve shared several opportunities with you to attend for renewal and refreshment. Cultivating’s own Matthew Clark will be performing a house concert here in Colorado at our house on August 4. We would love to have your good company that night for that very special event. Then we give you a quick peak at several other event opportunities: Anselm Society’s event with acclaimed author Sally Lloyd-Jones and a week later, Anselm’s annual artist retreat (which I am honoured to be speaking at); the summer gathering of the wonderful Via Affirmativa, also based here in Colorado; and the premiere workshop event – The Glen Workshop – put on by the Image Journal. Our opportunities to gather are overflowing!

As we journey through this season swirling with travel, heightened opportunities to spend time with loved ones, times to feast and time to reflect, let me share this with you. My friend Diana sent this blessing to me at a time earlier this year when I was wounded, weary and isolated. It was right before the first release of Cultivating in its new form as a quarterly magazine. The words she wrote to me shimmered and sang so much that I created an image of them so I could look at them every day on my desk. What struck me though, even in the very first reading, is how these words also speak for you. With Diana’s kind permission, I share them as a blessing and benediction for you, beloved Cultivator. May you be blessed and know that you are His workmanship and His beloved. 

You are God’s workmanship, God’s poem, God’s song, God’s work of art. You were handmade by God, for goodness, gladness, and a life of wonder. You. You are so loved. 

Diana's Blessing - Welcome Summer 2018 - Image (c) Lancia E. Smith

Many thanks to each generous Cultivating contributor who make The Cultivating Project live. It is a joy and honour to serve with each of you! You are the most remarkable team! Amy, K.C., Ashlee, Brian, Matthew, Kris, Sadie, Adam, Pahtyana, Jon Collin, and Malcolm: may your blessings be many and may you grow ever more fruitful.  

The beautiful image of summer berries welcoming us to this issue is photographed and shared by Pahtyana Moore for The Cultivating Project. 

Special thanks goes to Jon Collin McMinn for his faithful labour in bringing this issue into functional visibility and for his long-standing friendship. Both are a profound blessing not only to me, but to all The Cultivating Project and to Cultivating readers!

Happy reading, friends! May your Summer be full of wonder, encouragement, and renewed vision!


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