Story, Value, and Becoming More Real
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Welcome to Cultivating!

April 20, 2018

Lancia E. Smith

Welcome to Cultivating 2018 Spring – this is our inaugural issue in our brand-new format!

This change has been a long time in the making. The changes to Cultivating are more than just a new look. We are now a quarterly online magazine releasing 4 times a year – Spring, Summer, Autumn, and Winter. While our purpose is still cultivating practices of goodness, truth, and beauty, and still with a particular bent toward Christian believers who are engaged in the arts, our approach will be through the framework of the seasons themselves.

In this Spring issue, you will get to explore our new page designations – Read, See, Listen, Taste, Practice, Pray, Go. Throughout this issue you will find new essays, images, songs, poetry, and video. You can read a bit about how we came to this new season in our life in the Story of Cultivating and what moves us in The Cultivator’s Manifesto. Poet Malcolm Guite graces us with his benediction for Spring specially written for Cultivating. On our Home Page, we share the first-time collaboration between Cultivating and Adam Bradley of Spiration Media – the Spring video made for The Cultivating Project.

In READ, Author Amy Lee enchants Cultivating readers with her essay “The Gradual Reading of One’s Own Life“. Our resident troubadour, Matthew Clark opens a window into one of our favourite books – The Herb of Grace, through essay and song, then blesses us with his song and lyrics Keeping the Feast in Faith in honour of our friends, Philip and Lanier Ivester; and then Matthew draws us in with his beautiful Poem “Day 20 – Strawberry.” Long time Cultivating writer, K.C. Ireton shows us a picture of how grace transforms identity and relationship in her beautiful short story – Being Grace Kelly. And we give you some of our favourite recommendations for Spring reading.

On our SEE page, you get treated to three new Cultivating galleries, including one of sharables for Instagram. And you will be introduced some lovely new visual opportunities – gorgeous new galleries of Regina Mountjoy – photographer and founder of The Art of Flower Portraiture,  Max Mclean’s fabulous play The Most Reluctant Convert, and our movie recommendation for the stirring film Godspeed, which we first encountered at Hutchmoot.

Every season needs its own soundtrack, doesn’t it? Vivaldi certainly thought so! Here on the LISTEN page, is the Cultivating Spring Playlist on Spotify ~ we so hope you enjoy it! Then come hear a sample of the long-awaited Resurrection Letters project from friend Andrew Peterson and get introduced to the beautiful work of our friend Christa Wells

On our TASTE page, Amy Lee gives us a taste of Spring with her family recipe for Strawberry and Chicken Salad.

In PRACTICE, Cultivating gives you an inside view of three wonderful enterprises– Magpie Madness, Growley Leather, and Kenana Knitters. These are the people we highlight as models for us as they work out the cultivating of goodness, truth, and beauty every day in their work and family lives. International Correspondent for The Cultivating Project, Pahtyana Moore tells us about her first-hand experience with one of these good projects based in Kenya.

In our new section – PRAY – we will share two classics for personal prayer that will nourish and anchor your prayer life. Nothing preachy. Just beautiful, humble, well rooted prayers of saints who have gone before us.

In our new section GO – you’ll get a glimpse of the Anselm Society’s beautiful annual conference Your Imagination Redeemed, and a chance to come get filled with inspiration and encouragement as Christians working in faith and the arts. Then find out about an amazing opportunity to help support the making of a documentary film – A Hobbit, A Wardrobe, and A Great War – made by friends from Eastgate Creative – Ralph Linhardt, Jock Peterson, and Joseph Loconte. I expect you will be hearing quite a bit more about this in the Summer Issue of Cultivating.

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!

Heartfelt thanks go to Erica and James Clayton of Refinery Original. Erica and James listened to me many months ago blunderingly describe something about creating a quarterly online magazine for Christian writers and artists and then, thorough their painstaking and patient labour, brought that vision into being.

My personal gratitude goes to my husband Peter, without whom Cultivating would not exist. He is my number one cheerleader, patron, and compatriot. 

My deepest and abiding thanks goes to my partner in this effort, Jesus, who told me He would be my partner when I told Him I couldn’t do this alone anymore.

Happy and fruitful reading, friends!

May your Spring be full of courage, hope, and inspiration!


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  1. This is so beautiful! Thank you for all your patient endurance to see this gorgeous project come to life. If there is ever a way I can help with this, please let me know.

  2. Jordan, thank you so much! I so appreciate your kind words and encouragement, and your offer of help! I will be glad to let you know about specific ways to do that as those are available.

    In the meantime, the most direct ways right now to support Cultivating are:

    1) Pray for Cultivating to be fruitful and for each of us who contribute through The Cultivating Project;
    2) Subscribe and explore it (as you have already done!);
    3) Tell others about it and encourage them to subscribe and follow along with us.

    Financial support is welcome as any endeavor like this is expensive, however, we truly need the prayers and engagement more than money at this time.

    We will have more ways to be directly involved in the months ahead and some good ways to be actively connected to The Cultivating Project. I hope this is a starting point and that you find things in Cultivating that are a blessing to you. Let me know if I can answer more questions for you. 🙂

    p.s. You do some beautiful work yourself! I love the bramble berry cups in your Etsy store! 🙂

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