Next Arts+Europe Gathering live in Sofia | Bulgaria
8-11 September 2022
Living Proof of a Loving God to a Watching World
For leaders and representatives of Christian-based arts initiatives and ministries in Europe.
A great opportunity for arts leaders around Europe to gather live (at last!) in Sofia, Bulgaria to debate and deepen our understanding of the interplay between Arts & Church and Arts & Society, deepen relationships, meet Bulgarian artists and groups, welcome new people and share what is happening currently in your ministries. This is a chance to learn from each other’s experiences and to network with like-minded others.
There will be no Zoom transmission during that weekend. We invite you to join us live, in 3D and color and are looking forward to meeting you (again)!
Arts+Europe invites leaders and representatives of Christian Art Initiatives and individual artists who have a passion for networking and for the common goal of supporting each other in forward progress in the sphere of the arts and faith/society.
Methods and Schedule Overview:
Panel Discussion with representatives of our four spheres of influence: Church, Market place/Society, Artists and Academy/Education (led by Jill Ford)
“Morning devotions” will begin each day with learning about “Spiritual Fathers and Mothers in God for artists, “The Arts and Spiritual Journeying”, “Arts in Worship“, and “Hope in time of Crisis“ led by experts in the field.
Interactive Training Sessions:
o “Arts and the Church: How to help churches to include good arts & artists” (Beat Rink)
o “Arts and Society: How to mark a Christian presence in the society / in the marketplace
of the arts” (Jim Mills)
Country-Reports (led by Verena Schnitzhofer) with updates on how our loving God uses us as living proof in a world that watches us (think about representing your country)
Practical Teaching on RoundTables (RT) (led by Amy Williams). You can choose between:
1) Launching a new RT
2) Help! I'm stuck with my current RT
3) Involving the next generation in my RT
In the Local Arts Night (Friday) we experience real live Bulgarian Arts and Music
For Saturday we have planned a Community Afternoon to have time for experiencing Sofia, a coffee with a potential mentor or simply to rest.
In the Worship Night on Saturday evening, we will celebrate different expressions of worship and intercession together. Please bring along a piece of art which is your source of worship to the Lord (a poem, a dance, a song etc.) If you need an instrument, please let us know in advance.
On Sunday morning we will celebrate together in a Worship Service, which will empower us for our work/ministry/tasks back home.
Platform: Mini Market Place
Please bring promotional material of your ministry with you and present it on our Mini Market Place (tables will be provided).
Special Guests and Contributors:
To mention a few, the contributors include Beat Rink, Jim Mills, and Bishop Rob Gillion.
Bishop Rob Gillion, UK:
Rob is a British Anglican bishop and former actor. He trained in acting at the University of London and then worked as an actor and theatre director for 12 years, participating in a variety of stage shows including cabaret, repertory and Shakespeare productions, prior to retraining for ministry at the age of 32. In 2020 he became Associate Bishop for the Arts in his diocese Southwark, London.
Beat Rink, CH:
Beat will lead the Training Session “Arts and Church” and introduce us to the concept of ‘Creative Church’:
A problem observed worldwide is that artists are not involved in churches - with serious consequences for the churches, the artists and also the secular art world. There are 6 different dimensions of "inclusion of artists in churches". They are presented here. We ask and discuss: What are the reasons for this? How can we participate in finding solution?
Beat has founded with his wife Airi, “Crescendo International” and has lead this movement since 1985. He is a theologian and ordained pastor of the Swiss Reformed church and has also a M.A. in literature and history. He has written several books and also his own poetry. He is president of ARTS+ Switzerland and is involved in a scientific research about "artists in churches" at Zurich university.
Jim Mills, USA/BE:
Jim will lead the Training Session “Arts and Society”: Do we find that there is a sense of support and empowerment from the local churches in Bulgaria or our European nations represented for artists in society? What are the keys to seeing a new release of godly servant artists in society that convey something of the goodness, beauty and truth of God via their art in the public square? Are there examples that are worth looking at? What will be necessary to see a greater Christian presence in the arts for society? How can we see a greater reconciliation of art and the church, which engenders a sense of destiny among artists for service in society?
Jim along with his wife Anne oversee the missional network of Creative Arts Europe.
Jim is also Chairman of Creative Missions International (CMI) based in Waterloo, Belgium. They have served as missionaries to Europe since 1976 as Bible Teachers, worship leaders, songwriters and pastors for artists.
Fred J. Heumann, USA/UA:
Fred's ministry life has revolved around music in worship and evangelism, and has taken him to 50 nations--sharing Christ, leading and teaching on worship, and developing resources for the church. He holds the Masters degree and the Advanced Graduate Certificate from the Institute for Worship Studies, and is an ordained minister with the Missionary Church USA.
Fred directs MusicWorks International and has taught at the Ukrainian Evangelical Theological Seminary in Kyiv since 2012, along with creating and leading the national MUSIC IN WORSHIP conference for seven years.
He recently founded the relief fund “ServeUkraine” dedicated to support Ukrainians in this horrific time of need.
Arrival and Departure
Arrival: Please arrive during Thursday, 8th September. We will start with dinner (18:00),
followed by a Fellowship Time with Panel Discussion.
Departure: Make sure you can join us through to lunch on Sunday, 11th September.
Therefore plan your departure (if possible) for Sunday afternoon/evening.
Meeting Venue (with coffee breaks):
Agape Ministry Building
15 St. Jerusalem street
Website (in BG only): agapebg.org
Food and evening events:
“The Palace of the happy people”
Dimitar Dospevski 9
Please take care of your own Hotel reservation. Room costs start at 50 EUR per night. Make sure breakfast is included! (As we don´t provide it.)
Holiday Inn Sofia (an IHG Hotel; 5 star business hotel)
Nearest hotel to our meeting venue, 2 metro stops away
111 Aleksandar Malinov Boulevard
1766 Sofia, Bulgaria
For reservations: Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, Tel. +359 2 807 07 25
This is a business 5 star hotel and it is very busy in September, so everybody who wants to stay there needs to make a reservation ASAP.
It is two Metro stops away from Agape Ministry building, where we will conduct the conference.
Hotel Rila Sofia
6 Tsar Kaloyan Str.
1000 Sofia, Bulgaria
Rila Hotel is in the very center of Sofia close to everything. In a walking distance to all museums, theaters and trade pedestrian "Vitosha" street and old ancient buildings downtown. Several metro stops away from Agape Ministry Building.
This hotel is one Metro stop away from Agape Ministry Building
74 Aleksander Malinov Blvd.
Sofia Province 1799 Sofia
+359 2 447 0553
Metropolitan Hotel (15min walking distance)
Bulevard Tsarigradsko Shose 64,
1784 Mladost 1, Sofia
The Metropolitan Hotel (4 star hotel) is close, but the public transportation connection to Agape Ministry building is not good. It is not on the Metro line and people will need to take a taxi to get to the conference.
Alternatively, you can also book another hotel at your own risk and costs as well.
Costs for Conference:
We charge money for food only!
€60 for Arts+ participants (for six meals) - to be paid IN CASH at the location in Bulgaria (please bring it with you):
Food contains soup for lunch + main course; main course for dinner + salad
Drinks: tap water is included; extra drinks are for sale.
Desserts and Coffee are not included.
Money should not prevent you from coming.
Please get in contact with us, we have some scholarships available.
Registration is closed.
Executive Leadership Team:
John M. Baker, Dianne Collard, Jill Ford, Jim Mills, Beat Rink,
Verena Schnitzhofer, Krisztina Tarjányi, Amy Williams