Dr. Greg Fiebig knows theatre, from years of teaching, directing and designing for the university stage. He also knows theology, from seminary training to pastoral ministry. For him, these two “worlds” are one, but he knows that isn’t always the case in the local church.
Fiebig, IWU Professor of Communication, recently joined other professionals building bridges between the arts and worship at Calvary Baptist Church in New York City. The church is right across the street from Carnegie Hall in Manhattan and this fall’s second annual Celebration of the Arts is the handiwork of Dr. Tim Yoder, Worship Arts Pastor and a former IWU professor of music .
Fiebig addressed “Theatre and Faith: Towards a Christian Aesthetic,” laying the ground work for a startup performing arts ministry in the local church setting. He will put his ideas into practice with The Calvary Theatre Guild this coming January, as he spends a sabbatical semester developing creative worship programs and studying organizational communication at Calvary Baptist.
Fiebig hopes the guild will build even more bridges between professional artists in the area and the church. He and the other organizers are planning public performances and small group ministries to theatre artists and reading groups to strengthen their faith and broaden their knowledge of the craft. During the festival, they even took time for guild auditions, with positive responses from area actors, writers and designers. “Actors from as far away as Philadelphia expressed an interest in commuting to participate in the guild,” Fiebig said.
The festival included performances by recording artist Ken Medema and retired IWU Professor of Art Dr. Bill Goodman, who sculpted pottery while Medema sang. The theme of the concert was “Our Potter, which art in heaven.”
Medema wove a unique story of a heavenly treasure in an earthen vessel, which represented both a local church and local believers with the mission and charge to take the living water to a world thirsting for love and acceptance.
“The weekend was fast and furious, but necessary to lay the groundwork for the exciting days ahead of us,” Fiebig said. He will direct the guild through May 2014, the end of his sabbatical period.