This past weekend, our family went to an all-day conference together. It was sponsored by those good people at Story Warren, and I feel truly blessed that it happened right here in Charlotte.
If you don’t know Story Warren, it’s a site dedicated to helping parents and kids foster “holy imagination.” If you have kids in your life in any way, shape, or form, this site should be on the short list of ones you visit.
The day was split up into four breakout sessions (poetry, music, story, and illustration), with a general session at each end. I circulated with my two youngest children, so that meant we went to Story with Andrew Peterson first. Andrew just finished up his Wingfeather Saga (the last volume of which doesn’t release until next month, but you can get your hands on it now, here).
What I loved about this conference was that it was a little bit of teaching and a lot of doing. Andrew talked about why we create — why we write stories. We are people in a story. God wrote us in His story. Then he picked up a whiteboard marker and started writing a story with all the kids in the room participating. Little faces lit up as a world grew before our eyes: the planet Symperion, where the sun rises in the north and sets in the south, the sky is purple, and people pay for things with bones instead of money.
Each session was that way: some instruction and a lot of “doing.” The kids ate it up. How inspiring is it to walk around a conference and happen across a boy not that much older than you who is doing commissioned illustrations? Or to take part in writing a Scripture song? It makes things possible that our standardized-test, grade-oriented culture wants to squash.
After a break for dinner, we ended the day with a concert from Randall Goodgame doing Slugs ‘N Bugs, and Andrew Peterson playing a bunch of his songs. Riches poured out before us!
Here’s Randall performing “Two Shirts,” a song that he recorded with the African Children’s Choir. We have all the Slugs ‘N Bugs albums, but the latest, “Sing the Bible,” is far and away the favorite around here.