Anna serves as the Apostle of Creative, Marketing and Communications at St Marks Church in Chattanooga, TN where she has reinvented the way in which the church reaches the community through digital and traditional mediums. Her 20-plus year career as a corporate creative director and marketer provides her with a perspective on theological and philosophical growth that is sorely needed in the stagnant status-quo pool of the United Methodist Church. Alongside her role at St Marks, she has assisted with church revitalization efforts across the southeast. The innovative and undaunted way in which she unfolds the conversation for creative and visionary thinking within church growth platforms is second to none. She is the co-founder of A2O, a skill-filled think tank of creativity practices for emerging congregations and church planters. She is also curator and founder of Faithmarks, a traveling gallery show of photography that explores the intersect of spirituality and the art of tattoos. This inter-faith initiative is the first of its kind and Anna has been asked to display the show in many states and at events like the Wild Goose Festival. Additionally, Anna has partnered with the Neighborhood Economic team to facilitate conversation around our unused houses of worship and the opportunity they provide to the arts community, entrepreneurs and neighborhood development.
Faithmarks – Story Through Ink
We’ve chosen the marks that remain permanent reminders. We make this choice, to merge ink with flesh, to take the topographical canvas that is our skin and emblazen the story with blacks and colors. Prayer blended with spontaneity moves us to select a visual reminder of the struggle – a way in which either our eyes, or the mirror, convey a constant reminder of our journey into, and more importantly, out of our trial. When the Faithmarks initiative was conceptualized, the reasoning was basic – what ARE the stories that accompany the spiritual ink we see on people’s bodies and are those stories worth sharing? Will the community relate to the images and the reasons for them? Join with to learn more about the show, to share your own #faithmark story and to hear from others, including tattoo artists themselves, who have walked this path to creative expression and spiritual awakening.
The Economics of Neighborhood
The narrative of Wall Street is one of accumulation, speculation, and conquest. The narrative of Main Street is increasingly one of mutuality, durable relationships, and interdependence. While the conquests of Wall Street still dominate headlines, there are incredible reasons for hope rising up from Main Streets all over North America. Movements are converging that emphasize buying, eating, and investing in the local. It’s here at the neighborhood level – the most local economy – where we can see the impact, hear the stories, and share best practices at a more relational level. It’s also in returning to the neighborhood level that we can best embody our most deeply-held values, shared by faith traditions of compassion and solidarity with the marginalized. In this session we’ll explore the good work already happening and you’ll be invited to share your stories of neighborhood economic liberation. Let’s all participate in this alternative story.