by Cameron Anderson
This summer I have been getting to know Elmo, a local graffiti artist who lives, as do I, in Madison, Wisconsin. Our meeting has been entirely happenstance—he is painting a large mural on the rear wall of the Gardner Bakery building and I am using the building’s loading dock to haul away old plaster and tangles of electrical conduit. Elmo is making street art.
CIVA is building-out new office space!
Since August 2002, Gordon College has graciously hosted CIVA. Their institution sustained our organization through a formative season and Gordon’s President, Michael Lindsay, remains steadfast in his support of our work.
In recent months, however, our Executive Committee decided that the CIVA Office should be a place that invites substantial collaboration and hosts strategic meetings. Relocating our operations to Madison seemed like the most prudent way to accomplish this. On June 30—just weeks after our Between Two Worlds conference—I signed the lease for Suite 212 on East Washington Avenue and strapped on my tool belt.
Our new building once housed the operations of the Gardner Bakery. Today, it sits amid older commercial spaces that are incubating business start-ups, new condos, indie coffee shops, excellent ethnic restaurants, and Madison’s infamous Willy Street Neighborhood. One friend put it like this, “Cam, you have found the most amazing space in the city of Madison for CIVA’s new office.” Come visit; I think you will agree.
God, of course, is the one who builds his kingdom, not us. Meanwhile, I remain fully persuaded that he has invited CIVA to stake out a little corner in the art and faith movement. He has called us to creatively engage the joys and sorrows of this world, fight the good fight, and in doing so, add to God’s pleasure, even as we attend to our own.
To be sure, my hopes for CIVA are ambitious. But if the paint dries and hundreds of little details all come together, I am confident that our new office will open for business by Labor Day. In turn, we will be poised to embrace the unprecedented opportunities before us. In the Church, we sometimes describe this kind of season as a kairos moment.
In support of this future, CIVA’s 2015 Summer Fund is directed entirely to our office relocation. To make this move and properly equip our new space, we need to raise $25,000. To date, one family and one foundation have each pledged a $5,000 contribution! With this encouraging start, I invite you to join with me and make a gift to raise the remaining $15,000. We want to meet this financial goal by Labor Day and this will enable us to move into the fall season in a strong position.
With your help, we can do this.
Grace and peace,