About Cultivating & The Cultivating Project
Cultivating is a seasonal, online magazine dedicated to encouraging and inspiring believers everywhere, especially those engaged in the creative arts.
Rooted in Christ alone, Cultivating is designed to present the three transcendentals of Goodness, Truth, and Beauty in every issue and product we create. Our focus centers in three key areas –
Craft (creative excellence), Character (spiritual maturity), and Community (core relationships).
About The Cultivating Project
The Cultivating Project is a nurtured community of writers and artists each committed to pursuing spiritual maturity as Christians and growing in excellence in our given crafts and life calling. Cultivating as a magazine and publishing venue is the place we gather and share our offerings with each other and with our readers. In effect, Cultivating is our shared house. The Cultivating Project is the family who lives in it.
One of our deepest distinctives as a publication is that the focus of our care is as much on those who contribute as on our readers themselves. The Cultivating Project is a team of believers united in a long act of worship through our arts and our lives. We serve each other in prayer and helping to promote each other’s work created for Cultivating or independently, so each of us is less alone in our creative outreaches. In all our ways and efforts, we seek to glorify God and bear witness to His goodness.
Joining The Cultivating Project
Participation in The Cultivating Project is by invitation only. At this time, we do not accept unsolicited manuscripts or art work, or publish single occasion (one-off) submissions. Cultivating and The Cultivating Project are founded on a “team-and-theme” model where the connection among the team is as important a part of what we are producing as the quality of craft and publication. There is assuredly, however, room under this good roof for kindred kind.
When we look to add new members, we look for individuals who are committed to deepening their walk with Christ, to pursuing and practicing creative excellence, to abiding relationships in core community, and who are willing to share their gifts with others. An openness to engage in the Cultivating community is strongly valued. Invitations go out roughly twice a year and new members are welcomed with joy.
The purpose of Cultivating is to encourage, inspire, and refresh our readers while creating a nurtured community of writers and artist team members who are The Cultivating Project.
Qualities of The Cultivating Project Team Members
We look for candidates who are:
1. Rooted in Christ, stand in agreement with our statement of faith (Nicene Creed), able to say wholeheartedly that Christ is Lord, are growing in obedience and in sound theology, and in a submitted relationship with the Triune God
2. Committed to living out the values of a Cultivating life - pursuing a life of long discipleship integrating faith, reason, and imagination
3. Willing to join the project team for a 1 to 3-year period and be part of the Cultivating community
4. Willing to submit quarterly within the designated seasonal timeframe and theme, and on occasion respond to specialty requests
5. Able to provide high quality work - written, visual, music, or tech - for Cultivating as a part of the extended mission of Cultivating for encouraging and inspiring other believers engaged in the arts
6. Willing to pray for the other team members and offer encouragement / support; and willing also to receive it
7. Willing to promote Cultivating itself, along with our core shared values, and each other's work (sharing our respective strengths for each other’s good)
8. Have an on-going outlet for one’s own creative efforts outside of Cultivating (website, Etsy-store, other publications, etc.) that we can refer to - help promote (Note: this is preferable, but not mandatory – occasionally team members do not have a website or have an active presence in social media)
9. Be an active, subscribing member of Cultivating, and familiar with the tone of the magazine, the community of contributors, and the intent of our outreach.
Cultivating ~ Good | True | Beautiful originally stems from the scripture verses Philippians 4.8-9.
“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.”
When the Cultivating was first launched in 2007, it started out as a solitary effort by one person intent on offering encouragement, inspiration and a resting place for others. The name was Cultivating the Good, the True, and the Beautiful. The meaning and focus was right but the name was entirely too long to be used easily. Over the following 12 years the name shortened to Cultivating, and the site has gone through massive changes in its appearance and reach. However, the core purpose has remained the same. Cultivating is dedicated to inspiring and nurturing
spiritual maturity and creative excellence in believers engaged creative endeavors. It is a place for contemplation and to be reminded what is good, true, and beautiful.
And it is a place to encounter others who are bent in the same pursuit.
Why "cultivate"? The word cultivate has particular significance and beauty to me. It not only represents the deep love that I hold for gardening but also in a single word it describes the deepest value of how I choose to live: affirming, nurturing and defending what is Good, True and Beautiful.
To cultivate with deliberate intention is an act of choice, courage and creative hope. It is an act of love and a step of faith. By definition it means to break up hard ground, to prepare for planting, to nurture. By practice it means to choose what I focus on, what I invest my life, energy, heart and strength in, and what I then to pass on to others. It also means guarding against those elements that threaten what I have chosen to nurture.
I cultivate as an offering of worship to our Creator and obedience to Him as my God and King. An essential tenet of what I believe is that good will always overcome evil — even when we do not live to see that in this world, that Light overcomes the darkness and the darkness will NEVER put it out, that Beauty triumphs over destruction, that He Who is Life has prevailed over death, and that this great Story we are living in has the very best of endings.
I am inspired by Philippians 4.8 “For the rest, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is worthy of reverence and is honorable and seemly, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely and lovable, whatever is kind and winsome and gracious, if there is any virtue and excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think on and weigh and take account of these things [fix your minds on them].” (Amplified Version). And grounded on Deuteronomy 30.19 – “I call heaven and earth to witness this day against you that I have set before you life and death, the blessings and the curses; therefore choose life, that you and your descendants may live ….”
Life is good. Cultivate it!
Who are “we” as a tribe? We who are a set of people who share a mysterious DNA of the soul and spirit? What is it in us that is the same; that pulls us toward the same horizon, pulls us together with the quiet astonishment of “What? You, too?”? Who are we as a tribe of Christ followers bent toward making; artists and writers and craftsman of every kind who have suffered, loved, pressed on for the sake of Beauty? Who are we who draw irresistibly toward the Light, who cherish every representation of it, and guard it fiercely when it is placed in our keeping? Who are we who swear allegiance to a High King we cannot yet see with our made eyes; who know His voice speaking without sound; who hold the ground for Him as we wait for His return?
Who are we who worship our God and Maker through our making and our living?
We cultivate our lives to produce the fruit of the Spirit as much as we cultivate it to produce art. We cultivate healthy marriages and healthy children. We cultivate circles of nourished friends, and honourable ways to make a living. We cultivate by choice and we cultivate by discipline. We cultivate the conditions in which goodness, truth, and beauty thrive within the lines drawn for us. We cultivate spaces for others to find refuge, healing, and places to flourish of their own. We cultivate planting, growth, harvest, and Sabbath in their seasons. We nurture growth and we defend it. We are namers and makers, prayers and labourers, envisioners and incarnators. We cultivate life.
We are Cultivators tending to the business of both earth and Heaven,
walking with God as we are made to in the gardens of our lives and the Kingdom that is coming.