Amy Grant and other female Christian performers and artists have teamed up to create the Faithful Project, a collection of stories and music that celebrates God’s faithfulness to women throughout scripture.
“I think every different perspective in a story adds to the whole picture,” Grant said in an interview. ” “Whether it’s a minority, a disenfranchised group, a silent group, we need all the voices to speak That was one theme that we kept coming back to during our gatherings. We weren’t trying to elevate women at the expense of anybody else but with the message, ‘We are one,’ and ‘We are one’ includes everybody.”
The book (below) features authors Ann Voskamp, Lisa Harper, Kelly Minter, Ruth Chou Simons, Ginny Owens, Sarah Macintosh, Amanda Bible Williams, Sally Lloyd-Jones, Kelly Needham, Raechel Myers, Savannah Locke and Trillia Newbell.
Grant wrote the book’s introduction and the song of Mary Magdalene, which is featured on the project’s first single, “A Woman.” The son is performed by Grant and Ellie Holcomb. Other artists involved in the album include Sandra McCracken, Leslie Jordan, Christy Nockels, Rachael Lampa, Kelly Minter, Sarah Kroger, Christa Wells, Tamar Chipp, Jess Ray, Janice Gaines and Taylor Leonhardt, along with some of the authors of the book.
“There were some stories of women picked out that were so obscure, and they were not all ‘glory stories,’ some were so tragic, but each story played a very important role in the history of this culture, and it was important enough for her story to be remembered,” Grant said.
“With this project, we are taking time to think about these women’s lives and what it meant. Any time we listen to the past empathetically, when we try to connect organically to the people speaking (from the Bible) we ask, ‘What does that say to us now?’”
“I’ve always loved stories. You can learn so much about a person when they tell a true story from their life. You learn their circumstances, their reaction to the circumstances. We can teach others so much about living from the stories of our lives. The Bible gives us opportunities to observe and glean from the experiences of the women over a period of more than a couple of thousand years, and that’s just incredible. To now say, ‘I’m a woman too and I face the unique opportunities and oppressions of my own culture as they did in the Bible,’ that continuum of being a woman in community is a shared experience.”
The writing groups scheduled times to meet and fellowship, then opening their Bibles to capture the story before them, said Trillia Newbell, author of one chapter in the FAITHFUL book which released May 1.
For the entire group of contributors, one key motivating factor was to display the unity of the church, specifically women within the church, and give a focused, intentional piece of art to express scriptural truth, connecting women of God to each other.
“It displays, really, the body of Christ – all of our gifts, and all of the different things that we bring together,” Newbell said. “It’s a display of what Paul says, that we are a body of many parts, and I don’t know of anything like this where you get songwriters and authors together to write about the stories of women in the Bible in hopes to shine a light on God and glorify Jesus.”
By focusing on who Jesus is, specifically, his faithfulness, the experience and understanding of God grows even more personal, Newbell told Baptist Press.
“For women in particular, we have seen so much unfaithfulness, whether it’s from leaders, or abuse – there’s just so much that we have endured, or that we have seen friends endure,” she said. “We want to be reminded that God is faithful, He is always faithful, He is enduring, He is persevering, and nothing will ever separate us from the love of Christ Jesus.”
“Really, it’s about an encounter with God and that He’s so merciful and mighty, but that He is willing to meet us in the mundane,” said Christy Nockels, songwriter and singer for the project. “I hope that women will be able to hear these stories and say ‘Oh, that’s right where I am, these lines are what I’m living right now.’ I hope it will cause these stories to come alive.”
For more information, visit www.faithfulproject.com.
–Dwight Widaman | Metro Voice
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