Art has tremendous power to shape culture and touch the human heart. Its artifacts embody the ideas and desires of the coming generation. This means that what is happening in the arts today is prophetic of what will happen in our culture tomorrow. It also means that when Christians abandon the artistic community, we lose a significant opportunity to communicate Christ to our culture. And when we settle for trivial expressions of the truth in worship and art, we ourselves are diminished as we suffer a loss of transcendence. What we need to recoverâ€”or possibly discover for the first timeâ€”is a full biblical understanding of the arts. Then we will be able to produce better art that more effectively testifies to the truth about God and his grace. This is important not just for artists, but for everyone made in Godâ€™s image and in need of redemption. These are some of the important themes we hope to consider at our 2005 Urban Missions Conference. I hope you will make participation a priority, not just on Sunday, but at the other events planned for the conference. As Christians we should lead the way in reclaiming the arts and restoring them to their true purpose. We are living in a fallen and broken world; yet for all its ugliness, this world was made by God and will be saved by his grace. Therefore, we should devote our skill to making art for the glory of God, and for the sake of his Sonâ€”our beautiful Savior, Jesus Christ.