"The Inklings, they were called. C.S. Lewis' officially unofficial club at Oxford."

"I know," he replied. "I've been to the pub - "

"The Eagle and the Child!"

"Yes, but they called it the Bird and the Baby."

"I'm envious of you," I said chuckling jealously. "I'd love to do something like that, though."

"Go to Oxford?"

"No - well, yeah - but what I mean is to have an "Inklings" of our own…"

That may not be exactly how the above exchange happened all those years ago, but it captures the sentiment of the conversation. I was talking with Pastor Ronnie Rogers and a friend about our shared literary love for C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien. Would either Narnia or Middle Earth be what they are today if those men had not known one another? If Lewis had not encouraged Tolkien to keep on with the work, to continue the story, urging him that the War of the Ring must be resolved? Would we have Lewis' Space Trilogy if he and Tolkien had not together lamented the shortcomings of science fiction tales?

All musings and pondering aside, those two friends and I began meeting together monthly. Our intention was to encourage each other in one another's creative endeavors. Along the way we have been joined by others. From works-in-progress to final drafts, we have acted as springboards for one another's imaginative ideas while offering feedback, constructive criticism, and encouragement. Once each month - over bread, cheese, and coffee - one might hear the strumming of a guitar, a tale of fantastical adventure, or an advanced discourse in theology.

And so it goes still. We are an informal collective of artists, musicians, writers, theologians, laymen and pastors who meet together monthly at the Advancement Creative office. Here and on the blog we share our thoughts, works, and friendship. And, we welcome you.

May the adventure go ever onward.