November 2021 Gathering

November 9th

A warm welcome was extended to all who came, with an eye-catching display of items and memories of the past 18 months and of course bottomless coffee.

Our Kingdom Arts worship began with a song of praise “Strength will rise” followed by “Faithful One so unchanging”. The wonderful musicians played and sang with joy and enthusiasm encouraging us all to join in.

We continued with words of Hope from the scriptures and I felt particularly moved by the words from Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.”

Following a time of prayer and reflection we shared more wonderful stories and memories from lockdown – including painting, sewing, decorating, and learning to play music and sing.

We continued by expanding our collection of butterflies for an installation to represent Hope.

There were well spaced tables [with hand sanitiser] where crafting took place.

There were folded butterflies, cut out butterflies, paper, sewn and origami butterflies to name but a few methods of construction.

The collection is numbering hundreds and will look amazing.

We ended with a blessing.

It is hoped that this installation will be completed by our next meeting on December 14th from 9.30 to 12.30 when we celebrate with the theme of Christmas! Please come and join us.

It is our aim to return to longer meetings including lunch in the New Year (hopefully!)


 

October 2021 Gathering

12th October

Eighteen months after our last meeting . . .

We‘re back!

This morning was a great occasion – meeting friends, chatting and feeling that warmth which is always present at Kingdom Arts.

A time of worship was followed by ‘Show and tell’ – an opportunity to share with others what we had been up to during our enforced separation. Nobody knew how the session would go. It had been decided that, for this first time back together, normal craft activities would be avoided as we worked out what everyone would be comfortable with. There were concerns that no one would appear and, even if they did, no-one would have anything to say.

Our fears were unfounded. The variety of activities was truly astounding. There were so many who wished to ‘show and tell’ that half of the items have been held over for next month, when we will also begin a project based on butterflies.

Meanwhile enjoy these pictures from our triumphant return:-

temple building (finished at last!)

Shefali gave us a thoughtful poem

Death where is your sting

In the falling of darkness, as the sun slipped into the covers and sleep.
It’s last message of the day was the sheer presence of beauty spreading itself across the night sky as dusk took over.
Brilliant colours of the blend of red and orange and hints of mauve and yellow.
Weaving themselves like a blanket covering across the sky.
And I knew beauty had visited us.
But for a moment, and in that scene and excitement a wonder born-again within me.
Warmth of delight coming alive with a sense of celebration and delight.

We both looked in awe and wonder and spoke out our delight.
My heart recognising then, as we shared playful, dancing banter between us.
That the silent majesty of the ordinary, like things we often never notice.
Friendships and love,
Sacrifice that emerges for a moment from a subdued presence
that stand out like the night sky colours.
Standing in their true radiance as gifts we could never have earned or achieved.
Thank you for allowing that beauty in friendship to emerge.

Shefali

Tea and coffee – an essential part of the morning

Return to Kingdom Arts- How was it for you?

Here’s what Ruth thought:-

Hi,
I was truly inspired by this morning.
On returning home I thought I needed to write some of what I had experienced.
This is what I have just written without editing just straight from my heart.

The Return of Kingdom Arts

A symphony I thought, or symposium perhaps,
Splendid variations on a theme.
A theme of praise and thanksgiving to creator God
Who has proved himself faithful yet again-
Faithful through the Lockdown storm
As he was to Noah, in the days of the Ark.
The time came to open the door and let everyone out
Tentatively at first, in wonder that the waters had receded
-yet muddy pools and boggy areas remained.
A new beginning, having survived the rain,
New life, new ways lay before them.

And so, for us, as we venture out
After months of Lockdown and isolation.
We meet to share life that has grown in the darkness.
Painting, poetry, crafts and song,
Living beings amongst the memories recalled,
And we experience the Creator, the Image Maker.
We, the images, have created after His nature.
Our Father has expressed Himself through us
In diverse ways-thus creating a symphony
To Himself-different instruments creating a tune
Of thankfulness, glorifying Him who created through us
In the darkest of days.

Joy and blessings,
Looking forward to more Kingdom Arts.

Ruth


Next time . . .

Our theme is HOPE . . .

. . taking the symbol of Butterflies . . .

If you have the time, we would like you to make a butterfly or two to hang within the church. Paper, fabric, etc. Make them anyway you like as long as they are light and can be hung. Bring them with you to the next meeting on November 9th. Not too big – you can get an idea of the size from this picture

Here are some instructions for one method of making a paper butterfly

You can find a video demonstrating this technique by clicking on this link:-

Easy Paper Butterfly – YouTube

If you click the link, you will leave the Kingdom Arts site and be taken to YouTube (you may well have to watch an advertisement – sorry!)

See you all in November

 

September 2021

HOT OFF THE PRESS

Hello to you all,

We are excited to tell you that we are starting KINGDOM ARTS again on TUESDAY OCTOBER 12th in Church at 10.00am. We have missed you so much and we are keen to make sure everything is in place for your first return so there will be a few modifications to our normal Gathering.   We want to reassure you that we will do everything possible to make you feel safe so the chairs will be socially distanced and hand sanitizer available. If you feel more comfortable wearing masks that’s fine especially if moving around the church. We will gather at 10.00 am as normal and will finish early. We have 1-1½ hrs in mind for this first occasion.

NO LUNCH – Sadly we can’t offer some of Jan’s amazing soups this month but coffee will be available. We need to take it slowly at first as I am sure some of you may feel nervous about mixing in groups again.  We will have a time of worship at the beginning but we feel we  cannot offer working on art tables and sharing of equipment this month but we are getting there, so………….

WILL YOU BRING with you to share anything you have been doing on the creative front during Lockdown ……….art, needlecrafts, poetry, photos of projects, music, models, stitching and so on. If you don’t have an “arty” item to bring, maybe you have something in your house which you treasure and which has a “story” or particular meaning to you that you could bring along instead. We can then have a good time connecting again with one another and do what we do best……. sharing and chatting in this lovely building and with you lovely people.

If you have nothing to bring, don’t let that stop you!
DO COME or let us know if there are any concerns you may have.

With our love to you and see you soon,

Alex x and Sue x

Jul/Aug 2021 Journal

July 8th

JULY AND AUGUST KINGDOM ARTS NEWS.

Hello to you all,

We hope you have a great Summer visiting family and friends now life seems to be returning slowly to what it once was.

We are excited about when we can meet you all again in person and share some artistic creations and God filled moments with you. We are in the process of planning when and how that will be but rest assured we do want to be back with you all! We will be contacting you again in September when we will have more ideas as to how this can happen.

Meanwhile we give thanks for the way God has watched over us all during this pandemic, the way we have kept faith with one another and kept in touch and for the Hope that He alone brings. We continue to hold onto the words from 1 Peter 1:3-4:

“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you”

Meanwhile if you have any creative juices flowing in art, poetry, collage, gardening, needlecraft do post them in for our website, for all to see.

Bless you all and we will be in touch in September.

Love Alex x and Sue x


July 11th

Ruth Campsall has been busy:

“I have called upon some almost redundant sewing skills in order to make this little fox as a gift for my granddaughter.”

‘Crafty’ Fox

July 12th

A pictorial reflection
Frances

July 30th

An unfinished Rag Rug

In this strange in-between time I thought it was a good moment to take out a unfinished rag rug, I had been making some time ago.

Rag rugs were made by prodding and hooking pieces of old material into burlap, often old sacks. The craft is still explored, but more often in North America.

Fortunately I still had lots of relevant material, so there was no excuse not to get started! I remembered that there were knitting groups, who pray as they knit. I felt that this would be a good opportunity to seek God’s guidance in prayer as one prodded.

As I worked prayers began to develop, but in this account I have only written down the ‘Prayer Points’ (PP)

To start with I was delighted and thankful I could still remember the actual technique needed. PP prayer for all lost talents, and self esteem that accompanies many with dementia and brain damage.

Many of my material pieces were cut from

clothing bought in charity shops. PP prayer for all charities struggling to raise funds during this difficult time.

Some of the clothes may well have been made in sweatshops both here and abroad, often in appalling conditions and with poor pay. PP prayer that these conditions will be improved, with children’s welfare being considered, and proper pay being given to the workers.

Having seen an exhibition of clothes collected on beaches which were washed up from shipwrecked refugee boats. PP prayer for all refugees struggling for a better life.

Years ago these mats were often all that people had to cover their floors. PP thankfulness that people are much more ready to recycle, and care for our natural resources.

The pieces were like people. PP we give thanks for all who have helped and shaped us in many different ways, now and in the past.

The actual sitting and quietly prodding, has created a time of peace. PP pray that in this difficult time people, through God’s help, find what brings them true peace and hope for the future.

The mat is nearly finished, and I am sure more prayers will form. I will still need help in making a backing for the mat, how true, it is only God that will give us all the strength and shape for wear in this world and into eternity.

Helen


June 2021 Journal

June 1st

Lemon Scones – we promised you this recipe last month, but we missed the deadline. Here it is now

Lemon Scones. Makes 8.

Ingredients

400 g self-raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
100 g butter, cubed
100 g caster sugar
150 ml milk – not chilled (warmed slightly).
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 egg, beaten
Zest and juice of 2 lemons
Pinch of salt

Method
1 Pre-heat the oven to 220C/200C fan/gas 7. Line a baking tray with baking paper.
2 Tip the flour and baking powder into a large bowl with a pinch of salt, then mix.
3 Add the butter, then rub in with your fingers until the mix looks like fine crumbs. Stir in the caster sugar.
4 Make a well in the dry mix, then add the milk, lemon juice and zest, and combine it quickly with a table knife until it makes a soft dough – use a little more milk if necessary.
5 Turn the dough out onto a floured work surface, knead a little, then pat it out or roll it to about 3cm deep. Use a 7cm round cutter to cut out 10 scones.
6 Place on the baking tray and brush the tops with a beaten egg. Bake for approx. 12-15 mins until risen and golden on the top.

Eat with either butter or clotted cream and maybe some lemon curd. You may also like to top the cooled scones with lemon icing (made with icing sugar with added lemon juice).

Editor: As a complete novice, I tested this recipe. I used a food processor for the mixing in steps 2 and 3, then transferred to a large bowl for step 4.

Not sure I got the dough consistency right, but I coped. Couldn’t achieve the recommended thickness, so I used a smaller cutter (6cm) and ended up with 14 small scones of various sizes!

However, “the proof of the pudding is in the eating”.

– They were really nice.


June 21st

This month’s message is late. The Editor lost the plot!
(that’s me currently, although I may be removed from office. Sorry)

Here is some input from David for this month:-

Like many of you, Alex and I have been spending a little more time in the garden. I am reminded that the Bible story tells how God provided a garden for us when He first created humankind. Like the ancient hanging gardens of Babylon that seems to have been a garden largely comprised of trees. By the time of Solomon, if the Song of Songs is anything to go by, interest had moved on to any leafy or flowering plant that produced fragrant perfume.

Today we like the wide variety of the many shapes and colours of our flowers easily available in so many different garden centres. All this bears witness to our continuing creativity. It never ceases to fascinate me – humankind’s inexhaustible faith and hope that something new and good is always waiting there to be found and we shall always be provided with the arts and crafts and skills to handle it. And so, every year there are new bulbs, new roses, new clematis.

The Bible calls on us to seek and build the Kingdom of God. That is to do all we can to build a world, as our Bishop John expresses it, of love, compassion, justice and freedom. Everything we do out of faith or hope or love for Jesus and our fellow beings, (the gold, silver and costly stones of 1 Corinthians 3.12), contributes to that Heavenly Jerusalem coming down from heaven to earth at the end of time. May the Lord bless as you continue to seek the well-being of those around you.
David New


All this thinking about flowers, gardens, plants will hopefully kick start some creativity within you in art, needlework, poetry, photography, music, etc. . . . .

Send us your contributions as we love to add them to our ever growing website. It’s been so hard not meeting you all so we hope you haven’t forgotten us and will be eagerly awaiting some return to our creative monthly gatherings.

With our love to you and looking forward to meeting up again soon,
Love Alex x and Sue x


 

May 2021 Journal

May 5th

Hello to you all

Well! It’s May now although it’s felt like November lately with the hail and rain and winds! I trust all is good with you and your family and friends. This month, with lockdown easing, I thought it would be good to look at the story of Zacchaeus in Luke 19:1-10.Here Jesus invites himself into Zacchaeus house for a meal. I expect you are all looking forward to opening up your house and inviting friends and family inside for food. It’s been a long time hasn’t it? We can learn so much from this story of friendship, hospitality, welcome, forgiveness, and an openness to everyone whatever their background, race or gender. Zacchaeus was so ready to welcome Jesus into his life and to be changed by the experience. This is a real story of hope and transformation.

Coming this month:-

Jan Kear, our brilliant chef, has sent in a Spring soup recipe for us to try and a delicious zesty lemon scone treat for those tea parties you are going to plan. Maybe after all this time of restrictions and with so many people being on their own, it’s a good time to think about inviting people, maybe those you don’t know really well, into your home for one of Jan’s delicious scones. Hospitality was so important to Jesus in his ministry.

How about having a go at some creative writing too? Barbara has set you a challenge with some hints/ideas for this. It looks fun so do give it a go and send it to us. Your contributions are always so interesting, creative and thought provoking.

Do keep in touch with us as we love to hear your news and how things have been for you during this time. We WILL get together soon.

With love Alex x and Sue x


May 6th

A Creative Writing Challenge!

As we are all looking forward to a face to face meeting our friends face to face for a cup of tea and a good chat, I chose “friendship”, for this month’s activity.

Jesus made friends with a wide range of people, including fishermen, (Matthew 4;18-23) a tax collector Zacchaeus (Luke 19;1-10), and Martha and Mary (Luke 10; 38-42)

He had many wonderful qualities: so, what do you think makes a friend?

Please will you write about your friends or friendships and why they are important to you. You might include their qualities, how you met, what you enjoy doing together, or a favourite memory you share.

For a real challenge how about putting it into a Haiku or a poem?

I look forward to seeing your thoughts in writing.

Good luck! Barbara


May 11th

A soup for Spring

The colour of this soup is reminiscent of the new green growth of spring and is highly nutritious. It can be adapted for vegans by missing out the cream and eggs, milk or milk substitute could be used in place of cream, or just miss it out. It serves 4.

Ingredients

For the croutons:-
4 slices of sourdough bread., crusts removed and cut into cubes.
1 tbsp olive oil.

For the soup:-
1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion finely chopped
2 celery sticks chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 litre vegetable stock
1 large broccoli head (350g)
250g spinach
100ml double cream
4 medium eggs
1 red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
Salt and pepper to taste

Method

1. Make croutons, preheat oven to 200 degrees centigrade, or mark 6. Toss bread, oil and seasoning, place on a baking tray. Cook for 10 min or until golden brown. Set aside.

2. Heat the oil in a large pan over low heat and cook the onion for 5 min, add the celery and cook for 5 min. Stir in the garlic and cook for 1 min more.

3. Stir in stock and bring to the boil. Chop broccoli including the stalk and add to the pan. Simmer for 10 mins. Stir through the spinach to wilt. Place in a blender or liquidiser and wiz until smooth. Stir through cream (if using) season to taste.

4. Poach the eggs for 4 mins, test by lifting out with a slotted spoon – the white should feel firm but the yolk remains soft. Drain eggs on kitchen paper.

5. To serve ladle soup into 4 bowls and top each with an egg, croutons and a sprinkling of chilli.

The soup can be cooled and frozen without the toppings.


May 25th

We have a response to Barbara’s creative writing challenge:

Friendship

Fifty-seven years ago Rosemary and I met on a holiday in Norway. It was a walking holiday and we were both with elderly relatives. Later she told me that she had seen my walking boots tied onto my suitcase. She thought I was an avid walker. She soon discovered that I was no mountain goat, as we both usually took up the rear on walks, while our elderly relatives bounded ahead! That was the start of a very rich friendship, like a piece of colourful weaving.

Rosemary died last year, and looking back over the years I realise we both worked hard at weaving a good picture. We shared friends, holidays (not walking ones!), parents, interests, laughter and all the ups and downs of life. We knew when more caring was needed, and how to cope with each others idiosyncrasies, sometimes a challenge for both of us. The most precious thread we wove was the time we spent talking about the love of God. Latterly we could not visit one another, but long phone calls, and many prayers and poems bridged the gap. We both knew that all through our pains and joys, God was our rock. I so miss her, and still reach for the phone to call her, but I am confident she is now out of pain, and safely with her beloved Lord.

Her death has made me look at friendship more closely, and made me realise that good friends are a very precious gift from God. As in an Advent calendar each door opens onto a different picture, as we are all different, and we receive and give to each other in different ways, helping us towards the person we are. If our sights are on the glorious birth of Jesus as shown in the last door, then the friendship, however complex is rich beyond words.

Thank you, Lord.

© Helen McNichol


 

April 2021 Journal

We had our second ‘Zoom’ gathering at the end of March.

A big ‘thank you’ to all who took part in it, for the wonderful and quite emotional dramas, to the lovely music and such meaningful prayers and the beautiful art work from our archives and to all who joined in. The sharing time at the end was so special, hearing people’s heartfelt stories will stay with me.
Alex

Here are some samples from the morning – memories for those who were there, glimpses of what you missed for everyone else:

Crosses

Barbara

Using last years palm cross as a base; I glued metal objects such as washers, staples, nails etc to represent the nuts and bolts of life. The cross, as a Christian symbol, represents for me Christ holding together our lives.

Bob

At Christmas I was tasked with helping to remove the Christmas tree from the balcony of the church and it was suggested that it should be saved for an Easter project. The project was to trim it, cut it and form a cross to represent the crucifixion. A prime bit of recycling, representing the journey from birth to death.

Lesley

I made these crosses from woven painted paper strips, the random patterns and weaving reflecting how God takes every aspect of my life and weaves it together for his purposes. I have now added the lettering ‘He is risen’ and ‘Our Loving Hope’ and sent them for my Easter cards.

Helen
Quilling

While making the cross, I felt most grateful for all the spiritual help over many years from churches and people. However, it was difficult to imagine the sheer horror of the crucifixion. I remembered the large cross we made at Kingdom Arts, with the triumphant gold of the resurrection on the reverse of the horror and we must give thanks for this especially at this time.

Alex
Cross made with Dorset buttons

Holy week has always been a very important week for me, not only following the way of Jesus every day from Palm Sunday through to Easter Day but because of a significant event that happened in Holy week many years ago. My Dad, who was a wonderful Christian and who I was very close to, died in Holy week. I had sat with him and my sister and Mum for several days when he was so ill. I took some cross stitch work and made lots of different shaped crosses which I gave to the staff caring for him. This Holy week I decided to make some Dorset buttons and make them into a cross to place in our window. We have been studying the book “Living His Story” this Lent and how to share our story of faith with those we meet. I am hoping the cross will be a talking point in sharing my story with my neighbours. I have made the cross in yellows and golds, the colours of the Resurrection.

Ruth

My cross is made from cubic letter beads which one of my grandchildren originally made into a bracelet for me. The letters spell out the several different names by which the family call me: Ruth, Grandma, Grandma Ruth, Mandma and simply Mum. I used these letters to make my cross.
As I gazed upon it and thought of the Easter story the scripture from Galatians 2:20 came to mind. “I have been crucified with Christ, and the life I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God who loved me and gave Himself for me.”
It occurred to me that just as Jesus died for each one of us and rose again from the dead to give us resurrection life, using the letters of my name to make the cross was a symbolic way of expressing this reality for me personally.

Music

The Kingdom Arts singers
David, Vikki and Charles
Sue and Trevor

Arranged by Gareth Roberts, Sue’s son-in-law.


 

March 2021 Peg Crosses

Making a cross out of wooden clothes pegs

Take some ordinary pegs and remove the springs . . .

 

 

 

 

Design 1 : Using 14 pegs

IMPORTANT: Allow the glue to dry after each stage. Be patient.

Remove the springs and glue 13 of the pegs back-to-back. Leave the last peg unglued . . .

(There are only eleven shown in the picture)

Glue three pegs together . . .

Make four of these.

Extend the fourth one using the remaining glued peg and the last two halves and glue together as shown . . .

Position the four arms of the cross.
I found it useful to draw a cross on paper as a guide.

Glue on a centre piece of your choosing. This gives the cross a little more strength.

The cross can then be left plain or decorated.

The final cross

Design 2 : Using 15 pegs

Remove the springs and glue the pegs back together. (15 separate pegs – not one great big lump!)

Paint five pegs a different colour (I’ve painted mine black)

Not sure why there are only four black ones in the picture, there should be five!

Glue three pegs as shown below. The middle peg should be black, but I’ve made it grey so you can see how they are arranged more easily. With hindsight, I see that I should have used a lighter colour than black!

Make five of these.

Glue them onto a backing as shown.

Check out the internet for ideas or experiment.
You can use full size pegs or smaller ones sold by on-line craft shops.
The very small ones are a bit fiddly.

Vikki


To see the March 2021 Journal
click here >> March 2021 Journal


 

March 2021 Journal

KINGDOM ARTS
invite you to
Join us on our Easter Journey


ZOOM in on TUESDAY, MARCH 30th
10.30 -12.00

Have your Hot Cross Buns ready!
Make your own Cross
or find out how to make one here on the Kingdom Arts website
(see March 8th below)

RSVP to your contact person for ZOOM login details


March 3rd

Imbolc

Imbolc or Imbolg, also called St. Brigid’s Day, is a Gaelic traditional festival marking renewal, resurgence, and the beginning of Spring. It was traditionally held on 1st February. It lands about halfway between the Winter Solstice and the Spring Equinox. (Wikipedia)

Shefali writes:

It’s not been easy to get started.

I wasn’t sure I was ready to break out wake up to begin to arise, part of me is still not sure.

But yesterday I started to dig my garden for first time, to clear leaves etc. and as I did I looked for signs of cracks in earth, looking for signs of life, the miracle of hope that seeds had survived and, there it was, a few light green shoots starting to appear.

In this lockdown it held magic and beauty for me and that night I cried as I was thankful things had survived underground, when there seems no life and all is dead, when in my own journey I grieve for many loved ones I have lost this year to untimely death and my thought of whether I too will ever survive and rise again.

There it was, hope cracking open the earth to find its way on its journey of life. Waking up a song I have yet to sing, here be picked in my drawing. It just developed.

She and He came, moon and sun together, the awakening to possibilities.

And I am reminded of Song of Songs, chapter 2

Awake, wake up, rise up and come away, the winter is past, flowers are appearing, the season of singing is coming.

Hope arises.

© Shefali, February 2021


March 8th

KINGDOM ARTS: EASTER ZOOM 30th MARCH 2021

For our Easter Zoom meeting, we invite you to think about The Cross and to join us as we travel towards our individual Easter journeys.

To help you do this we would like you to make your own cross in any way you wish. We are posting a few ideas to get you inspired.

Sue says:

Whilst on retreat a while back I came across this little book –

Making Crosses by Ellen Morris Prewitt

It gives encouragement to pray through the making of crosses. The crosses in the book are constructed from natural materials or found objects. They are simply made. It is a chance to use what we perhaps regard as rubbish and to give it new meaning, or to take something already imbued with beauty, in order that we can concentrate on our feelings of love, awe and gratitude for God.
The pictures below need no explanation as to how they were made, but the cross put together with two pieces of Welsh slate holds significance for me and is a reminder of a particular Easter when my life was at a turning point. The actual making of the cross helped me to focus on God.
Have a go, be creative with what you can find in your house or garden.

You will be able to show any cross you make to others at the Easter Zoom meeting. We look forward to seeing your efforts.
Sue.

Examples from Sue:

Examples from Vikki:

These last three are made from wooden clothes pegs.

If you would like to see more detailed instructions for Designs 1 and 2
click here >> Making peg crosses


March 9th

Mothering

Early morning Spring mists clear,
revealing Mother God’s nurtured Earth.
Restless to reveal hidden treasures,
as ladies-in-waiting
count the days towards new life.

But only God knows the day and time
for mothers and Earth to give birth,
rejoicing at the wonder of the Holy gifts.
With nodding snowdrops ringing joy,
birds joining the chorus.

 

A counterpane of royal gold and purple,
spreading over gardens and verges.
Soft, soothing greens
beginning to cover the land.

While mothering hands tend receptive young,
fulfilling needs and giving love.
Encouraging them to cross over
the rocking suspension bridge of life,
preparing for the path ahead.

Like resilient, reliable daisies
that brave the winter storms and trampling feet,
ready for future moral battle,
to weave threads of joy and peace
amongst the tangled threads
of pain, loneliness and fear.
Strengthened and upheld
with the constant Mother love of God.

 

Helen

 

February Writing 2021

February 1st

From Frances

Based on Isaiah 43

Now you’ve asked me to be your guide, you will know that we tread the path of life together. That means, for you, there will be a new way, a new normal, a new experience. We will be so team spirited that those meandering paths in life will seem straight and the landscape flat to walk on. I will be your shelter, your living water, your nourishment for life’s journey. You can look back, but it will offer you so little reward that you will want to face forward and move forwards. The view will fulfil you completely. Your perception will be clear. No matter what lies ahead, you will know that all is possible with me. You will not need to be afraid. You will see families, friends and nations come together and be reconciled. Enough of this ‘walking solo’. We will have a community focus. I am doing something new. I am bringing a new desire for unity, a new perspective to treasure and you will all want to remain responsible for its care, because you will see that I care for you with a love that is deep, strong, and unquantifiable because of its magnitude.

You know that, like many before you, you have had eras of your life that have left you dry and wanting. You have walked those desert paths! All life tries to protect itself from the rays of the sun, the piercing sun, that burns as though it has doubled in size and intensity. In your desert era, you tried desperately to escape from it but there was no shelter and no way to progress pain free. On those desert paths, walking, hopping, or running burns underfoot, scolds and forms sores on your skin. Anything and everything made your own desert era worse and there was nowhere and no way to hide, though you tried. Desert travel turns the sensations of thirst and hunger into close enemies. Your own desert experience made enemies of your own mind, body, and soul. You endured the valleys of life’s arduous paths whilst being chained to false hope for better times ahead. Those times were like deceptive paths of promise that are steep, rocky, and dangerous to climb. In that time of your life, you longed to see a fresh landscape heralding better times ahead because you felt your life was at stake.

But you can be reassured, pilgrim, your life is safe because I am the author of life. I do not deal death in the way people often understand death. People understand death as an end, as if life is finite but I am without beginning or end and I work outside of time. My time is in the eternal era of ‘everlasting’. You are my creation and life, your life, doesn’t end. Your life is precious to me because I formed you. As your creator, we will always have an indelible connection. There isn’t even anything I would give you up for. I have everything and you are treasured part of my everything. There’s no one I would give you to. Why would I give you to someone or something that I have created, that I already own? I wouldn’t even want to put you under someone else’s authority. To do so wouldn’t make any sense. What would be the point of giving you to someone who would not love you as I love you? I would never part from you because my love and compassion for you is perfect and insurmountable.

So, let’s talk while we walk this journey called life . . .

©Frances Burton


February 17th

Ash Wednesday

As memories of pancakes vanish
the Lenten offering awaits
for bowed heads and contrite hearts.
Humanly torn crosses lie dismantled,
echoing past and present human conflicts,
along with self-made, bewildering human pain
that numbs and paralyses the mind.
But those crosses are blessed,
purified by God’s cleansing fire,
igniting the promise of growth to come.
Blended by drops of healing, Holy oil.
Ready to be used as a witness
to God’s great forgiveness and everlasting Love.
Strengthened with a million uttered prayers
from every race and nation,
And outstretched helping hands,
so that we can live with renewed strength –
in God’s Faith, Hope and Love

Helen McNichol


February 22nd

A reflection from Frances:

The Lord is the Greatest Creator

The Lord is the greatest creator and we are full of joy.

Built into the laws of the universe,
hope can be found in disaster
and we are included so we can bring hope
and light up love as the answer.

Integral to the laws of the universe,
growth is seen in unforeseen places
and deep inside we thirst to thrive
and do the unexpected.

Innate within the laws of the universe,
We can find peace in discord and separation,
and we are included so that we can bring
accord and reparation.

Inherent in the laws of the universe,
There is a pure source of patience,
And we are included so we can resource
patience in static situations.

The Lord is the greatest creator and we are full of joy.

Reflection on Psalm 126 verse 3 by Frances Burton