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.


 

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 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 2021 Journal

February 1st

We kick off this month with a thoughtful article from Frances which includes a pop-up picture and some creative writing inspired by Isaiah Chapter 43.

Frances explains:

Last month’s Kingdom Arts  focused on Isaiah 43, verse 19: “See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.

I took ‘springs up’ quite literally! I wanted to try to make a pop-up from a picture with streams of water in what would otherwise be a desert wasteland. Despite looking beautiful because of the water in the foreground and a stunning sunset, the terrain would have been uninhabitable. Perfect for the metaphors in Isaiah 43!

Using the original, I altered and printed a copy. I positioned it on the original scene and decided to keep both suns to emphasise the intensity and ferocity of heat on the desert and its creatures.

Frances’ pop-up, Isaiah 43, image 1

Initially, I felt as though I was forming a miniature theatrical set! It took many attempts to get my head around where to make the cuts! Trial and error technique … helped by a trusty tube of prittstick glue.

I set to work with the challenge to make details pop-up.  In order to extend the background, I had to use an identical image right at the back.

When it began to come together, I was able to focus on the verse rather than the maths needed to do the art – but I soon needed to read the whole chapter of Isaiah and rewrite them as a word from God to a modern audience who can empathise with ‘desert experiences’, particularly in this time when we are in a covid-19 lockdown.

Frances’ pop-up, Isaiah 43, image 2

Click here to read Frances’ contribution in February Writing page


February 4th

Hello Again, We seem to be in the same position as we were last time we wrote to you except, of course, some of you may have received the vaccine….. a great step forward ! As it says in Psalm 126:3

“The LORD has done great things for us; we are glad.”

As we look outside and see the beginnings of Spring with the bulbs shooting up and the sun shining, even if weekly, through our windows, we can take heart that better things are on the way. We live in the Hope of the gospel.

I happened to come across this from Pope Francis’ work “Laudato Si” and it was entitled a Prayer for our Earth. I am sure this will get your creative juices flowing. Enjoy reading and praying it. You could print it and illustrate it in some way and send it to us so we can put it on the website as a breath of Spring and Hope to encourage us all.

All-powerful God, you are present in the whole universe
and in the smallest of your creatures.
You embrace with your tenderness all that exists.
Pour out upon us the power of your love,
that we may protect life and beauty.
Fill us with peace, that we may live
as brothers and sisters, harming no one.
O God of the poor,
help us to rescue the abandoned and forgotten of this earth,
so precious in your eyes.
Bring healing to our lives,
that we may protect the world and not prey on it,
that we may sow beauty, not pollution and destruction.
Touch the hearts
of those who look only for gain
at the expense of the poor and the earth.
Teach us to discover the worth of each thing,
to be filled with awe and contemplation,
to recognize that we are profoundly united
with every creature
as we journey towards your infinite light.
We thank you for being with us each day.
Encourage us, we pray, in our struggle
for justice, love and peace.


STOP PRESS

Kingdom Arts Gathering on Zoom to celebrate Easter.

TUESDAY MARCH 30th . . . 10.30a.m.

Details to come.

With love Alex and Sue xx


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


New life springs from the harshness of winter.

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


 

January 2021 Journal

If you want to see the earlier entries,
click here >> Coronavirus Journal for December


January 4th

All of us at Kingdom Arts wish you a very Happy New Year for 2021.

We hold on to God’s promises for us for this New Year, for us to receive the Vaccine and a return to meeting with one another again. I hope you had a good Christmas Celebration, perhaps not in the way you may have hoped but one that you will remember for a long time! I expect, like us, you are just waiting for our world, our country, our lives to get back to some sort of normality, order and routine.

Maybe you haven’t had the energy or desire to even think about being creative ! Today is the day for you to look ahead into 2021, to thank God for keeping us all safe and to ask him what to do in this next period of our journey here on earth. I love this from Isaiah 43:18-19 “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert”

We have to keep moving forward. It is only in moving forward that we can accomplish what God has in store for us. We can’t stay where we are and after last year we don’t want to go backwards! The only way is forward….So let’s move on, keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus. He has called us to do amazing things. He will even make a road in the wilderness and rivers in the desert for us. It’s time now to focus on what lies ahead, it’s still uncertain and still scary but if we look to Him for our answers we can have confidence in the future laid out for us.

Maybe the Isaiah verse will get you thinking creatively – or maybe not!! -but do keep us in touch with how you are and what you have been up to. It was really great seeing so many of you on our Christmas Zoom Gathering. What a lovely time we had together, worshipping, singing, praying and sharing … not forgetting the soup too! Did anyone have a go at making it? I am sure Jan would like your feedback. Thank you to those of you who wrote to us afterwards to encourage us to plan another. Watch this space!

A big thank you to all who have sent in bits and pieces for the website, making it so interesting, varied and creative. Do send anything at all which  you think may interest others – practical items, art, music, poetry – anything which has helped you to cope during lockdown. We can display words, pictures, sound and video as long as it’s your own creations. This website is only as good as the contributions you send in.

May the God of Hope and Peace watch over you in 2021.

With love Alex xx and Sue xx

January 9th

An Advent report

Jan Butterworth received a message from Lesley Brown, one of our regular Kingdom Arts members, which included a detailed description of activities which took place in her local community during Advent. It all sounded so interesting, we thought you would like to see it . . .

Despite not being physically in church, the Christmas period has been just as busy as usual for me. We have our Sunday morning 9.30 gathering on ‘Zoom’ and have between 50 and 80 joining. A great joy has been having people who are distanced from us yet can join in our worship together – past members, relatives and some who have found themselves marooned in Europe – in Devon, France, S Africa & Nepal. I have ‘preached’ on Advent Sunday, midnight on Christmas Eve and last Sunday, Epiphany.

Greatest difficulty with ‘Zoom’ is it’s not good for children. As a Parish we thought of some different ways to celebrate Jesus’ coming. I was involved particularly in 2 initiatives.

Before Christmas we ran an Advent Light Trail, involving 10 houses putting up a lighted display of some sort in a window of their house. We created a Trail booklet with a heading, a Bible verse and a thoughtful question for families to engage with as they walked and looked. They were distributed to all the children at our First School & in church.

I had Joy to the World ‘I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all people’ Luke 2:10 What’s the best news you’ve heard? How did you feel?
I used a couple of old Christmas cards to plan my design. I made a cardboard frame to fit my bedroom window and stuck some glassine paper across it (found that in Malvern art shop – strong so didn’t tear). The rest was done with black card and tissue paper…

Finished work from the back – before it was placed in the window
Close up
View from the ground

I met a few of the people coming round on the Trail and the neighbours loved it.

Between 20-28th Dec we created a semi-life-sized nativity scene in the porch of our old little church at Cofton. Normally the church is used for services so the pandemic presented an unusual opportunity! Lots of people walk past St Michael’s because of where it is and it backs on to the new houses that have been built on the old Rover factory site – all in our Parish.

I constructed the body forms using things we had for junk modelling in Messy Church & stuff lurking in my house…..carpet rolls, cardboard tubes, chicken wire, old cushions & tights!

It all looks a bit Dr Who at this stage!

There was much hilarity taking those to be dressed by a couple of others, who did a magnificent job with the clothes & painting of face masks….

The feedback has been amazing – lots of visitors! I also did some thoughtful signposts on the path to it . . .

“God welcomes us. Come on a journey to look for Jesus”
“Wealthy wise men, smelly poor shepherds…we can all come to God just as we are”
“God in the flesh. This is the manger which one night became God’s throne room. Rest here in wonder!”
“Gold, frankincense & myrrh…What will be our gift to Jesus?”
“God guided, Joseph & Mary trusted, God has plans for us today!”

I send my love to you all and do look forward to the day I can join you again.

This is the prayer I used on Sunday, Epiphany…

God of surprises,
Older than we can imagine, yet ever new;
Help us to face change with courage and to live without fear
because we know that you journey with us.
Open us to hear you speaking
through unexpected people, in unexpected places, at unexpected times,
even those we have written off.
Enable us to embrace the unknown with joy,
and to be the light of your love in the world of today.

Very much love and greetings in our Lord,
Lesley Brown


January 17th

Two reflective pieces of creative writing from Helen:
‘Thoughts during a Cold Spell.’

A Changing World

We went to bed with temperatures falling,
and awoke to a changed, white, still World,
reminiscent of Winter coverings
in closed holiday homes.
And a bleary-eyed sun struggled to shine,
but ice-encrusted grass blades rose up,
ready for moral combat.
Piles of dormant, brown, Autumn leaves –
transformed into jewel-decked treasures.
The robin puffed up his feathers,
as we put on another jumper,
and found our protective clothing.
The elderly stayed at home,
while youngsters slide on ice with glee.
Motorists muttered quietly
as they scraped away the clinging frost,
to give them clearer vision
What are our homeless thinking?
Will they survive another night?
With God’s help and strength we will survive
to face and help a changing World.
Helen McNicholl.

Thoughts on a late afternoon Winter Walk

Thoughtfully I kicked my way
through motionless leaves,
fallen from resting trees.
Suddenly a breath of the Holy Spirit
sent the leaves flying and twirling.
A glorious resurrection before my eyes,
filling my heart with hope and joy.
Words from long ago were remembered;
uttered by a ‘wheelchair bound’ Joan.
“Oh Joy, when I’m in God’s Kingdom
I will walk, run and dance again.”
Do we try to dance to your tune God?
A seagull was perched on an old telegraph pole,
an avian refugee from coastal parts,
sampling Birmingham’s kind inclusiveness.
Was he dreaming of distant waves,
beating against rugged cliffs and ledges,
which once were home and company?
Or was he just thinking
‘I am King of the Castle’ ?
Who reigns supreme in our lives?
Gazed in wonder at the day’s last trumpet call,
overwhelmed by the colours of the setting sun.
How often have we missed the vision –
working late, pulling curtains?
Silhouetted, stripped trees were standing proud,
Their pure shapes visible for all to see.
No disguise or pretence.
Has Advent de-cluttered us?
The warmth of home beckoned
like the stable long ago welcoming shepherds.
Thank you Lord that you welcome all
to the home of your heart.
Helen McNicholl.


January 28th


 

December 2020 Journal

If you want to see the earlier entries,
click here >> Coronavirus Journal for November


December 8th

This month we’ve had our first meeting for nine months! Admittedly, it was a ‘Zoom’ meeting, but 26 of us were able to spend time together – worship together, chat together, laugh together and enjoy each others’ company. Let’s hope it won’t be too long before we are able to meet again in person at St George’s in Worcester.


 

Here are some excerpts from the gathering:-

We had a version of a well-known carol with several of us singing. Why not join in? . . .

We were treated to a new song from Sue:

Last year Shefalie wrote a beautiful poem – Mary’s response to the Angel’s visit to her. She read it to us . . .

Just before Shefali’s poem, there was a brief picture of a nativity scene. In fact, this is an altar frontal created by the craft group at St Peter’s Church, Ipsley (in Redditch).

In preparation, many of us had created origami angels before the meeting and these were displayed (see November Journal for instructions).

Vikki produced a very impressive macramé angel.

Vikki Moore

Instructions for this can be found on YouTube. Click the link below if you would like to see them.

DIY Macrame Angel Tutorial – YouTube


We were able to sing along to another song, led by David . . .

CCLI 516751

No Kingdom Arts meeting is complete without soup from Jan; and although we could not taste her offering, we could follow her instructions and make our own.

Instructions can be found on the BBC Good Food site. Click the link below if you are interested.

Cauliflower & chestnut soup recipe – (BBC Good Food)

If you prefer a demonstration, who better than ‘Jan the Chef’ to explain how to make your soup?? (Sorry the sound isn’t too good).

Soup demo – Part 1

Soup demo – Part 2

We finished with The Blessing from Sue

The meeting ended with plenty of chatter and smiles, with everyone looking forward to the next time together.


December 16th

A Christmas song from David


 

November 2020 Journal

If you want to see the earlier entries,
click here >> Coronavirus Journal for October
click here >> Coronavirus Journal for September
click here >> Coronavirus Journal for August

November 19th

Art work – Autumn Seeds
Rodney

November 17th

Advance notice of our December (virtual) gathering:

Invitation

We at Kingdom Arts invite you to join us in a ZOOM meeting on:

Tuesday Dec 8th 10.30-11.30

Christmas readings, carols, prayers, worship songs, chat and laughter. Mulled wine and mince pies (bring your own!)

We invite you to make an origami angel, see details and how to get instructions below.

If you get in touch with your Kingdom Arts contact, we will send you the Zoom code details.

Origami Angel

Details for making this Angel, recently promoted at Ripon Cathedral for an event called “A Wing and a Prayer” (There is a link to Ripon Cathedral at the end of this message).

Make your Angel any size or colour of your own choice. You could suspend your Angel with a length of thread through a pin-hole in the top or support it on a rod or pole from beneath.

You may like to write on the back of the wing some person or a particular need for prayer.

During the Gathering on December 8th there will be an opportunity to show these Angels and to offer the prayers.

I hope you enjoy making the Angel. I have tried to choose one that takes a bit of care but is not too difficult to achieve!

David

Click on the link below to go to the Ripon Cathedral website, then scroll down the page:

A Wing and a Prayer


November 10th

Hello Again,
Our regular monthly meeting should be today. Happy November!

Here we are again rumbling along to Christmas, not sure who we can see, where we can go and for how long and whether all the Tesco delivery slots will have gone! I thought it appropriate we chose the story this month from St. Mark’s Gospel (4:35-41) of the disciples in the boat and Jesus calming the storm. It’s an exciting story and visually amazing. I am sure you can get creative and come up with something out of this! Do have a go and send it in to us.

The significance of Jesus calming the storm is so very pertinent to what’s happening in our world today and is evidence of God’s love for us. Covid 19 has had a significant impact on our lives. We’re flooded by numerous types of storms weekly, daily, and even hourly!

These storms are both internal and external and the chaotic circumstances around us are beyond our control. Right now, many can relate to the disciples’ emotions when Jesus calmed the storm.

But as country after country go into lockdown, the same fear and panic the disciples experienced looms over us. What can we do to calm our fears?
We have to hold onto words from the Bible, prayers, hymns and worship songs to remind ourselves that God’s love for us can never be destroyed.

God is with us in our pain and fear and uncertainty and will lead us to a yet more glorious day. Keeping in touch with friends and family is important too, that’s why we keep this journal going to let you know that you are loved by God and by us!

Alex x and Sue x
PS This November we should have been celebrating our 5th Birthday!


Our first poem of the month comes from Helen, ‘Crossing over’

Read it in the November Writing page


A lockdown project

It took a little longer than the first lockdown, but it was fun.  Vikki loves gardening and had wanted a wildlife pond for some time.

You may have noticed the ‘Gnome Home’

Finished. Now what? . . .


Coronavirus Journal October

If you want to see the earlier entries,
click here >> Coronavirus Journal for September
click here >> Coronavirus Journal for August
click here >> Coronavirus Journal for July

October 28th

SADNESS
It is with sorrow that I have to tell you that lovely Janet Hastings, after losing her courageous battle with cancer has now gone to be with the Lord she loved and served all her life. We will so miss the beautiful creative writing that she shared with us and her amazing smile and attitude to life. Pauline, a good friend and regular attendee at Kingdom Arts used to send her butterfly cards every day since her diagnosis. ….what a lovely, thoughtful gesture. Pauline always made butterfly cards as Janet loved the butterfly symbol of Resurrection New Life. I asked her to let me see one and here is one she made. So beautiful. Thank you.

Alex

You will find examples of Janet’s writing in the Creative Writing section

February 2019 : Living Water

January 2020 : The Temple


October 19th

A harvest poem from Helen

It’s easy to forget the importance of harvestime in our urban world, yet it is vital for the well-being of all living plants and creatures, including us. Helen’s poem is a beautiful reminder . . .

Read it in the October Writing page

October 13th

Today should have been our October gathering and a chance to enjoy fellowship and one (or two) of Jan’s delicious soups. Here’s one you might like to try at home:

Curried Pumpkin  Soup

This autumn/ harvest soup is full of goodness and is delicious. Pumpkins will be plentiful this autumn; it could be eaten at lunch or in the evening, it is sure to warm you through the season.  It is high in fibre is free from dairy, nuts (provided you remove all seeds), eggs and wheat. It is easy to make and can be frozen. It serves 4.

Ingredients

1 medium pumpkin, de-seeded and chopped.
2 tbsp coconut oil, melted (or substituted by oil of preference)
½ tsp ground cinnamon
750ml vegetable stock
1 tsp fresh lemon juice
1 ½ tbsp curry powder
Coriander chopped to garnish
Salt and pepper to taste

Method

1. Reheat oven to 200 degrees centigrade.
2. Remove seeds from the pumpkin, chop into chunks and place on a lined baking tray.
3. Drizzle the coconut oil (or substitute) over the chunks, season with salt and pepper and sprinkle with cinnamon.
4. Using your fingers, massage the oil and spice into the pumpkin.
5. Roast for around 35 mins or until the orange flesh is easily pierced with a fork.
6. Place the pumpkin into a blender or liquidiser. Add the vegetable stock, lemon juice and curry powder and blend until smooth. Add water until the consistency is right.
7. Place in a medium sized saucepan and heat on the hob for a further 5 mins.
8. Serve and garnish with coriander and pumpkin seeds ( if liked).


October 7th

Falling?

A ripe rosy apple has fallen from the tree
It lies alone, glistening in the rain-soaked grass until
A small brown black slug slides across the skin looking for
A place to enter and spread the rot
Like the doubts and anxieties entering my thoughts to spread discontentment
Shall despair takes hold?
No!
I remove the slug
I wash the apple clean then
Like Eve I invite you to share it.

© Barbara Rolison, Kingdom Arts, 2020


Trees

Two images of my take on the autumn colours.

One: Colours on the tree…..

The other: A tree hand . . . with the leaves falling through . . .

can be a tree . . . or my hand trying to catch them . . . colours are vibrant reflecting God’s gifts of nature and colour and Glory.

Shefali


October 6th

The days are changing and the nights are drawing in. Autumn is here, all those gorgeous colours appearing on the trees as they change colour, those wonderful reds, golds and yellows. Our minds turn at this time of the year to Harvest. No Harvest suppers for us all this year, I am afraid! However this lovely very old Harvest Hymn came to mind as I was walking along today in the late burst of sunshine…

All good gifts around us are sent from Heaven above, then thank the Lord, O thank the Lord for all His Love

So we take Harvest as our theme this month and especially Psalm 65:6-13… a psalm that depicts a world alive with the Bounty and Glory of God.
Here we read about the abundant harvest that God provides and the psalmist is giving thanks to God for pouring out His Blessing on the Land.
This makes us think and be aware, even in the midst of our upside down world at the moment, that if we take a moment to look we can see the world around us is alive with the beauty and splendour of God. Do as the psalmist says at the end of the psalm, “shout and sing for joy”.

How about capturing something of this beauty and Glory in word, or music, or art using the glorious Autumn colours, or fruits, or vegetables?
Send them to us for our delight and encouragement. Make our October webpage a feast of colour and praise to God.

Sue and Alex.


 

Coronavirus Journal September

If you want to see the earlier entries,
click here >> Coronavirus Journal for August
click here >> Coronavirus Journal for July
click here >> Coronavirus Journal for June

September 23rd

Unknowing Time
Lord in this ‘unknowing time’ help us to cast aside any uncertainty we may have, about Your incredible love, faithfulness and understanding, towards us, and all humanity. Pour forth your grace, so that we may hear Your words clearly, and feel the depth of Your love.
Cover us with Your Holy mantle and abide with us, however difficult the circumstances, Console those in grief, bring peace and hope into homes and places of conflict, and spread Your miraculous healing touch.
May we rise each day, Lord, with confidence and joy, knowing that You are ever present as our Father, Saviour and Rock.
Helen

Window on the World

Exploring thoughts and new ideas moves us on . . .

Frances wrote:

I went to a virtual workshop with St Martin in the Fields, ‘Window on the World’ about disability and lockdown.

The advisor spoke about the different ways we view the world due to disability – for people who were lying in bed, those who experience sensory differences, who are neurodiverse, etc. Then a vicar showed us some photos that he had taken where the camera was either looking through objects, at windows to capture a reflection, or pointed at something at an unusual angle, or activities seen out of their windows – wildlife or the swaying of flowers and trees. Then we were asked to respond to the title ‘Window on the World’ in poetry, prose, video, photo. We had only 45 mins!! I was totally flummoxed!! So, I went into my spare room and I found a chess piece, some blue-tac, a stone with ‘wisdom’ engraved on it and some thread. Finally, there was 30 mins of ‘show and tell’.

The idea is that you finish your piece of work and then it is displayed in the church at an event of some sort about disability and lockdown. I can’t remember what or when exactly. Anyway, this is the ‘write-up’ I have sent to the St Martin in the Fields session leader about the video I made:-

The video shows us all in our own castles, leaning on wisdom whilst the world is spins. During lockdown, there have been times of darkness and light but also a sense of the beyond which has meant that we have all had a period of re-prioritising aspects of our lives. The video was taken with the camera looking into a mirror. The mirror reflects the castle and stone with wisdom engraved into it as well as the window. At times, you can see outside of the window.

“If I say, ‘Surely the darkness shall cover me, and the light about me be night,’ even the darkness is not dark to you; the night is bright as the day, for darkness is as light with you.”
—Psalm 139:11-12

The video itself is in two halves. The second half is the reverse of the first half so, in effect, it is a reflection of what you have already seen. Both ends of the video are in darkness but, at the core, the light shines through and I resonate with its sheer strength and beauty. I downloaded a video editor during lockdown but I only started trying to learn what to do with it this week. I had no idea that it’s possible to rotate it, reverse it, etc. It’s mind-blowing!!

Frances.

Frances’ video:


September 21st

Two pieces of writing concerned with this month’s theme of New Beginnings.

Starting Afresh by Rosemary – Moving home and settling in.

Beginnings: Taste, Touch and See by Shefali – Thoughts from everyday happenings to the Creation.

Read these in the September Writing page


 September 15th

I am sure you realise that Kingdom Arts gatherings are currently cancelled, and it will be well into 2021 before we can even consider starting again. This, is of course a huge disappointment to us all. We do miss our times of worship, prayer, creating arty things and lunch with you and of course, the laughs along the way. However we will not despair as we have a God who watches over us, loves us, and promises us New Life in all its fullness, whatever we are experiencing.

Our theme for this new season is about New Beginnings. Each week we are experiencing new government restrictions that has an impact on our lives, new ways of meeting family, new ways of working, new ways of shopping, new ways of doing Church, we have to find new beginnings for so many things.

We can however, take heart with this lovely encouraging verse from Lamentations 3:22-23 that will give us encouragement, and Hope and Joy.

“Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning: great is your faithfulness”

Maybe this will spark some creative writing or music or painting that will inspire you and which may speak to others. Please have a go as we love to receive your work. So many people comment on the variety when they look at our website. If you don’t feel like doing any creative things do drop us a line to assure us you are well.

With Love from all of us at Kingdom Arts.


Rosemary Orr has submitted two short pieces of writing

Conquest and God’s Garden

These can be found on the September Writing page


Some of us enjoy our music -listening, singing together and, sometimes, creating.

You made the heavens

A celebration of God’s world. Enjoy the photographs


September 8th

Hello Everyone. Today should be our first meeting of the new ‘season’, but it was not to be.

David New has continued to ponder the theme of creation from previous months and has called to mind trees from various periods of his life that have been significant for him:-

REMEMBERED TREES

Seven stately Ash
marked the path that ran
beyond the end
of my childhood garden.
Gentle southwest winds
rustling the branches
“had language for me.”

Pollarded willows
edged the banks
of the old mill stream
while we lazed
in the water-meadow field
with vetch and buttercup and buzzing bugs,
eating double-decker sandwiches.

Towering Elms
crowning the hill of
Beckenham golf course
with trunks too big to be hugged
even by us two boys.
Alas the nineteen sixties
swept them all away!

Golden pendules of Laburnum
overhung the pavement
from garden fronts
of suburban brick-box homes;
brightening up
the daily walk to school.

One big Chestnut tree
covered the corner
of the school playground.
Elegant white candles in the spring;
Abundant summer foliage;
And in the autumn,
Conkers galore.
Overwhelming generosity
from the Creator.
And all for fun!

Bright white slender trunks
mark the parking lots
for fossil-fuelled family cars.
But tiny dancing leaves
are no match
for the carbon-footprint need.
Yet still the white bark shines.

David New 2020

Do we have any budding artists out there who might like to illustrate David poem?

. . . or anyone with reminiscences of days gone by?


 

Coronavirus Journal August

If you want to see the earlier entries,
click here >> Coronavirus Journal for July
click here >> Coronavirus Journal for June
click here >> Coronavirus Journal for May


Hello Everyone,

The holidays are here. Are you managing to get away somewhere or are you off visiting family and friends? It certainly feels a strange Summer this year. I do hope you can enjoy the sunshine and manage to get out a bit now the restrictions are lifted a little.

Sue and I are taking a break from sending you a theme for the month of August but we want to encourage you to take part in Sue’s challenge to us from last month. Look under “July Coronavirus Journal” and find the heading Psalm 133…..an Activity. Sue has given you ideas and descriptions on what to do so please have a go and send us a photo of the results. We’d love that.

We will contact you all again in September so have a lovely August with lots of space for creativity, family and friends and exploring more of God’s amazing creation.

We miss you and look forward to the time when we can be together again. We have no idea when things will get back to normal. Everything has changed beyond all recognition. However through it all we know that God is with us. May you know the depth of His love and His protection now and always.

A lovely passage from Isaiah 40 :26
“Look up at the sky! Who created the stars you see? The one who leads them out like an army, he knows how many there are and calls each one by name! His power is so great–not one of them is ever missing”

With our love,

Alex x and Sue x


August 19th

A collage from Frances

I have spent a long time on an allotment so there are lots of images of flowers.

I’ve added the apple to represent the fruit and veg’ we have grown.

The rice represents fleeting moments of motivation to cook and I have achieved more dishes in lockdown than previous significant durations of time indoors at home.

A bag of fruit tea for cold drinks – to represent the need for water in the heat we have experienced this summer. Grocery shopping has been interesting – queuing, social distancing and wearing masks.

The hair clips and band represent my sheer desire for a hair cut.

πr2 represents home schooling.

Welfare for Healthcare voluntary work to fundraise for the NHS.

The calligraphy pen represents 5 weeks of sitting down whilst my foot was healing, prior to and after lockdown began. The pen gave me hours of fun and I only bought it because we did some calligraphy at Kingdom Arts which was a super introduction to calligraphy.

I’ve also put ‘vocation’ down because I have spent a long time wondering about what to do with my career because things haven’t gone exactly according to the original plan – but I think the new plan is much better.


August 15th

A collage or ZOOM screen, based on recent times

by Helen

August 8th

Creative writing by Helen McNichol

Two pieces inspired by plants.
Click here to read >> August 2020 Writing