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’
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.
You will find examples of Janet’s writing in the Creative Writing section
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.
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
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).
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?
I remove the slug
I wash the apple clean then
Like Eve I invite you to share it.
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.
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.
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.
Window on the World
Exploring thoughts and new ideas moves us on . . .
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!!
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.
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
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
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:-
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.”
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.
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;
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,
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?
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
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.
On we go. Another month, another opportunity to do some of those jobs , or find excuses to ignore them . . .
Our journal continues, hopefully with more examples of people’s creativity – craft, painting, written word, and hobbies. Some directly connected to worship, others just giving important time to reflect on life today and God’s part in it.
High Street Antics
Returning to Worcester Cathedral, open for prayer in Lockdown.
The idea was to create our own sung version of the Lord’s Prayer.
After much ‘encouragement’, we found a band of ‘willing’ volunteers –
“I can’t sing”; “I can’t cope with technology”; “Ooo, I don’t think I can”;
. . .
Here’s the result. Judge for yourselves:
A message from Alex and Sue
Hello to you all,
It’s difficult to believe that it’s 4 months since we last met as a group in Church. We trust you are all keeping well and maybe venturing out a little or even seeing family and friends… at a distance! We will continue to keep you in touch about when we can begin Kingdom Arts again… It may be some time before we get all the rules and safe guarding measures in place.
We often think of you and wonder what creative activities or projects you may be embarking on. Maybe some of you have been doing some sewing, or patchwork and others of you leaving out a long unfinished jigsaw on the table to put pieces in place as you pass by. It is very satisfying to find the correct piece that fits together or the patchwork shape that fits perfectly in place.
Think about all the news that we have been watching about the riots in Hong Kong and USA and the Black Lives Matter campaigns … What the world would look like if we cared properly for one another, respected one another, loved one another irrespective of race, creed, background, education……where Everyone Matters . If only we could fit together like a piece of patchwork or a piece of a jigsaw, just as God intended!
Psalm 133 came to mind…
How very good and pleasant it is when people live together in unity
Wow! That’s the theme for July!
Read the psalm and get your creative juices flowing.
With love to you and hope to see you soon, Love Alex and Sue x
Psalm 133 – An Activity
Sue has had an idea to do with the theme, to kick start an individual project for you try… send it in for us to see….. Have fun!
Lockdown has given us all time to think and reflect upon the value of maintaining unity within the family, and with friends. We have been confined to our ‘boxes’ like a ZOOM screen. Wouldn’t it be nice if we could represent our thoughts and ideas in a ZOOM picture?
This activity brought into focus the loss of physically meeting up with friends and family, though technology has brought us all together in ways we could never have imagined years ago.
Our spiritual community has taken a knock but with love and hope we will break out of the confines we have endured and reunite with renewed conviction.
You decide how you want to portray the psalm and what has been significant for you during lockdown. You may want to focus and reflect on your personal experiences in the last four months, or represent the wider aspects of community worldwide and the huge problems faced by humanity.
There are no rules. The interpretation is yours. The choice of materials is yours. This is just a starting point for you to try. It would be great to see your results on our website.
1. Find a piece of strong paper or card of a size you can cope with.
2. Colour the card randomly, or use a plain favourite colour, to make a background.
3. Cut out some plain pieces of paper. I cut 15 pieces about 10cm x 7cm.
4. Draw on or decorate each rectangle with an image that is significant to you that somehow reflects unity in this strange time of lockdown.
5. You could collect objects or use photos and found images, or add text.
6. Arrange your pieces as a ZOOM screen.
7. If your background is interesting you could leave some gaps to allow it to show through.
8. Have fun cutting and sticking!
by Sue Ashby-Davis
This is a collage I made recently. I wanted to record things of significance to me during lockdown. I see the arms of Jesus reaching out to us. I see my family and friends, and people in far off places. I see locations I long to visit again. I see nature in all it’s splendour, and the glory of God shining through the beautiful colours that surround us.
Inspired by Psalm 104 (from last month)
Psalm 104 v14 : Machine embroidery on Silk Dupion
Psalm 104 v30 : Words are machine embroidery. Image done by felting. Background material – felt !!!
Psalm 104 v33 : Machine embroidery on cotton
My Favourite Loaf
by John Butler
The perfect complement to Jan’s wonderful soups is of course bread. My own personal favourite, which I bake most weeks, is seeded half & half.
This is a tasty light loaf which is not too filling. The ingredients below are sufficient to make two small (400g) loaves or one large (800g) loaf.
300g strong wholemeal bread flour
250g strong white bread flour
7g table salt
1 tbsp (10g) olive oil
7g dried fast action yeast
350ml lukewarm water
Half a cup of sunflower seeds
In the past I have occasionally started to bake only to find I am short of an item or two. So now I always gather everything I need together first.
Place a large mixing bowl on your scales and add the flour. Now add the salt and yeast on opposite sides of the bowl.
Now start to mix the ingredients, into a dough, using a clawing action while adding the oil and then water slowly as you mix. (you may not use all the water). I tend to use a mixer with a dough hook as this part gets a little sticky (understatement) until the mixture begins to bond.
When it begins to combine tip onto a lightly dusted (flour) surface and knead, by stretching and folding in, for around 5 mins (I find this the fun part). You should end up with a tight ball of dough.
Place in a large oiled bowl and cover with a damp tea-towel.
Leave to rise in a warm room for about an hour or until doubled in size. Well-oil your bread tin(s) or pay the consequences!
Once again tip out onto a lightly dusted surface and ‘knock back’ until all the air is out. Sprinkle seeds on the dough and fold together.
You can now either split into two, as I have, or shape to suit your bread-tin. Place into your tin(s) seam down and cover with damp tea-towel.
Leave to rise. This depends on the room temperature but don’t rush, it will take at least 45mins, have a cup of tea.
It should now be about 1 in above the tin.
Uncover and place in a pre-heated oven at 220 degrees C or 200 degrees C (fan) for 30/35 mins or 35/40 mins for a large loaf.
Now the important part, especially if you are a man! Set your phone alarm. Experience tells me that I get distracted on some other task and forget. Unless of course you are fond of crusty bread! Oh, and take the phone with you.
Remove from oven and place on cooling rack, enjoy the smell, get the butter ready!
I love experimenting with other flours, seeds etc.
It’s a great activity if you have grandchildren – add different flavours and try creating shapes. Be bold – enjoy!
A trip to the trip is not the most inspiring of pastimes.
Well, I’ve never thought so before, but take a look at Shefali’s thoughts on that very topic.
Click here >> June 2020 Writing
Some churches call the period after Pentecost ‘Ordinary Time’.
Helen has thoughts on this. Click on ‘June 2020 Writing’ above.
A piece of artwork inspired by the rainbow
Music: The Lord’s Prayer
There are many versions of The Lord’s Prayer, and we probably don’t need another one. However, at my church shortly before lockdown, we had a series of services looking closely at this prayer; and band members attempted to produce their own versions. They were very different to each other.
Here is my effort, complete with lyrics so you can sing along:
At the moment, this is an instrumental version. We would like to turn it into a sung version. If you would like to be part of this, all you need to do is use a smartphone to video your performance. Then, if you send it to us, we will combine all the videos into a ‘virtual choir’ and post it in this journal.
This picture is symbolic of a tree with its roots growing round the rock…… each branch represents new growth , HOPE that something in our lives can produce possibilities and praise…… that God can transplant us into better soil of life to enable us chances to grow and reflect his creative love.
This tree was created for me by someone whose life was completely broken….. and in the support….. leaning on my song that was planted like a seed into their life….. Unknown to me they produced this ………
God says we will be like trees planted by the rivers where we can still flourish when there comes time of drought…… plant your seeds of songs of praise into the soil of others…… it will help them to also find life….and perhaps build their lives with roots that are set upon The Rock……. Jesus….. I am thankful.
Shefali, Kingdom Arts June 2020
We hear the words:
Keep your distance, keep your distance.
But our Triune God is saying,
“Come Closer, Come Closer”. . . .
Helen’s words are inspired by the words of Psalm 104 and the current situation we find in our lands. To read the whole poem, have a look at this month’s creative writing.
Click here >> June 2020 Writing
A couple of photos related to Psalm 104 and our current position.
The other day, I visited Bredon Tithe Barn. There has been a building there since 670 AD to store the wheat to support the local village through winter. This barn was built in the 13th century when the Bishops of Worcester owned the land. The door, of I think solid oak is now over seven hundred years old, and has kept the wind and the rain from the precious wheat and barley stored inside.
The half open door reminded me of the semi lockdown position we are currently in. The oak door protecting us from the virus outside but now semi open so we can look out to see the beauties of creation, and see how God’s light can still shine to reflect his Glory in our lives.
The window was in the room above where the Reeve (or steward) managed the collection of the harvest and collected the rent from the peasants farming the land. Again the light of God shines through.
‘Even though I walk through the valley of death, I will fear no evil, for your rod and staff comfort me.’
When there’s Incessant irritation, incurable illness, or isolation, when Nights of nonsensical notions nudge and seem never-ending, we Tire and tread the tumult with thundering terror, as if Obligated.
But Tending a new timely thought can become a turning point. Heavens help and honesty, heaves humanity out of hell. There is an Encourager, an essential eternal energy which eases the effort, by exposing and excluding evil.
Listening to this light, our life can be full of love. Inward instinct identifies with this illumination. We Glimpse glory, grasp a germ seed of grace and grow. In my Heart, I hope for this harmony throughout humankind where Triumph over tumult is touched like treasure and trusted as truth.
Today should have been our regular monthly gathering.
Our theme for this month is Psalm 104 – a psalm of praise to cheer us all up.
Despite all that we don’t understand, we have a God who cares for us, loves us and wants to protect and look after us. In the midst of the sadness, fear, anxiety and the unknown, praising God is a way of keeping negative thoughts away!
In this psalm we give praise to God the Creator and His glory shines through the beauty of all He has created. It’s a beautiful song of praise to Him and there are lots of images to help us be creative . . . . . clouds, flames of fire, water flowing, birds , plants, beasts of the forest, lions, seas teeming with creatures; also music and singing praise to God.
Jan’s soups for this month
We may not be able to meet today, but that’s no reason we can’t have our lunchtime meal of soup, bread and cheese, followed by homemade cake.
If you have the ingredients to hand, you could even make one of Jan’s delicious soups – and, if you haven’t, you can always experiment!
Balsamic Roast Tomato Soup
This delicious soup is high in fibre and vitamins and is low in salt It is free from wheat , eggs, nuts and dairy, (if not using the topping). It is easy to make and can also be frozen. It serves 5.
400g of sweet tomatoes, halved; 1 yellow pepper, chopped; 1 tbsp rapeseed oil; 1 tbsp balsamic dressing/glaze; 1 clove garlic, chopped; 1 red onion, chopped; 1 carrot, chopped; 1 reduced salt vegetable stock cube, made up to 600ml; 1 tsp chopped parsley; 2 tsps chopped chives; 1 tbsp chopped basil; 30ml/ 2 tbsp red wine vinegar; Ground black pepper to taste.
1. Pre heat the oven to 200c /180c fan/gas 6.
2. Toss the tomatoes and pepper with half the oil in a roasting tin. Roast for 20 mins, then drizzle over the balsamic dressing and cook for a further 10 mins.
3. Heat the rest of the oil in a large pan and fry the onion, garlic and carrot over a low heat for 5 mins.
4. Add the stock, bring to a simmer and cook for 10 mins, or until the carrot is tender.
5. Add the tomato halves and the yellow pepper to the pan and cook for 5 mins.
6. Season, to taste, blend using hand held blender or liquidiser.
7. In a bowl stir all the chopped herbs into the ricotta and whisk together
To serve, reheat the soup and top each bowl with the herby ricotta, if using.
Cream of Celeriac and Spinach Soup
This soup is free from wheat, dairy, shellfish, eggs and soya and is high in fibre. Celeriac has a wonderful flavour that is reminiscent of celery but also has a slightly nutty taste. It serves 6 people.
1 leek; 500g celeriac; 1 litre/1.75 pints water; 250 ml dry white wine; 200g fresh spinach leaves; Semi skimmed milk (optional); 25g pine nuts.
1. Trim and slit the leek. Rinse it under running water to remove any grit and then slice it thickly.
2. Peel the celeriac and dice the flesh.
3. Place the leek and celeriac, with the spinach, in a deep saucepan. Add the water and the wine. Bring to the boil, lower the heat and simmer for 10-15 mins or until soft.
4. Puree the celeriac mixture in a blender or food processor. Return this to the saucepan and season to taste with salt, pepper and nutmeg. If the soup is too thick, thin it with a little semi skimmed milk or water, as your diet demands. If freezing do so once cooled.
5. To serve, reheat the soup gently. Roast the pine nuts in a dry non stick frying pan until golden. Serve the soup bowls sprinkled with the pine nuts (optional).
The Temple of Jerusalem.
We started back in the autumn of 2019 with about thirty sheets of A4 card printed with images. Now, at last, after much puzzling and cutting and folding and gluing we have assembled a model of the Temple of Jerusalem.
This is the Temple that Jesus would have known, not Solomon’s, but the second Temple that was built on the ruins of Solomon’s after the Jews returned from their exile in Babylonia in 520BC.
The model is of the inner court only (200m x 100m) to which only Jews had access.
At one end you can see Temple itself within which was the ‘Holy of Holies,’ the dwelling place of God, entered only once a year and that by the High Priest alone. The court at the other end was open to Jewish women and it is there that Jesus would have seen the poor widow offer her two small coins and where Jesus would have preached in the days after Palm Sunday.
The moneychangers’ tables would have been in a much larger court outside this inner court and was open to all comers. It was huge and measured about 500 metres by 300 metres. That’s four times the length of Worcester Cathedral!
We begin the month with a piece of writing inspired by Psalm 104.
‘God’s World’ by Barbara Rolison can be found on the Creative Writing page for June.
During these strange times when normal interaction is not possible, some people are still thinking, writing, drawing, composing, painting, etc.
We have decided to keep an informal occasional ‘journal’ showing that our worship, prayer and inspiration does not stop just because our monthly meetings have.
We do not know when our next meeting will be.
However, this journal is growing! You will find all the May entries below.
Scarlett writes: I attend St Stephen’s as well as St George’s and in their weekly newsletter entitled ‘Something Different’ I wrote my own version of Psalm 23 appertaining to the times we are living in. It is meant to come across as an epistle of hope.
To read Scarlett’s Covid-19 version of Psalm 23, visit our Creative Writing pages. Click here >> May 2020 Writing
Next, we have a craft idea to illustrate the theme of a church service entitled ‘ The difference that Easter really makes ‘
The reading was from the Gospel of John. Ch.20 v 19:23. The appearance of Jesus to the disciples, who were locked in a room, in fear.
PRESENCE: Jesus was present with the disciples, it changed the reality. We /they are not alone.
PEACE: Jesus said, ‘ Peace be with you ‘ He spoke peace into their fear. This peace is true and eternal and moves us beyond our situation into a personal peace.
PURPOSE: ‘ As the Father sent me, so I send you ‘ The nature of the church is a community sent out in the power of the Holy Spirit.
Presence, Peace, Purpose: The difference that Easter really makes.
Margaret Stokes. (inspired by watching a Church Service in Peckham, London on the Sunday after Easter)
These face mask adapters were made for carers and district nurses to stop the elastic rubbing their ears. Lyn Crowther
See May 9th (below) for plans to make your own mask.
Helen McNicholl has sent us a piece of creative writing entitled
‘Pentecostal Flames 2020‘.
Some key words are: NOURISH, CHANGE, RECHARGING, HOLY, PRAY, RELEASING.
To read Helen’s contribution, visit our Creative Writing pages.
Click here >> May 2020 Writing
The Reverend Sarah Northall of St Wulstan’s Parish in Warndon visited our meetings on a couple of occasions. See has seen our website and has sent us a link to one of her own reflections (no pun intended) called ‘Streams of Prayer.
It lasts about 10 minutes and you may find it both restful and rewarding.
Ways of Helping one another by using our creative skills in these difficult times: Make a face mask for yourself or a friend
COMPETITION who can make the most creative/colourful/ interesting Kingdom Arts Mask? Send us photos.
Making a face mask
These masks have been made from materials you may well have in your home:-
Materials: outside fabric, lining fabric, metal strip (if available), tape to cover metal strip, (not shown: elastic or tape)
Cover metal strips (if you have them). These are fixed across the bridge of the nose so that the wearer can shape the mask to fit closely against the nose
Cut out pieces. The fabric is folded so every cutout will produce two pieces
This picture shows the pieces cut out for two masks, one large and one smaller, with double fabric layers
Stitch centre front seam
Attach strip (if you have it) to nose of outer fabric
Stitch two layers together, top and bottom
Turn through, fold in raw edges and press
Stitch tape or elastic in middle of edge, fold over and stitch down edge.
If you want, you can leave a slot between the two layers of fabric to insert a renewable filter.
You can probably obtain suitable materials for filters on-line, although we have heard that some everyday materials might work quite well – we are not experts and you would need to check out the effectiveness of such home-made filters from an expert source.
As a serious hobbyist, I always collect bits and pieces that might be useful. The metal strips I used were saved from some old used face masks for use in dusty conditions(I think I got them from Halfords originally). If necessary, leave the metal strips out. The masks just won’t fit around the nose so well. Vikki Moore.
He has filled them with skill to do all kinds of work as engravers, designers, embroiderers in blue, purple and scarlet yarn and fine linen, and weavers—all of them skilled workers and designers.
When you print out the pattern, it has to be the correct size. There is a 5cm line printed at the bottom of the page – measure it and check it is really 5cm long.
Then and Now
Thomas stood outside the door
His head still spinning and aching
with echoes of that Day
The cruel, unknowing, inflamed crowd,
Shouting, “Crucify, crucify.”
Women stifling cries of anguish.
People locked in houses, wracked with fear.
Children with little understanding
filled with future nightmares.
The driving of the hideous nails
Hammers for building
He crept away like Pilate and Judas
But he was in denial, total disbelief
They could not kill his Saviour there on Calvary
Still at the door, he remembered that word
He entered the room
All eyes on him, the doubter
But His Lord’s voice reached his ears
His throbbing head and shaking body calmed
Jesus drew him close, and lovingly led his hands
to feel the water from His side
baptising him once again,
giving peace to his soul.
The healing hands and feet
Filling his veins with New Life
and Strength to Live Again
May that miraculous spiritual love
and understanding surround us all
giving us strength to live anew
in faith and hope near to God Now and into the Future
Suddenly, our hospitals need far more protective clothing than they ever have before. Demand is currently outstripping supply, despite all the efforts being made. Here’s where we can step in.
Following a plea via social media for pillow cases to be donated to make drawstring ‘scrubs bags’ for front-line health workers, an army of some 900 volunteers from across Worcestershire of all abilities have got busy producing the bags.
At the last count the total stood at: 262 Scrubs, 6953 Scrubs Bags, 3379 Headbands plus 700 Scrub Hats. What an amazing achievement in just three weeks!! Demand is still rising so if anyone wants to be involved please do search them out via the Facebook link below
I’m stuck in a gender twisted society.
But I need to break free.
If scripture was open to me,
I’d sing, “Let me sit at Divine feet
because God’s Word edifies me.” I must wait ‘til a man reads it to me,
And interprets the Word thoughtfully
through the lens of masculinity.
Naturally, I just sit an’ listen,
silently . . .
Praying from a Dusty Floor
My son, Jesus, was executed in a brutal act between religious leaders and the government. The horrors I saw were still vivid in my memory on the day I met the disciples. I hadn’t been able to sleep for days. My jaw and neck muscles were tight and sore with the pain of grief but when we prayed together, even the memories that engulfed me in terror faded along with my worries about the future. The fact that we had all managed to meet there, without being caught and strung up in front of some unofficial council, didn’t seem to be a co-incidence . . .
“This drawing is based on the Pentecost picture of Mary breathing in the power of the Holy Spirit deep inside of her to bring transformation from inside…..when she was with others praying.
It’s my interpretation of how she would have been praying to The One True God in an openness by the way she is sitting….”
Knitting the Lord’s Prayer
Many people find that spending time quietly engaged in simple crafts can stimulate thoughtful contemplation and prayer, which is why we always have ‘the big knit’ opportunity at our monthly gatherings. It has been mentioned that if you knit, you can say the Lord’s Prayer as you cast on twelve stitches.
Our Father in Heaven
Hallowed be Your name;
Your kingdom come;
Your will be done
On earth as in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread;
Forgive us our sins
as we forgive those who sin against us;
Lead us not into temptation,
But deliver us from evil,
For the kingdom, the power and the glory are Yours,
Now and for ever.
In lockdown, Barbara thought she would like to try this, but she didn’t have any knitting needles or any wool! Ever resourceful, she improvised with sharpened sticks from an oil diffuser and thin string!
All went well until her kitten pounced and chewed one of the sticks!
However she started again, perseverance pays and prayers are always answered.
One of our regular members came across this version of the Hallelujah Chorus. We thought others might like it too.
If you click on the title below, you will leave this site and be taken to YouTube. You should be able to return to this screen by using the ‘back’ symbol on the new screen you go to – what this looks like depends on the equipment you are using!
Pretty good for a first attempt! Vikki says she may well have another go and see if she can improve on it.
Reflections on our world
In the blessing of the morning
Early shafts of sunlight stream through the branches.
Reflections on the watery surface ripple in the slightest breeze
A draft that flutters the leaves and causes petals of cherry blossom
to slowly drift onto the canal and float.
The piercing cry of moorhen and louder trills of the blackbird
whose chorus hails the new day.
A glimpse of hawthorn soon to open in fragrant white billows.
My senses are alert, all is hushed and I am stilled
In this moment of quiet solitude
I thank God.
This soup is free from eggs, fish and milk. The pesto contains parmesan cheese and the topping, if used, contains wheat.
Ingredients, serves 5
1 tbsp rape seed oil
1 large onion, finely chopped.
750ml/ 1.25 pints of chicken stock.
300g of frozen peas.
180g pack of tender baby spinach.
3tbsp reduced fat green pesto.
For the topping, (if used) 100g chorizo, diced. 2 tbsp fresh breadcrumbs.
1. Heat the oil in a large pan over a medium heat. Fry the onion for 3 to 4 minutes until soft but not browned.
2. Add the stock, peas, spinach and pesto, bring to the boil and simmer for 4 minutes. Cool slightly, then puree with a hand blender, or liquidiser. Freeze at this stage if required.
3. Topping if using. Heat a non stick frying pan over a medium heat. Dry fry the chorizo for 4 minutes or until crisp. Stir in the crumbs and set aside.
4. To serve, reheat the soup but do not allow it to boil. Taste and season with ground black pepper if needed. Top with the crumb, if using.
This soup is high in fibre and is free from dairy, nuts, fish, eggs and wheat. It is easy to make and does not need to be blended or liquidised. It can also be frozen. It serves 6.
225 g/ 8oz of red lentils rinsed and drained.
2 onions, finely chopped.
2 large garlic cloves, finely chopped.
1 carrot, very finely chopped.
30ml/ 2 tbsp olive oil.
2 bay leaves.
A generous pinch of dried marjoram or oregarno.
1.5 litres/ 2.5 pints of vegetable stock.
30ml/ 2 tbsp red wine vinegar.
Salt and ground black pepper.
1. Put all the ingredients except the vinegar and seasoning in a large heavy-based saucepan. Bring to the boil over a medium heat, then lower the heat and simmer for 1.5 hours, stirring the soup occasionally to prevent the lentils from sticking to the bottom of the pan.
2. Remove the bay leaves and add the red wine vinegar, with salt and pepper to taste. If the soup is too thick, thin it with a little extra vegetable stock or water. Serve the soup garnished with celery leaves or parsley etc.
Today should have been our regular monthly meeting. This month’s theme would have been Pentecost.
Holy Spirit descend on me
And fill my heart with Your eternal fire and love divine.
And strengthen my faith once more
And open my eyes.
Give me the light of Your love that I may shine on all I find.
Come and teach me Your ways, O Lord,
And open my mind so that I can see the way ahead.
Take all of the mist away
And make the road clear.
Keeping me strong through the trials I face, my faults, my doubts, my fear.
Fire within my heart,
Fire within my soul,
Fire to take me anywhere I have to go.
I surrender my all to You
The gift of Your love and Your grace are all I ever need.
Let Your passion burn in me
And let me stand tall.
Give me the mind and the skill to speak Your word to one and all.
Fire within my heart,
Fire within my soul,
Fire to take me anywhere I have to go.
So I stand here prepared, my Lord,
You wash away all of my doubt and fear and take control.
You cleanse me and make me new
And I am restored.
Fill me with power and the strength to do Your will for evermore.
I’ve heard they’re coming today, They’re passing through our village. I wonder, if I prepare some food, will they come and eat with us? I could get the best dishes out, I could cook something special, I could put a clean cloth on the table, I’ll sweep the floor, and dust around. So much to do, So little time.
I hear voices, Are they here already? I’ll run and meet them. Jesus, Jesus, would you come to my house today? Come and rest awhile. Join us for lunch. So you’ll come? It won’t take me long to get the food ready.
The Master enters the house. He sees Mary. Martha busies herself with preparing lunch. But Mary sits at Jesus’ feet. She listens to his every word. Fascinated by the stories he tells, The truths he reveals, the love he expresses. Transfixed by his presence, her heart is at peace. Caught up in the moment, her anxieties slip away.
“Lord, Lord, don’t you care, Mary’s not helping me! She’s left me to do all the work by myself. She just sits there as if there was nothing to do. It’s not fair. I am doing all this on my own!”
“Martha, Martha. It’s ok. I am with you such a short while. So little time to share with you the truths of the kingdom. Truths that will sustain you in the days ahead. You have such high expectations of yourself For everything to look right, — to be just so. Mary has opened her heart as she has listened to me. She has received my love. She has given me her time. She has been filled with eternal truth No-one can take that away from her.”
So, I reflect, And I see within myself two very different parts. The one -full of agendas, things to do, people to see. The other-longing for his presence, His peace. Am I free to choose, which one will I be today? Will I rush and stress, exhausted with self-imposed deadlines and expectations? Or will I slow down, will I sit at his feet, and listen to His will for me? Peace, perfect peace.
Ruth Campsall Luke 10: 38-42
Easter Day Christ is risen ALLELUIA!
April 10th (Good Friday) An Easter message to you all
Hello Kingdom Arts Friends,
This is to wish you a joyful and blessed Easter. It will be the strangest of Easters but we can still celebrate and give thanks inside our homes, the new Life that Jesus brings us through His Resurrection.
You might be going to a virtual Service or connecting through the many resources which are available on the Internet and there we will be able to remember our families, and all our friends at Kingdom Arts. We miss seeing you .. there will be so much to share when we return.
As you are looking at this, you have found our “Coronavirus Journal” and can see the wonderful art/poetry that some of our members have contributed. We could do with more so if you feel inspired during this lockdown time send in your creations.
With love And God’s Blessings for you and yours,
April 9th Pastel drawing
Art work by Lesley Brown , who so enjoyed working with pastels at the March Kingdom Arts she was inspired to do these .
They are based on the sculpture of the cross at Queen’s Birmingham .
Hand made with what was in the house except fixing with ‘Impulse’ Body Fragrance!!
April 6th Hama Butterfly
The life process of the butterfly, from caterpillar through chrysalis to butterfly is a Christian symbol of the human life, the death and the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Here it is my prayer for you that you will be sustained with the hope of better times to come as we wait to be released from this chrysalis-confinement-lockdown stage of our life.
Maybe there is a suggestion here that God sees and senses each one of us through his creation especially in the ways we deal with the more vulnerable parts of his works. David New
April 4th Digital Art
Inspired by the story of Mary and Martha (Luke 10:38-42) which was to be the theme of our April Gathering
One of our future activities was to be a representation of Pentecostal fire.
Starting with some simple materials . . .
. . . and finishing with this decoration:
You might like to try and work it out for yourself!
April 3rd In this beautiful world
In this beautiful world we care for nought
We do not do the things we know we ought
We have one planet, that is all.
In our arrogant ways, we think we are above
Mother Nature’s Laws that are from God above
We bring destruction on ourselves.
Now there’s an enemy we can’t see
It’s so small.
Yet so powerful and mighty it be,
A reminder that we
Are not rulers at all,
Our position in this universe is really quite small.
We’ve been given this world in which to live,
Some just take what they can, while others give
If we’re divided, then we fall.
Now there’s an enemy we can’t see
It’s so small.
Yet so powerful and mighty it be,
A reminder that we
Are not rulers at all,
Our position in this universe is really quite small.
Let’s consider it all, there’s only one
The Ruler of all is God alone
He is beside us through it all.
(1) the damage humans are doing to the planet;
(2) the coronavirus – reminding us we are not as powerful as we think we are;
(3) 2 Corinthians 4:16-18 “So we’re not giving up. How could we! Even though on the outside it often looks like things are falling apart on us, on the inside, where God is making new life, not a day goes by without his unfolding grace. These hard times are small potatoes compared to the coming good times, the lavish celebration prepared for us. There’s far more here than meets the eye. The things we see now are here today, gone tomorrow. But the things we can’t see now will last forever.”
April 2nd A renewed Resurrection
They nailed Him to the cross
With companions on either side
Storm clouds grew darker
Earth preparing to break apart
Birds flying unsettled
Scattering for shelter
Woman’s tears falling silently
From horror-struck bodies
The soldiers tossing lots
For ill-gotten gains
The braying fickle crowds
Thinking they knew best
But the sacrificial forgiving Jesus
Poured love on all he saw
He stretched out his hands
To believers and questioners alike
His feet pointed to God’s created earth
The land he knew and loved
His head so near the God
He worshipped and adored
There on the cross
Man and God were one.
Can we in this world’s crucifixion time
Become one with God
Reflecting His Holy teaching and caring
Drawing nearer to each other
Crossing divides of hearts and bodies
Honouring our diverse planet
Helping healing and new growth
Letting the rhythm of his words
Beat through our hearts
Washing away our fears
Replacing tears with hope
Lord hear our prayers
And lead us to a renewed resurrection
Under the shelter of your
I look up to the mountains and hills, longing for God’s help. But then I realize that our true help and protection come only from the Lord, our Creator who made the heavens and the earth. He will guard and guide me, never letting me stumble or fall. God is my keeper; he will never forget nor ignore me. .. He will guard and keep you. Psalm 121.
Easter Garden Haiku
March 31st In the waiting room of God
Today would have been my husband’s birthday.
It’s hard in isolation on my own.
These are pencil drawings I have done today which reflect different moods whilst waiting . . . for what?
Time to sit with me and Jesus.
Some of the drawing shows His hand reaching out to us. Others are when I need Him to grip my hand so I can hang on and ask Him not to let me go during this time of isolation.
Alex welcomed everyone, especially Christine Morgan from her church in Wokingham! Christine has been inspired by our Kingdom Arts initiative to start a similar group in Wokingham called Creative Spirit which she explained to us. What joy to know that Christian creativity is growing across the country.
We continued by singing praises accompanied by our musicians and vocalists. The theme of women in the bible continued with Mary Magdalene (John 20: 11- 18) her visit to the empty tomb and encounter with Jesus. There was a reflection, led by Alex with prayers.
Christine led a group using pastels or crayon to depict tear drops in a pattern with added writing if inspired to do so. The results were most effective and triggered memories for some of the group as they explained in the sharing session.
David resurrected Hama beads and the design of the cross or empty tomb was used to construct rather delicate emblems.
The creative writing table enabled people to explore the experience of Mary Magdalene in the garden when she was reunited with Jesus. The writing expanded on her experience and feelings with amazing results and very different interpretations.
In the garden
What’s happening Lord? You who understood everything I’d ever done You who gave me hope, hope like I’d never known You who gave me peace and love so tangible, My life transferred from misery and mediocrity? Promise of eternal life, with you the Son of God The Son of God, the promise of the Father, Crucified, this eternal life drained from him Hung on a cross ’til Death came and took him from us. He who healed and raised the dead Now dead himself.
How can it be? We, his followers and his mother Looked on. Powerless, we watched Until he breathed his last. Our hearts broken Shattered into a million pieces. Pierced with a sorrow like none before. So, we took your body and with great care Prepared you for burial, Our tears wrapped up in your linen cloths. Everything we longed for lost and and buried With you, as you were placed in the tomb. Secure.
And so, I came today. I knew not what to expect But wanted to be close to you. To sit by your tomb And remember… remember all that was good. All that was … gone Now even your body is gone. The tomb is empty There is nothing left. Just empty promises —- and SILENCE —-
Where are you? Where have you gone? “Why are you crying? Who are you looking for?” “What, who is that? Do you know where he is?” “Mary” “Master” And thus, the revelation came Scales not tears fell from her eyes She could see Him He is risen. His promises are true There is freedom And life forever more in His presence
This is one of four pieces of creative writing this month. To see the others, click on ‘Creative Writing’ at the end of this report.
There was an opportunity to create a collage with Spring colours and textures and ribbons.
Lyn led a workshop by providing small hessian draw string bags filled with scented cinnamon and rosemary to remind one of the Easter story. They were decorated beautifully with embroidery motifs or delicate collage reflecting the Easter theme.
As always there was time and space to sit quietly and knit with prayer. This is a welcome respite from the bustle of busy lives.
The work of the morning was displayed, celebrated and admired with some explanations and reading of creative writing.
Jan completed the morning by reading a reflection and we ended with song.
Our shared lunch was lentil soup or purple soup. There was cheese, grapes, cakes and a chance to converse with our visitors and each other.
Unfortunately, due to coronavirus and ‘lockdown’,we do not know when the next meeting will be. However, you will be very welcome when the day arrives!
If you just wish to look through all the photographs, you can see the Gallery
In June 2019, Kingdom Arts held a Festival celebrating the exploration of Christian Faith through the creative arts. The displays were a mixture of in-house creations produced by our regular attendees at our monthly meetings, together with art work kindly loaned to us by a variety of other artists.
A commemorative book of the Festival has been produced. Our grateful thanks go to the artists whose work was on show at the festival and is displayed within the book:
www. Lindisfarne scriptorium
www.powishayward.co.uk Instagram sarahaywardart