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