March 2020 Gathering

10th March 2020

Women in the Bible: Mary Magdalene

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?”
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


©Ruth Campsall

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

For this month’s words, see Creative Writing