September Writing 2020

September 15th

Two pieces by Rosemary Orr

Conquest

We chose the rocky beach,
having walked too long
on strands of silk,
down avenues of lush green.

Now we needed a challenge,
stumbling across stones, boulders,
slipping into pools of slime,
dense murky algae.

We chose the rocky beach
pockmarked our feet,
but we had been somewhere,
leaving not just footprints
in the sand.

God’s Garden

Garden of deep peace
nestling in strong sunlight.
Here we pray for strength,
for encouragement in difficult times.
Nearby daffodils and cowslips
rustle in the cold wind.

The garden is empty
save for the two of us.
We drink some orange juice,
then the early Spring sun
bids us slowly depart.


September 8th

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


 

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
click here >> Coronavirus Journal for May
click here >> Coronavirus Journal for April


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?


 

August Writing 2020

August 8th
Dandelions

Paradoxical dandelions appear everywhere,
so often not wanted or admired.
Torn up by despairing gardeners,
long roots clinging on like expert mountaineers,
creating chaos on manicured lawns.
But those who really look…
‘What beauty! A joyous, uplifting colour,
like home-spun golden cloth’,
adding piquancy to salad bowls,
and vitamins to spur us on.
But they have the last laugh,
as ‘blown clocks’, they fly with ease
to pastures new in mischievous glee.

©2020 Helen McNichol

God’s garden

The harebells ring out their news,
the Summer is on the turn.
Wild rose petals fall like confetti
Letting the hips fill with goodness.
Bird’s-foot-trefoil and the heather
Ooze with luscious tempting nectar,
ready for the magic touch of bees
turning their harvest into liquid gold.
Children love the clinging cleavers,
sending laughter ringing through the air.
‘He loves me, he loves me not…’
Swinecress mysteriously powders our motorways
like the waves at their native seaside.
Foxgloves sway in the breeze,
oblivious to their future hearty cures.
The honeysuckle’s perfume fills the air,
to join the myriad of other scents
from Earth’s flowering garden.
Along with healing herbs and thoughts,
and ripening nuts and berries,
creating nature’s patchwork quilt.
Resplendent in colour, beauty and form,
to fulfil God’s everlasting gift.

©2020 Helen McNichol


 

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
click here >> Coronavirus Journal for April


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


 

July Writing 2020

July 28th

Three short pieces by Rosemary Orr

Prayer

Let me sow peace with wisdom in these difficult times, Let me sow ardour with love in the hearts of all mankind. Give me dignity and patience as I walk life’s winding path, spreading Your blessings to others, keeping us in Your loving arms.

High Street Antics

It’s May and the sun burns on my face.
Four pigeons approach. We watch.
They strut past, flying on to rooftops, then joined by gulls clamour and cry. Shortly a toddler drops a sandwich on the ground. The birds peck then devour playing hockey with the crumbs, soon swooping into currents of warm air.

Returning to Worcester Cathedral, open for prayer in Lockdown.

The yellow stickers on the marble floor like the entrance and exit signs mark social distancing: no longer a holy huddle praying, three of us strangers yet pilgrims, aeons apart in bright sunlight as candles flicker. Ahead the candlestands, by the altar a trinity of light, love and prayer, beckon, and as we leave their flame reverberates in our now warm hearts.

© Rosemary Orr July 2020


July 19th
Everyone Matters

God, You are the Holy Three in One.
We arrive into this chequered World,
a blessed threesome,
man, woman and soul combined.
Different in colour, creed and custom,
but all washed with Your inclusive love.
Who makes the parting of the ways?
The placing into groups.
False valuation of ability and grace.
Unequal sharing of goods.
Disabilities harshly labelled.
Sightless eyes, never seeing beyond the colour.
Quick fire of insults and jeers.
Lack of understanding and passion.

Help us to blend our skills,
fulfilling the need for each other
in equal cooperative measure.
The intertwining of respect and love,
with a mixing of talent and ideas,
and rejoicing in changing ways.
Filling the World with vibrating music
of creative difference.
Being part of each others growth
in a fairer, God driven World.
Sharing His life-giving blood with everyone
so that the lamb can lie down with the wolf
in hope and peace
within a fruitful, caring union.

© Helen McNichol July 2020


 

Coronavirus Journal July

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


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.

July 28th
  • Prayer
  • High Street Antics
  • Returning to Worcester Cathedral, open for prayer in Lockdown.

Three short pieces of writing from Rosemary Orr.

Click here to read >> July 2020 Writing


July 19th
Everyone Matters

The first piece of creative writing for this month. A powerful reflection on the attitudes of societies around the globe and a plea for friendship and tolerance.

Click here to read >> July 2020 Writing


July 14th
The Kingdom Arts ‘Choir’ debut

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:

July 13th
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!

Sample 1

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.

Sample 2

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.

Sample 3

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.

Sample 4

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.

Sample 5

SUGGESTIONS:
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!

July 7th
Collage

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.

Sue Ashby-Davis

Inspired by Psalm 104 (from last month)

Psalm 104 v14 : Machine embroidery on Silk Dupion

Vikki Moore

Psalm 104 v30 : Words are machine embroidery. Image done by felting. Background material – felt !!!

Vikki Moore

Psalm 104 v33 : Machine embroidery on cotton

Vikki Moore
July 3rd
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.

Ingredients
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

Method
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.

Note the separation of yeast and salt. Apparently the salt can kill the yeast if added together.

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!

See you all soon – John


 

 

Join the Kingdom Arts Virtual Choir

Singing the Lord’s Prayer

You don’t need to be a brilliant singer. If you enjoy singing with others, that’s fine. All congregations (and groups of people singing anywhere for fun) have people who sing in tune and those that don’t. When all the voices blend together, it still makes a joyful noise!

Deadline: July 12th

The finished ‘choir’ will appear in the July Journal.


Preview : Our Father – The Kingdom Arts singers!

 

June 2020 Writing

June 24th
Psalm 104 v 14

He makes grass grow for the cattle, and plants for people to cultivate – bringing forth food from the earth

I have been helping to clear an allotment of all the rubbish dumped on it.

As I read the above verse I think before good things can grow and we can plant, the ground must be prepared.
I have collected bags and bags of rubbish that need to go to the tip, which I visited today.
It took 1½  hours in the queue before I got to the actual tip. When I was emptying the bags into the crusher, I had the thought that I am so thankful that there is no queue to wait to see God before I can tip out all the internal rubbish in my life and in my thoughts.
As I watched the rubbish, that had been stopping any plants from growing on the land, go into the crusher I thanked Jesus that He does not treat us as our sins deserve; and God has promised that He will not crush us, and a bruised reed He will not break; and I wondered why we wait so long to bring our rubbish to him, where we don’t have to wait, or to queue, or keep a 2 metre distance or wear a mask, and He is never shut or closed.

If we give him our rubbish, our mistakes and messes, then the soil of our lives can produce crops and fruit that God plants and creates and cultivates. I am thankful

© Shefali Hollis
Ordinary Time, can it be?

Thousands dead,
Masks covering faces and fear,
Children stopped in play,
Distances kept,
Church bells silent.

But it is still God’s time.
Lifting hope heavenward,
Blessing the help from every hand,
Recharging praying lips,
The ever presence of Divine love.

Always God’s time.
Keeping alive His Holy Flame,
Stirring hearts with Good News,
Spreading true love across the World,
Now and into Eternity.
© Helen McNichol  June 2020

June 12th
Creation

We hear the words:
Keep your distance, keep your distance.
But our Triune God is saying,
“Come Closer, Come Closer”.
We must listen to His calling,
see His image in Creation,
letting His World vibrate
through our hearts and souls.
Encased within His constant
Love and Care.
Feel the wonder of the sky above us.
a vision of God’s greatness,
an ever-changing backdrop,
with an array of many colours.
Clouds to test our weather people.
A platform for the birds,
to swoop and glide in blissful freedom.
Each day a touch of God’s mystery.
At the breaking of the day,
and the closing in of night.
With stars and moon to lead the way,
His promise of day and night.
Often a scene of our dreams,
and a longing for eternity.
Oceans move around our land
flavoured with the salt
of Holy wisdom,
a cleansing for our souls.
Home for a thousand, thousand
gifts from God.
Sometimes waves lap gently
stilling the soul,
or crashing storms pounding the rocks,
like the power of the Holy Spirit.
Oceans are fed by rivers large and small,
God’s life-blood for the world,
filling arteries of all creatures and plants,
sustaining life and growth.
Embracing Earth with colour,
aroma, purpose and love.
God you are the fulcrum of all life.
Help us to come ever closer
to your unbounded Gift,
nurturing it with healing hands
and God-driven listening souls.

© Helen McNichol June 2020


June 11th
Psalm 23v4
‘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.

Frances


June 1st
God’s World

Inspired by Psalm 104

In my head I hear His voice
“Look at the wonders I created”
Rest, breathe, my Spirit is here with you.

Birds sing of God’s bounty, sheltered from the wind; hopping along the lush borders of silver green, ever watchful.
Beyond the holly hedge the sheep, constantly grazing, respond to the ever-present bleat of lambs calling them to succour.
Rest, breathe, my Spirit is here with you.

Flashes of sapphire from water tumbling over rock; bubbles in a tranquil pool where a robin drinks perched on the very edge
Golden carp undulating below the lilies in crystal water surface.
The screech of a peacock disturbs the calm.
Rest, breathe my Spirit is here with you.

Children shout, call, shriek in joyful play.
A mower buzzes far, far away and nearer still the bees.
The scrunch of gravel beneath an arbour; where the smell of damp earth mingles with light, fragrant scents from the fallen petals: crimson, scarlet and rose lie with a sprinkling of pine needles.

The warmth, glories and colours of the world.
All of these touching the senses as I listen
Rest, breathe Rejoice! For my Spirit is here with you.

© Barbara Rolison Kingdom Arts May 2020

Thought for The Day

During the lockdown many of us are working in our gardens, tidying and planting. I’m sure this work is still going on in church grounds throughout the land too.

I hope we can all feel God in our lives during this time of confinement during which many of us are going through hours of solitude…….time alone when gardening too and it occurred to me whilst toiling in the garden, Jesus is a gardener, a gardener of our souls.
He plants the seed of our faith, waters and feeds us thus nourishing us through his teachings, he even prunes our souls if we go astray, then rejoices in watching us bloom into Christian people and just like all flora every one of us is unique and special to him.
I hope this helps to make gardening less arduous for you, knowing that what you are doing for your garden Jesus is doing for you!
Happy Gardening!

Scarlett Hemming

Coronavirus Journal June

We do not know when our next meeting will be,
so our journal continues . . .

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

June 24th

Two pieces of writing to stimulate:-

A trip to the tip
Inspiration

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

Ordinary time

Some churches call the period after Pentecost ‘Ordinary Time’.
Helen has thoughts on this. Click on ‘June 2020 Writing’ above.

June 23rd
A piece of artwork inspired by the rainbow
Sue Ashby-Davis
June 18th
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.

Deadline: July 12th

For more instructions go to the ‘music’ area.
Click here >> Kingdom Arts Choir

June 17th
A beautiful wire sculpture

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

June 12th
Creation

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


June 11th

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.

Jan Butterworth


Psalm 23v4

‘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.

Frances

 


June 9th
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.

Ingredients

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.

Method

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.

Ingredients

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.

Method

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).


June 5th
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.
David at work
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!

June 1st

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.

Click here >> June 2020 Writing

Scarlett Hemming provides us with a ‘Thought for the Day’
Reflections on gardening at this time. You can read this on the creative writing page for this month.
Click ‘June 2020 Writing’ above.