January 2019 Gathering

8th January 2019

“The Baptism of Jesus in the River Jordan”
Mark 1:1-11

Greetings of Happy New Year filled the air as we assembled this morning.
Wonderfully harmonious music and voices accompanied our introductory song, “Come down O Love divine”. The reading was from Mark’s gospel invoking the Holy Spirit brought as if by a dove.

More melodious songs and then the introduction by David New of iconography, traditional and modern, depicting the Holy Spirit at the Baptism of Christ. This was our inspiration.

It was translated into art using fabric and stitching to depict ribbons of water in tones of blue with beading.

The clay table invited us to experiment and there were interesting results.

The charcoal drawing stimulated some artistic representations of the dove and the Holy Spirit.

Mosaic tiles were on offer at the “challenging” table and there were attempts to rise to the challenge of making a dove or flames using small squares and a great deal of imagination and skill.

The writing table had to be extended as our group had amazing ideas and were eager to put them onto paper.

The morning ended with a plenary session when resulting works were shared.  This was followed by a unique lunch held in the church with bread, cheese and pickle and followed by fruit and cake. (The kitchen is being replaced and soup will resume next month).

Our next meeting is on Tuesday February 12th
when the theme of water continues,
we hope to see you then.


For this month’s pictures, see the Gallery

For this month’s words, see Creative Writing

 

2018 Christmas Tree News

Worcester Cathedral Christmas Tree Festival

If you joined us in November, or if you have seen November’s report, you will know that we were producing stars and figures for a Christmas tree to be on display at the Christmas Tree Festival in Worcester Cathedral.

Some of the work was not finished on the day, so a group of willing volunteers(?) got together to sort everything out.

The tree is now proudly displayed in the cathedral, and you can visit and see all of the trees or look at the cathedral website and see some of them.

We are very pleased and proud to announce that our tree has been chosen as one of the top ten trees on display! There is an opportunity for visitors and website viewers to vote for their favourite tree. If you have the time to visit, please do. The trees look quite stunning in the subdued light and the  display is well worth the effort.

You might even decide that our tree is the best and vote for it!

The Tree Festival runs from 8 December to 3 January. There is no charge; however you may wish to make a donation via one of the barrels to support the Cathedral and its work.


 

December 2018 Gathering

11th December 2018

“The Pearl of Great Price”
Matthew 13:45-46

A glittering cloth of gold set with the nativity scene and pearls in shells greeted us this morning as we sang ‘Hark the Herald Angels’ accompanied by our accomplished musicians, and welcomed new members to the group.

This was followed by a humorous piece “The Three Gossips” featuring three of our thespian colleagues! This was a short sketch about the village where Mary lives. The reading was a short text from Matthew and the significance of Jesus as the pearl was well explained by Alex.
To meet the cast and see an excerpt from the performance, see below.

The first activity offered was to use Lego and additional “dainty props” for the stable, the shepherds and the wise men. This was accompanied by artistically painted backdrops to set the scene. This was later described as “an excellent team effort” and “the most up market stable.” They are to remain in church this week for other groups to appreciate.

There were some most attractive ceramic baubles to design and paint with acrylic. They were truly spectacular and will grace several trees.

This month, David New’s challenge was an origami shell, delicate to look at and skilfully made.

The creative writing table was full of purposeful endeavour and self-expression with themes of Advent, Pearls and Crackers.

David M held a most enjoyable singing workshop to learn a new Christmas song which we hope to feature on the website in due course.

We ended with discussion of the morning’s activities, worship and prayer followed by delicious chestnut and orange soup.

We wish you all a very Merry Christmas and please remember to visit the Christmas tree exhibition in the Cathedral when maybe you will feel inspired to vote for the Kingdom Arts Christmas tree!! {Voting is also available on the Cathedral website}.
Our next meeting will be on January 8th we do hope to see you then.

A delicious new soup was offered for lunch, spinach, pea and pesto which was greatly enjoyed by many with the alternative potato and leek, accompanied by bread, cheese and home-made cake alongside plenty of conversations.

Our 1st meeting in 2019 is on Tuesday January 8th.
We will be delighted if you would join us.


For this month’s pictures, see the Gallery

For this month’s words, see Creative Writing

For this month’s drama, see The Three Gossips

For this month’s music, see Music

For all of next year’s dates, see dates for your diary.

November 2018 Gathering

13th November 2018

“The Parable of the Wise and Foolish Builders”
Matthew 7:24-29

After praise through songs accompanied by our own musicians and vocalists and a reading of the parable of the Wise and Foolish Builders, an explanation of the parable and prayers were offered by Alex. Then followed starting points from members of the team to help us all decide which of the activites on offer we would like to try.

This month, our group consisted of many familiar faces as well as some more new members. Everyone enjoyed the arts and crafts on offer.

The skeleton for our Christmas tree (which goes on display on December 8th at Worcester Cathedral) had already been prepared by Trevor, and one group spent time decorating the tree branches with stencilled golden stars.

Characters for the accompanying Nativity were stitched in glorious and elaborate colours or more subdued fabrics. It was a bit of fun but you needed skill. They will look amazing when completed.

David’s design of an eight pointed ribbon star was complex! Comments included It’s awkward and finicky to hold onto but great if you get it right and You need time to get the glue off your fingers.

The sand pictures were thought provoking and glittery and one lady exclaimed “it was great fun drawing with glue”.

The creative writing table attracted new talent and our first Rap was produced, along with thoughtful prose.

We ended with a sung grace.

A delicious new soup was offered for lunch, spinach, pea and pesto which was greatly enjoyed by many with the alternative potato and leek, accompanied by bread, cheese and home-made cake alongside plenty of conversations.

Our last meeting for 2018 is on Tuesday December 10th.
We will be delighted if you would join us.


For this month’s pictures, see the Gallery

For this month’s words, see Creative Writing

For next year’s dates, see dates for your diary.

October 2018 Gathering

9th October 2018

“The Parable of the Prodigal Son”
Luke 15:11-32

Our new season of meetings is based on the parables of Jesus and interpreting their meaning or sparking interpretational ideas through writing, craftwork, art or music.

Following praise through songs accompanied by our amazing musicians and vocalists, a reading of the parable of the Prodigal Son, and starting points from members of the team; our group, including new members and visitors explored the activities on offer.

Creative writing explored feelings and how to express or seek forgiveness, while the free drawing with charcoal expanded the parable into visual art.
Words around the concept of feelings were translated into posters.

Felting [in this instance, making pig shapes with felt pressed through by stabbing with a needle] was offered for the first time and was so much enjoyed that it will surely be offered again.

The making of a “simple balance” was a challenge in dexterity and scientific principle. [Do look at the photographs.]

Finally came an innovative retelling of the Prodigal Son using a puppet theatre. The performance was a unique presentation, so enjoyable and such fun.

The discussion and sharing of ideas at the end of the morning was dynamic, personal and very thoughtful. The exploration of the meaning of the parable and the concept of forgiveness had been explored both on a personal level and within several of the groups.

We ended with a sung grace.

A delicious choice of pear and parsnip or mushroom soup was offered for lunch accompanied by bread, cheese and cake with an opportunity to continue conversations.

Our next meeting is on Tuesday November 13th.
We will be delighted if you would join us.


For this month’s pictures, see the Gallery

For this month’s words, see Creative Writing

For this month’s drama, see Oct 2018 Puppet Theatre

September 2018 Gathering

11th September 2018

“The Parable of the Sower”
Matthew 13:1-9,18-23

Our new season of meetings will be based on the parables of Jesus and interpreting their meaning or sparking interpretational ideas through writing, craftwork, art or music.

Following praise through song, a reading of the parable of the sower and starting points from members of the team; our group, including new members and visitors explored the activities on offer.

Interesting Origami birds were a new challenge to interpret the birds who fed on the seeds, whilst stones representing the rocky ground, were decorated in colourful designs.

Watercolour paintings using seed as inspiration led to philosophical interpretation of seeds bursting forth and dispersing. This idea was also discussed by the writing group.

Meanwhile embroidery and beads embellished the earth coloured squares interpreting the meaning of the good and fertile soil bringing forth abundance.

The discussion and sharing of ideas at the end of the morning was dynamic, personal and very thoughtful. The concept of ourselves as seeds waiting for the point of germination and growth into Christian belief and action was explored in several of the groups.

A delicious choice of soup, bread, cheese and cake was offered for lunch with an opportunity to continue conversations.

Our next meeting is on Tuesday October 9th. You are most welcome to join us.


For this month’s pictures, see the Gallery

For this month’s words, see Creative Writing

June 2018 Gathering

12th June 2018

“Jesus calms the storm”
Mark 4:35-41

Today, our songs, worship and prayers were based around the reading and made for calm and a quiet meaningful start to what was the last session for the next few months, as we all take a chance to refresh and renew.

The central aisle was decorated with fabrics representing water and a rather striking boat which announced the theme.

There were several water based activities:

Origami boats with a range of difficulty and complexity. So many rose to the challenge and a colourful selection resulted.

The free painting opportunity to create seascapes was joyfully accessed and paint and water flowed across the paper with stunning results and much satisfaction.

The pillows for Jesus to lay his head were beautifully embroidered and decorated, please see the picture gallery.

Drawing and colouring and creative writing were also available giving more opportunities for quiet discussion and thought.

A highlight was the music making with percussion listening to each other and making sounds to reflect storms and tranquillity was for some a moving experience and left us all with a sense of achievement and unity.

A time for sharing our work was an essential part of the end of the morning and after prayer we enjoyed either mushroom or “enhanced” vegetable soup (or both!)

We meet to start a new series of Kingdom Arts on Tuesday September 11th with coffee at 9.30 when we all hope to welcome you again.


For this month’s pictures, see the Gallery

For this month’s words, see Creative Writing

Exhibition 17th -19th May 2018

“A truly wonderful and inspirational exhibition. Thank you very much.”

“So many amazing displays and all of them shining with the Light of the Lord – very uplifting.”

“The children enjoyed exploring and learning. Thank you for inviting us.”

“Beautiful Expressions of Faith, Love and Life.”

“Very inspirational display. Beautiful creations in a lovely setting”


For three days our church was open to the public, displaying some of our work we had created over the previous two years. We were delighted to have some 70 or 80 visitors each day. In addition we had 3 groups of primary school children with their teachers and they were given a quiz to do as well as a craft activity and refreshments. A small team of tireless helpers served endless cups of tea and coffee along with home-made cake, talked with visitors and helped the schoolteachers with the children.

We have an open plan church building with moveable chairs. This provided plenty of space for display boards and tables down the sides of the church. In the centre of the body of the church we opened out a labyrinth drawn on canvas (some 15ft square) with a card of prayerful suggestions for devotional use.

Many varieties of art and craft were on display – painting, collage, drawing, paper-craft, Lego, tapestry, sewing as well as creative writing.

Some exhibits were individual contributions, other were the collective work of a group of people. All the exhibits were based on Bible themes and were accompanied by a brief word of explanation which many people greatly appreciated.

Modelling with paper and Lego

Some people took the opportunity for a time of quiet prayer. Others enjoyed having-a-go at simple craft work or creative doodling. I think everyone enjoyed the sense of community and friendship.

We are a small parish group of people, meeting once a month, to reflect on a passage of the Bible, express our response in creative ways, share what the morning has meant to us, and finish with a simple soup lunch. Others have joined us from neighbouring churches and this has greatly increased the number of varieties of arts and crafts that we are able to offer. We are registered as a ‘Fresh Expression’ and are open to anyone who would like to join us.

One person perceptively commented, “I loved the fact that, side by side, there are works of which any professional would be proud and work which even someone of my limited skill and experience could aspire to!”

Mosaics, Decoupage and Pop-ups

Creative Writing

Search and you will find . . .

The Tree of Life

Anyway, never mind looking at pictures – come along and have a go!

It doesn’t matter whether you’re the next Van Gogh or Banksy (there’s a thought – anyone got a spray can?) or Joe Bloggs, all are welcome.

Check out the dates of the meetings in Dates for your diary.


 

May 2018 Gathering

8th May 2018

“The Miracle of the Loaves and Fishes”
Mark 6:30-44

The worship began with joyful songs followed by the reading and prayers led by Alex.

Today’s activities based on the reading included making a print block and designing a pattern with it on a fish outline. The artistry and the colourful range of patterns were wonderful.

David had a more challenging paper folding activity this month which was to make a rectangular box to represent a basket.

A new and unusual craft activity involved recycling plastic carrier bags, thus an assortment of objects were designed including a flower and a fish.

There were both oil and chalk pastels for free drawing, and opportunities for conversation and laughter encouraged at each activity.

The writing table was well used this time with acrostic poems using the word fishes or loaves or the challenge of composing a haiku.

At the end of the morning, anyone who wished to talk about the activities they had been part of was invited to share their thoughts.

After grace was sung lunch followed, with a choice of cream of cauliflower soup or tomato and basil from the soup book.

Our next meeting is on Tuesday June 12th. We look forward to meeting you then.


For this month’s pictures, see the Gallery

For this month’s words, see Creative Writing

April 2018 Gathering

17th April 2018

“The Wedding in Cana”
John 2:1-11

This month the central aisle had been decorated with yards of lace, confetti, flowers, wedding shoes, invitations and a bottle of bubbly!  Thus the theme was apparent before we began with celebratory songs, followed by the reading from John Chapter 2, verses 1 – 11, recollecting the wedding in Cana in Galilee, which describes the first miracle of Jesus.  This was followed with prayers led by Alex.

The craft tables were filled with activities to reflect on a wedding theme. There were blank cards to design on the front and make an invitation inside to call the recipient to think, maybe of faith.

A still life was set up with a group of empty vessels to depict the filling of wine jars, which invited drawings with pastels.

An activity to make a wedding guest figure from wire, dowel, fabrics and all manner of embellishments called on the inner fashion designers amongst us. The ingenuity and variety was wonderful.

Lastly there were even more intricate, decorative handmade flowers crafted with paper which were quite detailed and very lovely. [Please look at the photographs.]

We finished with opportunities for anyone who wished to, to talk about the activities they had been part of. Lunch followed, with a choice of butternut squash or celery soup delicious as usual, and an array of cake!

Our next meeting is on Tuesday May 8th. We look forward to meeting you then.


For this month’s pictures, see the Gallery

David New has contributed a poem about the wedding in Cana, see Creative Writing

The Kingdom Arts Exhibition is fast approaching and preparations are already in hand. If you can get to us on May 17th, 18th or 19th, do come along and see our work, while you drink tea or coffee and munch a cake with our compliments!