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 21st

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.

Read these in the September Writing page


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?


 

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


 

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


 

 

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.


Coronavirus Journal May

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.

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

May 16th

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


May 15th

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)


May 14th

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.


May 13th

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


May 12th

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.

Click here to visit her YouTube channel >> Streams of prayer


May 9th

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:-

  1. Materials: outside fabric, lining fabric, metal strip (if available), tape to cover metal strip, (not shown: elastic or tape)
  2. 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
  3. Cut out pieces. The fabric is folded so every cutout will produce two pieces
  1. This picture shows the pieces cut out for two masks, one large and one smaller, with double fabric layers
  2. Stitch centre front seam
  3. Attach strip (if you have it) to nose of outer fabric
  1. Stitch two layers together, top and bottom
  2. Snip curves
  3. Turn through, fold in raw edges and press
  1. 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.

Exodus 35:35
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.

Click here to download pattern > >  Mask Pattern

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.


May 2nd
 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
Not execution

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

“Come”

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

© Helen McNichol


May 1st
Our creative Talents are being put to good use!
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
Amanda

Facebook: WorcestershireForTheLoveOfScrubs

Several of the Kingdom Arts group have also been involved in altering some ready-made scrubs to fit. Well done to Amanda and Lyn, Sue, Barbara and Alex for using their creative gifts!

Two pieces of creative writing from Frances

Frances has contributed two pieces of writing, which are quite lengthy. Extracts are shown below. However, you can read the full text on the Creative Writing page:

click here >> May 2020 Writing

I Broke the Rules       (a rap)

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 . . .


Click here to see >> Coronavirus Journal for April


Coronavirus Journal April

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.


This journal is growing!
You will find all the March/April entries below.

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

April 25th
Mary and the Holy Spirit

“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….”

Shefali Chandros

April 23rd
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.

Amen.

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.


Hallelujah Chorus

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!

YouTube: College Church Hallelujah Chorus


Marquetry
Vikki Moore

Pretty good for a first attempt!
Vikki says she may well have another go and see if she can improve on it.


April 21st
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.

© Barbara Rolison, April 2020


Delicious new soups from Jan’s Kitchen
Pea/Spinach Pesto Soup

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.

Method
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.

Lentil Soup

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.

Ingredients
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.

Method
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.

Song: Holy Spirit descend on me
>> Click here to play video

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.

©2020 David Old Moore


April 15th
Be Still and Know that I am God

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!

Sue Ashby
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,

Alex xxx


 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 .
Lesley Brown
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.

David New

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
Frances Burton

Inspired by the story of Mary and Martha (Luke 10:38-42) which was to be the theme of our April Gathering

Pentecost fire

One of our future activities was to be a representation of Pentecostal fire.
Starting with some simple materials . . .

. . . and finishing with this decoration:

Vikki Moore

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.

He brings salvation to us all.

©2020 David Old Moore

Inspired by:

(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
Everlasting Love.

©2020 Helen McNicholl


April 1st
A song of the stairway
Rodney Dow

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
Shefali
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.

 

 

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?”
“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

HALLELUJAH!!

©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


 

June 2019 Festival Contributors

Report date: 1st March 2020:

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:

Sue Ashby-Davis
sueashby183@googlemail.com

Christine Benson
christine.e.benson@gmail.com

Andrea Chance
andrea3david@yahoo.co.uk

Hannah Dunnett
www.benandhannahdunnett.com

Mary Fleeson
www. Lindisfarne scriptorium

Sara Hayward
www.powishayward.co.uk Instagram sarahaywardart

Christine Morgan
www.brandywineart.co.uk

Mercedes Pearson
mercedes.pearson@vaporum.com

Marcella Spreadbury
marcelladyson@hotmail.com

Karen Stone
info@stonefineart.co.uk


To see the Festival report, click here

 

Visitors’ book Feb 2020

12th February

What a wonderful day yesterday…. such a joy to spend it with the usual people plus our visitors from The Bridge.

Here are the comments from our visitors’ book for you to see and to be encouraged by them:

“I love the small service to give us ideas for the craft time… gradually the crafts ‘release’ me and I can’t decide which craft to do next. The idea of dance for the last song of worship was the icing on the cake”.
Joan

“I was impressed with how the morning felt unhurried and relaxed. How the whole flowed from worship to craft to sharing. I was also impressed with how at all points the focus was on God and responding to God. Too often we make worship about us!”
Rev Glenn Reading

Mutual Flourishing
From Victoria (E-mail)
Can’t tell you how lovely it was to see you all this morning. And thank you for kingdom Arts itself – it was restorative.
I thought you needed to see this e-mail I received. Can you pass on my thanks to the people he mentions?
I confess that ‘John from Ipsley’ has been a big inspiration to me in my journey, also.

From John at the Bridge to Victoria. (E-mail)
Thank you for letting me accompany you and your clerical colleagues to Worcester and St George’s. What a lovely day! The whole day was so enjoyable, joining in worship (hymns or are they called faith songs now ? No matter, I did feel quite at home with it)
Meeting such a lovely, friendly group of people so helpful in every way. Just being Christian, as I like to think we at the Bridge are. One shouldn’t really name certain people, but the following were really good to me and for me-
John from Ipsley, Vikki, David also from Ipsley, musicians, Trevor and Clive.
I wrote a thank you note on Facebook (I think) to Kingdom Arts . This is my thank you note to you.

To all our regulars and helpers: All the hard work is worth it isn’t it? Thank you all for sharing your amazing gifts with so many people and so regularly!

February 2020 Gathering

11th February 2020

Women in the Bible: Miriam

“What an amazing space this is!” exclaimed one of our visitors to Kingdom Arts this month. The entire session was remarkable, and the church buzzed with activity and conversations among members of other churches.

Alex warmly welcomed everyone, especially the visitors from the Bridge in Redditch, mentioning that it was also a special day for three of our members. We love to celebrate birthdays!

We commenced by singing praises accompanied by our band of musicians. The theme of women in the bible continued with Miriam (Exodus 2:1-10) and the well-known story of Moses in the Bulrushes, then following her to Exodus 15:20-21 after the Crossing of the Red Sea and Moses’ victory over the Egyptians. There was a reflection, led by Alex with prayer.

After the intricacies of the temple build, this month David had a new and simpler task to construct a basket, with paper, scissors, and glue.

There was an opportunity to create a still life of a group of objects including a basket using pastels or charcoals. Not all the work was based on the objects displayed, but some really interesting results appeared.

A new activity was to make a bulrush using wool and fabric, the results were delicately beautiful.

The creative writing activity inspired several writers who captured aspects of the story of Miriam from different angles. The resulting work was inspiring.

Moses
The water flowed
The bitumen and pitch safeguarded the basket
Loving watchful eyes
Saved the child
As God protects us in our ever changing lives
Cradled by moving holy water
And weeps for our lost ones
Never to see light
Uncared unloved souls
Others left in strange receiving homes
But binding us together
Male and Female
Rich and poor
Lost and found
With rich glue fast love.
©Helen McNicoll Kingdom Arts February 2020

This is one of three pieces of creative writing this month. To see the others, click on ‘Creative Writing’ at the end of this report.

Another small group were introduced to the art of calligraphy. This requires much care and precision. The participants were rewarded with some fine results.

As always, there is time and space to sit quietly and knit with prayer. This is a welcome respite from the bustle of busy lives.

Following on from last month’s successful activity with the ribbons, Alex taught a group a dance, such as Miriam may have performed to glorify and praise the Lord. The dancers used claves (sticks to the uninitiated!) in time to the music provided by Sue on the accordion and Trevor on the tambourine.

Click on the link below to see a short video of their efforts.

Claves rehearsal

The work of the morning was displayed, celebrated and admired with some explanations.

The grand finale was to accompany “You shall go out with joy” with singing, clapping and with the special dancing group to praise the Lord in our own way.

Claves performance

Our shared lunch was black bean spicy soup or leek and potato soup. There was cheese, grapes, cakes and a chance to converse with our visitors and each other.

We would be delighted to welcome you on the second Tuesday of March with tea and coffee at 9:30
Tuesday March 10th : Mary Magdalene


If you just wish to look through all the photographs, you can see the Gallery

For this month’s words, see Creative Writing