Monday, January 31, 2011

Water into Wine - Creative Prayer group during church service 30th January

As I was preparing myself for the group to explore creative prayer expression of John 2,1-12, my husband Pete suggested me to read study, reflection by Stephen Verney in his book Water into Wine 

I was really amazed by reading such a deep reflection, bringing for me very new insights into the meaning of the story of transformation water into wine. And I stopped my mind grumbling at Pete that he mixed up the readings that we were both supposed to use during Sunday service and that I spend lots of time drawing prayer pictures for different bible passage...  When praying and reading Stephen Verney reflection, I went through transformation myself and I became very excited about being able to use John's reading for creative prayer reflection....
I kept drawing black and white pictures and made a collage during group yesterday. And finally today I found and opportunity to paint a prayer in color as well.... It was really encouraging to see people yesterday at church exploring creatively the John's gospel.... if there was more time I would love to share some type of summary of what Stephen Verney wrote, but I felt also that it was so important to let people explore and listen to God's Word directly...  It is encouraging to be receiving now feedback and if there is another opportunity for creative prayer group in our church, I pray that I may be able to learn well, to learn from my mistakes, but most that I would be open to listen to God and to let God to use me in His way, without trying to "be perfect" myself and without feeling at times stuck by looking at my human imperfections....  The journey of transformation. The journey of letting go and learning to be - to be free me, as God's beloved child, His beloved daughter, who is accepted for who she is... 

Water into Wine  Part 1

Water into Wine  Part 2

Water into Wine Part 3
And here I attach some photos from the church, including paintings and drawings created by the congregation:

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Montgomery Art Centre inspiration

Last year I had very inspiring meeting with Lindsey from Montgomery Art Centre.
It is so encouraging for me to meet other people who have passion for exploring creativity in prayer and worship.  I hope I will be able to find more artists and to be able to share experience, prayers...


C3 Stockport inspiration

Pete, Danielka and me visited C3 Stockport creative service only once, few years ago, but really enjoyed being there...  here is the link to their website:

L'Arche inspiration - creativity and prayer

As I watched tonight video clips from l'Arche Lambeth, I realized, how much I miss l'Arche and how much I learnt there. - about myself, about prayer, about creativity... l'Arche retreats, spiritual direction, relationships based on trust and deep respect for everyone, values of l'Arche really changed, shaped who I am now... As my friend Marcela visited us last weekend, I heard from her updates about l'Arche  Lambeth community life. I hope we would be able to plan a visit with Pete and Danielka. It was great to see how Danielka enjoyed our visit to the community few years ago during Easter and how well she connected with my friends with profound learning disabilities.  
Art as a prayer is a very important part of my faith journey - especially since I came to live and work in l'Arche community in the UK in 1996 Living in the community and discovering the gifts and creativity of adults with learning disabilities profoundly changed me. I discovered new dimensions of my own previously hidden gifts especially art as prayer.

Within L'Arche Lambeth, I was blessed to have many opportunities to share my prayer paintings with the community (including painting for a UK retreat with Jean Vanier and illustrations for booklets for Faith Groups). While living in l'Arche Lambeth, I became a member of Holy Trinity Brompton, where I attended the Alpha Course and also became a member of a small worship team (as a singer) and supported one of the new HTB plants. During that time, I also completed the HTB worship leader training which I really enjoyed. I enjoyed living out my spirituality in daily life both as a member of l'Arche and as part of the HTB worship team, attending whole-congregation prayer meetings.

After 4 years in London, due to visa restrictions, I had to leave UK. I went to work and live in l'Arche community in Calgary in Canada -  Whilst there, I was received into membership of the Lutheran Church and became a member of a very lively worship team, once again as a singer. Through worship, I was able to share my gift of prayer paintings and was twice invited to create prayer paintings during the whole congregation service. This was a very exciting time and a great blessing as our Lutheran Church had a joint service with the Church of England. In l'Arche I continued to be amazed by the gifts of creativity and the variety of expression of faith of adults with often severe and profound learning disabilities. In Faithful Companion of Jesus, Sister Pat Desnoyers who lead dance sessions for our core members (people with learning disabilities), I found an excellent spiritual director. Sister Pat encouraged me to go deeper in exploring the ways God speaks to me through my art. I also became a member of an inter-denominational group of Christian Artists. Our work led us to organise an exhibition of our artwork in Calgary.

After 2 years in Canada, I moved back to Europe, as my young nephew was struggling with cancer. And I also met Pete through  I moved back to the UK, back to l'Arche communities (in Bognor Regis  and later l'Arche Liverpool). While in l'Arche Bognor Regis I continued to use the art with people with learning disabilities and myself. Together with a professional art-therapist, I lead an art workshop during a Jean Vanier UK retreat in 2004. .

L'Arche Lambeth Community

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Inspiration - Mary Fleeson

I was so happy to receive in post today Mary Fleeson's Multicoloured Prayers books, that I plan to use during service tomorrow. It would be the first time for me to lead the group during the family service and I hope that Mary's artwork would be inspiration for people. I still need to do some more work get everything ready and I hope and I pray that what I say would be clear... 

I feel so passionate about creativity in worship and I would love to find the way of sharing this with people. Two prayer days during the Autumn were the beginning of that journey in our parish for me, and now it would be the first time to actually lead the small (or bigger? I have no idea how many people will choose to come) in creative worship...I have also other activities prepared, collage and some free painting, drawing for people who are interested. I am not sure yet, whether I will bring any my prayer artwork there as inspiration as well, but will pray about it....