Kerry is an old friend of mine who has just stepped into the blogging world. I encourage you to check out her poetry and introduce yourself.
Every month our church’s artist ministry, C.cada, gets together to do its personal and group art work. The morning is given to personal work and the afternoon is given to a group project. April was the month we set aside to make May Baskets as an outreach to our shut-in and elderly congregants.
The camaraderie at the tables was great.
But the most fun was handing them out. We collaborated with the Children’s ministry at our church and on April 30th we took a few hours to hand out 32 May baskets in our community.
Bigger news still a Dayhab we work with in music ministry has asked us to come in and help make 57 more baskets for their Individuals on May 12th!
One of the artists in the C.cada collaborative challenged me to a seven day nature challenge. For seven days I am supposed to post a photo of nature. I was nominated by Kenneth Knowlton . Everyday I am supposed to nominate someone new. Today I nominate Charlotte Dorais.
One of the artists in the C.cada collaborative challenged me to a seven day nature challenge. For seven days I am supposed to post a photo of nature. I was nominated by Kenneth Knowlton . Everyday I am supposed to nominate someone new. Today I nominate Michelle King. Here is today’s photo.
one of the artists in the C.cada collaborative challenged me to a seven day nature challenge. For seven days I am supposed to post a photo of nature. I was nominated by Kenneth Knowlton . Everyday I am supposed to nominate someone new. Today I nominate Brenda Brenda J. Lillie. Here is today’s photo.
Yesterday was our artist’s gathering, C.cada. Every afternoon the artists meet together to do a group project or exercise.
In yesterday’s exercise we were given a picture of a “Blob” It looked to me kind of like an ice cream cone with eyes.
Our instructions were to use any art form we wanted to create a piece of art inspired by “the blob”. Our only boundary was that the work had to speak to some spiritual reality.
The blob itself was sort of comical. At first I thought I would have to write something light and funny. Then I got thinking about the word amorphous. It took me back to the root Morph and then to Morpheus the Greek God of dreams. In Medieval Lit Morpheus is depicted as a supernatural being who wears a coat, half white and half black. He stands before two gates, one of horn and one of ivory. One gate leads to false dreams and the other leads to true dreams. From these thoughts came the following.
by JE Lillie
At the gates of horn and ivory
King Friday’s court, Big Bird’s nest
Iran, Iraq and Israel
All play their best.
The boundary between fairy tale
And fairly true lies blurred.
Subterfuge is diction.
Awake is falsehood.
Asleep is just life’s dream.
It’s in the place between,
When nighttime shudders me off in cold embrace
Or grace of sunrises kiss my temples,
Then for moments
Waking, sleeping, amorphous
The pie-bald singer of reverie
There I hear the truth
And know the lies.
I struggled with my list of who to send out my family and friends Christmas letter to this year. I did the same thing last year and by the time I got done creating the send list it was St. Patrick’s Day and the point was moot. So rather than make the same mistake this year I decided just to make my letter a post and anyone who is a follower on WordPress, Facebook, or Linked In can read about the past year in Lillie-Put if they care to.
So 2016. What a wild and crazy year Ay? As my lead Pastor would say. It was full of busyness and blessing.
The kids? They are all doing fine.
Joe continues to teach in South Korea
He is travelling between four schools and teaching English and Western culture to children from elementary through High School. He loves it and is finding a home there. I do look forward to having him home for a week in January. We have some fun plans!
Amanda is living here with me in Winchendon MA and is working at a Dayhab in Ashburnham, as a one to one aid. She also got her certification as a minister with the Assemblies of God and is praying about her next steps in ministry.
She was also just given the post of Vice President of the Special Touch Ministry REACH New England chapter. She will be working with the leadership of this group to bring ministry to the disabled population of North Central Worcester County.
Melanie and her husband James continue to work and minister in their church in Saugus MA. Melanie is the Children’s Pastor and James is an assistant to the lead Pastor there. Both also continue to work in youth ministry and hold down full time jobs. They are very busy people as you can imagine.
My sister Brenda has returned to the Netherlands, her mission field, and is continuing to work with the theater ministry out of Ichtus Church in Zaandam. She is also going to language school and now sometimes when she calls she forgets I don’t speak Dutch.
She has a beautiful little apartment on an island farm on the outskirts of Zaandam. Amanda went for a visit last summer. I hope I get to visit before her job requires her to move.
As for me…I continue to work as the assistant pastor of Cornerstone Church in Winchendon MA. Amanda and I live with my Mom in the house I grew up in. Mom just turned 80 in September and is still pretty spry. I have to watch her or she’ll start shoveling the drive or lugging wood from the wood pile. She does let me cut the lawn and do the grocery shopping and the lions share of the cooking but she still insists on doing the laundry and the dishes and God forbid I should try to vacuum the rugs downstairs!
This year was a really busy year in ministry, especially the fall. In August I led worship for a week in Berkshires for Special Touch’s New England getaway. In September I was privileged to be a part of planning and running the Toy Town Fall Fest. We had about 3,000 people in attendance on the newly acquired Ingleside property. This was a culmination of three years of work on behalf of our committee to buy and create a makerspace in the center of Winchendon.
One week after the Fall Fest I was a presenter at our church network worship conference where I got to explain our artist’s collaborative to about 50 worship leaders from the Tri- state area. From there it was a mad dash to get ready for C.cada’s ( our artists collaborative) fall art show in October. We hung over 100 works by our collaborative, presented an evening of music and held several workshops for the public.
Finally in November Cornerstone opened its doors to Special Touch to do a regional Disability Training Conference. After that it was an end run to Christmas and here we are. The season has been full of parties and concerts. Tomorrow night we are having our annual Christmas Eve service and then on Sunday we have my favorite service above all other services. Christmas Sunday. It only happens once every seven years and while I am not sure why it is my absolute favorite service period!
The church is fully decorated. My teams are rehearsed. The special music is ready. All my Christmas food is bought. Now I just have to wrap presents.
To you and yours Lillie-Put wishes you a very merry Christmas!
Those who believe they believe in God, but without passion in the heart, without anguish of mind, without uncertainty, without doubt, and even at times without despair, believe only in the idea of God and not in God Himself.” Unamuno
“You should utter words as though heaven were opened within them, and as though you did not put the word into your mouth, but as though you had entered the word.” Martin Buber
“We would like God’s way to be like our ways, His judgments to be like our judgments. It is hard for us to understand that He lavishly gives enormous talents to people we would consider unworthy, that He chooses His artists with as calm a disregard of surface moral qualifications as He chooses His saints.” Madeleine L’Engle, Walking on Water P. 26