Grace - fresh vital worship since 1993

March 2024: Creativity

Grace March 2024 Creativity flyer

The idea was to invite the congregation to be creative in the service. There were 16 Swiss visitors, trainee pastors in the Reformed Church from the Zurich area.

Slideshow here

Welcome

Creativity is for everyone!

In the beginning God created

A reading of Genesis 1.

Someone invented mayonnaise

In the years around 1800 someone invented mayonnaise. Nobody knows exactly who or when or even where, although it’s named after a town in Menorca.
First, understand that in rural societies eggs and olive oil are valuable.
Someone thought that if you wasted a lot of egg yolks by pouring olive oil onto them very slowly, while stirring it very hard, and adding vinegar, that the resulting mix, instead of being yellow and sticky and smelling bad, might be white and fluffy and delicious. Nobody knows how many eggs and how much oil had to be wasted before they got it right.
Mayonnaise is not something you could discover by neglect, like blue cheese, or poverty, like bacon, or by impatience, like new potatoes. It is not something that someone could have imagined first, and then pursued through experiment. It is the unlikely result of careful persistence in an seemingly pointless activity.
Maybe it gives an idea of how God made the world - breaking whole galaxies, more precious than eggs, slowly pouring in the dust of trampled stars and patiently stirring the mix - just for delight and to see how it turned out.
[adapted from theologian Sara Maitland]

Creativity quotes on slideshow

Creativity is not a rare ability. It is not difficult to access. Creativity is a fundamental part of being human. It is our birthright and it is for all of us.
Creativity doesn’t exclusively relate to making art. It’s about bringing into existence something that wasn’t there before. It is about being able to put things together in new ways.
It could be a conversation, the solution to a problem, a note to a friend, the rearrangement of furniture in a room, a new route home to avoid traffic. Consciously or unconsciously, by the mere fact of being alive, we are active participants in the ongoing process of creation.
[Mike Rose]
I think of creativity as starting from a spark of inspiration. I often feel that inspiration is a heavenly connection. I suppose the risk is to go beyond doubt and attempt to bring the inspired thought or action into fruition.
[Lynda Castle]
Lady Gaga: I get inspired in the night, and I have to get up to write down the tunes and the lyrics that are coming into my mind.
Interviewer: Why don’t you just ignore it?
Lady Gaga: When God calls you on the telephone, do you put the phone down on him?
[Lady Gaga]
Creativity can be subtle at first. But once you give it your attention it grows, then you accept it and grow with it. It’s as if you partner with the enthusiasm of creating it forward.
[Lynda Castle]
Creation is a generous act. God who creates does it with such selflessness that the whole created order is given the power of taking part in its own continuing creation.
This is called, when we apply it to ourselves, free will.
[Sara Maitland]
We are called to be co-creators. We live in the sort of cosmos that encourages the idea of risk and co-creation and freedom.
[Sara Maitland]

Preparing to create

What creative gift do you claim, re-claim or want to develop?

Everyone takes a plastic apron and writes on it the creative gift they would like to explore.

The congregation wear the aprons for the rest of the service and cafe

Jesus in the wilderness

A meditation on Jesus' 40 days in the wilderness - a transition from one stage of life to another. Was he working out what his ministry would be? Was the wilderness a boring place or a creative place? Are the two related?

Dreaming together

People write prayers and hopes on cards. These are read out with a response:

We give thanks for your spirit
Inspiring us to dream new dreams
And to hope that another world is possible

and a final response:

Creator God, who does not tire and whose understanding we can never equal
Give inspiration to the frustrated, strength to the tired and energy to the weak
That together we may dream with you -
our imaginative and surprising God -
for the creation of your kingdom
Amen

Fast and feast

We write opposing pairs of things we wish to 'fast from' and 'feast on' during Lent.

Blessing

‘Clearing’ by Martha Postlethwaite

We then invite everyone into the cafe and explain that we are going to set it up in the empty space from scratch.

Creating the cafe

The materials (tables, chairs, lights, candles etc) for the cafe are left in the space. The congregation are invited to set it up however they want with no specific instructions.

The Swiss visitors, who had never seen the Grace cafe, set up a long table down the middle of the space. We had never thought of doing this.

There were pizza bases and all kinds of items to put on top - mozzarella, chilis, olives, sun-dried tomatoes, mushrooms, grilled vegetables, herbs, pesto etc. These were then cooked and eaten.

There were uncooked cookies to be decorated with cake decorations and writing icing. These were then cooked and eaten later in the cafe.


Photos

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Writing on aprons the creative gifts we would like to explore.

Writing on aprons the creative gifts we would like to explore.

Writing on aprons the creative gifts we would like to explore.

Writing on aprons the creative gifts we would like to explore.

Writing on aprons the creative gifts we would like to explore.

Writing on aprons the creative gifts we would like to explore.

Writing on aprons the creative gifts we would like to explore.

Writing on aprons the creative gifts we would like to explore.

Marley, Lynda and Mike.

People discuss what they have written.

Mike introduces his meditation on Jesus in the wilderness.

We like to make our congregation look weird.

Fast and feast.

Fast and feast.

Fast and feast.

Feast.

Fast.

Apron.

Dreaming together. These will be read out as a prayer.

Dreaming together. These will be read out as a prayer.

The materials for setting up the cafe.

The Swiss visitors set up the cafe in a new way, which we liked.

Putting toppings on the pizzas.

Decorating the cookies.

Eating, drinking and talking.

Lynda provided a tray of cakes.

After a lot of pizzas, cookies and cakes had been eaten.

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