Minister finds creative way of supporting local church during lockdown

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Poems rNaomi Young-Rodas, minister of Christ Church, Rayleigh in Essex, explains how her creative juices got flowing, writing poetry during lockdown to support her local congregation. 

A long time ago, I used to write poems and I have had some published in worship anthologies such as Courage to Love: An Anthology of Inclusive Worship Material and Entertaining Angels: A worship anthology on sharing Christ’s hospitality both edited by Geoffrey Duncan.

I haven’t written much poetry for years, but early on in lockdown, when we couldn’t go out anywhere except for one daily walk, I found myself writing again. The poems came spontaneously and, for the most part, I did not edit them. Some were funny, some linked to Easter, which fell in the first few weeks of lockdown, some referred to items in the news like the Barnard Castle incident and the killing of George Floyd.

From the beginning of the crisis, the church treasurer has been highlighting the financial difficulties brought forth by no longer having hall hires or weekly offerings, although many people have continued their generous giving through standing order.

Once it became apparent that this wasn’t going to be just one or two poems but that I had collected quite a few, I thought it would be a fun idea to put them together in a booklet and sell it as a fund raiser. I put it all together, with a few pictures, which I love doing, so it was something to look forward to when producing the weekly online service and newsletter were getting a bit much!

Also, during that time, I took part in a Zoom writing workshop, during which I wrote one of the poems included in this booklet. I also listened to a few episodes of the podcast Everything Is Alive (I’ve never listened to podcasts before. Being a visual person, audio alone doesn’t really do much for me!). I loved the idea of inanimate objects having feelings and telling their stories and so I wrote a short piece in that style about Cedric, the piece of communion bread.

At the time of writing, the booklets have already made over £100. If you would like a copy (£5 for a paper copy, or £3 for a PDF copy), contact me through minister@christchurchrayleigh.org.uk

Do you have a creative talent you could use to support your local church during this challenging time? Contact us and let us know.

 

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