I’ve taught children and adults in prisons, churches and schools. The best writers, of any age, are those who write about what they know, or what they struggle with. I don’t focus on style; style arrives on its own when you write with accuracy, clarity and confidence. It doesn’t matter whether you’re writing about a ham or a handbag, a feeling or a fish, the process is the same. You nail the essence of your subject. You find one or two good lines to use as your foundation. You build from that. Ruthless self-editing sounds scary; actually, it’s freeing and fun. Throw out the irrelevant, the hackneyed and the cheesy; you’ll find you’ve begun something pared, stark and, in some way, true.
Worship Material workshops
If you’re thinking of hosting a worship material workshop, it’s because - at some level - you’ve identified a need for something new. What is that need? What’s going on?
Is your church shrinking, growing, changing, arguing? Is the congregation tired, bored, or untrusting? Is it ahead of its time? Is it prophesying? Or just sighing?
To write prayers, hymns, or liturgies for a specific worship group is to review, and perhaps to reframe, your individual and collective responses to the great commandment; and therefore your approach to call, mission and inclusion. These are confidential and comforting sessions which allow for fears, hopes and faith, and for personal, pertinent ways to express and engage with them.
A poem that is really a poem, (not just a verse), reveals something known-but-hidden to the writer and to the hearer. People turn to poetry writing when they care about something a lot, when they are prepared to be themselves, and when they feel prompted to state something out loud, or inwardly. Poetry is a notion expressed in very personal terms, but recognised by many. It can be a brave, (not always pretty), process to honour accurately the feelings which nudge a good poem into being. If you’re ready to write, I’m ready to help.
My workshops are run with confidentiality, compassion - and doughnuts. There’s nothing like a doughnut to free the creative spirit…
I have also given poetry tuition to those who live close, or who wish to Skype or correspond.
Mission and Call Workshops
“Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets”.
Does your church have a mission statement? If it does, is it a clear statement of what you can - and will - offer to your community and each other? If you don’t, how do you go about writing something practical, loving and godly that your congregation can sign up to?
Mission and Call workshops help congregations to notice what they do well, what they need to improve, and what they need to start doing. It’s funny work and hard work and can be quite challenging. But it’s worth doing if you want to be doing more and loving more.
NEPAL POEM PERFORMED FOR AN AUDIENCE
CATALYST LIVE CONFERENCE - SHEFFIELD
CATALYST LIVE CONFERENCE - MANCHESTER
MIGRATION AND MINISTRY CONFERENCE - ROEHAMPTON