Thoughts from the Ark

Thoughts from the Ark

April 2022

Thoughts from the Ark
Thoughts from the Ark

I am sorry that there has been a gap with ‘Thoughts’, the last couple of months have been hectic and unfortunately this became a casualty! We shall now be back on track for monthly updates and ponderings. This month I think is a bit of an information drop though!

The team are still searching for additional team members, we have been one short since Heidi’s departure. We have jiggled the hours about so we are now looking for two part time members of the team, so if you do have anyone in mind that may like to get involved with the Ark, please do let us know!

A massive chunk of our most recent time has been spent organising the annual Easter trail, which saw its revival this year after the last two years of Covid restrictions. It really was such a joy to work with the groups again from schools, colleges, and youth organisations. The response to the request to decorate this year’s animal, the meerkat, was phenomenal, with 36 groups taking part. The theme of this year’s trail was the importance of community and as ever the groups have turned out some magnificent art … Read the rest

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Thoughts from the Ark

December 2021

Thoughts from the Ark
Thoughts from the Ark

With Christmas now just a blink around the corner, I cannot quite believe it! I am certain that time has picked up a pace, I could do with a few more weeks, just to get a few more things sorted!

What I have been working on is our annual family calendar, a yearly event and what seems to have become somewhat of a tradition in our family. When it all started many years back, the only people who appeared in the photos on the calendar were my three children. However, as the years have passed, there are so many more people who appear in the photos that make up our calendar, as our family has grown, changed, and adapted. So, the process of sorting and choosing photos has become a longer process each year, but it does afford me the opportunity to sift through a year of photos. This year has been strange, unpredictable and at times difficult and not one any of us would have envisaged. Yet, as I sorted through the photos what struck me was that despite all the weirdness of the year, what I had were so many captured moments of precious … Read the rest

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Thoughts from the Ark

November 2021

Thoughts from the Ark
Thoughts from the Ark

With Christmas now just a blink around the corner, I cannot quite believe it! I am certain that time has picked up a pace, I could do with a few more weeks, just to get a few more things sorted!

What I have been working on is our annual family calendar, a yearly event and what seems to have become somewhat of a tradition in our family. When it all started many years back, the only people who appeared in the photos on the calendar were my three children. However, as the years have passed, there are so many more people who appear in the photos that make up our calendar, as our family has grown, changed, and adapted. So, the process of sorting and choosing photos has become a longer process each year, but it does afford me the opportunity to sift through a year of photos. This year has been strange, unpredictable and at times difficult and not one any of us would have envisaged. Yet, as I sorted through the photos what struck me was that despite all the weirdness of the year, what I had were so many captured moments of precious … Read the rest

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Thoughts from the Ark

October 2021

Thoughts from the Ark
Thoughts from the Ark

With Christmas now just a blink around the corner, I cannot quite believe it! I am certain that time has picked up a pace, I could do with a few more weeks, just to get a few more things sorted!

What I have been working on is our annual family calendar, a yearly event and what seems to have become somewhat of a tradition in our family. When it all started many years back, the only people who appeared in the photos on the calendar were my three children. However, as the years have passed, there are so many more people who appear in the photos that make up our calendar, as our family has grown, changed, and adapted. So, the process of sorting and choosing photos has become a longer process each year, but it does afford me the opportunity to sift through a year of photos. This year has been strange, unpredictable and at times difficult and not one any of us would have envisaged. Yet, as I sorted through the photos what struck me was that despite all the weirdness of the year, what I had were so many captured moments of precious … Read the rest

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Thoughts from the Ark

August 2021

Thoughts from the Ark
Thoughts from the Ark

Yesterday I was out on one of my walks with Wilbur (my black Labrador). The sun was out and as I was pondering about this and that and I caught sight of a single beautiful pink poppy. This poppy was sitting within the leaves of a hedge on the side of a pavement. There was a garden full of poppies down the road, but this one was just there, looking beautiful in the hedge. I could have easily walked past this poppy not noticing it or thought nothing of it, but its ‘out of placeness’ caught my eye. Later that day I was in conversation with some lovely folk from a local Church who had been concerned that their Church community was shrinking, their view only fixed on their Sunday morning gathering. As the conversation unfolded, they began to talk about these six or seven other amazing groups that were also meeting at different times of the week. There was a sense of joy and hope as we talked about these gatherings. No, they were not the traditional Sunday worship, and, like that poppy, we could have overlooked them or considered them a bit messy. Yet, … Read the rest

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Thoughts from the Ark

June 2021

Thoughts from the Ark
Thoughts from the Ark

Hello, how are you all doing?
I am sorry that this has taken me so long to write and get this out to you. I had started to write this, but when I came back to it, what I had previously written no longer felt right. So, this is the re-write.
The last few weeks have been a bit unsettling and have left us feeling a bit discombobulated, but I am certain that some of you will be able to relate to feeling a bit wonky at the moment.

So, what do you do when everything feels up in the air and you wonder where on earth God is leading you? What do you do with that sense of bleakness or uncertainty? So much of the pioneering journey is about experiment and walking into unfamiliar territory, and we know that the road less trodden is a harder route. The Bible is full of stories of people who have walked with faith and sat with uncertainty, but knowing these things does not make our own sense of confusion or loss any easier to bear, does it?
It is no wonder that we crave for certainty and familiarity … Read the rest

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Thoughts from the Ark

May 2021

May 2021 Thoughts
May 2021 Thoughts

Hello to you all for May’s little wander through the Ark’s thoughts, well some of them!
It has been a strange month with the world ‘opening up’ again bit by bit as restrictions ease. Yet, for many, there is a myriad of emotions that have accompanied that release into this next phase. There is still a sense of grief as we mourn what has been lost or what we fear we are still losing. I wonder if there is a temptation to hold onto what we felt was comfortable or familiar. The phrase ‘we cannot wait to go back’ is one that has been heard frequently, but can we go back I wonder? However, embracing an alternative, somewhat uncertain future is un-nerving.

I was attending a webinar last month with people who are all exploring, seeking, experimenting, or just finding out about ‘other ways of being church’. There was a chap speaking on the topic of ‘a mixed ecology of Church’ and this issue of ‘going back’ was raised. He spoke about the Kubler-Ross stages of grief, the stages of denial, anger, bargaining, depression and finally acceptance. When we have lost something or someone precious, it is … Read the rest

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Thoughts from the Ark

April 2021

Firstly, and most importantly, we want to say a huge thank you to everyone who supported the Easter ‘Bags of Love’. Thanks to everyone’s generosity we managed to pack and distribute 3500 bags, which meant that we could give a bag to every child from the schools who had provided artwork for the Emerging Hope Easter Trail. To you all, however you supported this work – thank you! Your kindness and generosity enabled families to receive the message of hope and love at Easter.

The children at a few of the schools have written thank you letters which I will pop up on the Facebook page, others have emailed to say thank you. We were inundated with artwork and cannot thank the children and staff teams enough for providing such super and thoughtful pictures. If you have time to pop into the Galleries, then please do – the artwork will be in shops until Sunday 9th May.

The rest of the month has passed in a bit of a whirlwind bringing the team unexpected experiences, some that have brought forth joy, like the Easter Trail, whilst others have given us reason to pause to reflect, grieve for what has been … Read the rest

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Thoughts from the Ark

March 2021

Here we are at the start of March and there has been a feeling of spring in the air. We hope that this finds you all well and looking forward to increasingly to warmer days.

As Easter is now only a few weeks away, the team have spent a fair amount of time contemplating the annual Easter trail. This has always opened huge opportunities to engage and work with a variety of people from all walks of life. Last year, of course, it had to be cancelled at the last minute due to the first lockdown. After much thought we felt that it would be a wonderful thing to try to rethink the trail within the current restrictions and offer something that supports families, the retailers and scatters a little joy after a year which for many has been a bit of a slog. This year’s trail is called ‘Emerging Hope’ and as I type this, we have groups of young people drawing pictures which illustrate for them the mix of feelings which they have experienced in the last year. These pictures will be collaged onto giant hearts and we shall add a little extra into each heart by hiding … Read the rest

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Thoughts from the Ark

January 2021

I am a little late in writing January’s ‘Thoughts’, slipping to the first day of February. January felt quite long, I am not sure how it felt like for you? We have spoken with people who have felt ‘slow’ and ‘sluggish’ and the drive to keep motivated has diminished, yet on the flip side the reasons for hope and optimism are visible. The infection numbers seem to be dropping slowly and many people are now getting vaccinated. There is also the wonder of nature to remind us that Spring is on the way and the promise of brighter days and the hope that we can spend time with our loved ones or just more time out and about. There is a horizon at least to peak over!

 

During January, we have had to respond to the restrictions that once again came with this lockdown. The question of how to reach out and scatter the message of hope and joy whilst knowing that for some this time is so difficult, is an ever-present challenge. Social media and Zoom have both played a part in our ability to speak directly to people and to continue to build relationships, but we are … Read the rest

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