During this time of isolation, we are sharing prayers, poems, inspirational music, videos and quotes that uplift our spirits in a special email newsletter each Tuesday. Here is an excerpt from our April 13 edition.
|The Artistry of God: God the Weaver|
Reflection from Rev. Leslie Sedore
Intentional Interim Minister, Student Mentor
Retired, still working and Dancing with the Spirit!
Our creative natures are expressed in so many ways, through so many avenues of our lives. From painting, to woodworking, our careers, cooking, to our relationships.
I am a weaver and a United Church Minister. A weaver first and therefore my craft as a textile artist has woven its way through my years of ministry. My looms have travelled with me to the various Pastoral Charges I have been called to. They have been part of worship, youth retreats, Vacation Bible camps, Prayer Shawl groups, National and Regional Conferences and Retreats. They have many stories to tell.
My 1st Sunday at a new Pastoral Charge would include a Children’s Time, looking at a small loom. The loom was threaded with multiple types of thread – thin, thick, many colours and textures, lumpy and shiny. One or two threads would be broken. Like the threads, we are unique yet part of the same tapestry of human life, of a congregation, of a community. Sometimes our thread gets broken due to illness or loss. Yet the weaving takes place with a silver thread, which represents God, the Holy Spirit, our Creator. In this way we are all connected to each other and the Divine. And…when our thread, our lives break, for whatever reason, the other threads hold us and carry us beyond our brokenness, bound together by our Creator’s Spirit.
|In the same spirit this Croning Shawl below was woven.|
The question posed is – Name one colour that represents each decade of your life. (The warp)
The shawl is then woven with silver thread to represent God being with us throughout all our life experiences, our losses and celebrations, never abandoning us.
Weaving is prayerful experience. A garment or blanket is designed, specifically for an individual, and as the piece is woven, prayers of remembrance, hopes and dreams are also woven into the fabric. Jesus, himself, is a woven entity of divine and human, as are we. Funerals weave together the personal stories of a person’s life and the Gospel message.
Many liturgical vestments express a story, woven with intention.
|A Remembrance Day Vestment (shown below) was woven from my father’s Great Coat he wore during WWII. The garment has told many many stories of Veterans in various congregations over the years and each time I wear this vestment, their stories are wrapped ‘round me in love and respect.|
The warp – Red and White (represents Canada); Blue (Sky and Seas they travelled); Purple (fought for King and country in WWII); Muddy Green (war stories); Bright Green (green green grass of home).
The weft was woven with the Great Coat cut into ½ inch strips and silver thread.
The Surprise, as God is always surprising us, was when the garment came off the loom you can see what looks like silver keys from a piano. My parents, like many others, fell in love and danced to those great tunes of the war years.
Weaving taught me patience as even a simple placement can have 200 to 300 threads which need to be threaded thru the heddles and reed of the loom, tied and then the tension must be even across the project.
|There is much more to say, but I hope this has given you an experience of this craft.|
Weaving has informed my faith, weaving together stories, relationships and the Divine. And my faith has informed my weaving, appreciating the balance and delicacy of our humanity and divinity.
Blessings on your own creative endeavours.