Find me in this forest…

We spent several days recently at The Cwn near Chepstow, home of Breathe Ministries and Phil and Mary-Anne Joiner. A truly beautiful place… I wrote this whilst there…

Find me in this forest God. Where bluebells bend in reverence may I too bow. Where garlic wild and white sends its scent to stir my senses may I too offer the perfume of praise. Caressed in this cathedral of tall trees. Whose long limbs lean like fingers to open an umbrella over me. Whose leaves, a chorus of green voices, sing in acapella harmonies. Whose twisted trunks, for all the wounds the storms of time have wrought, insist on growth, persist in progress, resist the weary winding-down of withering. Sap-driven seekers stretching for light. Here where soil itself urges abundance in me, meet me, mould me, speak life into the deepest roots of me. Where Genesis is just a generation past. Where Eden is an everyday event. Designate a garden God and under this cool canopy walk with me…

c. Gerard Kelly, The Cwm, May 14th 2014

Mars Hill: A Blessing for the People of Europe

May the God you have worshipped,
Without knowing his name,
Whisper a word
For you to know him by.
The concealed be revealed to you,
The invisible unveiled,
Untold stories
Be unfolded before you.

May the statues you have sculpted,
In your search for satisfaction,
Be a springboard to new freedoms,
Not a grave to guard your gods in.
May the hunger that has haunted you,
The thirst for joy that hunts you,
Bring you at last to love’s great banquet.

May the breath you were born with
In the air that we share
Lead your lungs
To the sky-wide source of being.

And may God,
Who sets the boundaries of kingdoms,
And is active in the history of your tribe,
Show you where his fingerprints
Are scratched into your story,
And where his footprints
Show the pathways into life.

May the maker of meanings,
The Father of all,
Definer of nations,
Designer of life,
Turn his face toward you,
Turn his favour upon you,
Turn your sorrows to dancing:
May he open your people
To his peace

To engage further with the renewal of our continent, sponsor the Pegasus to Paris walk…

www.justgiving.com/gerardswalk

The Boy Who Loved Rain

cover

 

This is the proposed cover for The Boy Who Loved Rain… can’t wait to see it on shelves in November…

2014 faith.in.words conference dates

faith.in.words 2.0 will take place at Bethanie in Normandy, France from September 25th to 28th 2014. Once again we’ll kick off with an amazing dinner on Thursday evening and end with an incredible lunch on the Sunday. Our 2014 theme will be:

i    n    s    i    d    e      s    t    o    r    y

finding a narrative that wants to write itself 

We want to explore how understanding the workings of story can make us all better writers – whether established or novice, published or unpublished, fiction or non-fiction; book or blog.

A selection from the overwhelming positive feedback to last year’s inaugural event should leave you in no doubt as to the value of this significant gathering.

- It was just lovely. Really. And really well organized

- Bethanie was outstanding the food wasn’t just good, it was excellent, and I speak as someone who has run writers’ courses for 10 years, where we used to have a very good resident cook. What lifted it above the ordinary, as I think I said when I was there, was the little touches: the army of people who made everything run smoothly, the outstanding cooking, the free booze, the candles, the handmade notebooks, the typewriter in the doorway, the people…

- I was really inspired by the input around storytelling and engaging with different audiences. I found the conversation tracks brilliantly interactive, and appreciated the active encouragement to participate. It was also great having writers from such different spheres there.

- The whole experience was excellent but I think that the peaceful, relaxed approach to the delivery of the conference was key to its excellence.

- The space to indulge, the passion for words without the pressure to create or perform, conversations with fascinating people from all levels, experiences & walks of life, and the food and drinks. I felt very well looked after!

- An affirming, inspiring, challenging, encouraging, absolutely beautiful weekend to relax and spend time indulging in the love of words and the love of God, and seriously good food, with an amazing bunch of writers.

The 2014 event will build on the comments and input of our 2013 participants and will feature:

- Input from renowned UK journalist Cole Moreton. Cole writes regularly for the Sunday Telegraph and has written for the Guardian and Observer. He is the author of three critically acclaimed books, Hungry for Home (2001), My Dad Was a Hero (2005) and Is God Still an Englishman? (2010) This last title explored the religious scene in the UK, asking “how we lost our faith but found new soul”. Cole will help us to understand the language of our culture, and why it is that the language of our faith is so often misunderstood. Is it possible to speak of faith in our age and still hold our reader’s attention?

- Lifeboat Talks from a number of established writers in fiction and non-fiction and from books to blogs. We will ask six authors with a proven track record to share with us in 12 minutes the key insights they would want to pass on if their boat were going down and we only had a short time left together. What words of wisdom really matter to those who know what it means to explore faith.in.words? Each lifeboat talk will be followed by questions and discussions, for whatever length of time the oceans allow us.

- Three great evening dinners followed by input and entertainment from our literary and musical guests.

- Accommodation at Bethanie and in carefully chosen locations nearby – all to a high Norman standard.

- Wholesome, home-cooked food throughout the weekend, with excellent French wines and our justly famous late-night bar.

- You. A big part of the faith.in.words experience is the opportunity to exchange ideas, share notes and shoot the breeze with fellow-writers. You know how it is – your everyday world is filled with people who want to talk about anything but your writing. It feels wrong to force on them your questions and concerns. This is your opportunity to spend four days in the company of people who share your passion / obsession / addiction (delete as appropriate). Believe it or not, there are people in the world who want to know what you’ve been working on.

The costs for the weekend will be exactly as it was in 2013 – £300 per person or £500 per couple, including all programme costs and three nights full-board accommodation.

Reserve your place now on faith.in.words@blessnet.eu

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