AngelCanopy Arts Community Creative Worship

St John’s Canopies pt. 2

On several occasions we have used stars. This post combines work from several installations and settings. We adapted our approach for each setting to work appropriately with the setting.

In a general sense we used the craft of making paper stars as a way to help participants reflect on “Wishes” and work out which of those thoughts could become genuine “Hopes”. Using a physical craft activity to provide a focus for developing skills in understanding the collection of invisible thoughts and feelings which make humans more than just skin and bones! The task also encouraged some rational thinking and critical self evaluation.

Part of the Display in Dumfries High School

We provided several methods for making stars and engaging with the activity. For those who were skilled with words, and perhaps less keen on the technical demands of the task, we provided options such as using poetry to express themselves or a guide to critical evaluation and self led reflection that could then be applied to customise ready made stars. For those who think with their fingers, or when presented with the opportunity to experiment we provided materials fro them to fold and glue stars as they took some time for reflection. The cut out a shape with scissors – snowflake – stars left lots of room for imaginative exploration. some people preferred to work in silence, and others found that their ideas flowed when they chatted with each other. The sky is vast and there are many ways to fill it with stars.

In the Church community setting this approach could be taken deeper into the Christian tradition. Because everyone there had chosen to be there, and had some level of interest in Christianity, we explored the symbolism of stars more fully. Specific hopes associated with Christmas could be explored, and texts studied – as well as the ways in which we can hope for Gods help in our daydreams and visions becoming refined and made into reality.

The stars were displayed in the Schools we worked with, and also as part of the large canopy in the roof of St Johns building. Other star related activities we explored included a talk about the astronomical observations around the time of Jesus birth, their significance, and also a banner inspired by the view of the stars from the door of St Johns on each Sunday in Advent. Stars were embroidered, knitted and ironed onto fabric using a heat press.

The work with the school was carried out according to “Time for Reflection/ Religious Observance” guidelines. These provide an excellent framework for activities involving #SensingSpirituality in community settings. You can download the activity pack below:

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