Sunday, 28 October 2018

Leaf Peeping

Friends in the USA tell me that when the autumn comes, and thousands of tourists flock to states in the NE, to view and photograph the stunningly beautiful foliage, the locals refer to these visitors as 'leaf peepers'. I have a leaf for you to peep at today. Not one which has turned to golden, amber, red or brown - but one which is still fresh and green, symbolising life and growth.
I started work on this project in August whilst at Cornerstones. My friend asked me to produce a leaf which represented the work of a female Baptist Minister. There are hundreds of women in the Baptist ministry, working as Pastors, Chaplains, Youth Workers, Lay Preachers etc. We're very blessed to have Miriam as our gifted Youth Minister here at UCF. And we've had Baptist women workers for centuries - even Samuel Pepys wrote in his diary about listening to a Baptist woman who was preaching in the street!
I was given details of a specific woman [but anonymous!] I was told she is working as Pastor in a small church with just 32 members - but these faithful folk really support her work. They give what they have of their time and limited financial resources. [nobody goes into the Baptist ministry dreaming of earthly riches!] The brief was that it could be in any medium [fabric, paper, clay, wood...] and no bigger than the palm of the hand. Here's what I did. I found some old linen, and some embroidery silks, given to me by some ladies in our church back in Kirby, and made a double sided leaf.
On the back, above the central vein, I put my initials and the date. Below that the words "1 plus 32 sowing the seeds". I wanted to show that she was not working alone in her task. 
All the threads used were shades of green, ranging from pale eau-de-nil through to dark olive. Sorry, my photography isn't very good, so the green colours don't really show in the pictures.
On the other side, I back stitched the central vein. Below that, thirty-two sparkling green bugle beads represent the faithful members. I filled in the space with seed stitch, and at the bottom edge sewed sacrificial giving - their contribution to the work. 
In the top section, I chose phrases which were either symbols of the pastor's faith, or actions of her ministry.
dove of peace
anchor of hope
heart of love
cross of faith
pastoral caring
gospel sharing
kingdom building
The leaf has gone away now,to join nearly 100 others.[I do hope we are sent a photograph of the final display]
As I stitched, I prayed for this faithful worker and her fellowship. May God bless her as she sows the seeds of the Kingdom of Heaven in her corner of the UK [wherever it might be!] And may God bless all those- women and men- who are preaching the Gospel this morning - and may the good friends whose faithful support makes the work possible know his blessings too.


  1. What a wonderful idea! I love these collaborative works of art where so many people make their individual and recognisable contributions but the whole thing is bigger.
    than the sum of its parts. I think that's part of the charm of the Quaker Tapestry. That's a lovely design you've created too.

    I've been a leaf peeper! I went to New England in the Fall as my very special trip when I retired.

  2. What a wonderful idea! I'm sure she will be most appreciative - and yes, I hope we get to see a picture of the final display.
    Here in Canada it is the same as NE - although things are a bit late this year as September was still so warm. I love Autumn - it is my favourite time of year and walking amongst all those wonderful trees is just amazing.

  3. That is a lovely idea! You are so creative!


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