Friday LIVE from The Bridge!

Hello everyone,

125 artists are now a part of the Bridge Artistic Network!!! I am super excited to see how this continues to grow and become!!!

One thing I know is that Artists/Creatives never stop creating….pandemic or no…the art inside of us refuses to be hindered!

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Let this time clear the path so that you can engage all those creative spaces and places that lay deeply planted inside of you.  Keep going. Keep creating. Keep becoming more YOU!

SHINE THAT LIGHT!!! Go forth and create!



Brenda J.


LAUNCHING IN 5,4,3,2…. | Notes From the Vicarage

The Bridge Artistic Network has just officially been LAUNCHED as a FACEBOOK Group! It is for artist of every ilk and all ages. We all remember what it felt like starting out…and we know what it feels like being where we are…COME JOIN THE COMMUNITY AND ENGAGE IN CONVERSATION…And Help each other to GROW AND…
— Read on


In my afternoon prayer time the Lord said, “You are beginning to slow down enough to become more consistently creative.”

It is true I have been attempting to be more creative on a more consistent basis. My goal, for the longest time, has been to create a piece of writing and a piece of art everyday.

A fellow artist began posting simple drawing techniques to play with when the stay at home order began. It was then I thought to myself. This time apart could help me establish some of the new habits I have been attempting this year. The dog above was drawn by first writing the number 61 on the page.

One of my problems artistically has always been my consistency. I tend to create in fits and starts. The idea of taking time…prioritizing time everyday has seemed nearly impossible.

That road block which has plagued me for so many years has been removed and I am finding that while I may be classified a beginner my heart is in this. I am having fun creating.

The other day I wrote a poem and I actually took time to rewrite it using a formal poetic form. It was so much fun!

I am finding the more I practice the better I get. I really like my cat.

The Lord is using art to help me keep my mind off of the worries of these present days. What is God laying at your feet to help you shift from worry to joy? If you haven’t found anything take out a piece of paper and a pencil or pen and try your hand at drawing.

Ready! Set! Draw!

Morning came early today. By 6:30 I had showered, walked and fed the dogs, had breakfast, done laundry, got the bills ready for mailing and loaded the car for the dump run. By 7 I was at prayer in the church and by 8 I was loading the car with my travel piano in preparation for the funeral I am performing this afternoon. By 9 I was peeling potatoes for the potato salad I am taking to the funeral. Then, I headed off to the bank to make a deposit and to withdraw money for mom’s daily needs for the next few weeks.

Brenda had a great night in Southington CT. Two more people gave their hearts to Jesus last night and she got to pray with a man who has had five strokes and lost his voice.

That is the power of story. That is the power of art launched into conversation.

I think it is for this reason I have felt over the last several months that I need to spend more time in two things: Prayer and creation of art.

Sometimes I just practice my hand at simple things I think I will have to draw a lot

This image I actually saw in a vision I had before one of our recent board meetings.

I am learning God has skills He would make available to us if we would both seek Him and practice. These skills remain latent in us until we need them and choose them for the purposes of His kingdom! Who knows but maybe this is one of the reasons for the shifts going on in my life right now. I am being called out of certain things in order to help my mother. That said perhaps I am also being called into other things by the shifting which will make me of greater use for God’s kingdom.

The Story

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By artist: Lisa Johnson

Today was the final day of our Church artist group’s month long art show at The Gardner Public Library. I think we averaged about a tour a week and we had lots of people sign our guest book. So I would call the show a critical success.

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By artist: Wendy Brouillet

We approached this show very differently from the way we have approached other shows. I have been telling the other artists in Ccada that our art should create conversations. It should raise questions. It should help us start relationships with people in order to show the love of Jesus.

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By Artist: Betty Knowlton

So with this show we decided to gather groups of people together and view the art while telling the stories the different pieces held within them. Sometimes the story was as simple as an interesting technique the artist used to create the piece. The piece above for instance required a styrofoam cup, some green paint, some black paint and a fine toothed comb,

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By artist KenKnowlton

Believe it or not this is actually an enhanced photograph. Would you want to live there?

We live in a world that has forgotten the art of story telling and the gift of story listening. We like our graphs and pie charts. We love the headline and the sound byte. We will read anything as long as it is 300 words or less and we listen to any report that doesn’t take more than 7 minutes of our time.

But just because the art of story is forgotten doesn’t mean it’s lots its power.

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By Artist: Wendy Brouillet

As a race humans are hard wired for story in a way that even our hurried culture cannot undo. We have questions and we are prone even in the midst of our busy lives to stop and discover the answers.

So with this art show I told the stories behind the works. I asked the questions that made the pieces come alive. For instance…What time of day is it in the painting above?

As humans we don’t live in sound bytes. We don’t live in mathematical equations. We live in stories. We seek out themes and ideas that give our personal stories meaning.

Tonight my sister is at a church in Southington telling the story of Cory TenBoom yet again.

Brenda in hair and makeup

Her story resonates with so many people because it shows in real time how any story that intersects with God’s story can become filled with power, adventure, hope and above all love.

At the Vicarage we are becoming more dedicated everyday to telling the story of how Jesus’ love has intersected each of our stories in a radical way. We don’t know where the telling will lead us exactly. Oh we know the end of the story pretty well (we skipped ahead and read the last page). It’s all the steps in the middle that are a little fuzzy. That said, maybe it’s not all about the temporary outcomes. Maybe it is about just being faithful to live out and to tell the story.

By artist: Ken Knowlton

What’s your story?

A Very Busy Weekend.

It was such a busy weekend at the Vicarage, I haven’t finished all the work it created yet…and it is almost Thursday. Part of that work is this post which I started writing on Monday morning and had to keep putting off until now.

The sad thing about getting behind like this is that life events don’t just stop so you can catch up. Oh no! They just keep rolling in so the work you didn’t get done when it was supposed to be done, keeps getting pushed back behind the work that you have to do today until saying things like “It was a very busy weekend”, really don’t matter because it is almost next weekend.

But I really want to tell you about the weekend we had here at the Vicarage.

Amanda started the weekend off when one of her friends who works at an adult dayhab in our area was burned out of her home. Amanda put out the call for clothing and essentials and spent a good deal of time gathering those items for delivery this week.

In the meantime Brenda left for a weekend tour of Connecticut. She performed her show, My Hiding Place, in Bristol on Friday night, taught a teen seminar in Greenwich on Saturday, and then preached twice on Sunday in Farmington.

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Monday she started jury duty and got selected for a case she has been sitting panel for since.

For myself, I have been holding down the home front. Saturday our artist’s community set up an art show at one of the local libraries.

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Sunday of course was church and then housework. I think I did something like nine loads of laundry this week! Of course none of us including the people who stayed here in Massachusetts have yet recovered fully from our trip to the Philippines. Some things have changed with Mom since we left and that leaves us all a little worried about her health.

So we watch and wait and work and wonder what is coming next for the ministers of the Vicarage. In the end, we can only deal with things as they come along. All of us are learning to just live in the moment and rejoice in the busyness and the blessedness of serving God in it.