Stepping into Authenticity & Connection - Onespirit Ministers in Connection

Stepping into Authenticity & Connection

Julie Kirby speaks of her ministry in the hills and farmlands of West Wales

It should not be a surprise to sit to write this and reflect that I am living my Personal Statement of Ministry. Being guided by all that came to me before my ordination in 2019. Checking in with those words and my vow regularly feels a vital and indeed necessary part of navigating this path.

At the time I wrote that:

My connection to All That is begins in the land, air, fire, water, all beings and energy that surrounds and infuses me’.

So, it’s hardly surprising that within 6 months of ordination, my husband and I moved over 200 miles from Oxfordshire to live on the very edge of West Wales on an old farm overlooking the Irish Sea. There is a gale blowing through as I write this, but the sun is glinting on the waves and it’s stopped raining for the time being.

I vowed then to step into my Authenticity and that has become a deep calling. Not just to halfway up a Welsh hill, but to live a life that acknowledges my part in the climate change emergency we find ourselves in. We grow as much of our own veg as we can, something I’ve done for years as family life has allowed. But this now feels much more pertinent as seen during the first lockdown, when variety of fresh food was a problem in the shops here – this could and probably will get worse.  The gardening work has evolved to be done in a way that honours the soil and the land around us, my altar of gratitude is a reflective place to sit in the warmth of the polytunnel surrounded by tomatoes and chillies.

I sense that this is an active part of my ministry, as since we have the space to grow and the energy to garden and preserve the harvest, then we should. I’m not taking from the shops things that other people need. Neither am I using the petrol to get to the stores more often than necessary.

We reuse as far as we can, making eco-bricks from single use plastic, reducing our waste, composting all things including exhausted holey cotton dishcloths that I knit or crochet, and only this morning I sat cutting up old tights to make hair ties. Prolonging life of items if possible. Little tasks begin to add up as I change my mindset to look at the abundance of what we have already and how I can make it last longer or into new things. We’ve kept chickens and bees in the past and in time they will be added here. Eggs and veggies equals tea after all, with a little honey to make into mead to toast the stars and the moon.

 This leaves time for simpler pursuits like hill walking in the Preseli hills where I sit with the ancestors and soaring ravens and work in to another line from my statement:

May my pen never run dry of the words of nature and of ever-loving truth’

Lockdown and moving to a remote place has meant that a more outward facing ministry here has barely begun. I am gently getting to know the local community now we are emerging from our hillside cottages and farms. 

 A shove from the Universe at the beginning of March 2020 to be a visible Reverend online, offering to sit with folk into the ‘Not Knowing’ of the present time. That work is steady and ongoing. You can find me most Monday and Wednesday mornings doing short live videos on Facebook.

‘Tending a restful warming hearth to all who seek quiet spaces and nourishment’

is a piece of my Statement puzzle that is for next year. As visits from family and friends have been permitted this year, so the peace of this place has begun to work its’ magic on guests. It is wild, open, astonishing, and standing with a guest as he finds the Milky Way in the clear night sky after a good but simple supper sat round our table, so we sense that the peace has infused another heart. Quiet days, retreats and more garden and window seats for prayer or just watching the clouds are planned in the future too.

We bought this place to share. You’ll be the first to know…

If you would like to know more about Julie’s ministry do have a look at her website: http://www.livingland.wales which includes links to her published book of poems and prayers ‘Living Crumbs’.

 Also find her live on social media https://www.facebook.com/spacelifecoachinguk

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