Gillian Lever

ABBA AMMA - Improvisations on the Lord’s Prayer  book cover

I am delighted that Nicola Slee has chosen to use my painting ‘Restore’ for the cover of her new book ‘ABBA AMMA - Improvisations on the Lord’s Prayer’

Nicola has worked in theological education for the past 30 years, combining this with a freelance portfolio of writing, retreat work, spiritual direction and consultancy.

The Lord’s Prayer unites Christians of all traditions. It is the first and perhaps only prayer that people learn by heart. However, its patriarchal and kingdom imagery do not resonate universally today. How do we pray the prayer Jesus taught us in ways which are authentic and life-giving?

Nicola’s book, emerging from years of praying the Lord’s Prayer, offers a series of prayers and poems written in response to it. Each prayer uses the address Abba or Amma: Aramaic terms of intimate address to God as father or mother which reflect Jesus’ usage, drawing on the abbas and ammas of the Desert Tradition as well as our own parental relationships.

It aims to integrate our whole human journey into the vocation of being a follower of Jesus. An extended introduction explores why praying the Lord’s Prayer is significant, how it is problematic, and how contemporary theological reinterpretations offer fresh perspective on it. 

Above all ‘ABBA AMMA’ inspires me to pray at a time when our world feels very weary and in need of honest prayer.

Books can be purchased from the publisher Canterbury Press.

Jake Lever

Printmaking and research

In recent weeks I have been developing colour studies for the ‘Do the Little Things’ map. I am now in the final stages of printing the triangular plates to make the print which will comprise 20 equilateral triangles.  The locations of the map will be marked in gold and my hope is that it will tell a story of human connection during the pandemic, whilst offering a broader vision of global interdependence for the future.

Last week I visited Tate Liverpool Tate and spent time looking at  Bruce Onobrakpeya’s beautifully tender ‘Fourteen Stations of the Cross’ Linocut prints. The apostles wear Adire prints from the Yoruba region while Roman soldiers are dressed in colonial-era police uniforms. As I embark on the printmaking stage of the ‘Do the Little Things’ map it was inspirational to spend time looking closely at Onobrakpeya’s sensitive and striking prints. 

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