Tuesday, September 30, 2003
A new website dedicated to emerging church has been launched this week. you can find it here. looks really good, has some nice stories and links and stuff. could be a really useful tool to fuel some discussion between lots of people who are involved in new stuff around the globe. i also noted that our very own blog was featured as blog of the month - so well done gary for doing such a splendid job!
Monday, September 29, 2003
big welcome back for the mobster. back form his recent trip to the other side of the world. thanks for keeping in touch ian (see his various blogs below). its been exciting reading all the stuff you have been blogging about. i am sure we will be discussing it in the coming weeks! hope you like the pic - its the only one i could find on the web :-)
moot reflected on nature last night which was good fun - a bit touchy feely and some nice graphics and even 'rage against the machine'! am amazed at this picture form the hubble telescope. it contains over 1000 galaxies and some of the light has travelled for over 1500 billion years to get here.
i was thinking that if you put humanity at the centre of the universe (which so many ideologies and political and economic theories do) then all this is really a giant waste of space, i mean it taken us millions of years of evolution to even get a small picture of just a few galaxies. There surely must be more to it than being made for our use and pleasure (well we'd probably just destroy it all after we'd collected all the energy).
Sallie McFague writes in 'super, natural christian' about the good and evil eye - suggesting that much of western thought views things with a 'evil' eye - that is one that views nature as an object, a thing to be exploited, that only has value in relation to us and its use to us. she suggests a shift is needed to a 'good' eye, one that views all things as co-equal subjects, just as much a part of the cosmos as us, things that have value in and of themselves, seperate from us.
so even if we never ever get to look at all the galaxies in the world - they still have value, in and of themselves, they have no need of our eyes to be be cast upon them before they are considered beautiful.
Well done Carey and Gareth, (Mike?). A really good and inspiring collection of thoughts, words, images and music. 'The presence of god like sand in our pockets' is an excellent and allusive image. And a much missed 'Lord of the Starfields'........................aaaaaah!!
Friday, September 26, 2003
his main tactics are to enter starbucks and 'preach' at people the evils of starbucks (low paid wages to staff, non-ethically sourced coffee etc...), or he will perform scripted stunts where he even includes the security guards as cast members who willingly chuck him out (all part of the script).
he once wrote to the new york times theatre section saying he was putting on a new play at the disney store and 500 people turned out to watch him and friends attack the corporate mouse; they stodd on tills so no-one could pay, he 'preached', and got kicked out and arrested.
perhaps we mooters could take to the streets of westminster with some carefully worded scripts, reclaiming the public space that has been taken from us by our greedy government eager to sell every inch of london (and britain) to the highest bidder. just a thought.
Thursday, September 25, 2003
We were both hoping that there will not be another one. Jonny has blogged about finding it hard to still call himself an evengelical - and I agree I really do not want to be associated with the bitter, twisted and down right arrogant views of some of the more right wing conservative groups within evangelical circles. I think and hope that the conservative evos will just die out - from the look of who was on the speaker platform this year at NEAC it seems to be the same people as 10 years ago. All, as ever, powerhungry but using a grammer that suggests otherwise, preaching grace but vitriolic to those who do not fit their picture of Orthodoxy. Well I could rant all day...
I was sitting on the roof of the CMS building wondering and trying to dream a better future for the church in the city. Hoping that something bright might emerge on the horizon. Was certainly encouraged this summer by Greenbelt.
Well long may dreaming continue, and long may the imagination feel free to imagine a new future - as Brueggemann says, we are all 'prophets called to live out a dared and hard-imagined future that shatters present realities.' And who am I to disagree :-)
Tuesday, September 23, 2003
Nearing the end now of my trip, so here is some of the info and experiences I have had in Melbourne. It feels very european, with many european ethnic immigrants. It feels far less part of the pacific than Auckland.
This city is full of cafe's. However, these cafes tend to be smaller and more european like than the ones in Auckland, which I have to say I preferred. However, there are a number of very good cafes, just not quite the arts cafes I was spoiled with in Auckland. There is an excellent listing of these cafes. The best cafes are north of the city in Fitzroy/North Fitzroy near where my brother lives. Click here for an excellent cafe crawl of North Melbourne. My favourites were Tin Pot on the corner of Brunswick Rd and Scotchner street, and Arcadia on Gertrude Street in artzy Fitzroy.
Arts, Reflections & Thinking
Again lots of arts. Two main Modern Art Galleries, and millions af artist studios and collectives. There is a vibrant artistic scene here. Next to the Yarra river and the central train station, there are a number of important arts organisations. First is the National Gallery of Victoria and the Moving Image Centre. There was a finge festival going on while I was here. There were a number of different collections of Art at the National, that included the two works below and some galleries dedicated to aboriginal art. The aboriginal art was very moving, again dream painting, relating to the horrendous treatment of social oppression and racism. I was shocked that it was still legal to neck iron an aboriginy and tie them to a tree in 1968!! I like the idea of art as dreaming, and for me this relates to the theologian Brueggemann's ideas of the prophetic imagination and this idea of how awareness of the transcendent and the spiritual comes out of the aesthestic and the human imagination. There are two pcs in the Christian section below that take this further. I enjoyed visiting a number of the arts collectives and studios which again are mostly centred arojnd the north of the city. The south of the city is more rich/upper middle class, a little less artzy.
The other great modern art space is the Heide Mueum (first photo in the three above), which had a large collection of mdern art set in very modernist architecture. I loved it!! I dream about living in such buildings. This is a little out of the city set in some landscape gardens, but well worth a trip. This is north east of the city.
I have been through Melbourne now twice in the same year, and it impresses me. There is definately an experimental scene here. It seems that many of the traditional denominations have realised that they need to fund experimental churches. The three noticeable experiments here are funded by the Baptists, Anglicans and the Church of Christ (not the same as the Central London Church of Christ!). The baptists are paying Darren Rowse and a group of people to explore doing the living room which has a relational focus built round sharing meals and time together as well as exploring creative worship as a life style. They use cafes such as the Tinpot mentioned above in the North Fitzroy part of the city. Darren is also involved in an e-mag which many individuals involved in the these experimental church projects are involved, called Phuture. The other church project I went to see was Solace, one of a number of experimental projects where Olivia Motram was an Anglican Priest. It used all the sort of activities we do in alt and creative worship but was a more mainstream expression of church, but never the less it was good. They currently use a chapel at Carey Batpist Grammar School west of Kew. Other experimental expressions of church here also include a form of modern order, where groups share values and devotional expressions as a missionary community inspired by some of the medieval Orders. One expression really puts the boat out. They are Christian Muslims, where they celebrate being Christian from within Islam, who are in constantly disalogue with the local Imams. Their expression of Christianity comes close the the sufi expression of the religion, but itt doesn't get more incarnational mission focus than that!
Aboriginal Christian Art
Finally on the spiritual side, I was very excited to find some aboriginal expressions of art. Sorry that the pics aren't that great. These pics have really inspired me. In them you will see the gold three joined 'n' shapes which reflects God. The rest of the two pictures reflect how God and in particular Jesus relates to creation and humanity. The context in which this is framed is an aboriginal gathering around a night fire which is considered a highly spiritual moment earthed yet transcendent. It has struck me how similar this is to the communion feel of Rublev's icon. They communicate the same expressions of the trinity yet in a different cultural context. It reveals the same open nature of God.
These pics resonated with some verses that I keep hearing in various alt and emerging church expressions out here from Matthew 11 taken from The Message version of the Bible:
"Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out with religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you'll recover life. I'll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me - watch how I do it. Learn from the unforced rhythms of grace. I won't lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you'll learn to live freely and lightly."
Monday, September 22, 2003
Imagine trying to explain this to a 4 year old!!
The family went off to Tate Britain on saturday and got an art injection. We all had great fun looking and discussing the various ways that art can be made and what it may provoke. Everyone chose favourite pieces, and we all bought postcards, (couldn't fit the real thing in the bag - plus the security people weren't keen on helping).
I was particularly taken in a fresh way by the Francis Bacon, (above). I've seen it hundreds of times before here, but the task of exploring it with a little person, caused a re-appraisal and new reflections. Seemed to evoke all kind of feelings of culpability, trauma, grief, and disdain. Particularly poignent, it felt, given it's post/war context.
I really enjoyed Graham sutherland too;
Wednesday, September 17, 2003
I am not sure if many people have heard of this yet, but last year on my theological training course, an Anglican Minister called Sam Wells used Godly Play within a service, and it blew me away. I have now tried it out myself several times using biblical salvation history stories and Jesus’ parables, and it is remarkable how effective it is at holding adults and children in a shared act of worship, and appears to cross socio-cultural boundaries. It provides a great media resource for alternative worship and emerging church. I was pleased to see that Kevin & Ana Draper did a workshop on this at the UK Greenbelt festival. The pics above were of me doing a workshop from people in Graceway and some Baptist Ministers, with the intention that they are going to try to use Godly Play in their services. I am getting more enthusiastic about this as time goes on! For more info on this, check out Godly Play web site. Please find below a handout in word format that I used for the workshop if interested. Godly Play training.doc
First on my list has to be Rakinos, 35 High Street Auckland City midtown. It is situated on the 1st floor of a 1930’s Art Décor block overlooking a square.
With live DJs and Music. Incidently the bloke on the couch is Mike who wrote the essay mentioned later!. Number two on my top list of cafés is Verona famous in these parts as a venue for alt.worship gatherings and hanging out. On Karangahape Rd affectionately called K Rd, near the corner with the top of Queen Street. Verona
The web site gives info on the art and other events. Lastly on my top 3 is Triniti which is not a cheesy Christian Café, but a nice place to meet someone of hangout a bit further out of town (SW) 911 New North Road, near Mount Albert Train station on the corner between New North Road and Mount Albert Road.
Arts, Reflection & Thinking
Firstly, I was glad to explore a Stanley Spencer exhibition of spiritual hope, including the famous Jesus in the desert series, which was very moving at the Auckland Art Gallery. If you are interested in Stanley Spencer also check out Stanley Spencer Tour. My placement down here has been very moving, particularly my brief interactions with Maouri and Pacific Islander Culture. Two greatly recommended films on this topic are Whale Rider, on general release now, and Once were Warriors or check out the directors comment. There are rumours that Mike Riddell’s plans about a new film on one of his books will include one of the stars of Whale Rider, remember you heard it here first!! In terms of spiritual art I was pleased to find some of the Cityside emerging church promoting art check out Cityside Media. Other great local spiritual arts are promoted through Chrysalis Seed Trust. Lastly, it was good to find a New Zealand form of Christian Spiritual Reflection as a Mag. Many Citysiders and Graceway attenders have contributed to what is called Reality. Checkout Reality. I am told it can be a hit and miss affair in terms of content.
A highlight for me, was to see and be involved in the faith communities of Cityside and Graceway, (see entries for Sept 12th, 10th 8th). I have greatly enjoyed being around Mark Pierson, Steve Taylor and Mike Crudge. Concerning Mark Pierson and Cityside, for those who are able, they will be contributing to the Australian Black Stump Christian Festival, Mark Pierson or the team. In terms of resources, Mark Pierson and Cityside are bringing out a new resource for alternative worship service groups or emerging churches which is going to be published which will be called The Fractals Project: Alternative Resources for Worship in the Emerging Church. Steve Taylor is finishing his PhD write up on alternative worships. He shared some really interesting insights about a community hermeneutic which has got me very excited. Check out his blog for when this becomes available.. Last but not least, was meeting up with Mike Crudge, another Baptist Minister who has spent sometime looking at Dave Andrew’s Waiters Project in Australia. I am sure we will here more from him as his work develops. See his essay link. Mike Crudge Urban Mission conce
Finally but not least I want to share some moving resources. The first are two songs with DVD movies included. The first is an American band called Evanescence who have brought out an album and a single called Bring me to Life. This single has been profoundly worshipful to me. Something about travelling and seeing what Christians are doing with emerging church brings new energy and breath to me. I sometimes find peoples cynicism and lack of interest in dreaming new ideas and new ways of being community strangling my own spirituality. Believe it or not, I have cried a lot in response to this track by Evanescence and another by Johnny Cash. Interestingly Evanescence have been kicked out of their church for producing the song and album – again how short sighted can the conservative church be. For info on the song check out here. For a copy of the lyrics click on the link to Bring me to Life Bring Me To Life.doc. The Johnny Cash Album American IV The Man Comes Around has a DVD of the single of ‘Broken’. A profoundly moving movie of his reflections of life, about giving it all up. It is mixed with lots of communion images of bread, wine and sacrifice. Watch out Moot lot, I will be using both these resources in services in the future. I leave Auckland for Melbourne tomorrow. I will bring my low down on there to you soon. So finally I want to use a benediction that the Cityside community do when they end their services as in incarnational calling to follow God into the world:
You are God's servants gifted with dreams and visions.
Upon you rests the grace of God like flames of fire.
Love and serve the Lord in the strength of the Spirit.
May the deep peace of Christ be with you,
the strong arms of God sustain you,
and the power of the Holy Spirit stengthen you in every way. Amen
(Dianne Karay Tripp)
So long New Zealand, I am truly going to miss being in Auckland!, Ian Mobsby
Saturday, September 13, 2003
Found this fantastically kitch bible via lego scenes, picture from Genesis - Adam & Eve meeting in the Garden of Eden - I love it.
Friday, September 12, 2003
Another Pic of Cityside, this is with the community doing communion. It was quite a moving service.
Thursday, September 11, 2003
here is an image of te pooka a cool edinburgh based group of performance artists!
Blogger has a new feature which means you can upload any images you want from Blogger itself :-)) cool non!
Wednesday, September 10, 2003
Tuesday, September 09, 2003
Sacred Space Ireland
Monday, September 08, 2003
This summer I also visited Sanctus 1 service in Manchester where they explored the insights of the trinity as a basis to being a christian community. I am excited how Sanctus are really trying to be an emerging church. Pics to uploaded here too. I also went to Resonance on Bristol with a Friend. A small but creative group, see the portal for links there to.
You will be pleased to know it is raining down here - Laters!! Ian
Sunday, September 07, 2003
All seems a little macabre to me........