Thursday, October 30, 2003
Some may be interested to know that I have now got a title for my MA, which is:
“Emerging and Liquid Church: In what way is it authentically Christian and Anglican?”
I am quite looking forward to starting in the autumn 2004, once I have finished other training. Knowing that Pete Ward and others have written a lot about Liquid or Aqua Church from a sociological perspective, I am wanting to look at it from a more theological position. If you know of any writing that you think will be relevant then please let me know. I will be drawing on the work of Alan Jamieson, Steve Taylor, Mike Riddell, Dave Tomlinson and others, but if you know any less well known. then let me know...... Cheers Ian Mobsby
Wednesday, October 29, 2003
If anyone has had the pleasure of reading LIFE OF PI by Yann Martel, they may be interested in this quirky animation from Canongate, part game/part animation/part meditation.
( I'm going to a reading club discussing it tomorrow and i'm trying to get my head together about it. )
Tuesday, October 28, 2003
This is my first blog. Last week didn't even know what a blog was but looking forward to being educated in the world of blogging.
I've been thinking about interior lights in cars recently.
Monday, October 27, 2003
Found a really cool game on the internet today. You play at assasinating David Blaine while he swings in his box near Tower Bridge and shouts, 'yeah - I'm a magician'. You have to hit him about 6 times and then you get a really fantastic flash animation of him trying (and failing) to get into heaven! Believe me its worth practising just to see the funny flash animation and who's in hell :-)
Visisted the new turbine installation last week. The artist Olaf Eliasson has installed mirrors on the ceiling that run the full length of the hall, then at one end is a semi-circle with strip lights behind it that is reflected in the mirrors above and then looks like a full circle - smoke is also pumped into the hall which gives it a an eerie other-world feeling. Looks really incredible, like you have walked into a sunset on a distant planet or some other strange place. It also remined me of some of the scenes from Apocalypse Now.
I think the most interesting thing is watching people react to the installation - some people just walk in and stare right down at the 'sun', other lie on the ground and observe their movements in the giant mirror above them. Some groups arrange themselves into letter forms or other strange signs.
It really is a space that seems to allow people to feel free to encounter and take part/react to the installation on their own terms without any inhibitions something I haven't really seen in a lot of other art installations.
The whole installation has a very transcendant feel to it, a place to sit, ponder and think. It would be very easy to change the smoke to incense and add some gregorian chant which would create a very transcendant feel!
Felt like I came away really envisioned with ideas for moot services (shame we don't have space this big - maybe we could do the next turbine installation :-)
Friday, October 24, 2003
What can we say, it was hot good music and time to stop and enjoy. It was good to see so many people involved in moot at the festival as well as friends from other alt.services. The Windows Movie Player movie gives you a bit of a feel for what was going on. Here's looking forward to next year - but maybe in vans rather than tents....
Wednesday, October 22, 2003
Jonny B has shaved off his goatee beard! Shock, horror and within the emerging church community, with many unable to speak of the gravity of what has happened. No one is quite sure why this mad act has taken place - whether Jonny was overcome by some powerful force or some strange madness has behest him. One thing is for sure life will never be the same again.
At Moot we assure Jonny of our prayers and wish him a speedy recovery!
Tuesday, October 21, 2003
Jürgen Moltmann is for me the main inspiration behind my thoughts on the role of the Spirit. He's a really key theologian in the whole debate over the role of the Holy Spirit within the church and creation. I think that emerging church's perspective on the spirit is one that closely resembles Moltmanns. The Spirit is found not only in the 'church' but also in the whole of creation, inspiring acts of creativity that bring about life as originally intended. This may be in a group of activists in Latin America trying to protect their land from corporate greed, or lobbying the EU on over-fishing, or the setting up of a homeless persons hostel in inner-city London. Each of these acts is comminted to trying to bring about life as it should be, and life within the whole of creation, not just amongst humans.
Emerging church reflects this 'holistic' view of the Spirit, a view that is open to seeing the Spirit at work amongst those some would called the 'unsaved', this in turn is a 'dangerous' view of the Spirit because it means the Spirit moves beyond the contours of what we as a group/denomination/individual find confortable or even acceptable. As Ian has said this can lead to greater ecumenical dialogue, and should also lead to a banishment of the sort of dualism that results in a 'good-saved', 'evil-unsaved' view of the world. It affirms the goodness inherant in the creation that is maintained and nourished by the Spirit through those people who are willing to engage in activities that bring about life.
Anyway you can check out the book in question here (and it may make a good one to discuss).
At Jonny Baker's inspired series of activites at CMS called 'Postcards from the Edge' Gareth Powell asked a very key question of Steve Taylor, about whether emerging church is about a new understanding of the Holy Spirit or in other words a new pneumatology. I know that Steve was quite challenged by this as was I, and I have been ruminating about this since as I think Gareth has hit on something important. Soon after these thoughts I met with Prof Andrew Walker to talk about what he and some others have been thinking about concerning 'Deep Church', which by its implications is about a pneumatology that sees the tradition of the Church being founded on the Holy Spirit, and that there has always been a deep spirituality that has resources the church even when it doesn't realise it. Deep Church is about the fact that we can realise more of the deep spirituality of the faith by an openess to the Spirit to guide and deepen. The writing of C S Lewis is drawn on as a starting point, and will be compiled into a book shortly by Andrew Walker.
All this resonates with me about a return to the centrality of the Trinity as a starting point about the nature of God and our calling to be church as a relational focus. Secondly there is a return to a greater understanding of the spirit to guide in our secular culture - that the Spirit transforms secular signs into counter-cultural subverted spiritual metaphors or symbols of meaning. Its similar to our inheritance from the Celtic Christian Church. This return and in many ways new openess to the Spirit of God to be a guide and companion in turn makes discipleship is journey rather than a static concept which inturn enables the Holy Spirit to do an old or new thing. Interestingly it looks at recent Christian Hisotry and sees the creation of increased sectarianism in the 60s, 70s and 80s, and inparticular the creation of EA as a barrier to the work of the Holy Spirit through the charismatic movement that was bringing churches of different traditions together in new eccumenical ways.
I am still trying to work it out. As usual Andrew Walkers stuff needs to be acknowledged if you are going to use the material for writing. Hope this is interesting!!
Monday, October 20, 2003
I am finally on the blog only took me a month. But i will now be contributing to the fantastic discussions, with my creative thinking and wonderful ideas from a female point of view.
went to see kill bill yesterday. as usual featured some excellent cool moments that only tarantino could do. but compared to pulp fiction or reservoir dogs this was an only average offering from the postmodern-mix-it-up master.
coolest scene must feature the trailer music which is very damn cool, and is played over lucy lui and her minions as they look cooler than cool walking through a restaurant. its one of those moments when you sit there and just admire someone who knows how to pull a little scene like this together :-)
I don't know quite why people have complained about all the violence - yes it is violent but in a completely over the top way, and all the blood and limbs just highlight this - it does not come near the gritty realism of reservoir dogs for instance. but if you read the daily mail you may wish to stay away.
the film is all about revenge, and like so many films these days features little in the way of discussion or dialogue as to the effectiveness of revenge (not that tarantino ever even asks or raises the question). walter wink in his book on the powers assesses the myth of redemptive violence, a myth that suggests that only through revenge using violence can peace or redemption, as some politicians call it, be attained. he traces this myth through childrens cartoons (such as tom and jerry) right into mainstream cinema and tv shows. and he is right that this myth permeates the modern media. there is very little produced that is mainstream that goes against this view, and with that no other myths to follow.
I suppose you could argue that a film, tv show or cartoon that used dialogue as a means to overcome differences would be rather boring, but this does miss the point that if this view if perpetuated countless times in countless movies that kids have grown up on since the sixties then is it no wonder that Americans in particular, as well as the British and other nations, use force as a normal means to resolve conflict on the international and home front. I'm not saying it is only because of this, but this myth of redemptive violence certainly plays its part. so next time your dreaming up your latest cool script mr tarantino perhaps a little cool pop at this myth would be in order.
we are discussing this book on wed 12 November for moot so come and join in the discussion!
Thursday, October 16, 2003
Further to the entries in September 2003 about Godly Play, where I talked about experiences in New Zealand with Godly Play and info on the Godly Play Centre in Cambridge UK, I have been grately helped by seeing an essay written by Sarah Oakland about her time with a church and Sam Wells - where Godly play was used in services each sunday. Please see her report below. Please remember to acknowledge ownership of this to Sarah Oakland if you include content in further writing (C) Sarah Oakland 2003.
Godly Play Report.doc
I am pleased to see that Darren & THe Living Room Emerging church group have been trying out Godly Play in alternative worship services see: Link 1 or link2
Also check out steve taylor's blog if interested in this whole area of spiritual development through worship experience, as steve has written a number of articles and comments accessible through his blog
I've not long finished his recent book, Straw Dogs (nothing to do with the film) and would thoroughly recommend this as provocative, jargon free and relevant. It's also exciting and entertaining rather than hard work, a rare feat for philosophy. Christianity takes a beating, but less so than contemporary liberal thought. Gray's theme is that the western secular worlds has happily inherited Christian values of progress and salvation, whilst ditching the belief in God. This he calls nonsense. Gray shows that without God, the world does lose meaning and hope and rejects the idea that it can be created through human endeavour. His position makes nihilism look like a bunch of laughs and he writes much that is difficult to have sympathy with. The book has caused a deal of agonising and difference among secular commentators and would be a great read for any christian wanting to question and think where we stand in the world.
Wednesday, October 15, 2003
The Wednesday moot discussion was on the importance of symbolism on worship and its relevance to being church (traditional & emerging) as a structure of signification. I am left reflecting on the representation and expression of mystery - and yet again the idea of transcendence and imminence - or as Gary would say rightly absence and presence. For info on the session see the handout below. Please do use the comment section if you want to add comment or start debate following the moot discussion evening. Cheers...
Symbolism in worship.doc
Tuesday, October 14, 2003
I am pleased to say that there are some very big conversations going on at the moment in the CofE about new forms of being Church. Moot and such forms of emerging church are being represented in meetings looking at the Church's Pastoral Measure which is exploring new ways of being church which are authentically Anglican. This working group includes Bishop Graham Cray, George Lings from The Sheffield Centre and Malcolm Brown my College Principal. They are drawing up a proposal that will go to the Synod as a way forward that is looking at church being a network as much as a parish or georgraphy. I hope that results will affirm our percevied calling to serve a network and geography through St Matthews Church Westminster.
At Present there are a number of non-parish churches that have been sanctioned under the pastoral measure up to now, that include Be Real in Nottingham amongst others that focus on network and use alternative worship as their main service. For info on Be Real see the moot website emerging church links.
Rowan Williams has supported these developments in an important speech earlier this year, see the Church of England Newspaper article and a copy of the speech.
There will be an emerging church conference in November 2004 that Moot will be contributing to. For info on this, click here.
What can I see, its hot, its cultured and its where they filmed a lot of the matrix. The pic of the bridge should be familiar to fans of the first film. Its where Trinity picks up Neo in the car in the rain. I could get even sadder, so I have left other matrix locations off the blog.
OK, confessions. In the two times I have been over to Sydney in 2003, I spent most of my time in three cafes, mostly because those cafes were excellent. The first is called is an a wonderful café and arts area called Glebe Its also close to Café Church (see Later about that). My favourite café is Well Connected. Its an excellent café, so good that we used some of the images for the moot website. Other good cafés include Satellite, originally set up by the same people as Well Connected. You will find Satellite Café round the back of New Town, near the 7-11 shop.
Arts & Performance
One thing I really like about Sydney is the amazing amount of things going on. There is an independent Radio Station, which a number of musicians I met were involved in. One of these guys is called Rick who produces his own dance music under the name Deep Child. Check out his music here or see the website for deepchild. To listen to the 2 Ser Radio Station Live click here or for the website click here.
Further into town are a number of performance venues. One of these called Club Acustica had a great acoustic cabaret on a week day night. I was pleased to see some one I know perform called Steve Bevis playing his stuff. He has a number of good albums, so check out the website.
Emerging Church & Spirituality
The best thing you could do while you are here, is to attend an event of Café Church, 37-47 St Johns Rd, Glebe, Sydney. It’s a great space, an ex-cinema with loads of chairs for lounging, chatting as well as thinking about spiritual things.Café Church is wonderful!! It does Sunday services, and off the wall explorations during the week. To give you a flavour, see the Windows Media Player Movie below. It is an evening service, where people have been given canvases to paint a picture to represent bits of a story about Jesus. These pictures are then lined up in front of everyone. Then each by one, the narrator reads a bit of the story, and then a jazz sax player and organist/keyboard player improvises to the story and picture, which is illuminated in the dark. Apologies for the darkness of the film, but it gives you a good idea of what went on.
Finally, I need to say a big thank you to Cathy & Andrew, who were involved in Café Church and have done talks with me at Greenbelt. They are an inspiration to be around, and I have now stayed in their house twice in the same year. So Thanks Andrew & Cathy. Here lounging in the Satellite Café.
Monday, October 13, 2003
My very good friend and spiritual illustrator Jason Carter is performing at Kings College Chapel on Saturday 25 oct at 7.30. with the excellent Steve Bingham on Violin. With pieces by Steve Reich, Arvo Pärt, J S Bach, Piazolla, plus Flamenco influenced Jazz and impro, this will feed your head and heart!
Tickets available from ShopConBrio or phone 07973 977704.
Great to be at the service today and see the 2 communities developing stronger links. Every time i visit i feel the opportunites for mutual enrichment grow and deepen. Their is a great opportunity for two-way traffic. The service was very hopeful and stimulating.
The talk about Diocise of London and Finance at the end was also challenging, but again hopeful. It makes me wonder whether a deeper appraisal that is ultimately theological is needed when considering the future of the Church. (Though, as was observed today, there's nothing new in this thinking!) Maybe we need to think again about the role and expectations of the prieshood, laity, and congregation. What is the chuurch in the 21st century, how will it be known. Who makes it tick. There's nothing new here at all. But the questions seem more timely and pertinent right now..............
Wednesday, October 08, 2003
I am wondering where the book will end up - girlfriend in a coma has a similar apacalyptic feel to it, and also looked at spirituality, but not really a xian one, will be interesting to see whether he ends up with some positive soundbites on xianity or not.
he is also interviewed in the latest church times by bryan draper - althogh the interview is not yet online.
Monday, October 06, 2003
I bought Rach a turntable the other day, (for her birthday). It's like a breathe of fresh air in the house. our old turntable had gone to pieces and was lost forever. This new one has opened a whole new/old world of music. I can once again delight in the analog splendour of Kate Bush, Rem and obscure Pink Floyd, we can get into the Doors again and feel hip to the Velvet Underground. Jesus and Mary Chain are where it's at and The Smiths are meaningful. It's like all my teenage years are bursting froth upon me again! Finally i'm working up to Michelle Shocked and her classic 'Texas Campfire Tapes' replete with crickets and passing lorries, and if i dare - i'll go all Bluegrass with Tommy Jarell's classic 'Granny does your dog bite?' about as hillbilly as you can get. Aaaaahh.
Music brings life into the playground of our dreams.
Treasured moments, timeless memories, open-ended life.
Thursday, October 02, 2003
Arts, Cafe's and spirituality to follow soon....
Following the successful Islington Festival in North London this year, a book of the best poetry coming out of the schools draawing on the experiences of multi-ethnic children growing up in urban environments, (including refugees), has been compiled. It is fanstastic and reflects many issues that relate to spiritual journeys. The lamguage and imagery of thiese poems is deeply moving. Unfortunately it is not widely available but can be obtained from THe Islington Festival Office on +44 (0) 207825 4329, it is published through them. A taster:
Song of the Outsider
My country is what I see
My lung, my heart, my head
To see it float away
Like a match down a hole
A bomb waiting to be set off,
A baby waiting to be born
Or just like a picture waiting to be drawn
To see what I saw
To hear what I heard
TO feel what I felt
And to be what I was.
(c) Islington Festival 2003