Thursday, December 25, 2003

 
UNION [grid blog :: advent 4]
union::god::humanity
jesus - gods union with humanity
gods link-up with us
plugging his ipod into humanities powerbook and downloading his tunes
creating a sublime mix, full of different beats
a fusion of black/white, north/south, rich/poor, male/female
bringing union between us and god,
bringing union to ourselves,
bringing union to our communities,
bringing union.

Monday, December 22, 2003

 

[grid blog :: advent 3] - source
Well my advent post is a little late, but never mind.
Have been rather depressed at the state of Christmas this year - seems like my festive mood has been soured by the rather bullish advertising and corporate groups who seem intent on grabbing my money by hijacking and subverting the story of the birth of the christ.

I really like my picture, sums up my thoughts at this late advent stage, somehow I need to remove all the brash and intrusive things that surround the birth of the messiah. I need to get beyond the rush or present buying and encounter the stillness of that cold night, the pain Mary would have gone through in delivering the boy into the world, I need to rediscover again the rather embarrasing story fo Jesus' birth, a boy born out of wedlock (into 'sin' as some would put it today) from a family line made up rather dubious characters to say the least (see Matt 1).

Yesterday I popped home to see my family, and got to hold my little nephew for an hour or two. Seeing life in its infancy is amazing. His life is pregnant with possibilities, the future quite open but he has little concern for that and is rather more interested in a roll of tape spinning on the floor. With the birth, life and death of Jesus our lives become pregnant with hope again, remembering Jesus' birth should fill my heart with hope of the possibility of new life, even with my tired knackered body. I hope this year I can make room, remove the branding, forget the rush, and spend a little while thinking in hushed silence and awe, trying to get back to the source of it all.

Sunday, December 14, 2003

 
NARRATIVE MUSINGS

At a recent Shakespearean play I went to see to try and cheer myself up after ending my last attempt to have a relationship, my mind wondered to some thoughts that I think might be good to blog about.

It may come as a shock, but other than the IKEA catalogue, Shakespeare's plays and the bible are the most read published materials. I have always wondered why Shakespeares plays have been so important to so many people in dfferent cultures at different times. On closer inspection, Shakespeare's genius is that he is able to identify with what it means to be human - where people triumph over their inner self doubts and difficult circumstances or circum to harder sides of life and circumstances in tragedies that resonate with human experience in all times.

I find it interesting that at weddings, funerals and other important events, shakespeare as well as the bible have their place. So why does this go on? Well currently, I think that Shakespeare alike the bible reminds us that the narrative of globalisation, that we are in world that is being made perfect, is a lie and an illusion. Shakespeare's sonnets and plays remind us of our sense of jounrneying, not arriving, of the incompleteness of what it means of humanity. His writing remind us of our own mistakes, our hopes, our achievements, our fears and our dreads and our mistakes. Interestingly, his writing helps us to remember that we all are in it together, and remind us of our need for each other and compassion and grace. Yes writings that cause us to face our dark nasty sides, the barberous and the civilised, but he reminds us of who we are. No surprise then, that in a liquid modern time, where we are loosing our cultural stories, that Shakespeare's plays and sonnets still have their place.

The challenge again for us exploring our inherited spiritual stories, is the need to retell biblical and other narratives that help us become more human. New ways of being church need also to be creative in story telling, these stories of hope and despair, that help us remember who we are before the God who sustains.

Finally, I know many of my close friends and mooters who are in their thirties, are facing again this sense of who am I and what have I acheived. Some have voiced their desire to have been famous as a sense of achievement. These people are gifted artists, musicians and performers, and it is true that given the right circumstances they would have each made it. But the truth is, and it is a nasty one, that the modernist stories we grew up with which we hold as a form of evaluation criteria in the back of our heads, were the biggest lie and illustion of them all - we will never live up to these false hopes and expectations of ourselves. We will always be ordinary and human, hopefully a bit wiser, and hopefully more valuing of our friends and relationships, of the sacred and transcendent as well as people. We all want power, but the heart of our gospel is letting go of this need for power to a sense of powerlessness. Sorry if this is a bit dark, but I found again a sense of hope in Shapespeare and biblical narratives, which are small voices in our age of grand illusions and power fullfillment.

The danger - is that life gets busier when there are little ones to add to the growing communities, that we do not see our friendships to be key. It gets more complex, but our need for each other does not disapate, if anything we need each other more. For me, moot is becoming the sort of Christian spiritual community, a place of honesty, of hope, of lament, of togetherness, that I have dreamed about. It is a rare and precious thing, so lets vlaue it and not take it for granted.

Saturday, December 13, 2003

 
ARTICLES IN THE GUARDIAN
Pleased to say that both Jonny Baker and Jonthan Bartley have both had letters published in the Guardian. Jonny's responding to an article on spiritual tourism.

Jonathan Bartley's was a reponse to the increase in abortions due to minor physical disabilities. Jonathan and Lucy friends to many of us have a very disabled son, you can read this article
here.

Both these subjects are important to people involved in moot.

 
ADVENT - PREGNANT WITH HOPE: SOUL SPACE

The sister Group to Moot in the Diocese of London - Soul Space at St Lukes Holloway, did a great service on advent last weekend. Their services are on the first sunday of each month except January which fit with Moots service plan of 2nd and 4th Sundays - so that is possible to attend alternative worship services in the Diocese of London 3 out of the average 4 sundays in the month. For more info on Soul Space click on the links to St Lukes on the left. We hope for closer working between Moot and Soul Space in the future.

 
MOOT DEVELOPMENTS

I am pleased to say that at last we are getting there in planning. After discussions at St Matthews Church of England Church and with the Bishop of London, it is looking increasingly likely that Moot will become an official CofE and London Diocese project for 'New Ways of Being Church'. It is also increasingly looking likely that Ian will be ordained as a deacon from this summer to assist those who are moot to develop an increasing sense of community, pastoral care and activities. It is all good stuff, but a long way to go. Discussions between Philip the Vicar, Nick the Head of Ministerial Training for DOL and the Bishop will all be involved assisting things along.

FOr those involved in the moot community, there will be a mailing to clarify things and time given over in the first planning meeting of the new year, to keep people up to date. It is a great opportunity, and it looks likely we are going to pull it off. We will need to think about structures of accountability and govenance that maintain the community sense of being church we have established.

 
DIVINE INTERVENTION

Sorry couldn't resist. Some of us did the Tates and boat trip and went for drinks at various bars later on. The first pic is of the main modern art installation in the turbine exhibition space at the Tate Modern. The second is Karl, Sim & Graham - with one of those moments - read advert behind head - who said there was no such thing as divine intervention???

Sunday, December 07, 2003

 
[grid blog :: advent 1]
A little advent liturgy as my contribution to the grid-blog.

Come Lord Jesus, Maranatha.
Come Lord Jesus, do not delay.

Among the poor
among the proud
among the persecuted
among the rich
Christ is coming.


Come to make all things new.

In the private house
in the market place
in the wedding feast
in the judgement hall
Christ is coming.


Come to make all things new.

With a gentle touch
with an angry word
with a clear conscience
with burning love
Christ is coming.


Come to make all things new.

That the kingdom might come
that the world might believe
that the powerful might stumble
that the humble might be raised
Christ is coming.


Come to make all things new.

Within us
without us
among us
before us
in this place
in every place
for this time
for all time
Christ is coming.


Come to make all things new.

Friday, December 05, 2003

 
Skinny Post
Tallskinnykiwi has posted a few blogs that articulate very well some frustrations many of us have had with the 'modern' church, in its many facets. He ends one of his posts with, 'And I know that you have sung the famous hymns and would dare not trust [post-modern suspicion] the sweetest frame [decontructionism], but only lean on Jesus name because all other ground [post-foundational] apart from Christ the solid rock, is SINKING SAND, so you can clearly not choose the concept in front of anyone.'

A few good nuggets to be read through.


 
A man i've got to know was recently murdered in an un-provoked attack. He was the manager of a local takeaway, 60 years old and killed by an 18 year old, who hit him over the head with an iron bar.
I'm angry and very sad.
The whole incident is tragic.

Without wanting to make a sermon out of a tragedy it does confirm a though i hold with conviction. Imagination is the key to change; without it, an 18yr old can f**k up his own life, take another and destroy many others. Where is the conscience? The restraint? The thought that these actions may so profoundly affect the world in which I and this stranger live? THere is no thought to the consequences, to responsibility, to the idea that the 'other' may be affected by my own actions. Without imagination there is no compassion, no society.

If there is one thing I long for it is a re-discovery of imagination. Through art, questions, pain, faith, education and dialogue i trust that imagination can be nurtured.
Can this be seen as a major task for the global church - in fact for all faiths? I hope so - the stakes are so high and we are already losing the lives of others, the earth and ourselves.

Thursday, December 04, 2003

 
Dont ask me why........

I cannot explain it myself, but i discovered this site whilst trawling some curious Japanese Art sites and felt a kind of Tarantino-esque movie was unfolding before my eyes, (sans violence - i assure you). It simply exists in highly saturated kitsch glory.
(and before your mind thinks...................i don't really like kittens!)

Sorry for being more absent than present recently .....life eh.

BREAKING NEWS unfortunately the site has now closed due to excessive bandwidth(???)...........sorry folks it was an ephemeral blast of bizzare kitsch, and now it's gone.

Wednesday, December 03, 2003

 
The Swimming Jonny
Whilst having coffee the other day I observed one Jonny Baker in training for the swimming olympics in London 2012 - click here see a secretly filmed clip.

If he keeps up a pace like that then he might just make gold ;-)


Monday, December 01, 2003

 
MOOT: SCRIPTURAL SPACE

Last week we started our once a month space to develop a group-hermeneutic exploration of the scriptures. Like many emerging and new forms of church, we are in danger of throwing the baby out with the bath water when it comes to scriptures. Many of us know that we don't believe the simplifed black and white literal interpretation of scripture. But we do believe these words are God inspired, but need to be interpreted to draw out the meaning for us today living in the 21st Century. So we want to maintain a high regard towards people and culture as well as a high regard towards scripture, where mature christianity is about living with the tension of holding such a position.

In response, we have set up the Moot Scriptural Space on the 4th Wednesday of every month to fit into the monthly cycle of worship mission and community that is moot. The first evening looked at a tool for biblical criticism that has been created drawing on narrative, literary, historical, form, redactive and social critical questions to analyse a text. Click here for a copy.scriptural space tool.doc

The first meeting was well attended, Didier, Ian, Danny, Richard, Carey, Sim, James, Mike and Gareth. In this session we explored the different biblical critical approaches and explored Genesis 22:1-15 as an example.OT Exegesis Gen 22 1 -19 quest.doc

The next moot scriptural space will be on January 28th 8pm in St Matthews Library, entrance via St Matthews House blue door entrance, where we will be looking at 1 Corinthians 1:18-25. to remind those who are preparing material for the session:
Questions 1 - 3 - Carey
Question 4 - Mike
Question 5 - Danny
Question 6 - Gareth
Question 7 - Sim
Questions 8 & 9 - Didier
Question 10 - James

Resources and search tools using the internet will be compiled into as folder in the secure section of the website. Can all please remember to reference all source material so that we can refind helpful things you find. This will run on concurrently from January and is open to all those involved in the moot community at St Matthews Westminster and visitors.

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