Tuesday, March 30, 2004

what dreams may come
Have been having a lot of dreams lately - whether this is because my subconscious wants to tell my something, or because I have been sleeping lightly, I don't really know.

I had the best dream of the lot last night. I dreamt that about 30 of us involved in moot decided to buy a massive plot of land in Italy that had a vineyard and farm on it. We converted the farm into a big communal living space with small houses for families and the like to live in, and a few extra empty ones. In effect we were setting up an alternate Christian community with space for a retreat centre and a nice vineyard to boot :-)

Our first visitors were the archbishop of Canterbury and some other bishops who came after we sent the archbishop a case of our first batch of wine. There was also some stuff about us also setting up a café in the local town where we had some club nights and discussions on Christian spirituality.

I think I have had this dream in me for a long time - and its something that I really want to do later in life when I retire (say 5-10 years, well I am getting on a bit at 25!). The idea of communal living along with people's private space to retreat to is really appealing, and setting up a retreat/study centre also sounds great, and a vineyard would be an added personal bonus! I think living in London and trying to be communal are two fairly mutually exclusive things, although that is not for want of trying. Maybe this is monasticism for the 21st century, moot style :-)

UPDATE: Think I may have found the perfect type of place!

Thursday, March 25, 2004


From: Jonny Baker: Forward Slash: A Narrative Missiology for the Emerging Culture

Andrew Jones will create a media-rich immersive learning environment in which we can appreciate part of the life and teaching of Jesus in Luke 8-10, and draw from it some insight into contextual missional practice among the emerging culture and new media minds. If that fails he says we’ll have a glass of wine and a good laugh!!!! You can read his own description of the content here.

Andrew (known to many as Tallskinnykiwi ) blogs at http://tallskinnykiwi.typepad.com/ where you can catch up with his thoughts and theoblogy. He has a fantastic sense of what God is up to in mission around the world particularly in new situations and in the emerging culture. He tells stories and throws parties. We were wondering how on earth we were going to follow Tom and Christine Sine but Andrew will be more than able to pick up the baton in his own inimitable style. This is definitley another Blah... not to be missed.

This is the second of a series of conversations hosted by CMS in 2004 on mission, worship, church and Christianity in today’s rapidly changing culture. It’s a time to keep listening, chatting and reflecting as God beckons us into the future.

Wednesday 26 May 6:30-8:30pm Drinks and refreshments provided Admission free

Venue: CMS partnership house, 157 waterloo road
[Nearest tube Waterloo - follow signs from station to Old Vic. Go past Old Vic and Partnership House is on the same side opposite the ambulance station]

It would help us to know numbers in advance so if you're coming please e-mail joyce.mccaulsky@cms-uk.org


Cheers to all you that came, there were a number of people from different groups in and around London and the South East, around 55 people in one night so that's not bad. See link for hand out on what's going on and individual group feedback. info sheet.doc

The cafe bar atmosphere worked, and people from different groups chatted about what was going on, so a bit of a success. It worked holding it in Covent Garden. People were keen for it to happen again, in the same place. I think moot would be happy to host it again, but we will need to raise some money to keep doing it!!

Anyway - it was a good night. As well as the groups listed on the sheet, I was pleased to hear that the previous group called host at the Round Chapel in East London, are now reorganising themselves, and will be starting things up again under the banner of 'post' or something similar - so it is good to see that the URC continue to have some alt worship communities.

On the list above, there is also a mailing from Brighton to see if there are people there wanting to start an alt worship group - so if you are there get in touch......

Watch this space for the next london zoo events.

Saturday, March 20, 2004

Fun Stuff
This film looks fantastically funny, who would ever have thought that an American film could be made about Christianity that is sarcastic and ironic as well as unervingly close to the truth. I don't normally go for teen comedies but this is one I may pop out to see.

Steve at smallritual has posted a really cool link to a cool flash fractal site - something that it is easy to spend ages faffing around on.

I also stumbled across this bizarre little site that someone has clearly spent hours on, and I am not sure quite why. Very funny, just make sure you have your sound turned on.

Serious Stuff
Jason Clark has been posting about being fed up with people talking about emerging church and not actually doing it, most of the comments on that post disagree and talk about the many practisioners out there. There was a really nice comment by Mike Todd though:

"when you "gather" people to talk about it, those who are doing it are outnumbered by those who are thinking about it, those who would like to do it, those who are worried about those doing it."

Not always true, but something worth mulling over.

Monday, March 15, 2004


In the ongoing dialogue and support of groups involved in the above, Moot is hosting the next LONDON ZOO event, which aims to build up relationships and co-operation between such groups. This event is open to any one involved in new/creative/alt/fresh worship groups and those involved in related emerging/new forms of being church in or near to London.

We are therefore planning to host this important event (our turn) on Weds March 24th 7 - 11pm at the Poetry Cafe in Covent Garden.

We will be putting together an info sheet on what groups are doing, books coming out and resources - so if you are a group and you have news - please let us know including web/blog sites and email addresses to londonzoo@klisia.net

Address: Poetry Cafe, 22 Betterton Street, London, WC2H 9BX
Nearest Tube: Covent Garden, 5 mins walk
Nearest Train: Charing Cross, 15 mins walk
Car Park: Nearest, Dury Lane (round the corner - expensive)

Map: Click here

If you have queries, please email londonzoo@klisia.net


Early notice I know, but so that you know - there has started a new forms of being church conference for oct/Nov 04 in Sheffield, with the aim of nurturing and supporting new forms of church that include emerging church projects and alternative worship communities. It would be helpful to know of those browsing here - what content would be helpful for you - please do add comments. Cheers Ian

Friday, March 12, 2004

Journey into Egypt part II
The visit we made to St Katherines monastery was very interesting. It is situated directly below Mt Sinai at the top of a valley. You can almost piece together in your minds eye the way the Israelites might have lumbered up the valley (pictured 4th).

We were shown round the monastery by Father Justin, an American Greek Orthodox priest who was incredibly full of wisdom and grace. We got to have a look round their world famous library which they have within the monastery and saw some 3rd century biblical manuscripts. While flicking through the visitors book we stumbled across Tony Blair and family signatures (pictured 1st), they left some comment about it being an important spiritual source in the Christian tradition.

However, the most interesting thing in the library was the letter that had been dictated by Mohammed (pictured 3rd) to give special dispensation for the monastery to continue to operate during a time of unrest between Christians and Muslims. This agreement was altered in the 9th or 10th century to include converting one of the buildings in the monastery into a Mosque because the Muslims in the local area had no place of worship (pictured 2nd). It was used up until the middle of the last century as a place of worship by Muslims, but is now only opened when important Muslims visit the monastery. Its very strange to see a mosque in the middle of a monastery.

Father Justin explained how the mosque has been a key symbol that has helped keep the peace between Christians and Muslims within the area for centuries, and he himself spoke of the fruitful dialogue that has taken place between Christians and Muslims in the last ten years, dialogue that has resulted in many joint social projects between the two religious groups.

With all the worry in this country, and elsewhere about how Muslims and Christians can live together, and all the suspicion that goes along with that it was great to see how for centuries a remote Christian community has developed highly fruitful, and respectful relationships with their Muslim neighbours, in fact throughout Egypt this was the overall impression I had. A few Christians I met mentioned that a few ministries seem to base their fundraising around supporting 'oppressed' Christians in Islamic countries including Egypt, they were quite negative to their claims of Christians being persecuted in Egypt, and they severely doubted any claims of this in the last twenty years. Their thoughts were that these organisations rely on this perceived threat in order to raise funds. Having read up on the ICC site about this alleged persecution in Egypt it is odd to find people in Alexandria and Cairo saying that it does not happen, yet the ICC website carries stories from several other groups saying Christians are even tortured! It would be strange if the people we spoke to did not know this was happening. Umm what to make of it all? Anyone have any suggestions?

Wednesday, March 03, 2004

Journey into Egypt
Have just returned from a nine day trip into Egypt with CMS. We were out there filming a documentary about Christian and Muslim relations within an Islamic state. Will blog about the experience of interviewing several key Muslim thinkers later as I need to relfect a bit more on what they said.

The highlight of the trip was a trip to Mt Sinai. Clambering out of bed at 2am in the morning in order to get to the top in time to film sunset was a rather tiring affair. But the journey to the top was one that I found very moving. I felt a real sense of journeying when I was climbing in the dark. It was amazing to walk in the same footsteps as Moses (I know that this may not be the actual Mt Sinai, but to me this was not the issue, rather it was one of journeying in the same or similar place), and it gave me a real sense of continuity in my own faith. Watching the sun rise on the top (which is pictured) was also spectacular, 2500-3000 years ago the Israelites would have seen that same sunrise, they would have sat under the same sky, and seen the same stars under Mt Sinai. Growing up in evangelicalism with its rejection of historical tradition had left a real hole in faith, I think this hole was partially filled in this journey up this mountain.

We also took communion on the top, which was also very moving, breaking bread and sharing in Jesus' journey in a place where many. The style of communion was very much Greek Orthodox, which was fitting as in the valley below us was St Katherines, a Greek Orthodox monastery which has been around since the 4th century, and also houses the second largest collection of biblical manuscripts in the world.

Suffice to say that if you are ever in Egypt it is well worth visiting Sinai, for me it was a profoundly moving experience.

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