Tuesday, August 31, 2004


Greenbelt was good wasn't it? - but a little too noisy, (and all those young people...........)

Wednesday, August 25, 2004

Freedom Bound!
Well tomorrow we're off to Greenbelt with the rest of the moot crowd - so there may not be much blogging till tuesday - which is also my
birthday :-)

moot are doing a few services, and I'll try and post some pictures when we return - they should look pretty cool as we are going to use an ice sculpture in one! Am looking forward to the B&B – a storm has been forcast for the weekend – people have been commenting that not camping is not on, but we'll see come monday ;-)

I met up with some of the crew from the Church of the Apostles in Seattle - unfortunately Karen Ward did not make it over today, she is stuck in the US picking up a passport so she'll be here on Friday. They were all knackered after an 11 hour flight, but its great to have some people over from a really authentic expression of a missional/emerging church. Look out for Karen and her crew at the CMS tent for a blah at 3.30pm on Sunday.

On a different note, Jen Lemen has picked up on an old post about the gender of Christ, catch up with the many comments here.

Sunday, August 22, 2004


OK, The festival is coming up fast so here are some of the highlights I suggest you consider.

Creative Services in New Forms 1
Friday - check out London's Vaux and St Luke's Soul:Space Services in the evening.
Saturday - Sanctus are doing a morning servide 9am to 10, Soul:Space 2 - 3pm, Sanctuary (Bath Group) 4 to 5pm, Visions 9 to 10pm, Ikon (Northern Ireland) 11-midnight.
Sunday - Grace 8pm to 9pm, Moot 10 - 11pm.
Monday - Sanctus 9 to 10am, Moot 5.30pm - 6.30pm

Book Discussions
Catch Dave Tomlinson talking about "Running into God" and Kester Brewin talking about "COmplex Christ" - both are going to be good.

Talks, Interviews & Discussions
Gareth Powell of Moot is interviewing Karen Ward as a 'Blah' event at Greenbelt, an Anglican minister leading a mission-shaped church project in Seattle - Sunday 2.30-3.30pm in the CMS tent.

There is a discussion on mission-shaped church on Monday 10am in the 'Tutu' venue - which Ian Mobsby of Moot will be part of the panel.

Gary Collins of Moot, is leading a session in the fine arts programme - not sure of title day or time, so Gary enlighten us by the comment below if you know.

Andrew Jones, or as more commonly known Talk Skinny Kiwi is also someone to listen to - he is doing a session n NF 1, 1 to 2pm on Sunday.

There is a gathering of greenbelt bloggers including those contributing to moot, check out here.

There is bound to be more but that is all I can remember at the moment - please do add stuff to the comments if there is stuff you want to promote at Gblt04

Cheers.... Ian

Sunday, August 15, 2004

Mootblog is 1 year Old

I am pleased to say that the moot blog is now 1 year old today, and that the Moot Community is officially 1 year 8 months old......... But who's counting!!

Saturday, August 14, 2004

Are New Forms of Being Church really Church?
In the last two decades, many of us have been experimenting with various ways of 'doing church'. This has caused many tensions - largely because of differences in the sociological function and meaning of 'being and doing' church. This discussion has been conducted through books by Pete Ward, Garham Cray, Mike Riddell and others.

In the Anglican Church, this discussion has been as a result of charismatic evangelical innovations, alternative worship communities, so called 'cell groups', non-parish forms of church and liberational theology groups. This led to two very important commissions/working groups which led to the report "Mission-shaped Church" which looked at the need to develop and support such forms of church, and "A Measure for Measure" which looked at how the COFE looks at the extra pastoral measure that governs what can be called a church.

So why am I telling you all of this. Well, firstly to ask for help. Much of what has been written in defense of fresh expressions of church have been socio-cultural drawing on sociology and anthropology to arue the case. Unfortunately, the theology has often been weak, and given those who oppose such fresh expressions as indulgences that have little to enrich the church.

So, I am keen for my MA dissertation to try and look at a theological argument to explore the legitimacy of fresh expressions of church. The title is therefore going to be:

"Emerging and Liquid Church: In what way is it authentically Christian and Anglican?

For those who are interested the dissertation proposal - click the link:
IM proposal.doc

Of the reading I have done, Church is looked at in terms of the creed "Holy, Catholic & Apostolic" Alternatively the other view of seeing Christ's presence through the sacraments and the word as being Church is abnother way.

I am interested if anyone has read any other theoligcal ways to approach "what is church", as I am wanting to do a wider sweep theologically or specifically ecclesioligically. If you have any books or journal articles that you think will help me on this current exploration, I would be very grateful.

Once I get through writing the dissertation I will intend to publish stuff....


Ian Mobsby

Some thoughts on Church
Maggi Dawn has been posting some rather interesting stuff over on her blog about the nature of the emerging church to quote: -

'There's a lot of good stuff going on in the Emerging conversation. Lots of big, deep questions that the Church (if it's authentic) has always asked, and always will ask, in the full knowledge that we never will get all the answers right. But some of the Emerging conversation sounds to me like 'I want to do church that doesn't feel like church at all'. If you don't like Christian theology, don't like spiritual boundaries of any kind, don't like liturgy or reformed/charismatic/word based worship, don't like housegroups or fellowship or prayer, then maybe what you need is a serious break from Church. That's OK. Just go on a break, give yourself some space, and find out whether you miss it or not. If you do like church, but you also want to be a film buff or a starbucks junkie or a nightclub devotee, then do both. They aren't mutually exclusive. If you want to do Church, but not the way you've always done it, go and spend 6 months in another kind of Church. You might like it much better.'

and later on in the comments:-

do you want to do Church? or do you want to turn it into a nightclub or a coffee shop (to entertain yourself). Because if it's a church it's going to be costly sometimes, annoying sometimes, and not very entertaining sometimes, because being cool and entertaining isn't the point. Meeting God in the face of other people is the point. Even if that face is drunk, angry, boring, old, unfashionable or incomprehensible.

We can all find 'like-minded people' just by hanging out with our friends and interest groups. Church must be MUCH more than that, and it needs to be more than just an hour on Sunday.'

very interesting stuff - you can pick up the whole conversation here.

For me I have a few questions:-
• I am not sure that doing church and running a coffee shop are mutually exclusive.
• Church, by its very nature, is incarnational - so if one of predominant meeting places in our culture is in the cafι why not 'do' church there?
• I think there is a real danger in networked churches to focus on a singular type of person i.e. artistic, creative, thinker, educated etc... This for me is not church - I agree with Maggi that church is hard, not always entertaining nor always done in the way we like - but it rather challenges us to see god in the things we would rather not. So maybe for moot it would be seeing god in charismatic worship, with 'naff' songs, or god in the passionate prayerful ramblings of a young person. Both places where I, and others, would be tempted to say, 'well thats all bumpkin, just human emotion etc...'
• Church has to be a place of both worship and mission - a challenge that we are looking at in moot this next autumn/winter term - what is it for us as community to be missional in both a network and geographical sense?

mooters, would be good to read your thoughts, comments... (and anyone else of course)

Thursday, August 12, 2004

A Church for the Arts
Mark, an alt worship bastion recently moved from Cityside Baptist and a good friend, is doing some very interesting activities in the Ark-T centre in Oxford in the autumn. THey will be good. Details below..... If you want top book places, print out this part of the blog and send off..

Mark Pierson | Ark-T Centre, Oxford | Three Day Conferences

£10 per day

Thursday 2nd September 11:00 - 4:00
Day 1: Worship as Art
Seeing worship as an art form to be curated rather than a linear task to be organised.

Friday 3rd September 11:00 - 4:00
Day 2: What Lies Beneath
Principles that practices are built on when worship is seen as an art form. Going for depth rather than froth and bubble.

Saturday 4th September 9:30 - 1:00
Day 3: Art as Worship
Using art, stations, Stations of the Cross, ambient spaces etc in worship.

Each day to involve presentation/discussion and a piece of worship.

Mark Pierson is co-author of The Prodigal Project and he has been the minister at Cityside Baptist Church – a church for the Arts in Auckland New Zealand. He has recently taken up a new appointment in Melbourne. More info on Cityside and Mark can be found at

A Church for the Arts is sponsored by: The Centre for Religion and Culture, King’s College London, The Centre for Christianity and Culture Regents Park College, Oxford, The Ark-T Centre and The Church Mission Society.

The £10 per day does not cover lunch or refreshments. The Ark- T Centre has a Cafι where drinks and meals can be purchased.

Booking Form




Day One Number of places £10 per person
Day Two Number of places £10 per person
Day Three Number of places £10 per person

Cheques made Payable to Ark-T Centre
Ark-T Centre
John Bunyan Baptist Church
Crowell Rd, Cowley, OX4 3LN
For more info contact Tess Ward on 01865 773499/396778

You will remember from school other students preventing you from seeing their answers by placing their arm round their exercise book or exam paper.

It is the same at work; people are secretive with ideas. 'Don't tell them that, they'll get the credit for it.'

The problem with hoarding is you end up living of your reserves. Eventually you'll become stale.

If you give away everything you have, you are left with nothing. This forces you to look, to be aware, to replenish.

Somehow the more you give away the more comes back to you.

Ideas are open knowledge. Don't claim ownership.

They're not your ideas anyway, they are someone else's. They are out there floating by on the ether.

You just have to put yourself in a frame of mind to pick them up.

Quote from Paul Arden
Saatchi & Saatchi

Wednesday, August 11, 2004


After 3 years of MA study, at last had time for holidays this summer. I have spent some time drifting around Southern France, the Pyrenes and Barcelona. In this time, I spent the occasional sunday mornings in church services of a more catholic orientation. I highlight for me, was going to the Catalan Cathedral Church of Barcelona. It's liturgy and ritual was very familiar now that I am ordained in the CofE, and I greatly enjoyed the sense that the service was attended by people from all round the world in their different cultures and languages who new exactly what was going on. It felt ancient, there was awe and mystery, and a sense of the magic. I had a profound encounter with God in a place that felt very far away and home at the same time, which was a strange feeling. It was a very important moment for me, which I am trying to keep with me now I am in baking and humid London.

The experience has highlighted some concerns for me regarding fresh expressions of church. We need to avoid being fadish, and for me, there is a need to respect the ancient in our attempt to recontectualise symbols and meaning in Christian worship. There is a danger of strip-mining the ancient traditions so that they loose their authenticity and vibrance. Fresh expressions of church must not become a new way of doing church by buying into consumerism, process/business management approaches to discipleship or knee jerk social action to make us feel better about ourselves rather than real transformation of communities which is always hard work. So as I come back to the disappointment of Jerusalem's Trusts non-funding of our project - I think I need to grapple more with the gap between contemporary culture and an ancient way of encountering GOd which seem increasingly far apart.

Finally I have been thinking about the way some Christians treat worship as some form of magic. Doing magic because it rewards you as some form of prosperity ritual rather than worship of God. The magic associated with ancient liturgy and ritual - is about world making, about reality and experience impacting - as we run into God. They are not about evoking a God into some form of self-interested form of action similar to divinaton and other pagan rites. At times my experiences of the more pentecostal and extreme Charismatic were about this, and have therefore missed the point..... Anyway tell me what you think, am I mad or does this resonate....


I am pleased to report that Graceland, the alternative church in Cardiff has a new web and blog site. Tom & Andrea friends to many in moot are part of this community, and it is good to see there visible presence in Cymru. Knowing that you guys have faced some pretty nasty experiences with deaths and serious illness recently, you as a sister group to moot remain in our thoughts and prayers. Check out their website here

Sunday, August 08, 2004



is an innovative arts space and project behind Peckham Library. I have been meaning to put info up about it here for sometime, because as a collective they have been exploring spirituality amongst other things. If you are into experimental young and urban modern art, then this please is an exciting place to experience. For more info check out here As with much installation art of our times, there is is some exploration of spiritual tourism or the creative associated with being a spiritual nomad with little rooted understanding of the Christian faith. However many exhibitions have touched many of the important issues today which often are associated with Christian spirituality.

Thursday, August 05, 2004


Bethan member of the Moot community has been involved in organising a series of urban arts based activities at London's Dray Walk Gallery off Brick Lane E1, to celebrate the continuing success of Kangol as a brand. For info on activities that will include graffiti art on a painted white old Rolls Royce Car and other surfaces including a horse sculpture!, DJ events and much more, click here

Wednesday, August 04, 2004

Books Coming Up

There are two books coming up that I would strongly recommend people read when they shortly become available.

The first, by Kester Brewin, entitled "the complex Christ" is an exploration of the meaning of Christ in our contemporary culture. Kester of Vaux and involvement in alternative worship for a little while, draws on these experiences in a prevocative yet devotional exploration of the subject. Those who attended a recent 'blah' on the subject were impressed.

The second, by Dave Tomlinson of Post-evangelical fame, has compiled a book of sermons and talks into a book called "Running into God", which is an excellent image of what has been an experience of many of encountering an un-expected God, in our journeys of faith. Again another great book. Dave is one of the 'grandees' of alt worship and experimental forms of Church, so there is a lot fo wisdom here.

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