Wednesday, August 31, 2005


Had a few friends over to celebrate my birthday... Great time... Hope you like the pic - Phillipa enjoyed wearing her new 'Lars' t-shirt... And Ian as usual made everyone feel happy and glad to be alive...

Pleased to say Moot's service at Gblt's opening friday went very well. We had a warm response and already a number of new people have joined the moot event e-list. So thanks to the moot team and friends who made the festival one of the top ones for me! Pete Rollins was on form, Jon Bartley did a great seminar, Matt Rees, new friend from Oxford Home and others were there, Ben from Sanctus 1, Ana Kev and crew from L8r, Karen Lacey & Ryan from COTA, the Bakers and Grace crew and many many more. So thanks again to Andrew, Mark, Claire, Phillipa, Gareth, Sim, Fiona, Nick and Neil for assisting/being there.

Below are some photos - mootblogger members - please do add yours onto the list.
Cheers, Ian...

General Greenbelt pics

Moot Greenbelt service

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Future Church Conference New Zealand October
Rosemary Neave and the alt/emerging lot in Auckland New Zealand are hosting an excellent conference on the other side of the sphere. It looks excellent, so if you are near strongly suggest you explore it. Click the image for a link to the website

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Moot on Radio 4 Today Programme

Pleased to say that Radio 4 broadcasted the programme they were going to do at Christmas. It is a good exploration about how fresh expressions can engage with the new spiritualities and highlights the issues raised about our current context. the debate also includes comment by Paul Bayes, Maggi Dawn, John Drane and Alastair Macintyre to mention but a few. Unfortunately they only used a small bit of what we did - and make it sound like we were anti-tradition than what was said as 'ancient-future' view that we hold. It is on for a week follow link down to play again the 'Sunday Programme'

Friday, August 26, 2005

We're not at Greenbelt

Well, now.

Carey and I are unfortunately not at Greenbelt this year (BOOOO!) because Carey is due to give birth (HOORAY!) very soon (2nd Sept.)

However I suspect that there are many other people out there who are not going to Greenbelt through ignorance, through weakness, or through their own deliberate fault.

I'm wondering if we could all console ourselves by sharing what we're doing instead in the comments box below, instead of moping about. I suspect they'll all be full of it when they get back, which will just rub salt into the wound. So let's make the best of it.

Carey and I are going to be ...err... moping about as there isn't much we can do when she's eight-and-three-quarters months pregnant, and I'm going to be desperately trying to distract her so that she doesn't remember Greenbelt. Don't mention the "G" word.

Her Mum's coming over for a couple of days, as she's just back from a month's worth of pouring concrete in Tanzania (true!). So that will help. Does anyone know any card games?

Wednesday, August 24, 2005


Pleased to say that Phillipa, Gareth & Ian of Moot met up with Karen, Lacey and Ryan from Church of the Apostles, out sister group in the States, as a bit of a reunion after Gareth, Ian and Si went to spend a significant time with COTA in the Spring 05, where we all got very inspired by what COTA were doing. Well we are all off to Cheltenham tomorrow, hopefully with not too much rain and sadly without Mike & Carey....

Reminder: Moot service is on Friday 7pm New Forms 1 venue


Belgium beer, dogs and Eucharist and other nonsense...
Had a good night out with Phillipa, Ian and Karen, Lacey and Ryan all from COTA. We downed some good belgium beers, ate some great food (Karen even had lobster!) and chatted about a rather wide, eclectic range of subjects. Including the ramifications of a dog eating some of the wafers during Eucharist... would we have to grill the dog and eat it in order that we weren't leaving any of Jesus around or is it ok for a dog to partake?

We also talked about how the Fremont Abbeye was coming along and heard some more about COTA's exciting plans for the near future... as well as their problems with the neighbours... apparently they have too many drunk people spilling out onto the streets late at night, and thats just on the worship band practice night ;-)

It was great to see them all again and it will be good to hang out at Greenbelt and I for one am looking forward to the Marvin Gaye service and seeing Karen in an Afro – which she claims has been confiscated by Heathrow for security reasons :-)

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Moot's cyber writer in residence
Pleased to say that Clare Catford, has agreed to become our cyber writer in residence - for info on Clare's career as journalist, writer and presenter - see here

Labour tunes

My self imposed "task for the week" for next week (to stave off boredom) is to burn a couple of CD's to take to the hospital when I go into labour. So my question to you is: Does anyone have any ideas for "appropriate" tracks to labour to? (How you interpret "appropriate" is up to you!)

Monday, August 22, 2005


Fresh-expressions Accompaniment for Ian & Moot
I am pleased to say that after following Stephen Croft's advice, (the lead of the fresh expressions agency & Archbishop's Missioner), advised me to consider accompaniment to assist moot and me as a 'ground breaking' group and ministry - all very encouraging.

Stephen suggested that I met up with Paul Bayes to consider this.

The Revd Paul Bayes works for the Archbishops’ Council of the Church of England as National Mission and Evangelism Adviser. He is responsible for following up the recommendations of the “Mission-shaped Church” report. For 24 years before that he worked in traditional parish, network/chaplaincy and cell church situations.

Gareth and I met Paul at the Network Church conference in Sheffield last year. I think Paul is really going to help me and moot in our journey in developing moot to meet its 'God-given' potential.

Paul will be coming to one of tuesday night events in the autumn, and hopefully will be taking one in the new year....


Educid is a charity that Fiona Barnes not only has given much of her time to in her previous work in Cambodia, but she is also a Trustee. As Fiona and Sim are going to this years Greenbelt to promote the work of this charity and to be around the Moot community as we do a service and a film, I asked Fiona to say a little about the charity.

Edukid is a UK registered charity set up by two friends of mine after visiting the village in which i used to work in Cambodia. Edukid now provide basic school packs of books, uniforms and equipment to encourage families (mostly subsistence farmers) to keep their children in school. Life expectancy in Cambodia greatly improves if children can study to at least Grade 6, but many do not get this far. Edukid also offer scholarships enabling young people to study at university level. Basic school packs start at just Ł10 per year- please check out our website or come & meet us on our stall at Greenbelt this year.

Best, fiona x

I wonder if Moot should consider supporting this charity as well as the King Georges Hostel as part of its committed social missionary giving.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Moot community update
Moot this term will undergo some fairly big changes.

For a start we are going to start meeting every sunday rather than the 2nd and 4th sunday of each month, and we are also radically altering our service structures to ensure that we don't burn out. We hope that meeting weekly will enable us to grow as a community as it becomes easier to belong and journey with us. It should also ensure that more people in the community are able to actively take part in moot services and activities.

Our services will follow a rather simpler format, starting off the month with a moot 'little service', which will be a lofi, liturgy led service. The second service will be a 'big service', which will be very similar to previous service, media-rich,hifi. The third service will be a eucharist, our first venture into the sacraments. We hope it will be a blend of ancient/future faith, mixing the traditional with the contemporary. And lastly we will alternate between an afternoon, all-age godly play service and an agape meal. So hopefully a worship-rich, community led, god-centred few months are ahead of us. We will re-asses things at Christmas to see how they are going and whether they are sustainable or not.

Secondly, we are also slowly preparing to introduce a moot rule of life. A few of us have had some initial meetings discussing what that might look like and we are now readying a draft rule to show to the wider community for reflection and discussion before drafting a final form.

Our discussion meeting every second tuesday in the month will also take on a slightly different form, we are having a few guest speakers who will lead us through the more practical elements intrinsic to any christian community. Two of the founders of the Northumbria community will visit us in October to talk through how their rule of life shapes and develops their community, and someone else from the Ignatian centre for spirituality is coming to lead session on contemplative prayer, where half the session will be dedicated to experiencing different forms of Ignatian prayer.

I have also put the moot calendar in ical - so for those of you with macs you can add it to ical by clicking on the link in the sidebar (moot calendar under moot community info). The calendar will let you know via an alarm when services are. I hope to get one for Outlook done soon for those of you with PC's.


just thought i would write a quick post as i have just returned from taize. as gareth posted a few days ago, it has been an awful week for the taize community after the death of brother roger. a friend and i spent the day at taize on saturday as part of a holiday in the area - we had planned to go anyway, and it was just a coincidence that we were there this week.

my experience of being there this weekend has just reinforced my admiration for this wonderful community. in the midst of pain, grief and confusion, the brothers continue to be welcoming and joyful. the vast majority of the 2500 young people who witnessed the awful events of tuesday evening chose to stay in taize - to continue to pray and worship together. our experience of taize on saturday was of a vibrant, hopeful, positive community with drive and vision. the sense i got from the brothers we saw was partly one of reflection and contemplation, but also of "come on! we have work to do!"

i read a few articles about taize in the press. one article in the times suggested that the simple style of worship at taize has heavily influenced newer forms of worship in the church today. i agree - what do you guys think?

if you don't know much about taize - check out the website as gareth suggested - there is much wisdom to be found there.

Painting Day

The community spirit of moot was much in evidence yesterday. Owing to impending childbirth, myself and Carey are on a time-limited mission to make our flat habitable - both for ourselves and the nascent bambino.

Having lived in an apartment in various states of completion (my fault), we can no longer dilly-dally, procrastinate, or plead lethargy (or a mixture of all three).

After a week of intensive preparation by me, several moot members descended in dirty clothes (or in Phillipa's case, pink trousers) took up rollers and paintbrushes and set to on my meticulously ordered game plan.

One paint-fume filled day later, Carey and I were the proud owners of an (almost) completed flat, the day in question saving me five days worth of hard labour which I would much rather spend pondering my impending fatherhood.

Carey, Gareth, Phillipa and I retired to the nearest Indian restaurant for restitution and well-earned grub, I later retired to the pool hall with Bartley, Ian, Steve and Gareth; and Sim and Fiona just retired.

An absolutely huge thank you to all those who helped, and a special mention must also go to James who helped me construct the kitchen ceiling a couple of weeks ago (YOU try manoeuvering 8x4 sheets of plasterboard above your head solo).

The community has really shown its true colours of support, and Carey and I are truly grateful, proud, contented and.. well, knackered.

Saturday, August 20, 2005

COTAs Freemont Abbey - a personal inspiration & yet reminder of my own failure & a hope for the year ahead. A request for prayer and endurance!!
If you did not already know, our sister church in the States, COTA are really one of the most exciting emerging church projects in the world. They are now incarnating their dream of creating an urban church/art centre in Fremont, art area of Seattle. If you remember, Gareth, Si and I went their earlier this year, which was a needed boost to me personally and hopefully Moots own dreams. What inspires me about this group in particular, is how their dreams incarnate. I have never met a group that are so ambitious and faithful at the same time. It is not an easy ride, but there is something in the process they work to - not letting go of their dreams and making them work that is inspirational - their dreams which seem to me to be God-given do become real. They doggedly never give up on what they think God is calling them to. It does remind me often about how trapped I feel with the very large brick walls around us in moot, and that I personally don't seem to be able to influence the wider church as much as Karen does, to be able to take risks and opportunities, and often feel a bit of a failure - as perceivably very little has changed in moot in the last year! I am still on the edge of insolvency, we still are [at our core] a very small group, and feel very burdened by the financial debt I now carry as a result of not working fulltime over the last year.

However, I still have hope in Moot, and as Gary constantly says - Moot is pregnant with possibilities, they are just not realised. I have not let go of what an incredible group of people you are, it continues to move me when I see moments of real connection with God and transformative fragments of hope that occur in the events and services we have done in the last year.

There are however some real opportunities in front of us. Firstly there is a fund we can apply for [with no guarantees] to gather some money so at least I may get paid for the part time stuff I do, and even possibly to work full time. There is a moot 'cafe church' development group which needs to focus on the task in hand, and we have a very close ally in Peter Hanaway who chairs the group. We have a meeting with the Archdeacon of Charing Cross who needs to understand Moot and why we do what we do. The Bishop is now quite friendly to us as a community, due to your extremely wonderful support at the meeting with the Bishop in the summer. So we do have some opportunities which if we get behind them, we can in faith believe that God will provide. I suppose what I am asking for more than ever, is for your ongoing support and time in building up the very fragile community we have created, which is beautiful yet vulnerable.

Considerations for prayer
1. For me personally, that the application to the Mission Fund (DOL) will be successful once Gareth & I with the support of Peter have written it after Greenbelt, and that I will find the time in a very hectic life to get it done. I am really particularly burdened by the need to pay back money where I have no ability to pay it, even after renting out my flat and moving, frustratingly due to circumstances outside my control that often feel a bit of a curse.

2. For moot - that we manage to make an ambitious new service plan work - so that it can help people find more of a regularity of worship at Moot, and that our small community can grow to enable it to become a deeper and healthy community, so that we can take more risks as we seek to follow God.

3. For Moot's development - that we develop better relationships with the Archdeacon and Bishop and all those we are accountable to as a community. That they may see the potential in Moot not as a threat but as an opportunity.

4. For Moot's cafe church vision - that we will first have the right people to shape this up to meet God's vision for us - that it will be highly practical regarding finances, and highly efficient and correct concerning good buisness planning and that it will be highly creative in terms of what we would like to go on there. That it would truly be a vehicle for us to be a church mission, worship & community.

It would really excite me if we could all regularly pray for these things, knowing that where we want to go to is a very uphill journey.
Cheers, Ian


Moot at Greenbelt

Well, Greenbelt is upon us. Moot is doing a service on the Friday, opening night of Greenbelt with a service at 7pm entitled: 'Barak: The blessing and the Curse', and of us lot, Jonathan Bartley is speaking about his new book on the monday. Additionally, our silent worship service film created by Mike, Gareth & Ian will be shown over the racecourse digital display board, so that will quite an interesting moment!!

So as a group, this year, we will be able to attend more stuff and meet more people than previous years. Alas, Mike & Carey will not be with us which will be very strange, as baby is due shortly - you will be missed....

For the Greenbelt write up of our moot service click here

There will be an alt/emerging gathering at the Organic beer tent on saturday at 2pm. Click here for info, If you are a bit of a tecky, there's a whole 'bring your mp3 player to be able to download talks and other stuff through the 'tank venue'.

There will also be a whole mobile phone text service going on - and also an option to send your photos - see here

Highlights for me:
Milton Jones Comedian, Christina Baxter Theologian, Maggi Dawn - theologian & cofe priest, Jonathan Bartley & Roy Jenkins.

Services not to miss:
COTA fri-sun, Sanctus 1, Soul Space, Home-Oxford... there are a lot of new group services, which is excellent so check out the Greenbelt worship section.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005



Brother Roger, a Swiss Protestant theologian who became a leading ecumenical figure through the community of monks he founded in Taizé, in eastern France, in 1940, was stabbed to death by a woman during a service there yesterday, the police said. They said the 36-year-old Romanian stood up during a religious ceremony attended by 2,500 people and stabbed Brother Roger, 90, three times in the throat. He died immediately. She was overpowered by worshipers and detained, the police said. The Taizé Community is made up of more than 100 brothers - Catholics and Protestants - from more than 25 nations and sees itself as an effort to reconcile Christian denominations. Thousands of young Catholics and Protestants flock to the community each year, and many religious leaders have visited, including Pope John Paul II, archbishops of Canterbury and Orthodox metropolitans. (Reuters)

This is a sad day. I have been to Taizé many times and even managed to spend a bit of time with Brother Roger who was a humble, generous and very godly man. I know the community will be devastated and the Church has lost a great spokesperson for justice and reconciliation.

Monday, August 15, 2005


Jonny does the Big Chill

Some fun has been had and some tunes chilled to... So time for the truth to out...
Comic Strip part 1
Comic Strip part 2

Moot cyber-residencies
As part of our ongoing blog community expression, moot is looking for cyber-residencies to bring their creativity and thought to our cyber-spiritual-reflections. I am pleased to say, that we now have our first cyber-resident-poet residency in Sarah de Nordwall, who will be posting poems up here for throught and discussion. We have a cyber-resident-priest in me. We have a cyber-resident-theologian in Gareth Powell. We are also looking for:

A cyber-resident-philospher - hoping that Gary Collins may consider this....
A cyber-resident-artist - to bring spiritually challenging art into the debate.
A cyber-resident-activist - to bring spiritual-political elements into the community....

So hopefully we may have all this up and running in the autumn.
We are looking for our cyber-residents to post creative thinking/writing/art regularly to the life for this online expression of the Moot Community.

Saturday, August 13, 2005


A version of the Nicene Creed for Psychotherapists by Sarah de Nordwall

Sarah de Nordwall, performance poet and writer wrote this poem which I have asked permission to publish as it is so deeply spiritual, fun and true. Sarah was musing on the tension between the path of personal development and our walk in faith. One of her friends returned from a psychotherapy training weekends, full of fervour for the one vocabulary. His enthusiasm inspired this response, a creed for psychotherapists She will be bringing out a CD of her stuff soon, so will give you details of this soon. Sarah is one of our Moot number 1 fans and will be performing in a proposed moot event next year. The amusing poem below is an interpretation of the Nicene Creed (even the same rhyme).

We believe in the one vocabulary
The Formula almighty
Matrix of heaven and earth
Of all that is seen and unseen.

We believe that the one word saves us: "Geist"
Eternally begotten of the fervour
Group from Group
Flight from Plight
Transference from Countertransference
Projected not made
Of one being with the facilitator
Through whom all ghosts were laid.

For us, Zen and for our recreation
We deconstructed Heaven (all sit in a circle)
By the power of the whole within
We became an archetype of the Virgin Mary
And re-made man.

For our science it was complicated unto pompous paradigm
Suffered publication and was studied.

At the third edition it rose again in a version for the tabloids
It ascended into popular culture and is seated at the right hand of the chat show.
It will start the Week in glory and will judge the living and the dead
And its ratings will know no trend.

We believe in the Holistic Tool-kit
In words as the giver of life
Which proceed from the Freudian and from Jung.
With the Father and Son they are re-worked and storified.
They have spoken through the prophets..

We believe in one wholly catastrophically expensive Course.
We acknowledge one capitalism for the remittance it brings.
We look for the resurrection of the dead
And the life from the work to come.

Ah then!

Sarah de Nordwall (copyright)


At last, some Christians are starting to challen ge the unjust practice of keeping vulernable children behind bars. To listen to a recent radio broadcast click here.

A petition to press the United Nations regarding kids behind bars across the globe has been released today, on ITV Meridian.

Emma Le Beau, of Jubilee Action, investigated the plight of imprisoned children in the Philippines and told ITV News, “This situation is like something from a horror film; the children are betrayed by a system that is treating them as adults whilst the process itself cannot cope. This is a critical step that the advice given in our report is now being undertaken.”

The petition calls on the UN to appoint a Special Rapporteur to deal specifically with the issue of children in prison. Jubilee Action want the 192 signatories of the UN’s Convention on the Rights of the Child to reduce the number of children held in prison, and enforcing the Convention’s legally binding obligations in relation to the treatment of children in detention.

Jubilee Action’s investigation into children imprisoned globally has featured prominently on ITV News, and the petition, initiated by it’s sister organisation Jubilee Campaign, is supporting the Kids Behind Bars campaign.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Moot Labyrinth
Last night about 25 of the Moot faithful took part in a labyrinth service at St. Matthews Church, Westminster.
Ian and Steve were our hosts and introduced us to the ancient concept of the labyrinth as a form of worship.
This was a stripped down version of other labyrinth services I have attended in the past with the centuries old design of the labyrinth drawn onto material on the church floor and atmospherically lit by candles. Images of labyrinths past and present were projected onto a screen positioned adjacent to the labyrinth on the floor, helping to reinforce the history behind this ancient form of worship.
Carefully selected music, from Henryk Gorecki to The Cinematic Orchestra was chosen to help us pray as we slowly followed the route of the labyrinth beneath our feet.
On the periphery of the circle were 3 prayer stations. Each station had a different theme, helping us prepare using both prayer and action, prior to entering the labyrinth.
The service started and ended with a Taize chant and prayer.
Thanks to Ian and Steve for the preparation they put in, I thought the service worked very well and I for one found it a powerful aid to prayer.
Photos of the event below:


Just to let everyone know that Benjy - church dog, honorary moot member and sometime Guardian newspaper feature - is sadly no longer with us.

He'd not been his usual sprightly self for a few weeks, and had been at the vet for a couple of days before
passing away in the early hours of yesterday morning.

I'm sure he will be missed by all.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005


moot labyrinth service this sunday 31st
As some of you will know, Ian and I have been preparing a labyrinth service for this coming Sunday 31st July.

I have walked labyrinths at the Brighton Festival, Chartres Cathedral, Amien Cathedral and Greenbelt last year (where I first had the pleasure of meeting a number of you and had a wonderful time) and have also constructed and walked a labyrinth in woodland.

Walking a labyrinth can be an act of prayer, a graceful moving meditation. It is a journey and is both a personal and a group experience as part of a community, in the light of God.

A labyrinth can be a metaphor for our lives. It is a journey which is both a highly personal one and also one which can be taken as part of a community.

As one moves in a labyrinth so one moves in life and at any one time one can choose to focus on ones own experience, as part of the community, in the light and under the guidance of God.
Often prayer and meditation is done in situ and whilst still. Although appreciating the importance of this type of prayer, ones life in general is usually moving, often quite fast, and it can be hard to maintain a prayer like state, and our contact with God, in a moving changing world. Walking a labyrinth therefore gives one the chance to be prayerful, meditative and focus on time with God, but whilst moving and interacting with a group of people or community
on a journey around the labyrinth. This can therefore form a metaphor for maintaining contact with God, as part of our community on our journey through life.

Another feature of walking a labyrinth is that once the walk starts, no one person leads or directs a labyrinth journey. All are on equal footing as a community in the presence of God, again such as is life.

I look forward to seeing you on Sunday for the Labyrinth service.

Hope you can make it, Stephen

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

A rule of life for Moot
In the planning meeting in June where Carey, Philippa, Mike, Gareth and Ian were tasked to get this going, to start drafting a form of a 'rule of life' to bring to the Moot community to develop. Well we have met and made some headway, and will meet a further time to do some more work on it. It is hoped that in this autumn term, this can be developed to get something formally together for December, to include in some form of launching service in January 2006.

A number of 'fresh expressions of church' have one, such as 'Home' in Oxford, who summarise theirs as below. We will bringing a draft version for Moot to develop around September 2005.

Click here for a quick look at Home's rule of life

Monday, August 08, 2005

Twin association

Sorry but this amused me - see the link.

Westminster Forum: is forgiveness a political virtue?
The next Westminster Forum will take place at 6.30pm on Tuesday 27th September in the Accord Rooms at St Matthew‚s Church in Westminster. Joining us in the discussions will be David Porter, Director, Centre for Contemporary Christianity in Ireland and Simon Keyes, director of St Ethelburga's Centre for Reconciliation and Peace.

In what ways might forgiveness enrich the policy process? Is Śgrace‚ an ethical and therefore optional concept - or central to fair decision-making? Is it unrealistic? Why do we find it so difficult to put into practice what most people would agree are good ideas?

The Westminster Forum's discussion takes place in the context of reflection and relationship and aims to consider what insights spirituality might shed on ethical dilemmas. It is open to members of all faiths and none and has a Christian foundation.

Admission is by invitation only. To receive an invitation, email:

Jonathan Bartley
Westminster Forum

Focus on Prayer for August
Continuing with the monthly theme centred on developing prayer in moot, I want to raise the issue of listening to God through your life. Last month we looked at a form of meditation called Ignation prayer, and the month before that I posted up some thoughts, why prayer is so difficult and and why it is so important that we spend time encountering and in the presence of God, and put up some creative ideas of creating prayer space in our busy lives.

So this month, again holding onto the idea of spiritual reflection as a form of prayer, I want to promote a really good resource - a daily readings approach to prayer by a top bloke called Frederick Buechner - and the book called Listening to Your Life : Daily Meditations with Frederick Buechner

For an extract of the book click here. I have used some of his words in the Labyrinth service and in the agape meal script we have used in the past. Believe me it is good stuff.



For those who know Mike Gough, who is part of an arts co-operative from the heady days of epicentre, he launching this event in East London.....




6th - 21st August 2005
Open daily 12pm - 2pm or by appointment
please call 020 7739 2063 or 078 1210 9825

Opening event 6th August 6pm

A panel discussion about the project with the artists and others
will be hosted at St Leonard’s on 14th August at 8pm

Nearest tubes Old Street and Liverpool Street
The church is located on the corner of Shoreditch High Street and Hackney Road

Thursday, August 04, 2005

What model of Church is Moot?
Saw this interesting link from Karen Ward's blog - so thought I would try it subjectively - as COTA were predominantly a sacramental church taking A Dulles' definitions.

Moot fared differently - results:

You scored as Mystical Communion Model. Your model of the church is Mystical Communion, which includes both People of God and Body of Christ. The church is essentially people in union with Christ and the Father through the Holy Spirit. Both lay people and clergy are drawn together in a family of faith. This model can exalt the church beyond what is appropriate, but can be supplemented with other models.

Mystical Communion Model


Servant Model


Sacrament model


Herald Model


Institutional Model


What is your model of the church? [Dulles]
created with QuizFarm.

If you are interested how this was arrived at click here.

Am off to the Big Chill today...

Looking forward to some wicked tunes, laying back in the sun and drinking some nice beer :-)

Hopefully next year moot will be their with the labyrinth...

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Religion, violence and extremism and the need for eucharistic christianity

Showing my age I know, but when I was born in the late 60's early 70s terrorism was concerned with secular political ideologies - of marxism v capitalism, of the red brigade v the CIA, ravaging the world in the interests of the cold war. Yes there were places like Nortern Ireland, but this was seen as religious intolerance of the past.

What has struck me in the last 10 years something has changed as the violnece shifts from secular groups to religion-related motivations. There has been the increased anger and violence being expressed in all the monotheistic religions. It has not gone unnoticed that direct action has become more violent centred in Christianity, Islam and Judaism. An Israeli prime minister is shot by the rightwing jewish extremists because he saught peace, bombs go off all round the world in the interests of furthering jihad by extremist Islamists and Christian terror groups in the USA blow up, shoot and mame people associated with abortion clinics. So what has changed??

Well there is a process, as soon as rhetoric dehumanises people we have a problem, because human life becomes non-sacred, something central to all real Christians, Jews and Muslims.

Yes, we need to support the work of Christian groups such as Jonathan Bartley who bravely stands up to Christian other extremist unloving aggressive/violent groups. Yes we need to live out hospitality - but more importantly, and I think Gareth has emphasised this point in his recent posts, we need to re-humanise our worship with acts centred on communion that transform our ability to see beyond our own prejudice. Through this more sacramental approach, we are transformed to live this way with others - to move beyond violence and aggression........

The Eucharist and global economics
Here are some more thoughts from
Timothy Gorringe's book called 'The Sign of Love' which explores how the Eucharist is a fundamental component of Christian life because it intersects with the whole fabric of our social and political lives. I've summerised his thoughts on the Eucharist and economics...

Even the production of the bread used in the Eucharist has a global economic and social and political dimension. Someone pays someone else to do the work. The work is done in cooperation or competition. In the global economy the production of grain is part of the balance of payments and the relationship between nations.

The bread of the eucharist is the bread of economy. The liturgy is inescapably enmeshed in the 'real world' of the world economy... ... the problem is that we are caught up in structures of injustice, so how then is it possible to celebrate the eucharist? Should we be like the Colombian priest Camillo Torres who refused to celebrate the eucharist until justice had been achieved? Many of us can feel like that.

Las Casas (a Latin american theologian) offers us another alternative. He commited his life to the struggle of the native american Indians. Is that not what sharing the eucharistic bread calls us to? We take bread, the product of labour. We remember that these products represent the 'life' of those who made them, their time and creativity. We remeber especially, in the words of Ben Sirach, they are the 'life of the poor'. We remember that the Church is a worldwide body, with people from every tribe and nation, every time and every place, and that this body is split between the 'haves' and 'have nots'. In this remembering, we celebrate with integrity, drawing our inspiration to work for change, from our feeding on the bread of life. In taking and eating we align ourselves with a life that ventures into global economics and questions systems of injustice where the poor no longer even get crumbs from the table...

Monday, August 01, 2005

The Feeding of the over 5000 as a precursor to the Eucharist
Blimey Gareth, I think we are in cycle. Please find below the homily I said at St Matthew's this morning. I was being mindful that we in Moot are going to be exploring a sacramental service in the autumn, that Gareth and I are going to explore tomorrow... please download the homily on Matthew here.

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