Wednesday, September 28, 2005

 

Stumbled across these guys (thanks JB). They are two designer who, inspired by Howies, have set up their own t-shirt company producing some great designs on a nice range of eco-friendly cotton t-shirts. Here is what they have to say about eco-friendly t-shirts and why they are important...

'It might amaze you to know that most '100%' cotton t-shirts are only 73% cotton with the rest made up of chemicals (and their residue e.g. pesticides and formaldehyde). It takes approximately 17 teaspoons of pesticides alone to grow enough cotton to make one T-shirt.

Most of the chemicals used to grow and manufacture a normal cotton T-shirt are on the World Health Organisation's 'moderately hazardous' list and two are known to be on their 'highly hazardous' list, due to them being carcinogenic, but they are still used!'

Its great to see that the ethical entrepreneurial spirit is still alive and well, one day I hope moot will have a great range of eco-friendly hoodies and t's - maybe we should partner up?! In the meantime I think I might fancy one of their t's for christmas...

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

 
Pleased to say that Gareth & Sarah DeNordwall and I met up with Frances, a new Moot friend at the Tate Britain to explore potential joint initiatives which is all very exciting. In addition, there is an event that I think will be very good that you should consider supporting called Dotty Tate which is a free family festival on Sat 15th Oct 10am til 5pm.

An exciting highlight in this, around 2pm - is a section entitled "Freedom songs: musical performance" where the London Philamonic Orchestra join with young people for a performance based on the art of Chris Ofili with videos of speeches by Martin Luther King - in an incredibly spiritual installation and gallery context. I know I am a bit of an MLK fan, bit this event I think will be extremely moving and spiritual - so I am definately going to be there.... see the link above for more info.

Moot may be able to do an event at the Tate Britain in Feb06, watch this space.

 
FORGIVENESS

Here's something interesting I read recently in a book of interviews with Bono from U2 recently. He's talking about the death of his father, and the stormy relationship they used to have:

"... there was a sort of father-son tension, that I probably just let go of in the past few weeks. Ali (Bono's wife) said to me that since his death, I haven't been myself, and that I have been a lot more aggressive, and quicker to anger, and showing my father's irascible side...
When my father died, I went on a short vacation, which turned into a euphemism for "drinks outing". I don't like to abuse alcohol - anything you abuse will abuse you back. But it's fair to say that I went to Bali for a drink....
I wanted to blow it out a bit, get the monkey off my back. But when I returned, funnily enough, it was still there. I think its been around with me a lot. And so just on Easter, I went up to the church in a little village where we live in France, and I just felt this was the moment that I had to let it go. An emotional volcano had gone off during the week before Easter, and I just wanted to find out. I wanted to deal with the source of whatever it was. In this little church, on Easter morning, I just got down on my knees, and I let go of whatever anger I had against my father. And I thanked God for him being my father, and for the gifts that I have been given through him. And I let go of that. I wept, and I felt rid of it."

For me the subject of forgiveness is one that I find to be the most mysterious of all in the Christian life. There are great depths there to be plumbed. However, most of my scant understanding of resources on this subject are woefully inadequate.


One either finds that writing on it is of the storytelling nature along the lines of the quote above, or on the other hand, simple 3-point generalisations that are so insipid they seem like the written equivalent of argus posters. Obviously there is the Truth and Reconciliation commission in South Africa, but forgiveness is such a broad topic because its consequences reach so far.


SO!
I think it would be great to allow this posting for people to share their thoughts, experiences, stories, ideas, books they have read all on the subject of forgiveness.


I hope that it will be helpful to some, cathartic for others, and invaluable to all, and I look forward to reading your thoughts.

Monday, September 26, 2005

 

Pleased to say that this fabulous photo exhibition at Photofusion, the independent photography centre in Brixton, (Yes South London), is on for a while. It is a study that touches on the contemplative, transcendent and stillness in the midst of business of club culture. Some of the pictures are deeply moving, places of intimacy and isolation - of connection and abandonment, they are examples of modern icons of what it means to be human in our postmodern times. Well worth a visit - and yes I have already spent too much time there......

If you want to kick start an arts-driven-spiritual life - go visit.

For more info and direction see here.


Saturday, September 24, 2005

 

mooter in 8k run shocker!
Phillipa did an 8k run today down in Windsor. It was her first race ever and she did really well, running a time of 51 minutes and coming in the top 300 out of 1200 people. She ran it with her sister sarah.

I got to hang out with my niece Iona, which was fun, as she insisted on jumping all over me and nicking my sunglasses, which made her look rather Marilyn Monroe-esque.

Needless to say phillipa raised £3.5 million pounds for the moot abbeye fund. Here are a couple of pics from the fun day. So well done phillipa you did myself and the whole of moot proud!

Friday, September 23, 2005

 
A Resurrected Community
Have been watching the news tonight which has been full of Trevor Phillips' talk about racial divisions running deep within our cities throughout the UK. His arguments that many inner city areas are becoming ghettos of various ethnic minorities, engulfed in their own inner politics, language, values and rapidly creating a gulf between themselves and mainstream Britain.

Looking around where we live in Waterloo, and having lived in various SE London locations I can see exactly what he is talking about. Areas of London feel like ghettos, where due to a lack of foresight by the government when an influx of immigrants occurred after the 2nd world war. Whole areas are dominated by a few ethnic groups resulting in massive social tensions and resulting in communities that are severely isolated from each other. It is difficult to see how this can change in the short term.

This fragmentation in society, most pronounced in the cities, and perhaps most of all in London, is something that is on the very doorstep of moot. Where within 100 yards you have the riches and white upper class MP's and people of power and influence right next to council estates full of ethnic minorities, which have massive unemployment and social issues. Yards apart, yet worlds apart.

One of the many challenges facing the emerging church is that it confronts this problem and becomes something truly 'other' within society. An image of community where all are welcome, and all are invited regardless of creed, colour, ideology, age or race. Where the ideology of the self is confronted by the reality of the other, the outsider, the have not's, the fringe, the uncool, the technofobes, the eldery, the young forcing a reconfiguration of the self, the self deconstructed and reconstructed on transcendent principles.

The eucharist is a central act in the self's reconstruction. It is a surrender of self to the way of Christ; a desire to follow Christ into the same table-fellowshipping that got him in so much trouble. Where prostitutes sat with the rich ruling classes, invading their private space with their perfumes, love language and femininity. Forcing boundaries to be torn up, old binaries collapsing into a new humanity, a resurrected humanity. Formed on the basis of loving God and loving your neighbour as yourself.

At the moment the emerging church is accused by some quarters of being a white, middle-class, and male. A response to boredom with the traditional church; a place full of ipods, vj's and a penchant for all things mac. Although this is an unfair caricature it does contain elements of truth. My hope and dream for moot is that it would truly be a community of a resurrected humanity, perhaps not a perfect representation of the breadth, width and depth of humanity but at least a glimpse of it.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

 
Commissioning of the expanded 'Fresh Expressions' Team
I was fortunate to join a number of people to attend a commissioning service of the team that are to help Steven Croft (Archbishops Missioner) develop the mission of Fresh Expression forms of missionary church in the Church of England and in the Methodist Church of England.

The service was lead by Rowan Williams and the Head of the Methodist Church for England. There were a number of people known to Moot in attendance including, Jonny Baker, Paul Payes, George Lings, Bob & Mary Hopkins and others.

Next, I think they will be developing the idea of associated missioners of those who are practitioners or pioneers - which is an important element of developments, so we will have to see what happens next.

Talking with Jonny afterwards emphasised the need for innovation and doing something radical.

I will post a pic once I find the lead!!

Monday, September 19, 2005

 
Meditation on Rembrandt's painting 'The Woman taken in adultery' and passages from Jonah and Matthew.
I have been askedto post up my talk on sunday about the above - and its link to the idea of 'God rid me of God' and Caputo's 'Impossible People'. So I leave a link to the pic and pdf of the script.

rembrandt.jpg
sermon18.9.05.pdf

Saturday, September 17, 2005

 
Mini-Mooter

Finally!

Emergent baby - Ivy Alma Radcliffe was born at 11.15am this morning of the 17th of September by ceasarean, weighing 9 lb 9 oz, and she's, of course, absolutely beautiful. She looks like Carey.

Carey is still at the hospital, mother and baby doing well.

We'd love you to come and visit us at the hospital, as she's going to be at the hospital for a while, but just call Mike to check that it's ok first.

Cigars and whisky to follow....

 
moot city eucharist
this sunday will be moots first eucharist service, completing another step for us on the way to being a fully fledged recognisable christian community.

the service will focus around christ and the city, reflecting on how the eucharist has the potential to transform and change the city.

thanks to vaux for their inspirtational urban mass which has helped us a great deal. hopefully in our next eucharist service we will be able to have some of our own liturgy approved for use.

so if you are around drop in this sunday @ st matthews church, 6.30 for 7pm we would love to see you.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

 
Request from an alt/emerging group from Newcastle
Received this encouraging message from Matthew in Newcastle.....

Hi all at Moot,
My name is Matthew Monaghan and I am writing because I attended your services at greenbelt in new forms and was very excited and impressed with what you were doing, both as a vehicle for experimenting with worship but also creating a space to be able to Œre-imagine‚ the way we perceive god. I am part of a church called St. John‚s in Newcastle-Upon-Tyne where we feel we are on a journey of discovery with alternative worship and re-imagining theology.

Our 'alternative worship' group at church is starting to grow steadily
and it is probably best to describe us as being a box-free, all-age group of people who are experimenting and exploring worship but also trying to re-imagine god without a sense of expectation or and previous should's and shouldnt's. Last year we met every term for five week cycles, spending time exploring the main theme with a mixture of creative worship experiences and art/discussion etc. Due to the success of last year we have a brand new name- we have called ourselves 'emerge' and we are titling the year ahead 'Re-imagining God' We intend to have both five week cycles and one off
worship services through the course of the year, exploring this theme.

The first cycle is named 'Rumours of Another World' and were taking the
form of four services of which the details are below
The Waiting Room 6th October
Into the Unknown 16 October
Cafe at the End of the Universe 23rd October
Unexpected Visitor 30th October

All these experiences will be looking at the theme of re-imagining God
based on the cycle of a 'journey', taking us out of the waiting room, into the unknown and beyond.....

Based upon this we want to invite an unexpected visitor, a fellow
traveller along the way who has experienced other adventures and has other stories of their travels into re-imagining God. For this reason, we were wondering if some or one of you would be interested in joining us on the 30th October to share some of your story and experiences and then take part in some informal worship. We meet at St Johns Church/Church Hall in Westerhope, Newcastle Upon Tyne and the time of the service would be 6.30. If you are interested all your travel expenses would be paid for : ).

Hope all is cool, hope to hear from you soon.

Matthew

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

 
Emerging Church Research & Development
Maggi Dawn, one of Moot's patrons, is doing some research with the aim of doing some form of potential TV programme from it. She is looking for people willing to contribute to this. See her blog post here

On another note, Moot are exploring the idea of holding another 'Emerging Church Study Day' following the success of the event we ran last year in association with CMS Blah. We ran this because of the general acknowledgement that there is little theological thinking or discussion space for the Emerging Church, and there was a big response last year. Let us know what you think....

Cheers, Ian

 

hahahaha!

Monday, September 12, 2005

 
Dance...dance...dance....

Last night was the first of one our mini-moot services, and an excellent one to begin with it was too.

Ian, who had clearly put the work in, lead our simple liturgy which included meditations on Trinity, Dance, and Rublev's icon of the Trinity (see image).

We were a bit thin on the ground in terms of attendance, but we had a lot of new-comers which was good to see.

I've got a good feeling about these "mini-moot"s, as they seem to have been dubbed. It was a great time of peace and silence, that had a real presence to it for me, and if last night's was anything to go by, they promise to be very good indeed, but without the hassle.

Kind of like the major services, (2nd and 4th Sundays of the month), but without feeling like we're trying to build a small capital city in our church...

See you at the next one.

Saturday, September 10, 2005

 
Moot Small Service
Reminder that it is the Moot Small Service Sunday 11th Sept, which incidently is Sim & Fiona's 1st wedding anniversary. So the service will kick off 6.30 for 7pm in the tower. The small services are aimed at being reflective moments of encounter with God. The service theme for tomorrow will be 'joining in with the the Trinity in dance'. See you there. Entrance as per the pictures below via main church entrance.....for more info see moot website.

 
The great reversal
We have been in Delhi for nearly a week now. Its a wonderful place full of fantastically friendly people, great food and roller-coaster taxi rides.

We are over here visiting the New Delhi Brotherhood and filming one of their projects that works with street children, providing a safe place for them to sleep, food, some basic education and healthcare.

Its an amazing little centre run by Brother George who was himself a street kid. He was forced out to live on the streets after he was orphaned aged just 8 and endured numerous beatings from the police and locals. At that time the project was more basic, a few English brothers provided just shelter for street kids. He used the shelter regularly and over time the brothers decided to sponsor him a place at a school where he excelled. Eventually he went to university and was living permenently with the brothers, he got his degree and then went to spend some time in Taize where he felt called to work with street children. He could easily have got a well paid job and earned some good money, instead he took the brotherhoods vow entered the monastic life and helped develop the street kids project into what it is now.

He has a real passion for what he is doing, and in spite of the sheer numbers of street kids (some 60-70,000 in Delhi alone) he still wants to dedicate his life to helping them, even if it is just the few (at present the shelter can sleep about 30). He knows the poor will always be with them, and that many of these kids will live and die on the streets, but he know from his own experience that for a few there is a hope of a better life.

We met a few children who are now permanently housed and are enrolled in school and who have a real chance to have a life away from petty begging, sexual abuse and beatings. Its very difficult to work out a reaction while all this is under your nose but for me it re-iterates the central place of the poor in Jesus' ministry and the challenge for us today, where ever we are, to seek out that great reversal.


Jesus said, 'for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me... ...truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.'
Matthew 25:36-38, 41.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

 
HELP THE POSTS HAVE CHANGED!!!!
oh yes indeedy, after a request from an influential party in the CofE, the Comments have now changed to BLOGGER's own, which will now require a login procedure. This hopefully should stabilise the problems we had with the erratic performance of 'enn-e-tation'.

Can I suggest that the existing thread on Mike's SUNRISE be continued in ennetation and then subsequent post comments on the 'new improved comments'.......eventually we'll fade out ennetation altogether.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

 

Sunrise

Yes, look at the time of this posting. I've been up for about two hours. Someone in our block decided it would be a good idea to play Liberty X at full blast at 5.30 in the morning.

When your wife's pregnant and overdue, and most of the kids on this estate are due for their first full day of school today, that's not funny.


It all quietened down again at about 6, but being on the cusp of daylight meant it impossible (for me anyway) to get back to sleep.
I moved over to the balcony side of our flat where it wasn't so bad.

I've always had a feeling for sunrises though. It makes me think of Dr. Martin Luther King, and his legendary ability to get up early and spend four hours praying, meditating and reading the scriptures. It probably says a lot about what he achieved in his short lifetime that he was able to do that. It's something I really aspire to.

It's (usually) the most peaceful time for any urban environment, and has a stillness to it that's pure transcendency, and I wish I had the will power to rise early and pray, meditate and read the scriptures. I read recently that Bono gets up at a similar time, and goes for a swim first thing, and it's a real God-time for him.

In his house in the South of France.

Instead, I usually potter around the flat at 11pm bemoaning the loss of another day that didn't quite yield the fruit of its promises.
Maybe the sleepless nights with impending baby will provide that opportunity.


Does anyone else pray, meditate and read the scriptures? For four hours? At 5.30 am?

Monday, September 05, 2005

 
Apologies if you were trying to find us on Sunday and couldn't...
We were in the tower - so as pics below, find the main door to the church in the the church tower, and then take the spiral staircase to the left of the altar in front of you to the moot room. See below.... We are meeting again on Sunday 6.30 for 7pm.

 
Emerging Church Study Day MP3 CD
I am pleased to say that after a long delay, we have mastered a new mp3 CD for pc or mac users, which can then be downloaded to Ipods or other mp3 players. The CD contains 2 talks and two question and answer sessions of the whole day. £10 plus £2.50 p&p (uk) via paypal.

To order a CD online please click here

Content:
What is the emerging church? Is it a neo-evangelical and/or neo-catholic sociological strategy, designed to address the decline in church attendance, or is it a radical re-envisaging of faith that communicates a vital message of transformation to the wider church? In other words, will this fragile, fractured movement be one day remembered, if it is remembered at all, as a re-imagining of the ‘body of Christ’ as community for a post-modern context?
Dr Peter Rollins from the Ikon community in Northern Ireland (a group which describes itself as iconic, apocalyptic, heretical, emerging and failing) is a philosopher who has come to believe that the emerging church presents a singular, unprecedented opportunity to transform the theological and moral architecture of the Christian community. By combining his research into mysticism and post-modern theory, alongside his development of an emerging church community, Peter presented what he believes to be a vital message concerning both the possibilities and dangers, which the emerging church currently faces.

His challenge was as simple as it was profound… if we do not become theologically self-aware the emerging church will end up as little more than the latest attempt to make church cool.

If you do not have access to paypal and want to order this, please send a cheque for £12.50 made payable to St Matthews Westminster, to "Moot", St Matthews House, 20 Great Peter Street, London SW1P 2PU, including your name and address. CDs will be dispatched once cheques have cleared.

Any concerns or queries, please contact mootserve@moot.uk.net

 
Westminster Forum: 6.30 for 7pm Tues 27th September
'Grace' and 'forgiveness' feature heavily in religious faiths but rarely in public policy and public life. Is there a place for forgiveness and second-chances in political life? What about political campaigning that seeks to exploit the mistakes of opponents? Yet there are examples of 'forgiveness' in public policy: the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in post-apartheid South Africa; the Homje Office's tentative explorations of restorative justice between victims and perpetrators of crimel moves to cancel poorer countries' unrepayable debts. In what ways might forgiveness enrich the policy process? Is 'grace' an ethical and therefore optional concept - or central to fair decision-making? The issues will be explored at the next Westminster Forum. The Forum brings together individuals interested in debating the ethical dilemmas of modern life from a spiritual perspective, in a safe space away from the constraints of the spotlight of public gaze.

Westminster Forum's discussions take place in the context of reflection and relationship to consider what insights spirituality might shed. They are open to members of all faiths and none. The Forum has a Christian foundation. For more info click here

 
Film & Spirituality
1. Black Film Makers Festival: Forgiveness
From the second week in September, there is a black film makers festival mostly being shown in the Institute of Contemporary Art. This year they are showing some films from South Africa, and one in particular is quite challenging called "Forgiveness".

Film: Sun 11 Sep 2005. A disgraced ex-apartheid cop, granted amnesty by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, arrives in a small town triggering a cathartic journey of forgiveness and revenge for himself and the family of the activist he killed. Dir Ian Gabriel, South Africa, 112mins Bfm Festival A varied and vivid line-up of work — Hollywood features, animation, documentaries, UK Underground short films — comes together for the latest edition of the annual Bfm Film Festival. A showcase on South Africa, a selection of hip hop-themed movies and a number of special filmmaker Q&As all make for an essential long weekend with Bfm. Venue(s) : Cinema 2. Sun 11 Sep 20:30 Cinema 2 Full Price : £6.50. ICA Members : £4.50. For more info, click here

2: New Brazilian Film Festival: The Midnight Spirit
From the 14th to 18th Sept, The Old Truman Brewery Brick Lane, are hosting a number of new films.

The Midnight Spirit (Eduardo Coutinho, 1999) – 80min Sat 17th Sept 5.30pm
Shot in the run up to Christmas over a period of several months in Rio de Janeiro, during which time the pope held mass in Aterro do Flamengo , this documentary looks at the intimate life of catholics, umbandists and evangelicals in a Rio favela. Each group believes, in its own way, in direct communication with the supernatural, whether through saints, orishas, spiritual guides or the Holy Spirit. Click here for more info.


Sunday, September 04, 2005

 

Am off to Delhi tonight to do some filming with the New Delhi Brotherhood. A monastic group that is part of the Church of India. We will be filming their work with street children in Delhi who number some 30,000.

We are hoping to spend a few days living with some of the street kids – literally hanging out with them from dusk till dawn to see how they live and to try and gain some insight into the complex social issues that brought them to live on the streets.

I am also really looking forward to the food which from the guide books sounds fantastic and immensly varied.

Am sad to be missing moots first service of the term tonight. I was supposed to be leading it until I realised that my flight was tonight rather than tomorrow night - doh!

I will hopefully post some more stuff as and when I can (though probably no pics as I doubt the Internet Café with have bluetooth capability).

Friday, September 02, 2005

 

dog track scandal
A load of us were at the dogs in wimbledon tonight to celebrate my birthday. We all had a great time and I think everyone had a winning bet (aaahhhh)...

Karen turned out to be the stealthy customer, silently placing two bets for two big wins... she named and claimed her victories with liturgical aplomb ...safe to say that the rest of the funding for COTA abbeye is well and truly raised.

I think Ian wins the prize for placing the most bets and we shall soon be sending our dear father off to gamblers anonymous - although in his defence he did win twice but only by invoking the Holy Spirit to bless his dog.

Thanks to Alex for the fab pics and thanks everyone for coming. Looking forward to another great year with you all.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

 

moot kicks off again this sunday with snacks, drinks, a simple liturgy and some prayer in the St Matthews tower at 6.30 for 7pm. we will also be giving out programmes for the rest of the term. so if you liked what you saw or read about at greenbelt then please join us. come and feel welcomed and at home. come and eat food and drink. come and be merry. come and reflect and to pray. hope to see you there.

 
Two new Emerging Church resources
Pleased to say that COTA's music CD "Ordo" is now available through their own distribution, and Ikon's CD "Dubh" has been released through Jonny Baker's outlet Proost.
Cota, our sister church, have employed Lacey to develop authentic and contextual forms of worship for their community. This album is hopefully the first of a number of new and exciting new forms coming out of the life of vibrancy of COTA. Some will know that Gareth, Si and I spent some time over with this exciting new church in Seattle earlier this year. Click the pic for info.


Ikon's CD, is a fusion coming out of the creative mix of postmodern theology/philosophy, meditations and music. It has depth and at times some darkness that I am sure comes out of the context. Again, a great resource. Click the pic for more info.


Both these resources would be great for alt/emerging activities and for developing a personal prayer or devotional life.

 
The three musketeers do canal pioneering

After the joys of this year's greenbelt, I met up with Karen Ward and Matt Rees in Oxford for what was supposed to be a quiet and classy lunch with two good friends but oh no! We ended up taking a canoe out on the narrow river and tributories, to fight our way through the bush to the local pub. So Karen looked a little like the Queen of Sheba as Matt and I paddelled/mashettied our way through the undergrowth. On the way back we had to beat off some angry swans from attacking us..... Such fun.....so if you ever arrange to meet Matt Rees, expect the unexpected.

For those who don't know, Matt is ordained and heads up Oxford's 'home' fresh expression of church, and Karen heads up COTA in the US. It was good to meet up with these guys. Now I am off with Karen to spend a couple of days in Cambridge with Maggi Dawn.

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