Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Pondering on MOOT rule of life and other musings .
Greetings from the part of the one holy catholic and apostolic church which is as far away from london as you can possibly get....... yet because of being part of that community it doesnt feel so far away. I'm sitting here slightly sunburnt with some bushmills whiskey in hand and thinking about a rule of life ...... I have spent the last few days on the cormandel peninsula in new zealand ....one of the most beautiful places i have ever seen - a good place to chill and to think . I realise how little time my life in London gives me to read , think and even pray. Here it is somehow easier - walking along the beach reflecting on the kindness of strangers....hot springs ...miles of golden sand ....ocean so blue and little islands out from the shore catching the sunlight - relfecting patches of light on the water sweeping out to the islands and and disappearing beyond travelling who knows where and when to warm others as it has warmed me . Starts me thinking about Moot and the journey we are on as a community which reflects my own journey. It is easy to be a mystic here .....but hard to be a mystic in the city . I think i NEED a rule of life to help in the madness of london living.
Trying to create that rule of life may be a long a perhaps painful experience. It reminded me of the merchant who every week travelled the same route to market with his two camels ...a route which took him across a river . One week he loaded up the camels - one with salt and one with cotton for the market. When they got to the river it was in flood and the they all struggled to cross it. One of the camels almost drowned because the cotton it carried soaked up the water doubling the burden ...the other camel was fine because the river dissolved the salt taking its burden away . Our beliefs are like the river - they can lift a burden from some while almost drowning others depending on where they are on their journey.
So how can we come up with a rule of life which doesnt crush some while freeing others ? I think part of the answer is by achieving balance. Moot still needs to be welcoming to those burnt out by church or life - give them somewhere to rest ....yet also be an accountble community which challenges us about the way we live our lives....how we relate to each other and to the city and world around us . How do we reconcile those 2 functions ?
I was pondering this while strolling along the beach and i recognise the genuine fear about creating a 2-tier moot ...between those who want to push on and develop and those who simply need to sit still and be reminded of who God is and who they are .
I wont say i came up with the answer but i offer this up for discussion - I'm not that worried about it because any community is always in flux and we all move between these positions . My own christian journey has always been cyclical moving between needing to do and needing to be - sometimes needing to give and sometimes so burnt out i have nothing to give and need to recieve. Need to sit quietly in a service and be reminded that i still believe in God and there is a reason to be there. If we are aware of this tension in our own lives then we can surely be aware of it within moot and use it as a postive way forward.
Because I do believe we need a rule of life . I have been very good for years at knowing what i didnt believe when it came to church- where the church was wrong and what was done badly. But I've never taken the positive step of sitting down with those others in our little part of the one holy catholic and apostolic church and trying to define what it is we believe...what a church should be ...what it is we aspire to - what kind of impact we want to have on the world around us. Because its hard to be a mystic in the city ..... I'm not sure where this journey is going to end for us but I'm glad to be on it with all of you - its going to be an interesting ride .

Love and peace from the land of the long white cloud


Monday, November 28, 2005


Saturday, November 26, 2005


I think over the past 6 months I have felt settled as being part of the one holy catholic church (the global church now and the historical church since christ). This sense of being part of something much bigger, as well as something that has developed over the last 2000 years gives me a real sense of place which I didn't have before.

I am interested to know whether others in moot (or other communities) see themselves as part of this one holy catholic church, and if so whether it is important to you. I don't know if its because I don't have particularly strong family ties that I find it a real source of strength or for some other reason.

For me part of working out what it means to be church is to read and reflect on the various states of the church in the past - how they have come into being, what the social fabric of the day was and how eventually they have died out or adapted. Seeing moot as part of this ongoing process through history seems to both diminish that sense of self-importance that I often feel about moot and also gives a sense of perspective on what we do.

So are you a mooter & anglican & part of the one holy catholic church (delete as appropriate)?

Friday, November 25, 2005


Random Friday afternoon image No. 5
Scan of Harvey's beer mat from The Royal Oak, Borough, London. On the back it says this was Beer Mat of the Year 1990 awarded by the British Beer Mat Collectors Society.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Good News from the Fresh Expressions team....
I am pleased to say that this month (Nov'05), The Fresh Expressions team (Anglican & Methodists) has been expanded to include a number of Associate Missioners. A number of these are from Alt Worship & Emerging Church projects. Ben from Sanctus 1 and me, (Ian) from Moot and others have been selected as part of the process. I understand that there are about 20 appointees to this position, which will assist the Fresh Expressions team to complete training, public speaking and influencing direction and practice.

I will post more info when I know it.

SACRED PLAY This Sunday 27th November 3pm
St Matthews Church

We continue with our second of two experiments with using a form of Godly Play as a form of ‘alternative worship’. This time we will be exploring the story of the Exodus. As last time, the session will kick off with story telling and wonderment, followed by a time of exploration, then a feast. At the end parents and kids and other Mooters will be welcome to go and play in the small park by Parliament.

If you are intending to come, we would be grateful if you could email Ian back informing us of how many adults/kids are coming..... on ian@moot.uk.net

Sacred Play offers a rare member of interactive worship through wonderment, where adults and kids interact and engage with God as a moment or event of the ‘body of Christ’.

Thanks for your feedback from last time, we hope this one is equally successful. Following this second and last of the Sacred Play sessions, we will be sending round an emailrequesting feedback to help us plan for further development in this important area of Moots development.

For more information on Moot events, please see www.moot.uk.net

Monday, November 21, 2005

Moot/St Matthew's Bid to the Bishop of London's Missionary Fund
To keep you informed, the Vicar of St Matthew's Westminster on behalf of the Churches Parish Council, has formally submitted a funding application to pay for a full time Project worker to enable the Moot community to develop its work, particularly the mission angle of potential events for the future. This would enable a Moot Project Worker to work full time for three years. We would therefore welcome your prayers over the next two weeks, that the Diocese of London panel, would look kindly on this application, which would significantly assist Moot to develop its ministry in central London.


National Gathering, Manchester, 24-26 February 2006

A unique national gathering for those actively involved in emerging / alt worship expressions within the United Kingdom. The weekend will be interactive, aiming to be a catalyst where the focus will revolve around:

Providing a forum for the exchange of knowledge and practices, encouraging collaboration and learning from one another.

Reflecting theologically where we are at, where we have come from and mapping a possible future.

Examining cultural practices and considering how the movement may be of greater significance to those around.

The weekend will run from Friday 8 pm through to Sunday 1.30 (there is an optional lunch 1.30 – 3.30).

Cost: £40 (not including meals), Places limited to 100 so please book early.

The weekend has been planned by a group of involved in various emerging / alt worship expressions.

If you are interested in going please email nationalgathering@xalt.co.uk and we will send you a booking form and more details

Friday, November 18, 2005


Random Friday afternoon image No. 4
Polaroid of a poster peeling away from a wall of the now defunct Epicentre Studio. The studio suffered water damage and is now home to squirrels. June 2005.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

exclusion | inclusion
the moot service focused around the idea of exclusion in the city. we reflected on who were the excluded, and rewrote some gospel texts to set them in contemporary london – including a rather strange rewriting of the story of the samaritan women at the well replacing eternal water with eternal tea-bags... ummm... we ended by reimaging london in the guise of the new jerusalem. Here's what I read: -

I saw a vision – it was last tuesday at 11pm at night.

I was standing at the top of the london eye
overlooking the whole of london.
The sun was rising and the city bathed in gold light.
The Spirit of God came upon me and breathed on my eyes,
and my eyes were opened.

I saw london the holy city coming down out of heaven;
radiant, glinting like a diamond in the morning sun;
and all were welcome in the city.

There were no more beggars or homeless people,
and fear from 7/7 had gone from peoples minds and hearts.
There was no longer any difference between Peckham and Knightsbridge.

Through the centre of the city the Thames ran with the water of life,
crystal clear, not polluted,
and all the children of london swam in it.

And the Spirit showed me the tree of life
growing in Leicester Square.

I looked out and the streets were clean,
women no longer worked the streets of Soho,
the drug addicts were gone from Kings Cross
they had been welcomed into The Priory and treated for free,
given the water of life and leaves that healed their bodies and minds.
Racist attacks were a thing of the past,
Muslims freely walked the streets in their traditional dress
and were welcomed by all.
There was no more gay bashing,
no more council estates in a run down state,
neighbours spoke with one another,
all could afford housing not just the rich,
there was no more advertising,
and women no longer had a bad body image
or felt the need to diet to be like the 'stars'
for all were equal in each others eyes.

Elite education was gone,
good schools were for all, young and old,
universities were full of students from all over london,
those who were rich and those who were poor,
all could go.

Women walked the streets safe at night,
men were full of passion and gentleness,
no children were ever beaten or abused,
and peoples sex was full of justice and joy.

An old man and women laughed for joy,
as they chatted with the students in Hyde Park.

I saw the church as one,
where there was no longer any evangelicals, charismatics,
catholics or protestants,
all were one in Christ Jesus.
All worshipped together celebrating their differences.

This is what I saw looking over london;
a city transformed,
a city resurrected,
and I believe it is possible.
Amen and yes, a loud, loud yes.

Friday, November 11, 2005


Random Friday afternoon image No. 3
Toddler and The Gates by Christo and Jeanne-Claude, Feb 2005, Central Park, NYC

Thursday, November 10, 2005

World Peace sparks outpourings of joy

It's true it's on the internet...

Wednesday, November 09, 2005


What a beautiful day, the air is crisp as i work and refreshing, G-d comes to us in the weather, and by the seasons we are blessed.

Monday, November 07, 2005

Help or hinder

I woke up this morning with these words on my mind.

‘Help or hinder’.

How do I and we in our relationships in the moot community help or hinder one another in our searching for spiritual meaning in our lives? And I’m specifically thinking about the way we have conversations with one another. Not just the subject matter of the conversations but perhaps more importantly the motivations behind our exchanges and the values that we show and nurture with one another.

This is becoming a greater challenge to us as we get to know each other better. Being aware of our differences and weaknesses comes with a responsibility. How we respond to this in our conversations has the potential to either help or hinder.

My hope is that our friendships will be seasoned with a sense of respect, acceptance and love for one another which will serve to help us rather than hinder us in our search for spiritual meaning in our lives. I feel that this is particularly important for us as a community at the moment as we discuss what it means to hold a set of aspirational ideals.


Friday, November 04, 2005


Random Friday afternoon image No. 2
Great Auntie Babe

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Scripture space
Date: 15th Nov, 7 for 7.30pm
Venue: STMW Dining Room - access via door on the corner of St Anns & Great Peter Street.

Jonathan will lead an exploration on:
"Rev 13 - Christian Identity and the two beasts of the apocalypse"

To explore how the literary form/genre and historical context in which a text is written may influence how we intrepret its meaning.

Possible Preparation:
Read the text - is often described as 'apocalyptic' what might this mean, what other examples are found in scripture?

Is this a prophetic text?

How might our understanding of the literary form influence how we interpret the text?

Why should the historical context in which the text was written influence our understanding? Does this prevent it from having relevance to other circumstances?

For more information on the purpose of scripture space, please see the website and the tab for scripture space.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005


As I wasn't there....

... due to being a bit flu-ey...

I've gone through Andrew's notes of Sunday night's discussion with my thoughts on what was said. I hope that I haven't repeated anything that was already said at the meeting.


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