Tuesday, February 28, 2006

 

...the finishing line...


The picture shows Ian handing the final version of his MA dissertation in to the registrar at the college.

Three cheers for Ian!

Hiphip ...

It is true - Ian is no longer a student, and is now post-MA. We spent some time looking around Cambridge, including doing some final study in Westminster College. The day was finished off with a goodbye to Cambridge for Ian by attending Sung Evensong in Kings College Chapel....beautiful.... 5 years of good stuff but hard slog....

 

Solemn Mass with Imposition of Ashes

Tomorrow is Ash Wednesday and I thought I might send round an email explaining what Ash Wednesday was for those who aren’t aware (until last year I certainly wasn’t aware even of the importance of the day) but on doing the reading, I found it was a bit dry and felt the need to offer a some reflection as well so I blogged instead. Well, the dry bit:

The use of Ash in the Church has always been associated with penance, and in fact this association is not limited to the church:

“men who repented of their sins bestrewed themselves with ashes and clothed themselves in sackcloth”.
Ælfric, Anglos-Saxon homilist, speaking of all men not just those of faith.

Penance: The feeling of sorrow for ones sins and the seeking of Divine forgiveness, typically through acts of spiritual dedication.
Homilist: Someone who writes spiritual reflections.



The words “remember that you are dust and to dust you shall return” are commonly used as the ashes are imposed on the foreheads of those attending services. These words recall our transient existence in this mortal world calling us into a period of spiritual reflection and self-examination during Lent.

I know this may sound a bit depressing and full of self-abasement but I find Ash Wednesday a very moving experience. To come before the Lord in acknowledgement of my broken state and knowing that I so often don’t live up to the promises of Christ is a very humbling and emotional experience. The repentance isn’t the primary thought, however. It is the promises of Christ which enlighten and add depth: coming before the Lord is done very much in the realisation of God’s immense love for all humanity; declared in Our Lord’s sacrifice upon the cross, a moment celebrated minutes later in the Eucharist. Therefore coming for an “ashing” in light of this supreme act of love, brings so many more emotions into play which I am having difficulty in communicating, but which last year brought a tear to my eye and the deep desire to reciprocate that love.

Monday, February 27, 2006

 

New Special edition of journal on the Emerging Church

Pleased to see that Ben Edson has written an excellent article in a new journal exploring the meaning of church, kicking off with a special issue looking at the emerging church. John Drane is also very involved in this new international journal. See pdf for more information.

EmergingChurchjournal.pdf

 

Ask Knock Find | Little Service 26th Feb 06

Many of us were greatly challenged and moved by the little service led by Sim & Fiona last night. Fiona's homily has been on my mind all day. For a copy click on the document.

ask-knock.pdf

Sunday, February 26, 2006

 

3 things for Sunday Morning

Some things of interest this morning.

Firstly, my favourite trickster and arguably the greatest living Englishman, Johnny Rotten has refused to attend the ceremony inducting the Sex Pistols into the Rock Hall of Fame in the US. You can read about it here.

Next up, Jonathan Bartley, who is a friend to moot, has had a review of the latest Jim Wallis book printed in Saturday's Guardian newspaper. To save you frantically wrestling the review section out of the rubbish bin, you can read it on the Guardian's website here.

And lastly, I stayed up late last night to finish a poem that needed to be written. Poetry is proving to be something that I have a knack for, and this one feels a bit more skilled than the last one I blogged. Let me know what you think.

Sun

The Sun spins past
one more time
wind and dust
audible in its wake.

Noticed now
more than before
time flies
at times faster
noticed more
as less time is left

Mystery hides
only encouraging
the awful feeling
nothing is waiting

Desperate to see
sun spots
blighting vision
that needs adjusting
no longer warming
only, but questioning.

Copyright 2006, Michael L Radcliffe

Saturday, February 25, 2006

 

Christians Against Quiche

I was really pleased to see that a new campaign has out-ed the Christian misuse of all things quiche. A new international petition is seeking to ban quiche in all parts of the Christian Church.

Mark Saxby, who has bravely initiated the campaign has said:

"It appears at every Christian get-together...it's slimy, it's cheesy, and it's almost certainly of the devil... Now you have the chance to have an impact on world history. As the quiche-haters of this planet join forces and sign this petition, church leaders everywhere will be forced to say "NO" to quiche. Let's stop the e-flangelicals. Join me and say BAN THE FLAN!"

The petition seeks to lobby The Pope & The Archbishop of Canterbury:
To the Pope/Archbishop of Canterbury: I, the undersigned, say quiche has no place in right-thinking Christian society. No longer can I stand back and see quiche appear at every Christian get together. I urge you to ban this foul dish from our church halls and events for all time. Thank you.

To sign the petition click here


Friday, February 24, 2006

 
Found this image - makes a fantastic triptych for the Trinity. Reminds me of Francis Bacon's triptychs. A lot of movement and colour. Beautiful.


Thursday, February 23, 2006

 
geez magazine launch
This looks like it could be quite an interesting magazine.

Sort of like Adbusters, but for Christians fed up and tired of Christianity magazine or any of the other tosh that assumes the 'we speak for the whole of the Christian world' motto.

 
consolidation/convergence and specialisation
This is a long post - so you may want to read the headers and decide to skip to the bit on the church rather than read all my techno waffle.

It seems like the web is going through the process of consolidation at the moment, for many years the internet has been spiralling towards specialisation. Where you would have loads of bookmarks that would need to be checked regularly in order to keep abreast of whatever you were into.

Web 2 - the internet, but all in one place
With the advent of web 2.0 the drive now is towards consolidation and convergence - no need to check 100 blogs using your browser instead see them update live using RSS feeds - in fact don't bother why not just use technorati to check who's saying what about whatever you are into. This is convergence on steriods - why go to 1000 different websites - let them all come to one place.

Looking for a space to store your photos? Want to see similar ones to yours or have an interest in a particular type of photography? Then use Flickr a one-stop shop for photos worldwide - it also syncs with technorati. Ditto for buying stuff - why go to every online shop when places like Kelkoo search them all for you and even allow users to rate stores so you know that the cheapest may not always be the best.

The web is getting more and more intelligent - for years the sheer amount of knowledge avaliable was overpowering - you needed all day to search through stuff and keep up with the latest happenings in the blog world, now intelligent web 2.0 applications are making life easier and bringing data into one place from a variety of sources. A bit like a search engine but more refined.

The church as web 2
This fluctuation between convergence and specialisation seems to be a constant in our technological times. And could easily serve as a metaphor for the church today - the 80's and 90's witnessed the massive growth of the homogenous mega-church - a one stop for everything, convergence for the church, with the best worship, the best speakers and the most comfortable seats, enabling you to give and belong easily. I would suggest that today we are rapidly moving away from this into specialisation, witness the explostion of 'fresh expressions' of church - where rather than a one-stop shop you have a sunday league football church, a café church, a church for single mothers etc...

Is this a good thing? It could be argued that church could be seen as even more of a commodity than during the mega-church era. It could be equally said that the church it at last reaching out to people who for too long have not been able to 'get into' church because of barriers the church puts up (language, structure, place etc...).

The need to keep talking

One of the main problems with technology is that introducing the latest gadget into the mix is always problematic. How do you get it to talk and communicate with older technology? How do you get a brand new macbook pro to communicate with a ZX Spectrum from the 1980's? You can using a mix of old and new technology, but its a hard job keeping it all together and working.

I think this is a similar problem we are having at the moment. A lot of Anglican churches operate on a one-stop shop mentality (which is not a bad thing) where people have the option of either the 8am service on a sunday for the 1662 liturgy or an 11am modern worship service. This drive towards specialisation gives churches who operate on this basis much cause for concern, this redefinition of what constitutes church is threatening to them, and rightly so. Its also easy when you are one of these fresh expressions to wish the 'old skool' would get on and die so us young un's could rule the roost.

Yet we both are part of the same body of Christ, even if sometimes we would see ourselves as Macbook pros and the rest of the church as ZX Spectrums. We need technology that allows us to communicate and get on, to learn each others codes and programs, understanding how and why they work and why they are necessary, and even discussing why they may not be necessary.


Hopefully, in the end, we will learn to love the 'old' along with the 'new' - a bit like musicians, who these days endlessly chase after old keyboard sounds (moogs) or old guitars (1964 fenders) or amps (Vox AC30's). They bring something that they/we miss, something that cannot be recreated - something that musicians need to create an 'authentic sound'. Similarly some of the old technology will die - but only as it becomes of no use and is superseded, some of it will always remain, re-imagined or even left completely intact.

So lets work out what we need to communicate, learn each others code, lest we decimate Christs body rather than keeping it together.


Tuesday, February 21, 2006

 

Scripture Space: Interpreting Narratives - the Parables

Tonight we explored the power of the parable of the lost son, seeing it as a form of metaphorical learning through experience. We looked at how Jesus uses a particular story telling device that creates dissonance through turning its meaning and values up side down. It enables people to challenge their own world view and experience shocklingly new insights.

We looked at the power of the 'lost Son' in the story, and how it can challenge us today. We see at the end people loose their distance from the story, and instead become part of the story. So that when the father speaks at the end, it is with the power of God, and he is speaking directly to the listening crowd.

So parables can become a very powerful way for us to experience God, this through a challenge to our world view rather than learning facts about God. Please see the attachment below for more.

Lastly we explored how Jesus is in many ways, a metaphor himself in his life - how he is the true metaphor for God - who is strangely ellusive, shocking and brings new meaning.

Narrative.doc

Monday, February 20, 2006

 
Several people have been using touchgraph - which traces the nodes and connections to your website and draws them as an organic form. Moot's blog came out pretty interesting as you can see...


 

Resurrection Blues

Interesting play at the Old Vic (By Gareth's gaff). This play looks at a contemporary and playful interpretation of the Passion Story. It is an Arthur Miller work to illustrate misguided global politics. See the link for more info....here

Sunday, February 19, 2006

 
Tonight our service reflected on the cosmic christ as a christ beyond our knowing. Drawing on the apophatic mystical tradition we journeyed together using texts from Genesis 1 and Philippians 2 as well as various quotes from Pseudo Denys and Eckhart, both mystical theologians. Ian even talked about 'buddy Jesus' - although not in a particularly positive manner.

For those of you who could not make it you can download some of the thoughts and reflections, as well as Ian's homily here.

Ian's sermonTags: , ,


Saturday, February 18, 2006

 

Ayaan Hirsi Ali

And so the debate continues. In my readings of the ongoing debates in the highly electric political climate that we find ourselves in, I came across this woman, Ayaan Hirsi Ali

I'm intruiged to know what people think, both of her and the following statement she released very recently. She had this to say:

The Right to Offend

I am here to defend the right to offend.

It is my conviction that the vulnerable enterprise called democracy cannot exist without free expression, particularly in the media. Journalists must not forgo the obligation of free speech, which people in other hemispheres are denied.

I am of the opinion that it was correct to publish the cartoons of Muhammad in Jyllands Posten and it was right to re-publish them in other papers across Europe.

click on the document to read on....

letmerepose.rtf

 
This sunday moot will be celebrating our second eucharist of the year. Tomorrow we will explore the Cosmic Christ as a Christ beyond our knowing, beyond our conceptions of what constitutes gød, Christ as other.

This service would probably fall within the confines of apophatic theology. Where if theology means ‘speech about gød’ apophatic theology would simply mean ‘speech about gød which recognises the failure of speech to describe gød.’

The service will hopefully help people to see that if gød is light, then also gød is darkness, and as such is just as present in our dark places as our light places. Hope to see you there, 6.30 for 7pm at
St Matthews.


 

'Solidarity' by my housemate Ollie Sandersen


Friday, February 17, 2006

 
onedotzero are curating a night at the V&A next friday (24th). Should be really good, website blurb reads...

A collaboration between the V&A and onedotzero, a new media collective, Transvision presents both past and new work, creating new media interventions in the galleries, featuring over 20 key creatives representing the full breadth of moving image programming that onedotzero explores.
The weekend starts here - chill out with the original contemporary late night event held on the last Friday of the month - featuring live performances, guest DJs and late bar.

Its free to get in and runs from 6.30 - 10pm. A few of us from moot will be going and its also Jonny B's birthday. We'll probably end up at Abbaye for drinks afterwards. So do come and join in the fun.


Thursday, February 16, 2006

 

'A different way of being in the world'

From the Guardian yesterday…

The iPod phenomenon belongs to a new existential mode in which we do all we can to insulate ourselves from our environment in a capsule of creature comforts. Every individual becomes his or her own gated community: status-conscious, exclusive and forbidding uninvited intrusion. The car, with its sound system, climate control and cupholders, is the apotheosis of this antisocial protective shield. [In contrast,] I like to think that [this] offers, among other things, a different way of being in the world, one that is potentially more human and social. And like music itself, the best way to enjoy [it] is live and unplugged.

What is he talking about? Something I find deeply nourishing, something at the heart of my experience of an urban spirituality. Something that uplifts me and connects me to the city and its people – that makes me feel part of this place in a way that nothing else does. Something that offers me time when I feel close to God.

Some special kind of prayer or meditation? Some form of worship? Well yes, for me it is, but it may not be what you would expect – in fact he’s talking about cycling.

What does it for you?

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

 

Moot Emerging & Fresh Expressions of Church Resources

Moot now offers two resources on Emerging and Fresh Expressions of Church;

  • Mp3 CD of Pete Rollins day on an a postmodern ecclesiological approach to the emerging church.
  • Book of the writings of Ian Mobsby on recent research regarding Anglican expressions of emerging and fresh expressions of church. This includes an exploration of the identity and purpose of emerging churches, and an analysis of the ecclesiology and anglican identity. Excitingly, this uncovered a foundation in Trinitarian Ecclesiology, mystical and sacramental understandings of the 'Body of Christ' as Church, and a particular context resonating with postmodern sensibilities.

If interested, please visit the Mootique

Further, we plan future learning events and resources - more to follow soon.

 

Scripture Space | 21st Feb

The next scripture space will look at Luke 15:11-32, the parable of the Prodigal Son, and the power of metaphor to communicate spiritual truth as a form of narrative.

Place: St Matthews Church Conference centre
Time: 7 for 7.30pm
text


 

Places of God service - 12/02/06

At the request of Ian Mobsby, and in the general interests of making moot services accessible to those that can't get along to actual service, there follows an excerpt from the reflections used on Sunday night's service.

The main focus of the service was to get us thinking about how we can rediscover the presence/influence/goodness of God in our urban context. The following passage specifically explores the paradoxical nature of divine encounter, where words and beliefs are at turns useful and then redundant, and some biblical examples. More blogs will (probably) follow, helping to fill in the blanks for those that couldn't make it.


"We are met in this chapel for the purpose of offering an act of worship to our God. We believe he is present here, now, in this room.

We believe he fills the air we breathe, or somehow lives inside us, in our hearts, and our minds. Through the use of symbols, ritual and liturgy, we come to receive ‘spiritual food’, that will sustain us in the days to come.

Somehow it’s easier to believe that God is present in a place such as this chapel. There’s a sense of the sacred, of otherness, that we don’t experience elsewhere, that helps us to be open to God’s ever-presentness. It follows that it comes less naturally to us, or perhaps as impossible to imagine that God is present with us say, in the bathroom, or the on the platform at the train station, maybe even the idea of this alarms us slightly.

In the first passage just read out (Exodus 24: 9 - 18), Moses meets God in a dark cloud, which has been referred to since as a ‘cloud of unknowing’. We see that paradoxically, Moses sees God, and meets with him, in darkness, in the absence of light and sight. In the second passage(1 Kings 8: 12-27), Solomon acknowledges how incredible it is that God, whom the heavens cannot contain, will take up residence in the temple he built. And yet we know that God chose to do so, and made her presence known on many subsequent occasions, often however under the cover of cloud.

We have all experienced frustrating inconsistencies in our relationship to God. Sometimes we sense his presence, other times he seems further than moon. Sometimes we feel our words for him are apt and fitting, other times we realise that just opening our mouths would be a waste of time.

As we move into a time of meditation, using the everyday places symbolised by the stations around the chapel, we can remember that although our words are inadequate and cannot ever fully contain God or his truth, nor can the symbols and liturgy we use fully open us God, or God to us, he/she still chooses to ‘take up residence’ in and through the human vessles we employ.

Let us now seek to engage with God, whether it be through her presence or absence, whether through silence or words, through knowing or unknowing, through belief or unbelief, certainty or uncertainty."

 
QUIZ NIGHT - FRI 24TH FEB

It is time again for the St Matthews challenge, Carey defected last year to the opposition, for an opportunity to meet other groups and people involved in St Matthew's Church Westminster. £5 entry includes nosh and drinks, so well worth it.

We need to know numbers - so if you are coming please email office@stmw.org or leave a message on 020 7222 3704. Come on you know you want to!!! IF YOU WANT TO COME PLEASE CONFIRM BY THURS 16th FEB

Monday, February 13, 2006

 

Interesting Blogsites

Met Pete at a Fresh Expressions team gathering last week for Associate Missioners. Anyway, he says some very kind things about my MA amongst other interesting comments. Click here.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

 

P-P-Poetry


Ok, so I've been writing a little poetry. I've been meaning to get some down for a while, as I reckon I'd have quite a knack for it.

I've written and posted one below inspired by my recent experiences on international forums. It's a bit obvious because I'm still at beginner level at the moment, but I think it has some merit as a piece of work.

The only problem is I find reading other people's poetry quite boring, although I like seeing people read it out live. So I don't expect everyone to sit through mine, but let me know what you think, if reading poetry is your thing.

Burn My Flag

Burn My Flag! - I couldn't care
Flags don't mean that much to me
My concept of shame does not lie there
My shame was hanging from a tree
The day free speech became a right
Excercised by those with nothing to say
They stole my dignity while I slept at night
Because I believed in a different way

I'd say what I want with no consequences
But that would just build bigger fences
It brings me to tears to see the world
In screaming fits with flags unfurled

And so the circle is complete
A circle of death that is spinning faster
Grudges are held through generations
And that's
not a circle worth chasing after

Its not the news I can't believe
Its other things that make me grieve
Its not the people I don't understand
Its people being underhand
Its not belief per se, my friend
Its people saying "Us and them." !

Copyright 2006 Michael L Radcliffe

 

Moot New Grey Space

At the last Moot community planning meeting, we decided to create a new grey space on the website, as an 'open source' resource to our friends local and international, who journey with us. For a taster, please find the writing of our Irish Mooter contingent, the work of Mark McCleary and Aaron Kennedy. This grey space will be sorted soon.

Mark's piece is very moving and has been a source of spiritual inspiration through my own 'dark night of the soul' of the last 3 months.

Aaron's work, is an excellent resource for exploring postmodernism, culture and christianity. At the last planning meeting we had a mini-discussion about postmodernism, and there is a healthy discussion going on about post or not post modernism in Moot. Danny, we wait for your contribution to this debate. The Fourth is an excellent article on protestantism & truth.

journey_of_faith.pdf
postmodernism religion.pdf
the_postmodern_condition.pdf
Symbols%26Christian%20ritual.pdf
protestantism.pdf

Any other contributions - would be great to have female mooter input? If Yes, post them on the blog or if you want send them into me - Ian for consideration on the moot grey space.

Cheers, Ian

Saturday, February 11, 2006

 

Emerging & Fresh Expressions of Church: How are they authentically Church and Anglican?

I am pleased, that after much gnashing of teeth I have finally got my research dissertation FINISHED. I will submit after it is printed. However to wet your appetites, please find below the abstract.... It will be available soon....

abstract.pdf

 

Ian's found a new source of income

Thanks to all those who have asked how I am coping non de l'argent. Our application is still before the Bishop of London's Mission Fund panel, no news yet.

However, following inspiration from our American brother's and sisters I am seeking bits of work regarding training and other duties.

Also, this time of year is a bit drab - see the link for classic church gaffs that has kept me smiling - click here.

jesus.4.gallery_normal.jpg

Friday, February 10, 2006

 

A woman's place...

Now General Synod is finally over, and I’ve had a chance to relax, put a little bit of distance between me and it, and debrief with a friend, I’ve come to some quite worrying conclusions.

Click on the link to read on ....

Kat-thoughts.pdf

Thursday, February 09, 2006

 

Another Mooter's questionnaire


Your name? Ivy

When did you join moot?
Sept 2005

What were the things that initially attracted you to moot?
Dark, womb-like environment of the services - but I had no choice, Mummy & Daddy forced me to come

If you were to describe to a friend what it is that moot does what would you say?
pphhhhfftthh gagagaga gooo rrrrrhhaaaaar

What practices/aspects of moots spirituality do you connect with/value the most?
The sleep-inducing quiet and dimmed lights. I don't really get the whole ancient/future thing - I only exist in the present

If you were to create a metaphor/symbol that best describes what moot means to you what would it/they be?
"bitty Mummy"

What, for you, are the three most important things in moot?
source of babysitters, the fact that Mum & Dad are happy there - it gets us out of the flat, learning Danish.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

 

God help us...

This blog comes to you with quite a few tears, sadly. I've recently been on an international discussion forum. It's usually a friendly forum, with the odd twerp being insensitive - nothing to get hot under the collar about. A lot of current affairs get discussed. Quite inevitably, the subject of the Danish cartoons have come up.

Pretty much everyone has blogged about this, but given the current climate, I feel that I should make a few things clear before I get to what I really want to say.

- I don't believe in violence or terrorism as a solution. I don't think that the reaction of certain extremists are justified.

- I don't believe that these extremists are an example of or represent Muslims as a whole. I believe that they are, in a religion that runs to billions, relatively few.

- I believe in freedom of speech, but I believe that you must wield that tool responsibly, and think through the consequences of your free speech. The cartoons display a spectacularly terrible ignorance and insensitivity to the Muslim culture.

I appreciate that this is stating the obvious, but you'll see why I'm doing so shortly.

Imagine my dismay when, in talking about these cartoons, one particular poster used the phrase "F**k those Muslims and their bloodthirsty religion" and "These people are f**king insane". And: "You must know that the race is on to get a nuke inside the United States and light it up. when that happens (not if). I wonder how many will feel for us?"

I couldn't quite believe it. Not only that, but when I tried to paint the other side, I was absolutely roundly condemned by pretty much everyone there.

I'm not one for anti-Americanism, because I think that's too easy and a cop-out, but in a forum that is predominantly peopled by Americans, this comment was made:

"The people who put out these cartoons are "left-wingers." Anyone from Holland, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, or basically Europe in general are "left-wingers." It seems even the most "tolerant" are get a little tired of walking on eggshells for these people."

When asked what he meant by that, he responded: "Speaking as someone who lived in Prague and Amsterdam for quite a while (Prague for 2 years), yea, I'd say they weren't exactly "conservatives" in the American sense of the word. Of course, to be fair, realize that I am from Texas. So "conservative" probably means something different to me. Basically, if you don't wear a cowboy hat and drive a big giant pickup truck, then you are a "leftist." "

Despite repeated requests for some factual basis for these spurious arguments, none was forthcoming until one person actually had the balls to come out and say "based on my gut reaction."

Although this was after he'd posted photos of every single terrorist act by "Muslims" he could lay his hands on, including gory close-ups of the Twin Towers being levelled.

I'm not being selective here. These are just a few examples. There isn't the space to quote everything that was said.

It culminated last night in a very good natured Pakistani guy (who currently lives in the US) being ripped to shreds by people who insisted they knew more about the situation in Pakistan than he did, despite the fact that he lives/lived there, and despite the fact that not only could they not find it on the atlas, they thought it was a "desert in the Middle East".

I was the only one defending this poor guy, who quite frankly had a lot more patience than I did with these people. Of course, by the time the debate had got to that level, pretty much no-one was being constructive and the debate was over.

Many people have expressed both their outrage at the cartoons and their outrage about the reactions to the cartoons better than I have elsewhere, but what both frightens me and saddens me most is that fascism is alive well in the West, and just how far it extends.

Utterly embarrassing.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

 

Moot-lurg


Sounds like many Mooters have been struck down by nasty viral bug. The story of Carey's mobile in the middle of such nastiness needs to be heard but not when squimish.

Get well soon yer'all

Monday, February 06, 2006

 

The Big Chill are about to open their next London bar space. Sounds like a fab new venue, although slightly at the wrong end of London. Perhaps one day moot too will be able to knock three nice town houses into an arts/performance/learning space with a similar vibe.

A few of us are thinking of going to their summer festival again this year. If you are interested let me know. Its a great space to relax, enjoy some chilled top tunes, a cold beer or two and enjoy some fantastic live performance art all in beautiful surroundings.


Sunday, February 05, 2006

 

Women bishops in the Church of England

From tomorrow until Thursday, the General Synod will be meeting. I’ll be there as an elected member. A large proportion of this session will be devoted to trying to find a way forward on the issue of women bishops.
There are a lot of people who feel they have a lot at stake in this, on both sides of the argument. I know many women clergy have felt very vulnerable as a result of all this discussion – even I as a lay woman feel vulnerable. The whole debate has some theological undertones around gender and the nature of Christ that I find disturbing (most of which were explicit during the women priests debate but are now in the past as this time round it’s more to do with the role of bishops and the nature of ‘being in communion’). I’m expecting the debates to be very passionate and very painful, and to be honest I’m dreading them and have been worrying about it all for weeks. Please pray for all of us on the Synod – that we respect one another, that we listen to each other, and most importantly that God’s will be done in our church and we don’t do too much to stand in God’s way!
Read on for an overview of where we’re at…
It’s generally accepted that we will have women bishops, but the disagreement comes when we try to decide how to accommodate the minority of people who will not accept women bishops, women priests, or in some cases even men bishops who ordain women. The House of Bishops have proposed a system called Transferred Episcopal Arrangements, where if a woman bishop is appointed, parishes can opt out of being under her authority, and she would be legally required to transfer her authority over that parish to another bishop (like a flying bishop) – although administratively the parish would still remain under the original bishop.
This is a kind of compromise plan, as those against women bishops (Forward in Faith etc) are campaigning for a ‘third province’ which would run separately from the other two provinces of the CofE, and ordain its own priests and bishops. The pro-women bishops groups (Watch, Inclusive Church, Affirming Catholicism etc) are advocating a ‘single clause measure with a code of practice’ which essentially means that there is nothing enshrined in law that allows discrimination against women bishops, but that there would be an enforceable code of practice that required a woman bishop to delegate sacramental responsibility, but not her authority, to another bishop. Of course neither side is completely happy and both sides see scope for developing TEA into something that suits them better - for more discussion try looking at the Church Times. Added messiness is when men ordained by women - or men who ordain women - are added into the equation.
The Synod will have to decide whether to proceed with TEA or not, and will have opportunities to make amendments to the Bishops’ proposals. I’ll try and keep you posted about what’s happening – the main debates are tomorrow afternoon, Tuesday morning and Thursday morning.

 
MOOT COMMUNITY DAY
Thanks to all those who took part today as we chronicled the evolution of moot, from an initial gathering of a few people in January 2003, to the 25-30 people who journey with us now in 2006.

It was great to hear peoples stories, where they had come from, what they found inspiring and unique about moot. It was really moving to hear, how for many, moot was a welcoming space, where they felt at home, and where they could truly be themselves, where they were not forced to conform to a moot 'norm' in their beliefs and ideas.

For those mooters who couldn't be there - don't worry we will discuss and use the map we drew again soon. But we would love it if you could fill out one of these questionnaires and email it to me (gareth at moot.uk.net - just change at for @). I will then add it to out map.


 

...the hasselhof has hit a new low...

the duke Special provided me with the link to this saddening footage. how low can he go?

 

Research: Emerging & Fresh Expressions of Church: How are they authentically being Church and Anglican?

I am pleased to say that at last my write up of this research project is nearly over. I won't know what it will feel like to wake up and not feel guilty. Nevertheless, I am really pleased with what it has brought out from input from; Sanctus1 - Manchester, Moot - London, B1 - Birmingham, COTA - Seattle. Without spilling the beans it reports that theological and ecclesiological thinking is alive and well in the emerging church subgroup of fresh expressions. I will be sending copies to all the participating groups.

The study will be available for purchase through the Mootique from early March, cost dependent on printing/binding & P&P. I hope it will significantly impact on the evolving & deepening theological work of the signifiance of Emerging & Fresh Expressions of Church as a fully legitimate expression of Christian Church, although catering for our postmodern sensibilities and contexts. Sorry all, it is unashamably theological...

if you are interested in receiving publishing information including costs when they are available, please email

and I will send you info when it is available through paypal or credit/debit card orders.

Friday, February 03, 2006

 


Random Friday afternoon image No. 11
Christmas Day 2005
35mm negative print

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