Friday, December 29, 2006


New Years Day Lunch & Walk Clapham Common

For those around New Years Day - some of us are meeting up at Dixies restaurant at midday and then going for a walk on clapham common. Trains: Clapham Junction from Victoria & Waterloo, Buses from Clapham Common Tube. Map on it for more detail.


Joining the dots

Not polka dots like Mike's, but some not terribly novel linking of ideas ...

I was very struck by Gareth's post, as it's a pain I share (and I guess lots of us do). Pray moot can model the more accepting community that post points to.
I was then struck by the headline in today's which offers the thought that

God is not foreign to my freedom

That freedom - the freedom that comes from a grounding in reality, God's reality - has to be the source of the kind of radical welcome that moot means to offer. Perhaps it's partly through being a bureaucrat that I find myself so easily conforming to others' patterns - whether trying to imitate or to please or to fit in. That is the un-reality and the un-freedom that makes for exclusion and judgement of others. So it turns out that the prayer for us as moot to model the inclusive and loving community God calls for, is also a prayer for me to be real and to be free.

Now where's the next dot ...

Saturday, December 23, 2006


Happy Christmas? My arse!

So, according to today's Guardian, a new poll that they comissioned apparently shows that 82% of people think that religion does more harm than good.

Although I would consider myself to be liberal, I'm becoming increasingly pissed off with the belligerently irrational anti-religious stance that The Guardian seems to pursue relentlessly. How a random phone survey of 1,006 people by telephone is supposed to tell us something significant about a population of 50 million people is anyone's guess, regardless of whether it "abides by by the rules of the British Polling Council".

Religion and I have a love-hate relationship at the best of times, but this Christmas season seems to be such a nightmare, I personally feel like I could do with more religion rather than less of it.

Contrast that with this. Moby's always been an interesting one to follow, and whilst I wouldn't go along with every last word of what he says, I do think he is worth listening to, as a genuine creative Christian spiritual.

And finally.... Bono is to be knighted, it would seem, for his contribution to music and culture, but also for his work against poverty and for Africa. Like Geldof, being an Irish national will mean that he is not a "Sir", but will gain the title in the way of things.

Who said that religion never contributed anything good? Er.... The Guardian.

Happy Christmas to all mooters and all our blog readers.

Thanks to Mark and JB for the Moby link.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006


What unites us?

I have been quite upset by the recent events within the Anglican Communion and the Church of England - where some have deemed it necessary to push for a rather rigid definition of who is in and who is out and what is orthodox and what is not - i.e. what constitutues being a proper Christian and who is damned to an eternity at 1000 degrees C with a strange guy in a red costume.

Henry Venn, a 19th century missiologist said, 'we need a whole world to see Christ'. That statement contains a few truths worth expounding... It suggests both a world that is whole: that is healed and renewed - made whole, as well as a whole, meaning totality, both in the now, the past and the present. Only then does a full picture of Christ emerge.

It seems that today the Anglican church is intent on tearing itself to pieces over the issues of women bishops and homosexuality. It seems that some do not seem to need the whole church, let alone the whole world, to see Christ, rather they just need a pure world, rid of all those nasty unorthodox people, for only those that agree with them are part of the body of Christ.

This dismembering of the body of Christ is very worrying. For if Christ is the great reconciler - bringing all things together: that is reversing that division that we see emerge in Genesis with the story of the tower of Babel. And if Christ makes all things anew: where old divisions are removed and we stand as one equal humanity before God - transformed, and made whole, no longer Jews, Getiles, male and female, but rather all sons and daughters of God, co-inheritors. Then do these actions not cut right against this vision which we encounter in the New Testament? Where prostitute and rabbi sit and eat together. Where lamb and lion play together. Where liberal and conservative celebrate and feast together. Where gay and straight laugh and have a drink? Where Charismatic and Alt.worshipper share in the breaking of bread?

If our unity lies in agreeing upon common theological principles then we can forget ever getting much done, we will be left forever arguing over what those principles are - and making sure all who disagree are quickly removed and fogotten. And gone will be that great impetus of living out that which we each have experienced -- that grace and acceptance of God towards us through the work of Christ -- gone will be that struggle to show that same radical acceptance and generosity to all we come across whether Christian, Jew, Muslim, athiest etc...

My dream for moot is that it would be a warm place of welcome and hospitality, where evos, charismatics, liberals et al could feel at home - not because they believe the right thing but because at moot they encounter something of the grace we have each encountered in Christ - a grace that is not dependent on us (thank God) but relies on the endless love of God towards both Godself and the whole of creation.

Then as we come together and listen to the story of one who entered the world in order to serve it, and as we share our stories, the hurts and the pain as well as the joy and the happiness, and as we remember also the stories of old, of St Paul, Isaiah, Jeremiah and all the Saints, then... then... Christ emerges in our midst - not as one of us, in our exact likeness, but as a stranger and yet also as one familiar and known.

Sunday, December 17, 2006


Emerging Prayer & Faith

I have been reflecting over the difficulties many of us emerging church type Christians have with prayer, and making all sorts of connections with what we have been learning from Trinitarian theology – in terms of joining in with what God is already doing.

A huge connection was made for me when Gareth and I discussed through our rhythm of life with Moot's Bishop Richard. Wisely he talked about Moot’s mission to assist people to find God and so become citizens of the Kingdom, and then the need to become Christian contemplatives to discern God in complex times as well as to sustain a deeply Christian Spiritual life – reflected in our rhythm.

So for me, being Christian, becoming more human, is about having a committed and deep spiritual life that lies behind my and I would say Moot’s calling to go deeper with God in what we do. An act of head and heart, a pursuit of thinking and feeling – a pursuit that is relational, creative, artistic and emotional long before it is rational.

I immediately hear the dissenting voices, ‘I don’t believe in prayer’, ‘It’s too transactional’, ‘Its too much about projection’. I do agree that many of us have experienced plainly wrong forms of prayer, which are not about relationship with God, not about encountering God, but purely functional expressions of want.

I heard this through Jane Williams through some lecturing I partook in last week. I have found it deeply helpful and connects with this sense of us needing to rethink prayer – as we have said before – in refinding ancient forms of contemplative prayer reframed for being postmoderm pilgrims.
I quote:

‘Why do we pray? God already knows everything, so isn’t it presumptuous to think we could somehow “get” God to do something? Is prayer just between us and God, with us as pitiful creatures abject before the Almighty, hoping to wring some little concession from the divine mercy? Certainly, we have more than a few clues that this is a false picture indeed. Jesus taught the disciples that the first words to say in prayer are “Our Father”, so our prayer must be something we do in fellowship with Jesus, namely talking with his Father and ours. In turn, that means we are talking not to an anonymous and inscrutable deity but to someone Jesus knows intimately and whom we are being invited to know in him. We have Paul’s numerous references to the role of the Holy Spirit in our prayer, particularly in his letter to the Romans. “For we do not know how to pray as we ought, but that very Spirit intercedes with sighs too deep for words” (Romans 8.26). Paul suggests that we better give up the idea that we are the ones praying at all…If God is God because of the loving communion of the Trinity, then when we pray we are invited more deeply into this exchange of love. Prayer is really God happening in us, you could say, or – more accurately – our coming into fuller being as we pray in the divine communion. So when we ask for things in prayer, we are not trying to coax God into doing something God has never thought of until we happened along with the bright idea. Instead, God is trying to renew our minds and hearts in the likeness of the divine yearning.”
(Mark McIntosh, Mysteries of Faith, Cowley Press, 2000, pp.45-7)

The outcome of this type of prayer is a deep spirituality that encourages us to become co-lovers of others and our world with God. So that we move from being selfish consumers to generous givers, we move from myworld to Gods world, we move from cynicism to hope bringers, from inner desert to inner oasis and so on.

So unlike Judaism, Islam and all the the faiths – Christianity is unique in this God who is both paradoxically transcendent and imminent to and with us, beckons us to follow this way of love and passion – even for our enemies. So at this time of the festival of the incarnation of the God made flesh – let us re-enter a time of second innocence – to put aside our doubts and catch up with God who resides beyond the captivation of our hypotheses, and therefore find a spiritual centredness to our lives.

Thursday, December 14, 2006


Confessions of a Polkadot Pt. 3

In addition to the post below about air travel, I'm going to go polka-dot about the next biggest polluter - driving.

In terms of journeys, taking public transport generates a LOT less carbon, with the good old London tube being the least polluting (it runs on electricity which is generated by coal-fired power-stations, but... oh bloody hell, you're just going to have to trust me on this one. E-mail me if you want the stats).

But, of course, the best solution of all is to either get a bike or walk. It doesn't take a genius, and there's very little else to say about it, other than that you'll get fit, make sure you get a helmet, and be lit up like a Christmas tree.

However, if you must drive, here are some things to think about. You can convert your car to run on gas (that's Liquid Petroleum Gas - or LPG - to you, sir) for a few thousand quid. Running your car on LPG is unbelievably cheap compared to diesel or petrol, especially if you're doing a lot of miles. You're exempt from the congestion charge. And the car farts when you drive it as well, which is very amusing. Actually it doesn't.

I'm trying to make a conversation about petrol sound sexy, but unless you're name's Pete Doherty, it's not going to happen. Bear with me.

Here's a little teaser - If you were to put the most polluting fuels in order, starting with the most evil first, and the cleanest last, most people would put them in this order:

1. Diesel - evil, nasty horrible stuff
2. Petrol - still evil, but not as bad as diesel
3. LPG - next to God.

Well, no. You'd be surprised.

1. Petrol generates a LOT of carbon when it burns. More than any other.
2. LPG - a lot better than petrol, but it's natural gas, dummy! Of course it generates carbon when you burn it!
3. diesel - some carbon (including the carbon created in it's production), but best fuel of a bad bunch.

Only snag with diesel. It may not produce as many gases that contribute to global warming, but it generates soot. If we all converted to diesel, we'd drastically reduce global warming, but then asthma-related problems would go through the roof, smog would be an issue and buildings would be corroded by the other stuff in the fumes. So whilst we'd be reducing carbon emissions, we'd create other health-related problems, especially in the city.

A few other pointers: i) Don't rev your engine. You're not going to make that pensioner cross the zebra any quicker, and you're sending a load of shit into the air without actually going anywhere. ii) Drive at lower speed in higher gears. You won't burn quite as much fuel. iii) Accelerate slower, and brake more gently. I know you can do 0-60 faster than a bride's nightie hits the floor on her wedding night, but do you really have to prove it every 5 minutes?

It's your call.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006


Emerging church relationships and global responsibility

Now this post comes with a few provisos...

• I know I have just flown back from the US, and during the last two weeks I have taken 4 rather long haul flights, including two transatlantic ones
• I am not known for refusing a trip abroad due to concerns about the environment
• I myself am fully implicated in this post

I have been thinking about the play-off between experiencing what other people are saying/doing about church/culture/theology face to face in various places around the globe and the implicit air pollution and carbon output these face to face meetings bring. How are we to strike a balance? Is there a balance to be struck?

Moot already has good links with Church of the Apostles in Seattle and Transmission in New York, two church very far from here (some 4000 and 10000 miles away) and we have each visited each other a few times with a few people. But each time we see each other we are contributing to the demise of life on planet earth as we know it - we may not feel the effects of all this but our children and childrens children will.

I am also worried by conferences like this, I do not have anything against Solarize, I have met the organiser Spencer Burke and he is a fab guy, but it worries me to see conferences that fly people tens of thousands of miles to speak, as well as all the flights of the attendees - I mean come on, the Bahamas for a conferencefor 2 days?! And there are any number of similar conferences coming up next year.

I guess the bottom line is how do we cultivate relationships that stretch across seas and oceans without being complicit in the destruction of the planet? Can we, indeed should we expect to have the same type of relationships we have been used to if we take this responsibility seriously? I am not sure we can.

Part of moots rhythm of life is living a life that is sustainable and responsible towards the environment. But what does this mean for those of us who are used to, or have grown used to, this jet setting lifestyle? I am not at all convinced about carbon offsetting - seems like rich folks being pandered to to suit there eco sensibilities without it actually doing anything - see here for why.

I know if we don't book on flights or take those long journeys the planes will still fly - but that is not the point if Christians refuse to fight or go to war there will be still be wars as well it makes neither right nor desirable.

Some thoughts I have been having about future Blah... days are about harnassing technology (like video on ichat) to facilitate face to face exchanges and encounters but without all the nasty carbon. This way we could all hear from the Wink's, Fiorenza's, Bruegemmans etc... of this world without feeling guilty. But what about the ongoing relationships we have formed with people?

I don't have any real answers just questions, but I am beginning to think this may be the end of monsieur powells galavants until I have worked this issue through.


Blah Learning Day on 'New Monasticism & the Emerging Church'

Apologies to all for the time taken to put up the mp3s of these talks after a very successful blah learning day on new monasticism and the emerging church. They will be up next week. You can pre-order these for download now if you wish through the mootique



Take these shoes
Click clacking down some dead end street
Take these shoes
And make them fit
Take this shirt
Polyester white trash made in nowhere
Take this shirt
And make it clean, clean
Take this soul
Stranded in some skin and bones
Take this soul
And make it sing

Yahweh, Yahweh
Always pain before a child is born
Yahweh, Yahweh
Still I’m waiting for the dawn

Take these hands
Teach them what to carry
Take these hands
Don’t make a fist
Take this mouth
So quick to criticise
Take this mouth
Give it a kiss

Yahweh, Yahweh
Always pain before a child is born
Yahewh, Yahweh
Still I’m waiting for the dawn

Still waiting for the dawn, the sun is coming up
The sun is coming up on the ocean
This love is like a drop in the ocean
This love is like a drop in the ocean

Yahweh, Yahweh
Always pain before a child is born
Yahweh, tell me now
Why the dark before the dawn?

Take this city
A city should be shining on a hill
Take this city
If it be your will
What no man can own, no man can take
Take this heart
Take this heart
Take this heart
And make it break

Copyright 2004. Written by U2. Published by Blue Mountain Music (UK)

Feel free to post any
Christmas prayers or thought you have in the comments below.

Monday, December 11, 2006


Moot Homily with apologies to Buechner

Hi all - good to see you last night . Pity the one armed bandit couldnt make it . Below is the homily - much of it culled from the many and varied writings of Frederick Buechner. Peace and blessings


Presence Moot Service Sun 10th December

So hallowed and Gracious is the time - these lines from the first scene of Hamlet in a sense say it all. Marcellus is walking on the cold battlements of Elsinore speaking to his companions of the time of Jesus Birth - its a hallowed time he says - a holy time - a time in which life grows still like the surface of a river so that we can look down into it and see glimmering in its depths something precious , timeless , other. And also a gracious time - a time we cannot bring about it is a time that comes upon us as grace - as a free and unbidden gift from God as we celebrate his presence amongst us. At Christmas time it is hard for even the unbeliever not to believe in something. Peace on earth , goodwill to men ; a dream of innocence that is good to hold onto even if it is only a dream ; the mystery of being a child ; thepossibility of hope . Do you believe .........

Let us clebrate the presence of GOD this christmas time and also our community - our communion - our presence with and in each others lives ..... gathered as we are here in the least of the churches of westminster .

It is good to be present with you tonight. I’ve missed being here physically for these services but I feel that in a way I havent really left at all. It reminds me in a way of a story that Henry Nouwen told of how a former student came to visit him after a year apart . They sat on the floor facing each other catching up on what had been going in each others lives. After an hour or so they feel silent but neither felt uncomfortable and they sat just enjoying each others presence and a deep peace filled the empty space between them. Finally his friend said “When I look at you it is as if i am in the presence of Christ .” Nouwen replied “ It is the Christ in you who recognizes the Christ in me.” HIs friend then replied with what Nouwne said were the most healing words he had heard in many years ....From now on wherever you go or wherever I go , all the ground between us will be holy ground.” And when he left I knew that he had revealed to me what community really means.

And I agree - its how I feel about Moot - there is holy ground between us and always will be ...sometimes it feels closer like when Gareth and Philippa came for the weekend or when I can make it over here ...but I know that wherever I go now there are parts of me that have been shaped by Moot and the people here .... And the Holy ground between us - thats what community is all about ....whether its family or friends .. you can kiss them goodbye and out miles between you but at the same time you carry them with you in your heart , in your mind , in your soul because we dont just live in a world ...but a world lives in us.
And as with any homily from me at some point Mr Frederick Buechner will be involved and as usual he says it better than me.

"When you remember me, it means that you have carried something of who I am with you, that I have left some mark of who I am on who you are. It means that you can summon me back to your mind even though countless years and miles may stand between us. It means that if we meet again, you will know me. It means that even after I die, you can still see my face and hear my voice and speak to me in your heart.
For as long as you remember me, I am never entirely lost. When I'm feeling most ghost-like, it is your remembering me that helps remind me that I actually exist. When I'm feeling sad, it's my consolation. When I'm feeling happy, it's part of why I feel that way.
If you forget me, one of the ways I remember who I am will be gone. If you forget, part of who I am will be gone. "Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom." the good thief said from his cross (Luke 23:42). There are perhaps no more human words in all of Scripture, no prayer we can pray so well. " Jesus Remember me

Remember me - thats why we are here ...thats why we are present the presence of each other and of God. Look around you from the oldest to the youngest ...we are here to remember Jesus - what we are a part of tonight is the communion of saints........ someone will walk to the altar and break the bread and bless the wine ...the rest of us will sit here quietly waiting to get in on the act.....we all have a part to play and its not just us - If the prayerbook is to be believed - Angels and archangels and all the company of heaven, cherubim and seraphim surround us - if we could really see it , it would look like the fireworks exploding over the London Eye on new years eve, it would sound as beautiful as the aria from Mozarts marriage of figaro and yet be as wild as the Atlantic ocean in the midst of a winter storm - and we are part of all the company of heaven- thats everybody we have ever loved or lost ...including the ones we didnt know we loved until we lost them. Its people we know and people we have never heard off . It means everybody who ever did or at some unimaginable time in the future ever will - come together at something like this table in search of something like what is offered at it.

Whatever other reasons we have for coming here tonight to this table , if we come also to give each other our love and to give God our Love , then together with Gabriel and Micheal and Brendan the navigator and Godric and the civil servant and the social worker and teresa in her ecstacy - yes even St Patrick himself ......... with all of them and us in this room we are the communion of saints ..... look at each other - enjoy each others presence and lets try to live the cornerstone of our faith ..... Love God and Love your neighbour - on these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets ......

Go in peace to love and serve the Lord


Dating Jesus

As discussed post moot last night ..... an article that made me cringe and laugh out loud. click on the link for some fun.



It's A Miracle!

Ian's arm has healed!

Have a look at this!

It may take a few moments to load....

Sunday, December 10, 2006


Nexus Arts Cafe

Bearing in mind Moots vision to be an arts centre cafe church in the centre of London, I have been inspired by what I have heard and seen about Nexus, a cafe church art centre in Manchester as the outworking of a Methodist element of our sister community Sanctus 1.

Being a bit of a sado I was watching Sunday morning BBC TV , and was really pleased to see Nexus come across very well. They are doing the very thing which many of us aspire. Check ou the link above. An alternative worship community, art exhibitions, discussions, cafe inluding late night place for clubbers, where do I stop... Well done Sanctus1 and Nexus - I think the Moot community can learn from you.


Rob Ryan

Rob Ryan, training pioneer minister is on plscement with moot for those who have not attended a recent moot community meeting. So he will be around for a bit. To check out his blog, see here


A bardic reflection from the resident poet

A monthly meditation from Sarah de Nordwall, with a poem..

We’d been looking for a sense of connectedness to help us write. A bit of communing with nature we thought would do it. So some of the bards from the Bard School set off for the island of Vis - westernmost isle off the Dalmatian coast - and arrived at midnight in the fishing village of Komiza.

As I attempted to stop for breath in between mincepies this Advent I came across the poem I’d written on my return from the Island, and I saw the note I’d added underneath:

‘When the sacred comes home, the well springs forth’.

I could do with a bit of Coming Home and a bit more Springing Forth, I realized. In which case I must be in need of working out quite where I’d left ‘the Sacred’. I decided to read the poem again. It all began with that stroll at midnight to the church with a rather intriguing name - Our Lady of the Pirates.

Our Lady of the Pirates, in Komiza

I saw the Oleander and the Tamarisk tree beside the shore.
You took me there at night,
Where the shutters of the old stone houses
Creaked with age beneath the yellowing moon.

Our Lady of the Pirates – what a tale you told of the old church
At the far point of the bay
As we came to the stone well.

The pirates, many years ago,
Had stolen a painting of the Mother of God.
Their ship had sunk
And all that was drawn up from the wrecked boat
Was this image.

When the fishermen carried it here and placed it on the ground
A spring burst forth
And here the well was built and now the church.

The image in the candle-lit interior
Is enhanced by many prayers in polyphonic voices
Richly sung by fishermen
And women dressed in black.

I wonder that the pirates had the nerve.
How little must they then have known
Of how the universe was woven

As another fisherman’s poet* wisely said
“Of a thread too bright for the eye”.

Take now into your hands this simple cloth
Your life, the one you weave
Of hempen homespun or of gold
And as we sit and spin our tale
Feel tenderly the texture of this cloth
Beneath your hand.

And seek within its warp and weft
The thread too bright for the eye
Divinely planned

For as the last door opens and you leave this world of time
This cloth will be the robe you wear
As the last bell chimes.

• Catholic poet from the Orkney Islands, George Mackay Brown, recognized as one of Scotland’s greatest 20th century lyric poets.

My respect for the space required for the Sacred, for conversation with God, in my own life, sometimes reaches Pirate Level these days. I run off with an experience or an idea in my head and call it the kind of intimacy from which the living waters flow. But it doesn’t work for long.

I play with the images but am I building the church? No surprise then that the boat sinks and someone else carries the treasure home.

The Archbishop of Canterbury was telling us at an artist’s event this autumn, that, as artists, one of the best things we say to people is “Take your Time”…there are no instant answers, salvation is a long journey not a package you take on board. Take time to look from all the angles and be changed and enriched by what you see.

So this Advent at the Bard School we’re spending at least half a day together meditating on the Incarnation (the 1st Coming of Christ) and another on the 2nd Coming, to which Advent also points.

Just enough time to reach the Well, before the sleigh bells kick in.

Sarah de Nordwall
A bard with a bard school

Friday, December 08, 2006


New Years Eve Party invite to mooters & beyond

Can you RSVP if you want to stay over - it is going to be a laugh...


Confessions of a Polkadot Pt. 2

Continuing my series on going polka dot* I'm tackling recycling today.

It's pretty easy to recycle these days - 9 out of 10 of us have easy access to recycling facilities.

However, the biggest contributor to global warming is carbon - ie., what we buy or make produces carbon dioxide or monoxide as a major pollutant, and is a by-product of pretty much every form of manufacturing, which sends global warming through the roof.

In short, we can recycle all we want, but unless we reduce the amount of stuff we consume in the first place, it won't make a great deal of difference (apart from less stuff going into a landfill site round the corner).

I'm not particularly interested in whether or not a hotel in Norfolk has got their waste down to half a wheelie bin a week (although they have, apparently), but I needed a new sweater the other day. So I decided on the polka-dot option: Now, I could revisit my student days and go to Oxfam, but I didn't really fancy that idea, as I don't do hippy.

However, it turns out that there's a wing of Oxfam called TRAID, who get designers to hand sort, redesign and reconstruct old stuff and re-assemble it. The proceeds go to various projects around the world. There's one in Brixton (a TRAID shop, not a project), which I went to a year or so ago - maybe I wasn't looking too hard, but it all seemed a bit crap. So I took advantage of the fact that I was doing a job in Notting Hill recently to visit the one over there. After all, Notting Hill's cast offs are probably going to be a bit nicer than Brixton's.

Sure enough, £25 later I was the proud owner of a hoodie that I'm not be embarrassed to wear.

It also turns out that there's a company in Bermondsey that do the same with trainers (the Worn-Again range). Now THESE look good. Wish I'd known before I bought the chav-white affairs that I'm currently wearing. Nevermind.

Clean up fashion
Labour Behind the Label

*For those of you who don't know what I mean by "going polka-dot", you'll have to scroll down and read my previous post dated Wednesday 29th November 2006.

Thursday, December 07, 2006


Moot Christmas Party Tues 12th 7-11pm Scooter Cafe

Moot enters the season of festivities for a party gathering at the Scooter Cafe, Lower Marsh Street 7-11pm. The Scooter Cafe, close to the heart of many emerging church types, is a cool an eccentric place, please do come along & bring friends........

Address: 132 lower marsh street, SE1 7AE - nearest tube is Waterloo - for map click here

Wednesday, December 06, 2006


Soliton Sessions Northern Ireland

Si Johnston, good friend to many of us in the Moot Community, is part of the Soliton global community, and he and some mates are hosting a gathering as below... click on flyer to read it


Not quite as I would like

Finally found out how to get past the firewalls and blog ...

It seems I'm not the only one to find things not going quite as I had hoped this season - though I've not had anything as drastic as a broken limb to cope with. But I found Henri Nouwen's book "The Inner Voice of Love" very helpful, even if it's not a comfortable kind of help. This morning I read

"For as long as you can remember, you have been a pleaser, depending on others to give you an identity. You need not look at that only in a negative way. You wanted to give your heart to others, and you did so quickly and easily. But now you are being asked to let go of all these self-made props and trust that God is enough for you. You must stop being a pleaser and reclaim your identity as a free self."

It's much along the same lines as the Advent reading for Monday, with the warning that we too easily fail to live as ourselves because we live in imitation of someone else. I've been thinking a good deal recently about the call to reality, when so much around me whispers fantasies. God's love is reality, and God calls us to live really. Imitating others, pleasing others, seeking others' patterns of success ... they all point me away from the reality we seem called to find in quiet, in being with God who is the ground of our reality. I don't seem to have got very far in "thinking a good deal", but I guess it's the kind of reality that comes to the patient. I just wish I were naturally patient ...


update on the one-armed-bandit

thanks to those mooters who have visited/been kind. to let you know i have second op tomorrow with cast number 3 - i hope that it gets easier from now on, as to be honest all this has got me down and frustrated. at least i get rid of the ridiculously large cast tomorrow - i hope. strangely it is more painful now than last week. wont be around sunday - but will be around tuesday - any one near streatham would be most welcome....


Advent Service this Sunday.....

In a change from the planned programme, this Sundays service will be a reflective service on the theme of advent and expectant hope - instead of a eucharist. Apologies due to Mobsby being armingly-challenged.

6.30pm Sunday 10th Dec 2006, St Matthews Church.



Soldiering on through the flat cold greyness
Buildings pavement and road surround me
I wonder what was before
What possessed invaders, nomads and indigenous
to stay and survive
to persevere with this rainy shitty little island?
to fight for the right to mediocrity?

And how much longer, this?
the ability to fight continues
only as long as resources remain.
Like a black cloud
Slowly creeping in to dump its heavy cargo
on an unsuspecting populace
Breeding three grey fruit -
resentment, regret, shock

Endings leave us shivering in the cold
gathered in twos and threes
Trying to remember
that the sky is always beautiful
even when grey
and looking forward to better times.

Copyright 2006 Michael L Radcliffe

Tuesday, December 05, 2006


Nice to see you to see you Nice

at least I hope so .......

Am back in London this weekend and looking forward to seeing as many of you as possible . Will be at the service on Sunday of course but am always available for a beer as well ... even if your arm is broken you can still lift the beer with the other one,

Till then blessings


Monday, December 04, 2006


O come all ye un/faithful, come one and all!


Gutting in New Orleans

Just finished my time in New Orleans, a group of about 30 of us have spent 4 days gutting houses that had been flooded during the two hurricanes their.

Not much time for a long reflection - as I am still working all the stuff I saw through - but a fe things stick in my mind...

• walking into a house untouched since the flooding, coffee cups still on the table, food in the fridge - but the house had been under 8ft of water. We cleared out everything - and 95% was simply not worth salavaging. It was hard carrying out peoples entire family history and putting it on the garbage pile.

• One whole district, about 5 miles square, was completely overwhelmed by the water - it rose above the roof of the houses. This is the area pictures. Only 2% of the original inhabitants have been able to move in a 18 months later. It was the poorest district in New Orleans.

• Only 40% of people have returned to the city. And 60% of the houses will have to be either gutted or torn down. Imagine 5 million people moving out of London and a 600,000 houses being gutted or torn down.

It really was like a ghost town driving around, and gutting the houses was an emotional process, I could not face doing something like that to my family home...

More reflections later - am presently staying with Bowie in New York. Missing all you mooters - and obviously most especially Phillipa :-)

Friday, December 01, 2006


World Aids Day

Well, today is World Aids Day, and to mark the occassion, the Independent Newspaper goes (RED) to raise awareness.

There are specialised articles and features, and it donates money to fight AIDS today.

If you don't support the (RED) campaign, can I suggest that you donate the cover price of the Newspaper (75p I think) to an Aids charity, or DATA or something like that instead.

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