Friday, April 27, 2007

 

Smoker's Prayer Video

I've made another video....

You may remember a poem I uploaded a few weeks ago called "Smoker's Prayer"

Well, I've now made another video to accompany this poetic gem. Have a looksee.....

Smoker's Prayer


Thursday, April 26, 2007

 

Party - Looks Fun


 

Christian Spirituality rather than Christianity

Last week a friend asked me why I always talk of Christian Spirituality rather than Christianity. I have been trying to work out how to articulate a response, and hit up a section of the Book Blue Like Jazz by Donald Miller that articulates it better than I could.

For me, the beginning of sharing my faith with people began by throwing out Christianity and embracing Christian spirituality, a nonpolitical mysterious system that can be experienced but not explained. Christianity, unlike Christian spirituality, was not a term that excited me. And I could not in good conscience tell a friend about a faith that didn't excite me. I couldn't share something I wasn't experiencing. And I wasn't experiencing Christianity. It didn't do anything for me at all. It felt like maths, like a system of rights and wrongs and political beliefs, but it wasn't mysterious; it wasn't God reaching out to do wonderful things in my life. And if I would have shared Christianity with somebody, it would have felt mostly like I was trying to get somebody to agree with me rather than meet God. I could no longer share anything about Christianity, but I loved talking about Jesus and the spirituality that goes along with a relationship with Him.

Tony the Beat Poet says the church is like a wounded animal these days. He says we used to have power and influence, but now we don't, and so many of our leaders are upset about this and acting like spoilt children, mad because they can't have their way. They disguise their actions to look as though they are standing on principle, but it isn't that, Tony says, it's bitterness. They want to take their ball and go home because they have to sit it out on the bench off pitch. Tony and I agreed that what God wants us to do is to sit on the bench in humility and turn the other check like Gandhi, like Jesus. We decided that the correct place to share our faith was from a place of humility and love, not from a desire for power.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

 

Mobsby's Emerging & Fresh Expressions Lecture Tour

Dear Mooters & Wider Friends
As some of you know - I am going on a lecture tour of the States in June to raise money and publicise the book to raise monies for my pay and towards Moot's Mission endeavours. If you know anyone who may be interested in this - please do let them know - and link them to the tour blog.

I am hoping that the tour will encourage people to engage more with Trinitarian Mysticism and Ecclesiology, as a vision of community and spiritual mission. So I hope this is going to work out. All help in letting people know is much appreciated!!


 

Another Poem from Peter Thomas on the theme of Easter


Busking at Easter

My Good Friday was a bad one.
I carried my guitar’s cross
Along a Northern Line’s Via Dolorosa
To a Central Line’s Golgotha: Chancery Lane
Where I was strung up on my guitar
For public humiliation.

They threw things at me:
Coins, glances; cursed me with their ennui.
And their opinions - my purple robe - divided amongst them.

Signs saying Beware Thieves -
Keep valuables out of sight
Were nailed to the wall either side of me,
To the left and to the right

A mother beheld her son,
As I murdered Amazing Grace
And when I sung Piano Man,
A tear ran away from her face.

And I wailed House of the Rising Sun
And some lads aimed insults at me
But a Yanky tourist said Gee, say Martha,
This guy oughta be on TV

Then when the time came and I’d bled all my sweat
For thirty silver coins and a dime
I laid me down on my way home
But I’ll be back in two days time.

© Peter Thomas 2007

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

 

Blatant self-promotion: Book Launch 10th May 2007



If anyone is from on Monday 10th - the London...Blah in Waterloo is a gathering and also a bit of book launch for my book - so if you are around - come along.... For more info - book a free place so we know how many people are coming, Cheers Ian


Tuesday, April 17, 2007

 

Blah Learning Day on Emerging & Fresh Expressions of Church drawing on the catholic and contemplative traditions



May 12th | 10am to 3.30pm | STMW
Over the last year, a number of new and exciting emerging churches or fresh expressions of church drawing on the specifically catholic and/or contemplative traditions have developed and joined other emerging churches coming from or out of a more evangelical perspective. These voices are few - but are nevertheless important voices. This day will then give room to explore how Emerging & Fresh Expressions of Church drawing on the catholic and Contemplative traditions bring particular resources to engage with those who are spiritually searching and what it means to be church.
Explorations will include input from Simon Rundell of Blessed in Gosport and the Walsingham Youth Pilgrimage, Michael Volland, a pioneer minister working with Gloucester Cathedral and others.

For more information or to book a place click here

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Monday, April 16, 2007

 

urban rhythms 6: information and identity

See here for introduction to the urban rhythms series.

…you have searched me and you know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways. Before a word is on my tongue you know it completely, O Clubcard of Tesco.’

[First book of Tesco, beginning at the thirty ninth aisle]

Data abounds. From early written records which have documented births, deaths and marriages we have come via medical records, passports and identity cards to databases, store cards, Oyster cards, GPS, speed cameras, ASBO tags and soon to RFID’s that monitor the location and use of products we’ve bought. Our travel, location, shopping habits, diet, credit rating, health and lifestyle habits are all being documented and collected. In public urban spaces CCTV tracks our movement whilst talking lampposts will soon discipline us for unacceptable behaviour. All of this information about us is then used by others, perhaps to market a product, predict behaviour or inform a campaign.

Oddly the data projection of ourselves begins to shape the world beyond us and can also be inhabited by others. Whilst we might assume another identity via an online avatar others could steal our identity. Somehow someone else becomes us while God is still counting the ‘hairs on our head’. We are not immune to this thirst for information and identity. We might project a chosen identity on blogs and myspace or use digital cameras and videophones to see and record the world. We can tend to experience the world through the lense, looking back at it in the future rather than engaging with it in the present. Non-photography day becomes a vital Sabbath.

presence | acceptance | balance | creativity | accountability | hospitality

Image: Small World, Martin Parr

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Prayer Development Day | 5th May | St Saviour's Priory, Old Street

There are still places at the prayer development day on Sat 5th May - click here to be able to sign up or for more info....

This is a real opportunity to face and explore prayer in relation to our rhythm of life.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

 

What I found in the Garden Tomb

One April I travelled to Israel with the Sisters of Zion on a trip to visit a whole host of peace initiatives, that involved both Arabs and Jews or people from 3 different religions. The first Arab/Jewish nursery in a private home shared by 2 families, one Palestinian, the other Israeli. A crossroads at which a mosque, a synagogue and a church stood within feet of each other, and they all worked together peacefully on a single project.



We also visited groups that were strictly living on their own terms and on their own turf. The ultra orthodox neighbourhood of Mayer Sharim, where "daughters of Jerusalem" do not "disgrace" themselves by wearing trousers. We saw the remains of the first strictly socialist Kibbutz which banned marriage and whose motto over the door read somewhat chillingly "Freedom through Work" - the same motto that was placed over the entrance to the Nazi concentration camp at Dachau (see picture on the right). We visited the graves of the members of that first Kibbutz, who had died of starvation or suicide. It wasn't exactly your average holiday.

Later, we sat on low stools around a brass tray table in a 'Casbar', drinking very strong coffee, to hear from the man who holds the keys to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, where many Christian denominations from Coptic to Orthodox both pray and argue incessantly over who owns what and who can go where and when. It was an extraordinary microcosm of history, human stupidity, diplomacy and devotion.

By the end of the 10 day trip, I was exhausted and planning the osteopathy appointment I'd need on my return to recover from the stress of having to make sense of it all. Our very last appointment was the Garden Tomb. The sun at least was shining. I felt rather depressed though, about the whole maelstrom and wasn't remotely in the mood for having Holy Thoughts at a site that was highly unlikely to have really been the place of Jesus' tomb. I stood outside and looked at it, wondering if I would bother to go in.

Some people came out and it was left empty. I decided I may as well take a look and say some kind of a prayer or something. I never expected the power and simplicity of what I found.

The Garden Tomb

The tomb was empty of all but light

And the sunshine blessed the opening in the roof of the tomb
Like a messenger from a brighter world.

And in the absence of everyone else
Both the living and the dead

Whose endless needs and questions had been oppressing me darkly
With the weight of their centuries of irresolvable agonies

They were suddenly present.

They were there

They has blossomed instantaneously into being
Unquestionably

As simple as sunflowers

The Five Words

For the feeding of the seven times seventy thousand
And power was in them
And I knew it then

Love is stronger than death

Let’s hear it again!

Love Is Stronger Than Death

Amen
Amen
Amen.

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Wednesday, April 11, 2007

 

Additional Info for Tues 17th April >>>

Foot Massage training for Moot team members of the London Mind Body & Spirit Festival in London | 7pm | STMW Conference Centre
For those who are interested on being part of the team for the London Mind Body & Spirit Festival in May, we have a training session on how to use massage oils for foot massage. This is for those who are interested in doing this. In fact – I don’t mind if you are interested in this and don’t have plans for supporting this years MBS Dekhomai activity. If you want further info on the MBS or about contributing to the team rota – please contact Gareth on gareth@moot.uk.net. The session will end promptly to enable participants to join the cocktail bar social....
There will be further meetings re: the team at MBS – info will be circulated by Gareth.

Moot Social | Mill Bank Lounge Cocktail Bar | London’s City Inn | from 8.10pm
Continuing in the second of two socials in Easter – you are invited to join the Moot community in the Cocktail Bar of London’s City Inn Westminster from around 8.10pm. The first round is on Ian !!!

For info on London’s City Inn click here
For streetmap of location click here


 

Blah Learning Day on the "Entrepreneur Imperative" with Bill Bolton



Pleased to say that The Blah Learning Day on the 31st March on the Emerging Church & Entrepreneurialism was a great success. The whole area of Christian Spirituality & entrepreneurialsim was discussed in detail. In short it was extremely helpful and informative. For those who were unable to attend, the mp3s and handouts are available through the Mootique - see here

The next challenge to explore how we enable missional entrepreneurs to be able to meet those interested in financing such mission initatives. Helpfully this was something that CMS heard, and will be exploring how they can assist in promoting a market place between those who have ideas about Mission initiatives and those with finances...


Tuesday, April 10, 2007

 

Tues 10th | Moot Social | Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese Pub | 145 Fleet Street

We are having a break from our usual Tues discussions and scripture space post-Easter with two socials. The First is tonight from 7.30pm at Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese Pub

Directions via Street map - click here
For more info - contact Gareth
More info on where we are going next week to follow soon.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

 

Gareth's Confirmation

For those of you who missed it...

A few of us went to see Gareth get confirmed by the Bishop of London at St. Paul's Cathedral last night.

It was a great mass with many memorable moments.

Anyway, I made a little film of it and uploaded it to youTube if you want to see it.

Enjoy.

 

Christos Anesti
[Christ is Risen]


Alithos Anesti
[Truly he is Risen]

Friday, April 06, 2007

 

The Scarecrow Poem by Peter Thomas

Peter Thomas who comes to our services when he can sent me this moving poem - as a reflection on the crucifixion. It is extremely good...

The Scarecrow

A scarecrow stands upon a hill
His arms out-stretched so wide they fill
Some birds with fear; others perch
Upon his shoulders made of birch.
His spikey brow, his turnip nose
His arms of straw, his splintered toes

Some birds mock; others jeer
Some bird’s beaks as sharp as a spear

His loin-cloth waist, his robe all rotten
Made from cloth torn top to bottom

Fennel, barley, rape and rue
Forgive the birds they know not what they do
And give us this day our daily bread
Less birds eat seed that’s sown instead

Larceny’s the crow’s confession
He was pierced for the crow’s transgression

And forsaken by the farmer’s wife
Who stable-made his rustic life
Of flesh of paper, blood of sap
she placed a feather in his cap

And thus in a field be done thy will
The scarecrow’s arms are stretched-out still
Before the raven, crow and gull
Upon a hill they call
The skull

Copyright Peter Thomas


 


Jesus on the Pier, originally uploaded by the big bambooly.

Reflections on Good Friday by Ian Mobsby
Good Friday. How is it possible, on this day? When we remember Jesus the man and his painful walk from Jerusalem, carrying his cross to the Hill of Golgotha, when we - humanity killed the incarnation of God. How can this Friday possibly be called Good? Good Friday

How is it possible that Jesus as the miracle of God made flesh, the hope for all peoples, how is it possible that the Messiah be killed? How is it possible that the hoped for Redeemer God, part of the Most Holy Trinity could cease to exist? How is it possible that God died whilst God still existed? How is it possible that all vengeance, hatred, violence and deceit got the better of God?

How can God’s death be hopeful?
Well in short it was not hopeful. Today is the ultimate dark night of the soul for the whole world. Church buildings and all its fabric have ceased to flow and act. It is as if the whole of life has stopped. God is dead. Darkness has covered the world, as Christ died on the cross. No one could tell what comes next – nothing was certain. The disciples fled for their lives. Jesus’ mother, Mary & Martha wait at the foot of the cross facing desolation. Where was God? What has happened. God has perished.

The cross, of all things – the ultimate guillotine or gallows – stands as the crossroads between eternity and time, as the place where the mighty heart of God was broken in a world shocked by its own barbarism. So shocked – that Judas who betrayed him took his own life. So shocked that Peter denied he knew him. God became absent – and nothing the Chief Priests could do in the temple would atone for the sins of humanity anymore – as these very priests’ hands – were tarnished with the very blood of Yahweh. The God of Israel.

So this Holy Friday – is not Good from where we stand - from the Palm Sunday through to Gethsemane through to the trial and murder of the incarnate God – killed by human hands. Only from looking back from Easter Sunday can this day ever be called Good. But for now – it is an end to all hope in God.

But yet he said in his last breath - My God My God. Why have you forsaken me? He says these words when all is lost. Though God is not there for him to see or hear, he calls him still because he can do no other. Not even the cross, not even death, not even life can destroy his love for God. This finally cannot be taken away from him – even in death. Even when his heart is broken.

As we look on at this desolate scene – we see Mary the God-bearer, and once again, she is pivotal in God’s blessing. She does not flea, she does not fear for her life, even in the most desperate pain of the death of her Son and the hope she had dashed from her that she received from an Angel. Even in such darkness – she holds onto faith. In this bleakness – she models what we are called to live. To trust and seek God even in the darkest most horrific moments of life. She waited on God even when she held her dead son in her arms …. And so must we wait on God in this most dark of hours.

So maybe it is this final love of God and us that cannot be broken, this makes this Friday - Good Friday.

If you are around in London today on Good Friday- come to our Moot God is Dead Service - as flyer below

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Thursday, April 05, 2007

 

Breathe easy at Easter

Grace are curating an interactive exhibition over in Ealing this week called Breathe - looks good. So if you are over that way be sure to check it out.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

 

Why was Jesus crucified?

There's an interesting attack on the 'penal substitution theory' of atonement going to be broadcast on Radio 4's Lent Talk this evening. Jeffrey John, Dean of St Albans will be giving the talk. They played an extract on Today this morning in which John said "This [theory] is repulsive as well as nonsensical. It makes God sound like a psychopath. If a human behaved like this we'd say that they were a monster" and had Jonathan Bartley and some guy from Reform discussing it. Here's a link to a Telegraph article about it too (of course, being the media, they have to bring John's sexuality into it - the suggestion being that he's an all-round deviant: not just gay but a heretic too - grrrr).
It's probably worth a listen - think they publish the transcript after the broadcast too.

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The Fight Against Slavery 1807-2007

Sarah Williams, recent member of the Moot Community has written a great article on the above title in the Bible in Transmission Spring 2007 edition. Sarah, like Si Johnston, draws on the importance of the church not to become complacent at a time of increased people trafficking in many parts of the world including our own. She talks of 5 contemporary forms of slavery that we need to be aware of - bonded slavery through debt, unconditional child labour, descent (born into) based slavery, forced by state into labour and Human trafficking.

The challenge is for how we in Moot live to minimise these forms of slavery - in fact, our rhythm of life makes a demand on each of us to consider how we live to promote social and economic justice drawing on values of the Kingdom of God. Sarah has spoken at Greenbelt, and you can listen/order her talks from here.

Sarah works as Campaigns Officer for Anti-Slavery International. It is good to have Sarah as part of our community, and hopefully soon we will all benefit from her perspectives.


Tuesday, April 03, 2007

 

Maundy Thursday Service | Thurs 5th April 7pm | STMW

This week is passion week, and kicks off this thursday with the traditional Maundy Thursday Service where we remember Christ washing the disciples feet. Now a very familiar image but it is still profound. The God of all life humbly washing people's feet. It is quite remarkable when you think about it.

On this day, Kings and leaders have traditionally shown humilty by washing the feet of their citizens.

Rightly, the emerging church is re-engaging with tradition as experience - and reframing the more protestant fundamentalist focus on scripture and truth. Therefore Moot is seeking to explore tradition, so we would encourage all to attend this service. There is a vigil afterwards, so if interested in participating in this, please contact Adrian in the office.

Monday, April 02, 2007

 

moot god is dead service 2007

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