Friday, August 31, 2007
Commissioned Trinitarian Ikon for the Moot Community
There is an image of what it is at present, and it looks great.
SILENCE by Shasaku Endo
Having been Inspired by the premier performance of his composition on the same novel, James MacMillan has caused me to finally read Silence by Shusaku Endo.
A reluctant and unresolved Japanese Catholic, Endo tells the story of two seventeenth-century missionaries attempting to shore up the oppressed Japanese Christian movement. Father Rodrigues has come to Japan to find the truth behind unthinkable rumours that his famous teacher Ferreira has renounced his faith. But after his arrival he discovers that the only way to help the brutally persecuted Christians may be to apostatize himself.
Following in a similar vain to Graham Greene’s stunning ’Power and Glory’, this novel is a profound and moving meditation on the Silence of G-d in the face of extreme persecution. It explores the deeper motivations of self-preservation, faith, martyrdom and sacrifice. It raises questions about the motivations of priesthood and challenges squarely the nature of G-d, unearthing the divine as far more mysterious, intriguing, and beguiling than any comforted western mind could comprehend.
This novel, although not trying to ‘do theology’ inevitably reveals the challenges of living out faith in a distinctly different culture, and how the whole notion of faith expression are resolved. To use Endo’s repeated analogy - how does the Sapling of a Hellenistic Christianity survive in the swamp of Japan, with a totally different worldview?
This is a particularly pertinent question, (although obviously different context), for the emerging church. It ultimately asks the same questions about the evolution, or re-storying, of faith for a new cultural milieu.
Intriguingly too, (following a bit of historical research), I was fascinated by the true story of this brutally oppressed church in Japan. And how, after centuries of being underground, many small pockets of ‘Kakure Kirishitan’, (HiddenChristians), finally emerged with a faith far different from an orthodox understanding. They still practice a hidden religion where all symbol and ritual is disguised, and where liturgies now contain a mix of Latin, Portugese, Japanese and made-up words that no-one understands. The faith represents a syncretism of Christian, Buddhist, Shinto and Animist thinking. It’s a poignant and moving situation to think that the desire to retain a faith of integrity in the midst of such persecution has caused the emergence of something quite different from where it began.
It’s an excellent book – unflinching and honest… and it’s uniquely ‘other’ perspective on a weakened and broken Christ is challenging, humbling and profound.
Thursday, August 30, 2007
We're all ready and raring to go post-Greenbelt. Here's but just a brief reminder of how the next week will pan out.
Sunday 2nd September. 6.30pm Our first event of the term will be a nice simple compline in the Lady Chapel at St. Matthew's, Westminster. This will be lead by Greg, one of the new pastoral assistants - a chance to meet and get to know him, and a good way to ease yourself into the new week.
Next up - The Community Meeting (pictured) on 5th September. 7pm
This will be quite a biggie, as we set the tone for next few months in the run up to the end of the year. The community meeting is open to all, and commences at 7pm in St. Matthew's , Westminster. If you're new to the group, and keen to get stuck in and involved, then you're our ideal person! You will be most welcome. If you feel that you want a bit more time to get used to the group, and a community planning meeting is a bit full-on, we understand, and we'll see you after that at the next service proper on the 9th September.
Agenda for the Community meeting on the 5th September is here. Wiki-users have until tomorrow at 5pm to submit items, when it will then be tidied up and circulated for everyone to pray over.
Programme for the new term is here.
See you all soon!
Tuesday, August 28, 2007
Moot at Greenbelt 2007
So, Greenbelt has come and gone for another year. We hope our blog readers all enjoyed it as much as moot did, and particularly hope that you enjoyed our service.
Big "thank-you"s go to everyone who helped set up the service.
Big thanks to those who helped by volunteering with the café, too - names too numerous to mention. YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE! We couldn't have done without your chirpy smiles, and willingness. If you're ever in London, do drop in to see us, we'd love to catch up.
I've uploaded the video that we made for prayers at the end of our service. Doubtless, other videos and photos will follow from other mooters...
Tuesday, August 21, 2007
Powerlessness and the fascinations of fundamentalism
Light beyond all light,
Joy beyond all joy
Ache beyond all aching.
G-d inspires the smallest and the largest moment of life in a single instant that lasts an eternity’s blushing kiss.
Beyond you there is only more of you. Within you there is still the fullness of you. We whirl and dance, held in your thrall. You are everything to us and yet so beyond our knowing. You are no-thing to us and in your no-thing-ness you remind us of the hopes and fears, the limits and frustrations of the human place in creation.
Blinded and yet seeing, we are yours forever. And you are ours. Your life is our life. Our knowledge is your knowledge, your time is our life, and our lives are your gift.
Moot Activities Sept-Dec 07
Apologies for the delay in posting up our plans for Sept-Dec 07. A term sheet has been given out at the Leavers Agape meal, and the new term will go up onto the website at the beginning of September. We still need volunteers for services - Mooters see the wiki site, but here rthe starting things for you to put in your diaries....
Sun Sept 2nd - There is a Moot Compline at 7pm - which will be led by Greg, one of the new St Matthews Pastoral Assistants.
Weds 5th Sept - Now on Weds - Moot Community Meeting - 7.30pm in the Moot Tower Room, this will be chaired by Mike. This is an opportunity for the Moot community to catch up and also to plans stuff.
Sun 9th Sept - Moot Little Service - St Matthews Westminster 6.30pm for 67pm in St Matthews Church
Monday, August 20, 2007
Update on the Mobster
Friday, August 17, 2007
Feel free to agee/disagree or add your own 'best of London' in the comments...
best place to live...
the Southbank - its central, and I can get to see all my friends in about 20 minutes :-)
Its a close call between the Jerusalem Tavern and The Dovetail
LAB for great cocktails in the heart of Soho.
Arbutus for a posh night out (although if you go for their pre theatre menu its incredible value). Satsumas for great value Japanese noodles and sushi - way better than Wagamamas.
Got to be the the Turnmills on a saturday night back in the day - well 2001-4. I still remember when Fatboy slim DJ'd and I had invited down several of my more conservative Christian friends, he started with "Fayboy slim is fucking in heaven" and they all just stood there refusing to dance to such scandalous lyrics whilst the crowd went mad... That and the Chemical Brothers when I danced on the bar with a few other crazy people :-)
best coffee shop (for coffee)...
Well you'll all know who this is - Monmouth it has to be, and preferably the single seater in Convent Garden reading the paper on a dreary Saturday morning.
best coffee shop (for ambience)...
Well its obviously the scooter café. Nuff said.
From Tower Bridge to Waterloo along the Southbank at any time between 12-2am. Great views, fab lighting, no traffic, mad people, and plenty of music filling the air from the buskers. I still remember coming back from the dawn Easter Mass at St Matthew's at just gone 6am and hearing a lady playing Michael W Smiths Agnus Dei on the piano - surreal.
Greenwich for the amazing views over London, and its location next to the Thames. Also where Phillipa and I had our first date - aahhhh.
best hidden getaway...
Little Venice - tonic in the form of canal walks and space for a nice picnic - helps to get the big smoke out of your head.
Ummm hard one - either the Tate Modern (well with the Turbine hall its hard to beat) or the White Cube. Although when they used the Battersea Power Station for an exhibition on China it was amazing.
The Electric Cinema in Notting Hill for more left field stuff - or the Vue at the Greenwich O2, screen 9. It's the largest screen in Europe, sitting half way back you still have to move you head from side to side. Good for that big budget hollywood sort of film but it isn't going to be showing much else.
Well thats all I can think of so please add you own...
Wednesday, August 15, 2007
Just wanted Mooters to know that since around the time of moving into my flat a couple of weeks ago - I became unwell and had to start taking some nasty medication. To make matters worse on Monday I became violently allergic to this medication - and have had 4 serious anaphalaxis moments - which I will spare you the details - but are severe life threatening events. I have had to therefore stop everything to do with work - as my body is under severe stress. It is probable at the moment - that I will not be allowed to go to Greenbelt - my Doc at the moment is dead against this unless I make considerable recovery by Monday. If I do go - I am told I am not allowed to tent - and need to at least be in a B&B as my body will not cope.
So Mooters I would value your prayers & leading group - could do with you sorting the services and activities for next term on the wiki & Moot Greenbelt team - you may need to count me out of it. I am very sorry - but there is not much i can do about this...... Ian
Tuesday, August 14, 2007
Moot Evanglise:Me Western Marble Arch Synagogue
There is much I could say on the positive side which has stayed with me since we attended.
Firstly - that in Judaism - there is no original sin - just the acceptance that badness and evil exist in the universe - but this cannot seperate us from the love of God unless we choose this to be so. I like this idea a lot - and have always struggled with the doctrine of original sin. So Judaism does not say that God's salvific purposes are prevented by an overly redemptive understanding of the role of Christ. The second really important thing for me - was a small note in the prayer book recently updated by the Chief Rabbi in the United Kingdom. It said - that though Judaism believed in the one true God following the great Shemah prayer. This same God had three distinct attributes of being and I quote "Creator, Redeemer and Sustainer". So if this is true to Judaism - then the whole Trintarian Christian understanding does authentically find its roots in Judaism.
The main things that troubled me were around the Zionism. The readings of the day were all about genocide and clearing the land in an original form of ethnic clensing justified for religious purposes. It was tough to hear these readings. But what worried me most was the connection made in the sermon between these readings and the plight of the West Bank and Gaza. The Rabbi really did say the land was Israel's, and that the texts were used to justify bad treatment of 'terrorists'. As a Christian I found this difficult to hear let alone accept. As Christians we must remember that there are Palestinian Christians and sorts of other ethnicities who are really suffering under economic and political oppression - which must not be watered down. So I came away blessed by most of what we had interacted with - except the readings and the sermon
Monday, August 13, 2007
This morning on the radio I heard the sad news that one of those people, Tony Wilson, died last Friday.
For those of you who don't know, he was a Manchester-based entreprenuer responsible for the likes of Joy Division/New Order, the Haçienda nightclub, and Factory Records.
The film "24 Hour Party People" was made about his life starring Steve Coogan.
Excerpts from his last interview are here.
Perichoresis - The Divine Dance of God
Feet poised suspended in the support of the other.
Holy Three yet one, laugh, cry, celebrate and lament their co-creativity.
Time burst out as the by-product of a hurling helix
of mystical presence
swaying through the dance.
Life and all things became real
Out of the dynamic of joy and love expressed in movement.
The Creator led the dance from sumation to incarnation,
The Redeemer led the dance from incarnation to Pentecost
The Companion leads the dance now from the time of the church
to the consumation.
But Holy dance,
don't slow down,
don't wait on us inattentive humanity.
Free us Holy Three in one to learn the dance
Teach us to be free from our selfishness and greed
Let us relearn how to dance spiritually
And be a blessing to the Cosmos
And be the spiritual community
The dancing God calls us to be
By Ian Mobsby
Congratulations to Trine & Martin
Gareth, Phillipa, Mike, Carey, Ivy and I stayed on for a week in an idyllic summer house by the sea. Loved it. First holiday I have had a for a while - it is nice to feel human!!