Wednesday, September 27, 2006

a night in with our fiercest critics

Looking forward to our October cycle in mayBe - a night in with our fiercest (real or potential) critics. The idea is that we be open to them changing us if that is required, as well as perhaps confirming our direction if that seems good. Liza suggested it so she gets to go first this week and has produced a starting point resource for the conversation around the community meal (available via the mayBe website) on the 19 th C. Danish Christian philosopher Soren Kierkegaard (pictured). It seems that he had a thing about community - which is a really big deal for us - suggesting that community can be an excuse, diverting us from the real work for each individual of seeking God with authenticity. Should be good. Today we were knocking around ideas for other critics - including possibly Martin Amis on the idea of religion full stop: 'Today in the West there are no good excuses for religious belief - unless we think that ignorance, reaction and sentimentality are good excuses' [The Observer 10 Sept 06]

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Holy Cross day

It's Holy Cross day. When I was a kid at school we used to play football against another school called Holy Cross. And get beaten by scores like 11-0. It wasn't, for me, an encouraging introduction to the idea of Holy Cross... But this is a good day. It gives us space and permission to see Christ's death on the cross not only as a moment of suffering and abandonment - which it certainly is [see the barbed wire pic by Jane from mayBe] - but also as a sign that whatever is destructive and de-humanising will not have the last word. The cross is in this sense, a promise of hope. OK, this is not backed up by serious research, but I reckon that the wearing of a cross by people trying to follow in the way of Jesus Christ is, in the UK at least, not that common anymore. And that's a shame, because this symbol has great potential for good. Perhaps the cross needs to be quietly reclaimed from TopShop? Not as a statement of victory, but a sign of hope for the world. Let's wear it, tattoo it, paint it - and allow it to work away at us.

Friday, September 08, 2006

freedom songs

Isn't it great to be given an amazing piece of music out of nowhere! At last night's mayBe community meal we were finishing off our redemption song cycle by asking the question 'what kind of song are we living as community, and can it be a freedom-bringing song to people around us?' As part of that process people were invited to bring songs that we find 'freeing'. You can check out the playlist that emerged on the mayBe website. Lots of great stuff there. One I really liked was 'There will always be (room at my table for you)' by Adem, which no doubt will find its way into a mayBe Eucharist soon. Thanks for this to Tom who belongs to Peace Church in Birmingham but spends lots of time with us when he's in Oxford with Jane. There will always be room at our-His table for you...

Monday, September 04, 2006

try this improvisation [1]: small = good?

Enjoyed our first shared worship gathering with our buddies from hOME yesterday. We met up at our summer home (also on high days and holidays) ancient Bartlemas chapel - then on to the Angel for a pint. It was very good to share Eucharist, and good to continue in the spirit of Eucharist at the pub. We were working with 2 of Jesus' parables of small things - the mustard seed and yeast. As our improvisiation we took pics on our phones of small stuff around us - here's a pic of a small creature that someone spotted. Seems to me that in our setting and calling smallness can actually be a strength - enabling authentic Christ-community to happen, and creating space in which people might bump into, and begin to orientate themselves towards, Christ. Small = good?