Monday, March 30, 2009
Looking forward to the StillPoint Stations of the Cross Exhibition opening this week at the Jam factory cafe-gallery in Oxford.
We've asked 14 local artists to meditate on the story of the Passion of the Christ and create something that reflects their engagement with it. I've really enjoyed the creative process personally - I'm putting in a painting for station 13: Jesus is laid in the tomb. We are hanging the exhibition tomorrow ready for opening night on Thursday 2 April - everyone welcome from 8pm.
I feel as if I'm losing my love of rugby union. The new Experimental Law Variations and/or their implementation seem to be killing the game. The 6 Nations was contested by 6 largely identikit teams, playing a defence-based game, with forwards strung out across the pitch, the ball coninuously pinged down the field looking for a mistake or waiting forever at the back of a ruck to be picked up, non existent scrums and way too many impact injuries. I hope the great and the good of the game will sort it but I'm not holding my breath. If you want to hear some expert views check out Eddie Butler and Shaun Edwards on the Guardian website. I'm off to look for a game with soul, drama and variety. Any suggestions?
Friday, March 27, 2009
The next CMS-hosted small missional communities conversation is set for Sheffield on 3 and 4 June. There are residential and non-residential options and an evening only option for anyone who can't get the time off work. Should be a very good mix of stories, shared learning and sacred spaces.
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
For this week's morning bell call to prayer I'm taking jazz as the starting point. I've been enjoying a fascinating further education in jazz, tutored by my friend Joseph. I’m interested in the way that music generally - in it’s creating, hearing and participation - seems to be able to reconnect us with ourselves, our world, and the divine. And I think that jazz has a real capacity to open up this bigger picture, with its respect for tradition, call to improvisation and ability to surprise. You might like to try Dexter Gordon's 1962 album Go [thanks Joseph]
Monday, March 16, 2009
Later this week it’s the spring equinox. It feels as if spring may be here at last. I’ve been spending some time this weekend out in our garden, clearing away last year’s remains, digging the soil, listening to the sounds, letting the sun onto my face again, and contemplating some earthy themes for life. So this week's morning bell is coming from the garden...
Friday, March 06, 2009
In mayBe we've been thinking for a long time about doing a cycle on death and dying. Well this is it - we are going for it in Lent. I created the first resource - an attempt to get into the theme. It starts with our experience of people around us dying, then goes into the ancient story of the death of Moses from the Jewish scriptures. Moses's story deals with various death issues, like pain and infirmity [none in Moses's case - just keeled over aged 120 the story goes], stuff left undone, being forgotten, grief and mourning. Contact me if you'd like a pdf copy. The pic is of a footbridge at Thurlestone sands, South Devon.
Thursday, March 05, 2009
The launch of StillPoint went really well - looked like we had around 120 people to kick it off with us. Jamie Catto was great, even through serious jet-lag coming back from filming this week in New York with Harry Belafonte. We showed 3 chapters from 1 Giant Leap's latest film what about me?: bombardment, awakening and pain, and then got into conversation around them with Jamie and the Bishop of Oxford. Finished with a 'consider the flowers' prayer practise that we borrowed from a story about Jesus, with a big orange gerbera for each person. Felt a bit like Morrissey for a monent. Heaven knows, it all seemed to go well. Pic is of Matt interviewing Jamie Catto.
Tuesday, March 03, 2009
Looking forward to the launch of our StillPoint project on Wednesday night at the Phoenix cinema in Jericho Oxford. We still have some places left so if you fancy coming please email me. The bar is open from 8pm and the presentation is at 8.45pm. Our headline guests are Jamie Catto from the brilliant 1 Giant Leap and the Bishop of Oxford John Pritchard. We'll be showing some chapters from 1GL's latest piece of work 'What about me'.