Tuesday, August 19, 2008
So Beyond Flatland is now here.
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
Friday, May 16, 2008
General Assembly 2008:
Ministries Council to unveil new £1.5 million fund At this year's General
Assembly (15 – 21 May), the Ministries Council will outline their plans
to devote £1.5 million - over five years - to a new Emerging Ministries Fund. This fund, which is available from 2009, would be made available to Presbyteries and charges through a grant making process specifically for new models of ministry and the establishing of new approaches to church. (Section 188.8.131.52.3, Ministries report) As such, the Emerging Ministries Fund will be supporting projects that engage with people in new ways where they are. In many cases this may mean less of a dependence on buildings and getting people to come in.
The Assembly will hear that the Emerging Ministries Fund will support
work in three areas (Section 3, Ministries supplementary):
that focuses on new church growth alongside or beyond the existing
Ecclesial: work which is about establishing church from the ground up and exploring what that means for the given demographic and cultural context;
Experimental: work that looks at experimenting with new approaches to ministry. The hope would be to spread the funding across a range of approaches to maximise the learning experience for the Church at large. The processing of applications and general management of the fund will be carried out by the Council's Emerging Ministries Task Group,
who are dedicated to working with the other Funds of
the Church to ensure that applications are dealt with by the appropriate body.Emerging Ministries Fund grants would be made at a maximum level of £30K per annum for a three year period. In addition, Presbyteries and congregations will be expected to demonstrate that they have explored potential sources of matched funding - either private or public sector, or from ecumenical partners - although
there is recognition that such assistance cannot always be secured.
Ministries Council staff will be able to offer advice and support to applicant organisations at all stages of the process. It is anticipated that this substantial investment in local church work will have a
significant impact in the initial 5-year period of the fund, and beyond.
Thursday, May 15, 2008
Since September 5, 2000, which is the 88th birthday of the avantgarde composer and artist John Cage, the slowest and longest concert that the world has ever heard has been playing: ORGAN2/ASLSP As Slow aS Possible that means this piece of music, for the organ, will be performed for 639 years in the church of St. Burchardi in Halberstadt."
Wednesday, April 09, 2008
see the road ahead of me. I cannot know for certain where it will end. Nor do I
really understand myself. And the fact that I think I am following Your will
does not mean I am actually doing so. But I believe that the desire to please
you Does in fact please you. And I hope I have the desire in all that I am
doing. I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire. And I know
that if I do this you will lead me by the right road though I may know nothing
about it. Therefore will I trust you always though I may seem to be lost and in
the shadow of death. I will not fear for you are ever with me and you will never
leave me to face my troubles alone. (Thomas Merton)
Wednesday, March 26, 2008
Go forth in the dance of the merrymakers
Resume your singing,
On your feet go,
Join the dance of the Father, Son and Spirit.
Friday, March 21, 2008
A CUP OF SALVATION
Drinking the cup of salvation means emptying the cup of sorrow and joy so that God can fill it with pure life.
(Henri Nouwen, Who can drink this cup?p97)
Reading of the day – Matthew 27 v45-61
We spent some time exploring the image Spencer potrays and began to wonder how we might have the Cross portrayed here on Highgate. The Crucifixion by Stanley Spencer we set alongside the reading for today confronting us with the reality of this painfully disturbing scene. We came to the Table, sharing in the Cup of Salvation.
We closed with these words of assurance:
Romans 8. 31 What then are we to say about these things?
If God is for us, who is against us? 32 He who did not withhold his own
Son, but gave him up for all of us, will he not with him also give us everything else? 33 Who will bring any charge against God's elect? It is God who justifies. 34 Who is to condemn? It is Christ Jesus, who died, yes, who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who indeed intercedes for us.
35 Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will hardship, or
distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?
36 As it is written, "For your sake we are being killed all day long; we
are accounted as sheep to be slaughtered." 37 No, in all these things we
are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
fOR A GREAT SHORT VIDEO LOOP VISIT http://www.sgmlifewords.com/easter/video.php
Lifting the cup is an invitation to affirm and celebrate life together. As
we lift up the cup of life and look each other in the eye, we say: “Let us not
be anxious or afraid. Let’s hold our cup together and greet each other. Let us
not hesitate to acknowledge the reality of our lives and encourage each other to
be grateful for the gifts we have received.”…to Life”
(Henri Nouwen, Can you drink the cup? p 61-2)
Reading of the day - 1 Corinthians 10:15-17
Tonight we came to Lift the cup. Paul in writing to the Corinthian church speaks of the dnagers of compromise with 'idols' and more His response though is somewhat surprising. HE bases it upon the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper. In the few verses there is much emphasis upon 'TAKING PART, Koininos - partnership, partakers together in Christ and consequently one another.
The Cup of Blessing then is more than a mere memorial, it is an active, ever present now activity in the life we have in Christ, through the Spirit. We also read Luke 22 and the 'institution, the inaugurating of the Supper' All aroudn that ATble were themes of alienation, abandonment and betrayal, yet there is also community, love and trusting relationships within the body of Christ. Jesus offers a cup to be passed among them as a symbolic reminder of their unity. (We passed a cup around as we heard more among those gathered in worship at this point). This invitation to dif=vide the common cup among them, to ift and share in it together must have been powerful as each would already have their own cup in front of them. THEN, he bvreaks bread and then they share the cup of blessing. The referneces time and again to fellowshiup, community as well as the pre-figuring of the final banquet. William Willimon says of the meal" A ritual for meeting in which an individual who feels isolated and unaccepted may discover the possibility for community and incorporation."Fred Buechner also says that it' involves our need not just for food but for each otehr' in the midst of our own emptiness, alienation, forsakenness, weariness, betrayal and death we come to this Table as here, despite such rokenness and pain - holding cups of suffering, sorrow, we find Christ accept us, we find in one another acceptance and fellowship, partnership, we partake together.. We also discover at this table that we are never abandoned.
We came to the Table.
O God you are my God alone,
whom eagerly I seek,
though longing fills my soul with thirst
and leaves my body weak.
Just like a dry and barren land
awaits a freshening shower,
I long within your house to see
your glory and your power.
Your faithful love surpasses life,
evoking all my praise,
through every day
to bless your name,
my hands in praise I’ll raise.
My deepest needs you satisfy
as with a sumptuous feast.
So, on my lips and in my heart,
your praise has never ceased.
Throughout the night,
I lie in bed,
and call you Lord to mind,
In darkest hours I meditate,
how God my strength is kind.
Beneath the shadow of your wing,
I live and feel secure;
and daily, as I follow close,
your right hand keeps me sure.
In the midst of anguished prayer asking his father to take this cup of sorrow
away, there is one moment of consolation. Only the Evangelist Luke mentions it.
He says: “Then an angel appeared to him, coming from heaven to give him
strength.” (Luke 22 v43)
(Henri Nouwen, Can you drink the cup? p 43)
JOHN 17 1 After Jesus had spoken these words, he looked up
to heaven and said, "Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son so that
the Son may glorify you, 2 since you have given him authority over all
people, to give eternal life to all whom you have given him. 3 And
this is eternal life, that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus
Christ whom you have sent. 4 I glorified you on earth by finishing the work
that you gave me to do. 5 So now, Father, glorify me in your own presence
with the glory that I had in your presence before the world existed.
the insight we get is the 'relationship' that existed between Father and Son before creation. Rublev's image Icon comes to mind yet again. Luke reminds us of how the Father sends a messenger to minister and 'strengthen' Jesus in the time of trial, as in the desert. he is now, as John portrays him holding the cup of suffering out of the union with the father, rooted around the Trinitarian table we might say. It is this that now sees him handed over also in the other direction, at the disposal of those who will now deal with him.
The cup we hold as disciples means learning to live and risk the very presence of Jesus, that as disciples our lives are immersed and embedded in the very life of the Jesus Christ, the Son in and through the Spirit and in this way Jesus offers prayers and perfects our prayers to the Father. This equally makes us vulnerable to the world. he prays:
Grace be with you.
20 "I ask not only on behalf of these, but also on behalf of those who
will believe in me through their word, 21 that they may all be one. As you,
Father, are in me and I am in you, may they also be in us,
so that the world may believe that you have sent me. 22 The glory that you
have given me I have given them, so that they may be one, as we are one,
23 I in them and you in me, that they may become completely one, so that
the world may know that you have sent me and have loved them even as you have
Thanks be to God.
Go in peace this night.
We go in the name of Christ.