worship planning brief through the eyes of a tv producer encourages focused worship...
great news - mark pierson (alt worship pioneer from NZ, author of the prodigal project) is staying on after greenbelt and will be doing some days on worship. delighted that CMS are one of the hosts/sponsors...
A Church for the Arts
Mark Pierson | Ark-T Centre, Oxford | Three Day Conferences
£10 per day
Thursday 2nd September 11:00 - 4:00
Day 1: Worship as Art
Seeing worship as an art form to be curated rather than a linear task to be organised.
Friday 3rd September 11:00 - 4:00
Day 2: What Lies Beneath
Principles that practices are built on when worship is seen as an art form. Going for depth rather than froth and bubble.
Saturday 4th September 9:30 - 1:00
Day 3: Art as Worship
Using art, stations, Stations of the Cross, ambient spaces etc in worship.
Each day to involve presentation/discussion and a piece of worship.
Mark Pierson is co-author of The Prodigal Project and he has been the minister at Cityside Baptist Church – a church for the Arts in Auckland New Zealand. He has recently taken up a new appointment in Melbourne. More info on Cityside and Mark can be found at
A Church for the Arts is sponsored by: The Centre for Religion and Culture, King’s College London, The Centre for Christianity and Culture Regents Park College, Oxford, The Ark-T Centre and The Church Mission Society.
The £10 per day does not cover lunch or refreshments. The Ark- T Centre has a Café where drinks and meals can be purchased.
Day One Number of places £10 per person
Day Two Number of places £10 per person
Day Three Number of places £10 per person
Cheques made Payable to Ark-T Centre
John Bunyan Baptist Church
Crowell Rd, Cowley, OX4 3LN
For more info contact Tess Ward on 01865 773499/396778
roblewin has put a really long and interesting post on UK vs USA battle royale! on the differences between the usa and uk contexts when it comes to emerging church. we (gareth, myself and rob) had a really good discussion about this on the last day in nashville. i have been theratening to offer my reflections on this following my visit to emergent, but i think rob has done such a good job of starting the conversation that i'll just join in the conversation there (that is if he doesn't go and delete all his comments again!!!!!) one of the things that really struck me in the conversation was that rob was saying that the UK church had the gift of fallowness when things were pretty dead. it is that that has enabled new life to grow. i'd never thought about it that way...
had a query about the hexstatic video deadly media... i orginally wrote this as worship trick 5. it used to be on hexstatic's site as a free download but isn't - or at least not in a decent size. i did find a copy of it here (2.4mb). but the best bet is probably to get the cd rewind which has a cd rom with 13 quicktime videos with it. or it is now available as a dvd - japanese import i think...
this is still one of my favourite videos ever...
got this today... (david lyon is one of the best christian thinkers on postmodern times and jesus in disneyland is a fantastic book)
LICC is delighted to announce an evening with the highly acclaimed author of Jesus in Disneyland and the classic Postmodernity – Prof DAVID LYON - on Monday, June 14th 2004, at 6.45pm.
The Government plans to introduce biometric identity cards - and a national registry for all - sooner, not later. They’re already running the tests.
ID cards - which will be able to store all your personal details, from the points on your driving licence to your credit rating and doctor’s notes - symbolise many of our fears about privacy and civil liberty in today’s high-tech culture.
But they also mark a crucial shift in how we maintain social order. In the most ‘watched’ nation on earth, are we using technology wisely, as we seek to control asylum seekers and protect our citizens from crime?
Or is this the thin end of Big Brother’s fearful wedge?
How do we start thinking about life in the surveillance society from a Christian perspective? Does it affect our humanity as we live life in front of the CCTV cameras? What does it mean to have a digital ‘profile’, and what difference does it make to our everyday lives?
David Lyon is Professor of Sociology at Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario, and director of The Surveillance Project. He is internationally renowned for his research, writing, and teaching, which focuses on major social transformations in the contemporary world.
The cost is £6. Please try to let us know in advance if you plan to come - on 020 7399 9555 – as it helps LICC to know numbers. You are, however, welcome to turn up on the night without booking.
had a great evening yesterday at blah... about 90 people showed up - no idea where they all came from!!! the tallskinnykiwi draws a crowd...
andrew presented his /forward slash: a narrative missiology with lots of fun and trickery in arkaos including a shot of me reportedly leading some folk singing in nashville - mmmmm! the presentation was a series of shorts on such things as new media, apostolic strategy, and connected theology. i think andrew's stuff on new meida is particularly good as not many people are talking about it....
one concept that seemed to catch peoples attention was the notion of co-authorship - that people in teh culture don't want to go and consume or be part of something where they are passive even if it's excellent - they'd far rather help co-author or create. new media has contributed to this because of the possibility of participation. the blogosphere is of course a great example...
lots of time lapse video loops (QT) - and they are small to download. they are 320 x 240 in size which isn't huge but if you use arkaos i find this size looks ok as arkaos reconfigures the screen to 640 x 480 anyway...
the loops include things such as planets swirling, water droplets, a lighter, dandelion clock... i found 10 loops that i thought were worth using...
thanks to bob for the link...
had this question on arkaos via e-mail so thought i'd post the reply here in case it's useful to anyone else...
hey can you send me instruction on how to do the line
of text/transparency thing in arkaos?
to add a 'meditation line' like 'god is here' to move
across a video? (like you did at the wroship we did in
In arkaos when you have a video or an image or a flash text assigned to a key you can add various effects to it. Double click on an item and then a window opens up - there is a button that says copy mode which has a range of selections including transparency, subtraction, addition, multiplication. Try messing with those - what subtraction and addition do is to knock out dark or light areas of an image so that what is underneath shines through. This can look stunning on the right combinations...
So with the text you asked about, this is one of the preset flash texts. You'll see a couple with big letters in. Drag them on to a key, then double click on them and try the subtraction or addition or even making a mask effect. You also need to type in your own words in the text line - it will only cope with short things such as 'god is here'...
The way I do other words is to create jpegs and drag them in - create them at 640x 480 pixels - if you do white on black or vice versa using the effects described you can overlay images with song words or whatever.
Another tip is that there is a button that says latch - this makes a video loop keep running when you press a key so that you don't have to keep pressing it. Then when you press it again it will stop... hope this helps.
because we can we must - bono speech in new york...
rob lewin (yes he is back blogging!) challenges bloggers not to whine on their blogs but to e-mail emergent planners... (i just realised that having read his post and thought what a good idea i left a comment on his blog rather than e-mail the planners - doh!)
had a great conversation with rob at emergent on the difference between the uk and usa contexts. he had some great points. so i hope he will write them down. but meantime gareth has got the ball rolling. so when you have a minute rob or when you get over the shock of having posted.....?!
in spite of rob's sentiment which i kind of like i think blogs are great places to read a rant and liked jen lemen's rant on what is killing emergent. already the comments are piling in....
one of the characters i met in nashville was doug pagitt - sadly we didn't get any long conversations but i think doug may be passing through london at some point to hang with tallskinnykiwi so hopefully we can chat more then. doug is involved in a missional community called solomons porch... lots of people at the emergent convention seemed to be in pretty standard churches as far as i could tell and i guess were at an early stage in the journey of rethinking mission and church for the emerging culture and trying to work out what to do with it. but solomons porch is definitely something edgier - an inspiring community...
one of the things about being delayed by a day at airports was that i read two books i was given - one of them was written by doug. it's called reimagining spiritual formation - a week in the life of an experimental church. what it actually does is lift the lid off solomons porch in a really helpful way. i found it an inspiring read. doug has got 6 members of the community to add comments from journals throughout the book and it really adds to the flavour. (i think it's actually a great companion book to the shaping of things to come - it seems to be a concrete example of the kind of missional communities envisaged by hirsch and frost). because it;s a story it's also an easy read...
i found it resonated with so many of the emphases i am passionate about - creative worship, engaging with and encouraging artists, engagement with cullture, creativity, concern for justice and the global church, hospitality... the book is one of the emergent line of publishing. i was alarmed to discover that zondervan who publish it are owned by rupert murdoch - not very emerging!!!!!! but we 'live after purity' and all that....
i am actually quite struck that four emerging church situations/communities that have grabbed my attention the most on this trip all have several things in common (the communities that karen ward, mark scandrette, geoff maddock, and doug pagitt are involved in respectively) -
they have deliberately moved to an area of a city that is poor/deprived
they have focused on relationships - meals, coffee, being there,
they have got stuck in to the local community
there is an engagement with artists and creativity
they are not doing 'evangelism' as such - just living stuff oput and wanting to bless those communities (which of course ends up being good news)
there is a passion about justice
a lot of the community life is quite fluid
the other one that grabbed me is spencer burke's community but i don't think it fits the categories above in quite the same way.... (his story is a brilliant read. it's in the other book i read today which is another emergent one - a collection of stories of individuals faith journeys called stories of emergence. spencer's was the most compelling story as far as i was concerned though i enjoyed some of the others as well.)
bad weather at chicago meant our flight was cancelled on the way back so we ended up spending a day hanging around at airports and having to fly home a day later... seems like we were pretty unlucky with flights on this trip! but good to finally be home.
well it's almost over...
be heading back to the uk later today - looking forward to seeing the london skyline, family, friends, home!
one of the most hopeful moments here was the emerging women leaders breakfast. there was a good turnout. there are five women who are leading the emerging women leaders project all of whom seem wonderful. what was good about the breakfast wasn't just that there was space to discuss honestly peoples experience of being women in the church and thinking about the road ahead. the way the whole thing was set up and led was wonderful - there were 5 stations around the edge of the room with amazing pictures of women over the years who have been pioneers. and then there were cards with a series of questions. after some intro and breakfast we discussed these questions in groups around the table. men were asked to listen and wait before saying anything - for some women this in itself was a liberating thing! feedback was then given and heard - and it was just real, refreshing, honest, from the heart. and then the team gave a huge encouragement to the women there. i finally got to meet jenlemen. she gave some concluding remarks with lots of tears - it was like a blessing of empowerment for the women there to embrace their call. then grace maclaren said some things. she was also amazing - a kind of honesty and strength that was compelling. there was a lot of emotion in the room. i had tears in my eyes. i pray that this venture will give a voice, and hope and permission to talk and share stories for the women in the emerging church in the usa (and beyond). what was so striking about this breakfast was how different the tone of it was to any other sessions i have been to at the convention. i can't put my finger on exactly why but this felt more conversational, more real, less hyped, more passionate, and it was grown up/adult. shame they weren't running the main sessions!!! thank you to the women who put it on - courage to you... thanks for letting us men be there to listen in and cheer you quietly in our hearts. i'm sure i could hear the sound of a deafening roar of applause that was exploding in peoples hearts and in the throngs of angels watching with bated breath to see how the future unfolds
i have spent most of my time at the emergent convention chatting with people which has been great. we had a bloggers dinner the other evening which was fun. there are quite a few bloggers here and it was fun to meet some new people. if i try and list the people i am sure i will forget some which i don't want to do... if i have left you out please forgive me and leave a comment....
adam cleveland | lillylewin | gareth powell | jen lemen | michael toy | cheryl glenn | harpstrings | dj chuang | sailor and a scholar | jvoorhees | radical congruency | the:shiverian | holly Z's happy day deadfish | willzhead | spencer burke | bob carlton | mark riddle
as in berkley we found a cafe with free wireless access and the best food in nashville as far as i am concerned - provence. whenever you went there the chances were you would catch up with some bloggers. i have had countless conversations with people here. i'll reflect on my take on emergent at a later date probably but people is where it is at. tim left a comment on my last post asking if there were fellow liminal travellers. one that i met was geoff and sherry maddock from lexington, kentucky. they are doing the long term incarnational mission stuff in a tough part of town just being in the community, working with the porr, openng up their homes etc. i'm hoping they will write their story for the emergingchurch.info site. i also felt a real kindred spirit with spencer whose story is quite something... was great to catch up with dan kimball last night too who is really helping push worship in a creative direction with his writing here inspired by alt worship in the uk. talking of alt worship, the second part of the seminar seemed to go pretty well and i hope sparked peoples imagination to get creating...
these pics are adam (baby face) cleaveland, lilly lewin (great to catch up with her and rob again), and josh (forgotten the surname?!). i haven't taken many pics in nashville but have added about four to the photo album USA pics 2004. adam has taken a bunch of photos and has an emergent album including this photo of me and a few others...
on our way to nashville we saw a magazine (can't remember which one - time or something) which had a picture on the cover of the guys who have written the left behind book series. they have sold 60 million of these books!
i did my first session at emergent on weds night on alternative worship and spent the first half showing pictures and trying to describe what groups and services are like. (what a great resource smallfire is!) i think the words emerging church and alternative worship resonate in pretty different ways in the uk and usa. it's sometimes hard to get your head round the nuances of what those differences are. but it's important to try and do so because people bring quite different assumptions to the conversation. i'm still observing and gathering my thoughts on those differences, but one that i realise is huge is the backdrop over here (usa) of a powerful evangelical subculture - whilst we moan in the uk about evangelicals from time to time we just don't get it the same way... it can seem at times that alternative worship and emerging church are quite a bit more conservative over here or feel a little less edgy. maybe part of the reason is that in terms of where people are coming from they are having to deal with this subculture... which brings me back to the left behind books.
it is astonishing that books with such crap theology can be so successful! we used to joke about this stuff years ago in a church i was in in bath but i can't believe it is still so prevalent. i was saying in the session last night that for me the foundation of mission is the incarnation - that god in christ has come into the world in a particular context. the whole rapture stuff cuts right against the theology of the incarnation and creation and its redemption. i love it in brian walsh and richard middleton's book 'transforming vision' where they have a take on the verses in matthew 24 which seems to be a key one for those who have this rapture theory about two people being in a field and one being taken and one being left behind etc. they simply ask about the context and then who gets taken and who gets left behind... the context of the verses is 'as it was in the days of noah and the flood so it will be...' - so who got taken in the days of noah? the unrighteous got taken. it was noah's family - those who were faithful who were left to live in the land! this is a theme that runs right through the bible - the land will spew out those who are unfaithful, but be inherited by those who are faithful... blessed are the meek for they shall inherit the earth...
the future reality is an earthly one - a (re)new(ed) heaven and earth. creation is presently 'longing to be liberated from its bondage to decay'. we look forward to a day when it is free from injustice, racism, brokenness, sexism and suffering. christ's death wasn't about whisking people out of the fantastic world that he has made - it was to purchase its redemption. salvation (=wholeness) of people is ultimately about their restoration in the image of god and the future is a bodily/earthly one - resurrection bodies. the kingdom of god is creation healed. all things will be reconciled... i'm starting to rant...
the planet needs a theology of incarnation, engagement, presence, redemption... not an escapology theology!
a whack on the side of the head - roger von oech
the shaping of things to come - alan hirsch and michael frost
the prophetic imagination - walter brueggeman
creation regained - al wolters
alternative worship - jonny baker and doug gay
when i posted about VJing in grace cathedral i said i'd show some examples of what arkaos can do by overlaying effects or videos with some kind of transparency or subtracting the dark or light parts of an image....
anyway waiting for a plane i've had a bit of time to export a few loops from arkaos (another cool thing about it). so here are 5 video loops that give you a flavour of what we were up to. 4 of them use our little loops of the cityscape over the bay bridge. the other one is an image of the weather project with an effect and the words christ is risen over it... each loop is a quicktime one and they are about 2mb each... feel free to use but not to publish without permission... cool eh?!
well we headed out of san fransisco early today. we had a pretty strange flight route but one flight ended up being two hours late so we missed the connection to nashville. turns out several flights were cancelled and we couldn't get another one until tomorrow. so unexpectedly we are in chicago for a night. we're now scheduled to get to emergent convention tomorrow at about 3:30pm. i need to be there to do my first seminar by 7pm so hoping the planes are all back in action tomorrow...
one plus about flying is time to read books - have enjoyed philip pullman's northern lights (first in the trilogy) and am half way through water buffalo theology by kosuke koyama which was written in 1974 but stands the test of time... a stunning book on theology from an asian christian perspective. i'll blog about that more some other time (like when i've finished the book!)...
yesterday was the episcopal diocese conference in grace cathedral. this is a self portrait in the centre of the grace cathedral labyrinth. our (mine and gareth) contribution to the day was a double workshop on alternative worship - this went really well - hope we helped spark a few peoples imagination at least... and then we took part in the morning and afternoon worship services. the worship had been planned via e-mail with people from a range of different perspectives so i don't think any of us were quite sure how it would turn out. but amazingly it came together really well! our contribution was to open up each service with some reflective stuff to help people center on god and then to provide music/tunes and visuals throughout. it was a real treat to be able to VJ and DJ in such a neat space.
bob had sorted a couple of large screens either side of the holy table at the front which we projected onto. a few people asked about the visual and musical stuff and where it came from. so i'll try and at least summarise and remember a few bits. so visual first:
we were using a VJ programme called arkaos. this runs on mac or PC. the way it works is that you assign images or videos or effects to keys on your keyboard so that when you press them it triggers the image, loop or effect. you can also layer the images/loops in ways that can look stunning with the right combinations. to give a couple of examples we used, we wanted to connect the worship with the city we were in so had taken a few photos and videos while we were here. they were taken on a small digital camera that also takes short movies. they are actually only at 320 x 240 size so it's nothing spectacular. our favourite loop was of the approach to san fransisco over the bay bridge - one in the morning (QT movie approx 1mb) and one in the evening (QT movie approx 1mb) (feel free to copy and use these loops - but not to publish them without permission). these loops were taken out of rah's car window.
so at one point we had spinning turntables animated by tlb with the word grace on (appropriate for grace cathedral) with the cityscape coming through the turntable. or we had taken an image of a quote from the martin luther king memorial in the city and put that over the cityscape during the prayers. or we put an effect and the words christ is risen over a loop in the point in the liturgy where those words were spoken - it was stunning! the key to this stuff is getting creative, shooting anything in sight and playing around! it's not about slickness. it does help to have some stock image as well and some that we used were:
. still images of christ from cultures round the world - these are from the christ we share which is a resource available from cms which i blogged about as worship trick 24
. several still images and video loops from the CD ROM that comes free with alternative worship
. a couple of video loops from highway
. deadly media - rewind by hexstatic
i haven't got the music tracks to hand but ones i remember we used were -
azzolini and the branch brothers meet being - two lone swordsmen from the album 'swimming not skimming'
space and time, table of christ - baker/birch from the album 'spirit of the new' available from proost
i will receive you now, hush (instrumental) - gay, baker/birch from the album 'eucharist' free with the book of uncommon prayer
everything in its right place - radiohead
god is a dj - faithless
space time continuum - insanity sect
14:31 - global communication
breathe - telepopmusik
pollo de paulo - fila brazillia
prayer for england - massive attack
new world - attaboy
it was great moment after the dismissal when the unmistakeable opening chords of radiohead's everything in its right place fired up and there was a video of lizzie everards blessing loop overlaying the cityscape. as someone said - radiohead in church - cool!
(when i get round to it i'll record a couple of the video effects out of arkaos and upload them so you can see the effect of the combinations)
this shot is from grisly peak (not sure how you spell it?) which has a stunning view over the bay area. driving up there reminded me of mulholland drive! roy shelley who is a silesian who i have met via the association (iasym) came and met us and we went for a beer and on to see this view. roy is a wonderful person - one of those people who makes the world a better place. silesians are a catholic mission order who have an active spirituality and their particular focus/passion/charism is youth. we had a bit of a day focusing on youth ministry as we met with guys from the diocese in the morning to talk about vision for youth ministry. hopefully we were some use?... i thought it was a good conversation but there needs to be an investment of vision and then people if things are to move on....
brewed awakenings is the cafe near us that has wi fi free. it's become a kind of home base! sadly you would be hard pressed to find the equivalent in london providing the service for free...
had the obligatory religious experience of a krispy kreme donut yesterday (though the religious fervour surrounding krispy kremes seems to have died off - or is this a heresy i am introducing? maybe the committed followers are still out there?)
have added a few more pics to the photo album.... including this weird looking shot of jesus models that are made out of fuzzy material. i saw them in urban outfitters. my camera doesn't cope with this intense red very well but ended up with an interesting image none the less...
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where i come across creative ideas, liturgies, movies, music tracks, service outlines or anything that strikes me, i add them as worship tricks. i started these in april 2002 when i first began blogging and they have built up over the years so that i am now on the third series. this has proved a pretty popular feature of the blog.