grace on staurday night combines rug making, colour and prayer - intrigued? so am i... maybe see you there
join us at grace this saturday sept 13 for the first grace of a new season. we are privileged to have memory, a photographic exhibition from the ealing london independent photography group in st marys on its last day and will be surrounded by and using those images suspended in the air as a focus for the evening. we have a new pattern we're trying out where we cycle through some different types of evenings through a term. this is the first where we have a specific art focus.
following the last worship trick which was music out of the ground, grace produced an amazing labyrinth type experience at greenbelt on the saturday called event horizon (i wasn't involved as i had a ton of other thing going on at greenbelt). it made use of a perfect location for it with an installation called orpheus which slopes down geometrically to a pool of water. the photos are better than a description. there were 8 stopping points on postcards on the journey down and 8 on the way back. and along the way were pieces of music to listen to. it was amazing. and steve has added all of the reflections here along with a description and a set of photos. so a definite worship trick to add to the series 4.
some time in the next few weeks the pioneer gift will hit the shelves which i am excited about. the book is a series of reflections on the pioneer gift. i wrote the first chapter reflecting on what pioneering is and what the nature of that gift might be. the book arose from a day we hosted at cms last autumn and the things presented were so good that we thought we should pursue publishing them. i'm happy to say that canterbury press also tought it was a good idea. on the day i video interviewed 5 of the people presenting and to celebrate the launch of the book we will be adding one a week to the cms pioneer blog and they'll be located on vimeo. first up is doug gay who has started a new remix of the church in glasgow. wisdom as ever from doug...
at last night's labyrinth at grace chris read dreamed up the idea of music out of the ground - at various points headphones were there to stop and listen. ipods (in plastic bags) were buried in the ground with a track set to loop. in fact all the ipods were playing variations on the same track - cello, guitar, vocal, spoken word. they were from a forthcoming ep that chris and harry baker are putting together of contemplative poetry/soulful music combinations - watch out for it on proost later this summer. anyway it's about time for a worship trick - so this is no 52 series 4. steve has a photo set here
the design of the labyrinth is the one at ealing common by mark wallinger
proost now has a us site at proost.us!
for years we have had this cool little thing in the uk called proost which is home to wonderful inspiring resources that have been produced from artists and communities doing creative things. this includes movies, books of authentic liturgies, music, experiences such as the labyrinth and so on. but to access the resources you no longer have to come to the uk site and negotiate foreign currency of pounds - it's all in dollars.
the big deal (and you guys love both big and deal) is that you can subscribe for a hundred dollars for a year and that enables you to log in to the back end of the site and download anything you like.
we have some friends in the usa but not enough! so if you know about us do spread the word - in many ways this is still a hidden gem. but thought you'd like to know...
excited about a new resource on proost this month - it's a collection of prayers from russ parker on the theme of wild spirit. russ led the pilgrimage to ireland i went on recently and we've known each other for probably 25 years now. this is typical russ - raw, direct, impassioned, creative and infused with longing and a wildness of the spirit... a must and ideal for pentecost of course. here's the latest proost news as well.
it was good to meet some presbyterians from the usa this week including darrell guder who has written on missional church for many years and been involved in american missiology and gospel and culture networks. i actually met a similar group about a year ago sharing stories of what we are up to and how to cultivate mission at and beyond the edges of the church. there are now around 200 new church communities or mission projects under the bold vision of 1001 new communities in 10 years. roger dermody is one of the drivers behind it and was in the group.
it was lovely to meet erin dunigan and hear about not church, a community exploring faith and spirituality but seemingly started at the request of seekers and athiests. in trying to find it i googled 'not church' and found there are several communities out there who can be found under the identifier of not church!
it was also good to hear yeseterday of a new initiatiove starting in nottingham - the sunday service - a club night at rock city. sounds like the good old days of alt worship...
those of you who follow the blog over the years will now hom much i am a fan of homegrown liturgy rather than top down. i think communities should be involved where possible in the creation and articulation of liturgy, of course drawing on and remixing liturgies from elsewhere.
anyway all that by way oif saying i really like the way wine before breakfast, a community in toronto, are crafting liturgies and prayers and posting them for others to see at empire remixed. brian walsh is one of the people involved. have a scroll through and see what you like.
i loved dance me to the end of love - i have used some of those leonard cohen songs in worship (and others) but a great idea to frame a liturgy with his songs. they have done the same with other artists i also liked liberated imaginations and these prayers for a reaffirmation of christian faith. but it's all good stuff.
chris has posted a series of 12 dispatches/short poems that he wrote and has posted on cliff tops at the start of such retreats. they are totally wonderful both for retreat and/or pilgrimage. the reason i have added them on pilgrimage is that i happen to have a series on the go for that and they seem to connect with the wild places and wild spirituality akin to the irish pilgrimage.
here's the first and go here to find all twelve...
There are rumours-
Like smoke signals blurred in desert wind
He is here
Not in metaphor
Not whipped up in the collective madness of charismata
Not just politely suggested by the high drama of religious ritual-
With mud on his shoes...
lovely prayer from cheryl lawrie (as ever...)
In spite of our doubts,
may we recognise you in our midst:
wounded, bloody, and resurrected
in spite of our doubts,
may we know when we come face to face
with the love that is greater than all deaths
in spite of our doubts,
may we reach out to touch the wounds of the world’s pain
trusting that when grace and love surround them
they will become part of Christ’s resurrected body.
and in spite of our doubts,
may we live as though we are, too.
if you are planning ahead for easter have a look at proost's resources for easter. there's some classics there and a few new things.
on the subject of new it's wonderful to have a new artist or two on proost - steve leach (who is also training on the cms pioneer course) has an ep gardens with three electronic tracks responding to the three gardens of eden, gethsemane and paradise.
restless: evening prayer for restless hearts also looks and sounds really beautiful - from tim snyder and aaron strumpel - both also new on proost! the sample track on this page is quite amazing...
no idea exactly what this event entails but union chapel are curating a series of events in the run up to easter. this one caught my eye and it's free. i'll be heading along - spread the word. no need to book either - just turn up. see you there... the blurb says
This is a non-conformist exploration of the senses for Maundy Thursday. An invitation to come and experience a hypnotic spectacle dominated by stroboscopy and industrial and noisetechno frequencies combined with sounds of Union Chapelʼs Henry Willis Organ. This has never been done before!
Light controlled electronics: xname
Organ: Claire M Singer
i have neglected to blog about proost here for a while. we have had a bundle of new resources of late. lent has become a really strong season for creativity in worship and spirituality for those on the alternative/emerging end of things. we have gradually built up quite a collection. anyway here's the latest proost news which outlines some resources old and new…
Lent was once described as the "bright sadness". It's a season which embraces every human emotion and every spiritual experience. In this time we learn to hope in pain, to become at peace in turmoil. At Lent we learn to find God in all things. We hope some of the resources available on Proost will help you in this journey.
This month we're launching a wonderful new book by Tim Watson. Old Lost and Broken Dreams is a beautifully moving journey through pain, disappointment and loss through poems, litanies, blessings and prayers. This is a wonderfully inspiring book to help you through Lent as Tim's inspiration is St. John of the Cross' idea of the Dark Night of the Soul - that somehow at our weakest point we learn new maturity in our understanding of God. Tim writes
"And as we journey through life as people of faith we will face all kinds of challenges. Perhaps we will find ourselves feeling like isolated prophets. Perhaps sometimes we will feel like Thomas after the resurrection. Sometimes we will have more questions than answers. Sometimes we will have to wait doggedly for the voice of God or for the leading of the Holy Spirit."
I want to recommend this book to all of you. I found it deeply inspiring as I read the manuscript before publication and I've come back to the poems and prayers again and again since then. I'll be looking to use a poem or prayer each day to help me through Lent. Do take a look.
As well as Tim's new book there are lots of resources in our Lent section of the website. A particularly popular resource is Si Smith's 40 and it's accompanying 40 Book by Si and Chris Goan. These are two inspiring interactions with the story of Jesus in the wilderness with moving words and beautiful illustrations. Each Lent we find loads of people download this resource and love it, coming back to it each year.
Another great resource is Cave by Harry Baker. This is all about seeking God alone and echoes the yearnings and challenges we all find in solitude and isolation. Harry's poetry is incredibly popular and this one is a Proost favourite.
At Lent we often find people seek out Pocket Liturgies on the site to help their community or church travel through the season together. Making Communion from Grace is one of the most popular in this line of Liturgies. Making Communion is the second set of Liturgies from Grace but specifically explores Communion and is packed with creative, innovative approaches to the church's most ancient rite. It also has a long introduction which helpfully shares Grace's story and how they have negotiated a creative approach within the Church of England.
As well as these individual resources you may want to explore the other areas of the website. A Get it Allsubscription is a great way to do this, enabling you to get your hands on everything on the site for one whole year. Why not sign up today?
This is the first of two updates you'll be getting from us this Lent as we have more new resources to launch shortly. Watch this space.
The Proost Team
if you follow the blog you'll know i blogged quote a bit about my experience of silence last year which i came to experience as a presence rather than an absence. the next grace is looking at this idea and of course there will be some silence - do come. it's on saturday february 8.
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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.