grace on staurday night combines rug making, colour and prayer - intrigued? so am i... maybe see you there
thanks to sally for the first review of the pioneer gift which she suggests is both innovative and important with plenty of theology. she actually goes through each chapter so if you want a map to let you see how the book flows and the themes explored it's a good place to look.
in many ways i think the wave of creativity that has happened in the last 25-30 years in the church began in youth ministry, with youth ministers aware that the gap between youth culture(s) and church was a huge chasm. youth ministers began to look at cross cultural mission for clues as to how you might take a different approach. emerging church, alt worship, fresh expressions, pioneer ministry all followed on in due course. all that by way of saying that it seems great that richard passmore and jo dolby have dreamed up three days in the year to explore pioneering youth ministry. under the heading the table, the first is on oct 13 in bristol. cms are a partner and i'll be there and then at the pioneering spirituality day the next day! you can book here.
inhabit is a new gathering/conference in the uk. it has a life in the usa with a focus on community and neighbourhood transformation. i know tim sorens well who is involved and a great guy. i'm also delighted that several cms pioneer students are taking part who are doing wonderful things in their neighbourhoods - berni, kim, sue. and shannon who leads our missional entrepreneurship module is there as is the amazing sue (butler). so whilst it may be something of an unknown it should be good! click on the link above for details and you can book here. for me i am speaking at a cms event in cheltenham on the saturday and it clashes with a ReSource weekend in london... maybe i'll make it on the friday?
i am looking forward to october 14 when we have a day at cms on pioneering spirituality. this follows on from the day we had last year. that was so good we ended up producing the pioneer gift. there are several speakers and workshop leaders. i am particularly chuffed that steve bevans will be with us as he is one of my heroes... the idea of the day is to push out conversation and thinking about pioneering mission about which we are learning lots and have lots more questions. i hope too that we will simultaneously begin to pull together some resources around pioneering spirituality. we'll keep you posted.
this year's resource weekends are up - a great way to learn by visiting a place and seeing what people are up to in pioneering mission. these stand alone or even better do all three - a great way to learn about mission and also a good taster for the pioneer training at cms. the first one is moot in london and is in october so book soon!
i feel like i still live by a school year! the beginning of september is the new year... don't know if you are the same? i hope you have had a good summer anyway. so a few posts about the year ahead and especially in relation to some training and things you could connect with.
first up we will be starting a new year of pioneer mission leadership training in a few weeks. this will be the fifth year. it's a challenging one because we are switching accrediting universities to durham and will have a new dilpoma and ma and still have students in the current university. these build on what we have done before but the ma is completely redesigned and i think it's an exciting mix of mission, theology, leadership, reading culture and so on. but it's a bit late to sign up now! however a lot of people audit modules and you may want to have a look around and join in something. i think we are set for our biggest intake so far which is exciting. this is of course a biased view but if you are into pioneering in mission do look at training with cms - what is unique about us is that we are solely focused around pioneering and that cms as a mission comnmunity is such a great place to locate it!
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...
we had an amazing day last tuesday at the first graduation celebration of cms pioneers. four years ago we had an open day. somehow from that day a pilot group was born that began the cms pioneer training course in september 2010. i have extremely fond memories of those early weeks as we began to discover just what kind of adventure we had got ourselves into. i’m not sure any of us knew exactly what was ahead or indeed the challenge of the journey. in the four years we have run a foundation degree, a certificate, added in an m.a., and gained approval from the church of england to let us train pioneer ordinands in a partnership with ripon college cuddesdon. in that time over 80 people have done something with us by way of a module or more. and about half have done something more substantial (several modules, a university award etc.).
it is the most rewarding work i have been involved in for my entire life. more than anything i have loved the gift that is the pioneers - dreamers who do - those who follow christ’s call in mission to see and build beyond business as usual with imagination and courage. it was incredibly exciting to get to a point of celebrating our first graduation.
we gave those finishing an object to takeaway that would symbolise the journey, a unique piece of art created by sculptor iain cotton - it’s a stone landscape in which a new unique journey has been hewn to make a way where there is no way. making a way in rock is tough but the path also looks like a letter or script and I love what iain has done by playing with this notion of a new language that is found in the journey. he describes it on his write up as a speaking in tongues, a language of the spirit (which of course was a language given so people could understand in their own tongue).
thank you to everyone who has shared the journey and supported it in any way, encouraged me through the blog or in conversation. we have an amazing team, cms is a great community to host it, and i am so inspired by and grateful to all those who come and train with us. we are proud of everything they have achieved and indeed the gift of who they are.
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
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...
a week today we have an open day for the cms pioneer training. we are in the process of transitioning to being accredited by durham university and should get final confirmation of that this month. you can do modules, certificate, diploma, or an MA. it's a fantastic learning community - do come along and find out more. let us know if you are coming...
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...
i have written a short reflection on the church growth research on the pioneer blog -
in our twentieth year in grace we are revisiting some old themes in a new playful way. last night's grace was a rework of communion by numbers. in the original, a liturgy was followed through by opening a sequence of envelopes around tables in a cafe style and following through a service together. the twist this time round was that each table needed to follow the hashtag #XmasByNos on twitter and instructions arrived via phone or ipad. it worked wonderfully well. and it was particularly amazing to have a few people joining in at the same time from other parts of the world. if you follow the hashtag you can see the instructions, link to some photos, see the tunes played and rework the service yourself.
at the bottom of this post here there are links to the various prayers used including a eucharistic prayer for christmas. i wasn't involved in the planning - it's always fun to arrive at a grace not knowing what is going to happen...
i am making it worship trick 46 in series 4
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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.