beth keith has published a piece of research looking at fresh expressions of church amongst young adults. i always love beth's work - she has a knack of lifting the lid off things that then seem obvious in hindsight. the report is called authentic faith and you can buy it here - i am hoping a couple of our younger pioneers might review it for the pioneer site but meantime here's a piece by beth that gives a few headlines and here are some comments in response by young adults.
she identifies 5 different types of church - church planting hubs, youth church grown up, deconstructed church, church on the margins, context shaped church
the most interesting part for me is around groups are are connecting with those outside of church. she says
The churches managing to reach young adults with no prior faith or church experience - and from a broader socio-economic background - exhibit very different traits and practices. Meeting more often around the dining table than the church building; eating together is the new 'Sunday service'.
I learn most from experience, from being out in the context that is being explained and taught. I smell it, taste it, imbibe it and assimilate it, and then I can apply what I learned to other scenarios. I learned more and was challenged and excited more than I have been in the entire academic year, this weekend. It reminded me who I am in a way that the classroom never can.
occasionally something comes along that is a wonderful surprise. this happened to me recently when a book arrived in the post called and we will become a happy ending. it's a collection of stories and sayings, ponderings and pictures that describe a church called theStory in canada - it fuses meditation, liturgy, prayer, art, theology. it's laid out beautifully like a coffe table book. it really is amazing. you can preview the book here
when things like this come along i find myself filled with hope. it's a real labour of love. it's available on proost i am delighted to say - proost exists for precisely this sort of creative publishing that comes from the bottom up. it's available as a downloadable pdf. of course if you are a subscriber it's available as part of your subscription! i actually have 10 physical copies that i have bought - they cost me around £15.50 each by the time postage is added. i am very happy to pass them on at cost price so if you know me or bump into me just ask. or you can order it through amazon.
i recenty spoke about soulwork. forgive the wordplay but more recently i got to visit s korea for the first time and take part in some seoulwork (!) with the diocese of seoul. i have added a set of photos to flickr here (though i didn't have much time to get out and about on my own with a camera). and i have written about the trip here - pioneering in seoul.
the latest update from fresh expressions seemed jam packed with interesting things - i highlight a couple here.
i am headed to wells on thursday to do a training day for bath and wells diocese on curating worship - download the brochure for info. i actually have two or three things on curating worship over the next few months. i was chatting with someone yesterday about it and it seems that the concept of curation as a way of thinking about leading worship is out there in conversation and imagination in quite a few spaces now which i hope is a good thing!
i was asked a question via e-mail this week from a pastor in the usa which i thought i'd run by you. it went something like this...
I have noticed that many of the emerging church blogs and websites have dried up. Where I live, there were virtually zero churches doing what you were doing. I like to play and create and offer worship experiences that are different from the traditional 1900's models; however, I have found it difficult to find folks in my area who share this. These blogs were my discussions of ideas, etc. Have these churches and creators of worship arts gone somewhere else, or are they just gone? If you have suggestions on where else I can go to find discussion and idea creation for alternative worship, I would greatly appreciate it!
This site has existed since 2002. The movement it attempts to describe and map is now too diverse and widespread to be adequately summarised here, even if I still had time and energy to do so. Consequently this site will not now be actively maintained, as in truth has been the case for some time. However, the site is still functional as a gateway to the movement on the internet, for those coming from Google, Wikipedia or books. The definitions [which have been much quoted] have been updated, along with the directories. The practical advice is still valid. Beyond this site, the alternative worship/emerging church world is highly interconnected, so follow the links and you will find much more
and we paused the emergingchurch.info web site a while back now which i notice has disappeared off the internet so i will try and least get it hosted somewhere as it contains lots of great stories...
i noticed that pete rollins has posted that maybe one of the spaces things have moved to is with non-christians...
we're now halfway through the third year of the cms pioneer mission leadership training course i set up. since it began we have had around 50 people do something with us - a module or more. and we have now added an MA and have our first year of pioneers training for ordination. we have recently used up the last of our original print run of prosepectuses (or is it prospecti?!). so we decided to give it a fresh look and update the content to reflect where we are up to now. you can download a pdf of it here. and if you would like a printed copy go here and you can see who to e-mail to get one sent to you. we are small and new so we are always keen to get the word out but don't have big budget to do so - so please do tell others about it, and pass it on. my completely biased opinion is that if you are a pioneer you should train with us!
in september i read a poem by michael mitton inspired by the celtic saint kevin. well it turned out that it really caught ric stott's attention as an approach to pioneering mission. he has blogged about kevin's hand - and this is a painting of his. what i think is interesting about it is that the stereotype of pioneering is often thought of as an activist or at least someone who is making things happen through doing stuff. st kevin offers a different model of pioneering through stillness and patience.
it reminded me of the book by elaine heath - the mystic way of evangelism which fuses insights from the contemplative life with mission. i meant to review it but never got round to it. but here's a quote i jotted down...
Christian mysticism is about the holy transformation of the mystic by God, so that the mystic becomes instrumental in the transformation of God’s people. This transformation always results in missional action in the world. The idea that mysticism is private and removed from the rugged world of ministry is simply false. All the Old Testament prophets were mystics. Their visions, dreams and other experiences of God were for the express purpose of calling God’s people back to their missional vocation.
there's an interview with elaine here
i am very excited! yes some people don't believe that my laid back self does excitement but i am honestly (at least inside)!
the first copy of making communion, a collection of communion liturgies from grace has landed on my doorstep hot of the press. this is the latest in proost's pocket liturgy series. it is the longest yet at around 150 pages. i feel very proud of it having helped put it together.
there's a couple of reasons i particularly like this book...
the first is that grace have spent a lot of time over the years trying to work out how to be creative with communion whilst also being respectful to the tradition we are located in (church of england). so this book gave us a chance to write a summary in a 20 page introduction of how we have thought that through and worked it out. i hope and suspect this may be of interest to lots of other communities who are trying to negotiate similar challenges. if you do read it we would love some feedback and further discussion around that.
the second is that there are 24 liturgies or ways that we have celebrated communion. most have been written by members of grace. a few are from other communities and used with permission. but there are some really lovely and inspiring prayers and approaches. many are on the grace web site in the archives but it's great to pull them together in one place.
you can order a physical book through lulu who we use to self publish.
if you are a proost subscriber, then you can access the book as part of your subscription. did you know that there are now around 25 books published on proost?! i have all the pocket liturgies on an ipad so can pull them up at any time. the books alone are worth more than the cost of a subscription before you add in the movies and albums and other stuff.
grace last night was inspired by john of the cross and invloved an exploration of longing, the veil of the senses, the veil of the spirit and union with god. it felt a bit back to the old school as we draped muslin screens, got slide projectors out and went slightly ott! i have added the outline of it and linked to photos, prayers, stations, movies and so on in the grace web site archive here.
i am adding the whole thing a a worship trick...
To reach satisfaction in all
desire satisfaction in nothing
To come to possess all
desire the possession of nothing
To arrive at being all
desire to be nothing
To come to the knowledge of all
desire the knowledge of nothing
these are words from john of the cross in a poem that we will be exploring at grace this saturday - see you there?!
andrew brimms has published another free book. you may (or may not) remember i blogged about his last one unintended consequences. it's called the narky nazarene and is by andrew and nat. it's a similar style - cheeky, provocative and really good! i assume it was compiled over time as a series of discreet reflections on jesus and what it might mean to follow him. the image above is one, or another page simply says -
downward mobility: he came down from heaven to earth - what's your next move?
it's simple, honest and direct. for me it captures something of jesus the prophet which is an edge that sometimes goes missing as the church prefers jesus the king or jesus the priest. there's a link from andrew's site to download it for kindle. i don't have a kindle so asked andrew to send me a pdf which he kindly did. on a second glance i think it may not be free now - it could be the bargain of 75p. either way it's worth getting...
it's the first grace of the year this coming sturday - why not join us? post christmas here's the blurb...
What did you want? What did you actually get?
What will you do with it now that you've got it?
How do we recognise the true worth of what we are given?
Join us on Saturday 12th January for the first Grace of 2013.
It would be great if you can bring, or be prepared to talk about:
- a valued gift
- an useless or unsuitable gift
- a gift whose true value only became apparent much laterHope to see you
elf issues and garbage garbage were both by jon birch and shown in the day
oh and it's been pointed out to me after my blog post yesterday that advent actually starts today - advent sunday - of course! so all you people who have advent calendars with a dec 1 or advent candles with a 1 what were you thinking?!
i can't remember how many years i have known ian mobsby - a long time anyway! and for 99% of that time he's carried a dream of having a café and arts space for a christian community. he is living proof of stephen johnson's theory of the slow hunch. i am so excited that this dream is being realised and moot launch their café host tomorrow at 1pm. you are all invited. i can't go as tuesday is the day we have pioneer students in at cms. but i will be celebrating quietly. congrats moot and ian - have a coffee for me! joel has done some of the design work for it which makes it doubly cool as far as i am concerned. i took this photo at a wedding that was there the other week...
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there are five broad areas of content - click on the buttons below to delve deeper. or below is a list of all the categories i have posted under.
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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.