chelsea champions of europe!
yesterday in the post a big box arrived - inside were three different editions of the brand spanking new extraordinary version of the bible called the way. it is a bible which is interspersed with black and whte photographs, laments, and stories. the translation is the new living translation. mark oestreicher is the person who has edited and carried the vision to do a contemporary version of the 1970s bible of the same name. it really looks fabulous. the laments and stories give it a real gritty honest tone. i can't quite believe how good it is...
i am one of the photographers who has contributed (around 50 photographs). i am finding it quite weird (in a really good exciting way) to see my photos in the bible like this. a self portrait has been used as the inside cover image which will take some getting used to and a photo of jen and harry opens up the new testament.
i got involved through knowing marko (we've been friends for years) but he invited me having seen my photos on the blog. the weird world of blogging strikes again. i am very happy to be involved in this project. i think people are going to love it. it's aimed at young(ish) adults. get any you know a copy. it's a tyndale bible.
the ealing london independent photography group i am part of have an exhibition in southall from 13 may - 6 july. it's called perception. i have a panel of three photos in it. the private view is on may 17 from 7pm-9pm. if you'd like an invite or are able to come to that i'd love to see you there - let me know. here's more detail...
15 photographers from Ealing's London Independent Photography Group interpret the theme of Perception through their diverse styles of photography. United by their shared passion for photography, the group explore perceptions of the area in which they live, things that go unnoticed in everyday life or perceptions about places further afield.
13th May - 6th July
Dominion Arts Education Centre
112 The Green, Southall, UB2 4BQ
Nearest Rail Station: Southall
this stone has been in the ocean
rolling colliding buffeted knocked rounded smoothed ground shaped
it's been quite a journey
but now it lies on the sand on whitley bay sparkling translucent small alone at rest waiting
along comes me on retreat at peace with god, myself and the world for a moment (and for a change)
then this surprise gift co-incidence
i read somewhere that "god is under every stone if we are paying attention"
in my head i have made this into a necklace, a sign of god's presence, a reminder
somehow i then lost it to this moment i have no idea how i have checked my pockets many times since
i feel disappointed empty frustrated
but why do i need to grasp it or hold onto it?
this is enough this fleeting moment this gift
knowing and unknowing faith and doubt presence and absence found and lost
at least i took a photograph!
today i have been blogging for a decade! i started because andrew jones persauded me - i didn't really know quite why or what the point was at the time but it has been a wonderful adventure.so happy blogiversary to me! i confess i don't know how to celebrate but i will be drinking a chimay in the new inn in ealing tonight whilst watching chelsea v barcelona - so come and share a drink with me there if you are a blog reader nearby or alternatively pour yourself a glass at your computer - and virtually cheers!
anyway a massive THANK YOU to any of you who have
my first ever blog entry is here - scroll to the bottom of the page
ancient history - remember that blogger template and dial up?! there were about 10 of us blogging then...
here's ten blogging experiences over the years - anyone else recognise these?!
it was actually blogging that got me into photography again as i wanted to be able to post images to the blog so that's also been a great spin off...
anyway it's a habit i can't seem to shake off so here's to the next decade of the stream of consciousness i will no doubt inflict on the world - a mix of stuff that randomly flows between personal, family, mission, culture, faith, art, photography, the zeitgeist, creativity, pioneering, book reviews, music, proost, links and whatever else springs to mind!
update: i am highly honoured to have had an asbojesus cartoon drawn to celebrate this momentus occasion - thought i'd add it in to the post here...
i am heading over to austin for a week duing SXSW which should be fun. i am there from march 5 to 11. bob carlton is organising the trip and what's happening. it includes
march 6 dreamers who do - a gathering with emerging church type people
march 8 mobile.faith - an event exploring how faith and practice can be enlivened with mobile technologies
march 10 - pause@sxsw practices for digital sabbath
i was also very pleased to see radiohead on the schedule when it came through!!!
forgive me a little excitement but we have heard that cms have been given approval to train those selected for ordained pioneer ministry in the church of england in a partnership with cuddesdon.
it's been about two and a half years since our first invitation from the c of e to see if cms with her experience in pioneering mission might be able to help train pioneers. we said yes straight away at the time and wanted to be able to train both ordained and not ordained ministers. we were able to get training those not getting ordained quite quickly which has been wonderful. it's been quite a journey though to seek approval for training those getting ordained with lots of meetings, reflecting, paperwork, rewrites and so on - we won't worry you with the details. but the important news is that IT'S A YES! here are a few more details from the press release.
For the first time, candidates for ordained pioneer ministry in the Church of England will be able to train on a course that has been designed entirely for pioneer leaders by Church Mission Society, one of the country's leading mission agencies, in partnership with Cuddesdon. The Church of England's ministry division has given the CMS Pioneer Mission Leadership Training course its official seal of approval as a training pathway. C of E mission leaders and pioneers alike have expressed delight at the news. Rachel Jordan, National Adviser for Mission and Evangelism for the Church of England, said CMS was "uniquely qualified" to train pioneer ordinands. Jordan said:
The roots of pioneering ministry are in the missionary movement and therefore CMS is uniquely qualified to train Church of England pioneer ordinands for the urgent missionary task in the UK. CMS pioneer ordinands will benefit from the years of experience in cross-cultural mission that is CMS's expertise and the Church of England will gain many well equipped and specifically trained individuals for 21st century mission."
Pioneer ordinand Johnny Sertin, who leads Earlsfield Friary in southwest London, said he was "overjoyed"
It is a watershed moment, from which many will benefit as we re-imagine the future together
The Rt Rev Colin Fletcher, Bishop of Dorchester and a co-chair of the South Central Regional Training Partnership, said,
I am delighted. It is great for Pioneers and for God's mission in this country.
CMS has teamed up with Cuddesdon to make the course available to those training to be ordained pioneer ministers. Students preparing for ordination will be involved in pioneering mission and learn 'on the job'. They will attend a day a week and two residential weeks with CMS pioneers and six weekends a year and two residential weeks with Oxford Ministry Course students, who are training for parish ministry. Rev Canon Prof Martyn Percy, principal of Cuddesdon said
This is a unique partnership between a major mission society and a leading Anglican theological college. In offering this new training route for pioneer ministers, CMS and Cuddesdon will be able to combine their resources together, making this venture one of the most innovative, rich and ground-breaking courses in the country.
Canon Tim Dakin, the executive leader of CMS, who is soon to become Bishop of Winchester, saw the approval of the course as significant for CMS and for the wider church.
Through the training and deploying of pioneers, ordained and lay, CMS will continue to offer prophetic mission in partnership with the wider church both locally and globally.
so if you are selected for ordained pioneer ministry or in the process come and talk to us. and if you are not getting ordained, that is the case with the vast majority of pioneers who train with us. we are training both! i didn't add a quote for the press release but it's been a lot of work to get to this point so I just want to add a quote from jonny baker -
i always like the end of year and start of the next as a moment to pause and reflect. in fact tonight as a family we'll do that together round the meal table. whilst sometimes i focus on moments, films, music and the like (and i may well yet do that) it's impossible to reflect on 2011 without the first thing that springs to mind being the global revolutions of the arab spring with the toppling of regimes with more yet to come, and the financial challenges and shake ups going on in so many countries.
for me 2011 has felt like a wake up call, a huge reminder that the paradigm of liberal capitalism or whatever you want to call it runs on a logic that turns out to be an illogic - an illogic that panders to the wealthy and big corporations and leaves the poor washed up. the injustices in the system have got so glaringly huge fueled by greed that the whole thing appears to be at some sort of breaking point. i feel like i have got angry this year about this in a way that i haven't for quite a while. i am ashamed to say i had got used to things as 'normal' and become numb and blind to my own co-optedness even though i've never thought deep down that capitalism is a good way to run a country.
let me give two examples of this illogic - one which i have raged about already is the whole huge bonus culture in business and banking - how can it be logical to pay an individual 8 million pounds or whatever - it's an illogic! another is the revelation recently that the amount corporations have been let off of paying taxes after having lunch with the tax man adds up to 25 billion pounds - yes you read that right - 6 billion for example for vodafone. welcome to corporation tax avoidance whilst paying big salries and bonuses - the illogic of our version of capitalism!!!
to be awoken, to grieve, to get angry and to begin to dream of other possibilities has to be a good start. thank you to those who have protested in the likes of the occupy movements and those who have laid down lives in regimes of oppression to say enough is enough! here's to the to the poets, prophets and dreamers. i have changed the banner of my blog for the first time in a few years. this is so that every time i look at the blog i am going to be reminded that another system, another paradigm, another worldview, another way, indeed another world is possible.
i have been reading adbusters big issues of 2012 magazine which i thoroughly recommend. there are several articles online but is really worth getting the whole edition. the editorial laments the way that there has been a conceptual drought and calls for imagination. it's the first edition i have read for a while and i found it refreshing. there are some excellent articles such as this one on democracy by hardt and negri where they reflect on democraic constitutions and why the foundations on which they are built are insufficient, and begin to suggest some ways forward. they conclude with this...
To confront these issues, we, along with many others, have proposed possible initial steps, such as establishing a guaranteed income, the right to global citizenship, and a process of the democratic reappropriation of the common. But we are under no illusion that we have all the answers. Instead we are encouraged by the fact that we are not alone asking the questions. We are confident, in fact, that those who are dissatisfied with the life offered by our contemporary neoliberal society, indignant about its injustices, rebellious against its powers of command and exploitation, and yearning for an alternative democratic form of life based on the common wealth we share – they, by posing these questions and pursuing their desires, will invent new solutions we cannot yet even imagine. Those are some of our best wishes for 2012.
i couldn't agree more. i am so glad there are people dreaming a different dream. it's interesting soaking myself into adbusters after a while away from it. one of the challenges with this kind of rhetoric when the world is actually shifting away from just protest to genuinely needing new paradigms, is where are they to be found?! what is a vision for running a society in a different way? i confess i was a bit surprised by a few articles suggesting a new sort of communism - i know zizek is all the rage in these circles - but really?!
the article that i found most interesting of all was fear of flying by darren fleet. in this he dares the left to take a look in the mirror and suggests a creeping truth that
activism has become a mask for spiritual and character rot, that we have erected a progressive facade to cover the worst of our denials... if behind closed doors we cannot be free what possibility do we have of offering anything to our world?
and later in the article...
We have all seen it. Maybe we are even these archetypes ourselves. The close-minded open-minded person. Well versed in emancipation and cutting edge lefty rhetoric but altogether intolerable, anal, pedantic, arrogant, rude and fully convinced they know what is best for society. Or the idealist who hops from cause to cause, virulently condemning a belief they wholeheartedly embraced only a short time ago, trying to convert you to direct your energy toward the latest paradigm. Or the usual suspect protesters manifesting a collective oppositional defiance disorder against anything and anyone representing vague concepts of power. Their own lives might be in shambles, without spiritual relief, entirely unable to define their action beyond a sentence, but that does not matter to their leaders. What has become tantamount in activism today is collective, organized action, however weak, regardless of the motivation or the emotional/spiritual source of that action. The left must have more to offer than this. It needs the righteous confidence of the right without the pride and arrogance. It needs the confidence of Evangelicals and the commitment of Islamists without the delusion and apologetics. It needs emancipation. It needs a newfound spiritualism that places a premium on personal enlightenment and monasticism. It needs, in a word, liberation.
wow - an article that looks to the power of transformation through attention to one's own soul - a new found spiritualism and monasticism even gets a mention! i really think there is some wisdom here. we need a new kind of leadership that has deep integrity at its heart.
where will you look for answers in 2012? i confess reading adbusters helped me realise i am more convinced than i have ever been in my life that a good place to start is with the astonshing person and prophet jesus christ. if only i can and i suggest we need communities who can (because individualism is part of our illogic) live and embody a life that follows in some measure the vision and values of another kingdom that he imagined, spoke and demonstrated. i still don't see too many other places to look.
if you want a take on jesus life to get you started for 2012 try luke johnson's commentary on luke-acts prophetic jesus prohetic church which is totally brilliant, one of about 20 books i have meant to review on the blog and not got round to! there's an excerpt here if you want a flavour.
may 2012 be a year in which you experience being woken up and your imagination enlivened to dream that new worlds are possible.
may you pursue that dreaming together with others in conversation, around meal tables, in bars and schools and workplaces and blogs and communities and churches.
may you create in response - a new life, new art, new community, new politic, new humanness, a new way to live.
and may you find friendship, kindness and inspiration from jesus the prophet
happy new year!
i had a read through my blog for 2010 yesterday - i find it helps me remember much like a diary some of the things i have done. it was actually a quite wonderful year! in the spirit of last year's looking back here's looking back over 2010.
new experience - jumping out of a plane
film - the illusionist
album - heligoland
exhibition - brighton biennial
television - luther
gig - massive attack at hammersmith
theatre - jesus hopped the a train
sport - chelsea regain premiership
travel - first visit to italy
inspiring new person - martin parr (i didn't meet him in person but heard him speak at the brighton biennial)
work moment - beginning the pioneer leadership training
harry moment - the big chill moment (and of course his amazing poetry achievements)
joel moment - launching own club night in london pipedown (and breaking a collar bone)
jen moment - drinking a belgian ale together in brussels in mort subite
change - no longer having any children at school
web tool - posterous groups
photo - the look
magazine - generate
change - joined the new cms community
surprise - was an international artist
writing - curating worship
photography commission - cambridge college prospectus
happy new year!
2010 was my busiest year for some time mainly due to getting the pioneer leadership training up and running. but that was also probably the most significant thing too and there is a lot to do in the year ahead... but a new year is always time for a bit of reflection so i'll be thinking a bit about what's ahead and what i can do about it.
on the reverb10 web site i blogged about in december one question that caught my eye then was coming up with one word for the year passing and one word for the year to come. full-on (yes i know that's sort of two words) was my word for 2010 - busy but not necessarily negatively so. rhythm was the word i went for for the new year - wanting to get a better rhythm to life between work and play and many other things so intend to try and map out for myself a sort of rhythm of life - maybe with a weekly, monthly, yearly pattern trying to identify some things i want to value and include.
we had an eventful christmas at my younger brother's in devon - it is an amazing location especially in the snow - this was the view from the garden on christmas morning! gorgeous countryside and beaches and even icicles were hanging on the beach. it's also big enough to house all of my side of the family (i'm one of five now with families) so it was wonderful to have a gathering of everyone in the famly which is quite rare these days. i love this photo of my niece. snow on the hills meant tobogans and snowboards were out which was fun. jen and i were cooking christmas lunch while others were out on the slopes. sadly joel fell off the snowboard and broke a collar bone so is now in a sling waiting for possible surgery next week. so i spent christmas lunch watching top of the pops in a and e at the hospital! we headed back to london earlier than planned which has actually been quite a welcome bit of space.
i was given the first three series of madmen on dvd for christmas so amongst other things we have started and are really enjoying that - i hadn't watched a single episode before. jen and i also went to see somewhere at the cinema this week. it hasn't had great reviews but i really liked it - it's a slow measured critique of hollywood celebrity that has lingered with me for a few days now. it's somewhere between lost in translation and the wrestler in terms of mood and theme.
i am not big on new year's resolutions but i do have one this year - this year i am not going to send in a comment on anyone's book manuscript unless they are a very close personal friend! i seem to have become 'book comment man' - not sure how but i'm ducking out of it! and related to that i will only review books that i want to on the blog - i seem to get sent a ton of books that i haven't asked for (and admittedly don't review a load of them as i am so busy). and i guarantee only honest and robust reviews if i do (not much new there).
anyway hello 2011...!
One Word. Encapsulate the year 2010 in one word. Explain why you’re choosing that word. Now, imagine it’s one year from today, what would you like the word to be that captures 2011 for you?
harry is doing a gap year this year and trying to focus on poetry (as well as earning some money). he's been on a huge roll since winning the edinburgh festival poetry slam back in august and has now won 5 slams. one of these was part of a national contest so he is going on to the final of that this coming weekend. but he struck lucky because there is also a european final with 12 countries represented. but because it is too close to the uk final, the organisers decided the winner of the london slam should represent the uk. so harry is going to france next week for the reims slam d'europe - totally amazing!
if you want to see him in action there are a few bits and pieces online -
you may wonder where i have been recently - in that my blog has been pretty lame! the honest truth is that i have not been as busy as i have in the last 9 months for quite a number of years (and i am generally a busy person). no one has been frank enough to leave a comment to tell me to pull my finger out and improve the blog so i thank you for your patience! people have sent me books and i haven't managed to review them and so on. i fear it will carry on this way for a while yet... but it's also been an exciting time. one year ago almost exactly i was sat with a group of people dreaming about what we would do to train leaders - we produced a ton of flip chart sheets and an action plan (the actions were pretty much all for me to do!). i thought deep down it was incredibly optimistic. but a year on and a training course is up and running and we have done what we wrote and i have just finished teaching the first module of the course which may seem a small deal but i felt pretty excited inside...
a friend, sam, described to me the process of developing a training course as being like pushing a boulder uphill, but that once the students arrive it all changes. there is energy and suddenly the thing is rolling and you are running to keep up. that has been exactly my experience with the pioneer mission leaders training! it’s been so exciting to get started back in september after all the planning.
we (cms) have 10 people taking part in the pilot year of the course and we and they are really enjoying it. they are amazing people involved in mission in different contexts - church plants, comedy clubs, with spiritual seekers, with homeless and broken people, with young adults. we have 50/50 men and women and they range in age from 20s to 60s - pioneering is something that is about gift and calling and not age or gender.
anyway all this is by way of saying i have written a fourth newsletter (the other three are linked to from this one if you missed them). at some point in the new year we'll shift to a web site and some kind of brochure/publicity but for now the newsletters are it. if you know anyone who might be interested do forward the newsletter on - we are currently relying on word of mouth.
if you are interested in finding out about the training as a student we have an open day on march 1 - we are looking to recruit people for next year. if you are interested as a sponsor, bishop, training officer, selector or anything that is in a training/supporting role we have an open day for you on march 2.
bang said the gun is a poetry night in london with a growing reputation. we went along last night to watch harry who had a slot having won an open mic contest the week before. he did a fantastic job and tried out a new poem sunshine. the night was mad with shakers handed out and cheering and whistling - a riotous atmosphere. the amazing kate tempest was one of the featured acts. i have blogged about her before but she was astonishing as ever, especially her opener renegade.
i did the skydive today - thanks so much to everyone who sponsored me! obviously i didn't take my camera with me so bought some photos of the landing which isn't exactly pretty but i've edited them together into a sequence.
the freefall part was totally exhilirating - like nothing i've ever done. but i didn't want to pay £100 to have it filmed! i've added some photos to facebook
i said that every so often i would update the reviews of curating worhsip in one place which i have done. thanks to those people who have read and reviewed it so far. if you review it or see a review do let me know. these are the latest...
james porter says it's the finest book about religion/worship/Christianity he's read this year (though does point out he hasn't read many!)
dave pollendine suggest that i have curated a book about curation
rach's blog picks up on what seems to be the most quoted quote so far -
In many church circles the only gifts that are valued for worship are musical ones (and even then of a small range of music) or the ability to speak well (preferably in a good English accent). This attitude needs shattering, and opening up so that poets, photographers, ideas people, geeks, theologians, liturgists, designers, writers, cooks, politicians, architects, movie-makers, storytellers, parents, campaigners, children, bloggers, DJs, VJs, craft-makers, or just anybody who comes and is willing to bounce ideas around, can get involved.
rob ryan likes the notion of creating space for others to discover god as an approach which counters his experience (and frustration) of something very different with someone controlling the message and the outcome.
well i've been working with cms for a year to develop a new approach to training pioneer/mission leaders. we're using a foundation degree through oxford brookes university as the framework. the latest newsletter on it is here. it's a pilot year so we'll be learning loads but it is still the real deal for those people who have signed up with us. we have seven people (plus a couple more taking individual modules) which is amazing. i was hoping for 3-5 to pilot with us. by next year we'll have a prospectus, web site and all that but for the time being the newsletters are it. if you are a praying person, pray for me and the students. the future starts here for me at least in terms of where my energies are going for the next few years. if you are a pioneer mission leader, involved in a mission project or church planting, and yes even if you are selected as an ordained pioneer do get in contact if you're interested for next year.
thanks to everyone who came to the curating worship book launch. it was a really fun evening - i do love the scootercaffe!
i said i'd keep a blog post linking to reviews of curating worship and refer to it from time to time. so far ben edson, steve taylor, maggi dawn, becky garrison, infuse, and ian mobsby have written reviews/responses - thanks! if anyone spots any others let me know. a few questions get raised which i will come on to at some point.
thanks for visiting my blog. i realise it's a bit old school to expect you to actually come to my world, but subscribe to the feed or select the relevant presences from the middle column and hopefully i'll come to your world and tweet or whatever to save you the hassle of coming back :-)
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.
hope it all makes sense. do say hi either here or where our digital presences collide, send me an e-mail, leave a comment...
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.