i am very happy that we have a day at cms in oxford with mark scandrette who has been a friend for years. i love what he has been up to in mission in san fransisco, his writing and the creativity and imagination and challenge he brings to pretty much everything he does. I first connected with him in the early years of discussing emerging church.
live free is on january 9th where mark will lead a workshop day exploring mission in very practical ways such as how do can you deal with your money and time in such a way as to be free to do what god has called you to. i think/hope it will be a blend of his thinking in the two books free and practicing the way of jesus – both of which are really good.
there's a new movie on proost from jon birch - apollo christmas. the latest u[pdate from proost has links to various advent and christmas resources but here's what it says about this movie...
This week we launch Jon Birch's wonderful Apollo Christmas movie. On Christmas Eve 1968 astronauts orbiting the moon made an amazing broadcast. With incredible visuals, euphoric electronic music and the words of the three astronauts - this movie takes a different spin on wonder at Christmas.
jenny has written a book on her journey through being diagnosed with breast cancer and the ensuing chemotherapy, surgery, radiotherapy and recovery, coupled with her love of running and how that was a big part of her journey. the book is out in a month. it's published with pitch publishing.
i am so close to the story it's hard for me to be objective but i think it's a wonderful book. it will of course be of interest to anyone facing the diagnosis but i think it will also help anyone who knows someone facing that whether friends or family (which is probably most of us). jenny runs a blog and if you haven't read it do. her writing there on the journey is what was the spark for the book...
discordant is a new venture, a creative zine or journal with a DIY ethos inviting contributions from anyone engaging with christianity and culture. it's part of the proost family. the idea is to participate so go and take a look and get involved. the first theme is wonder and you have until february to contribute. there is an example here you can download for free which also has a sampler of 6 tracks free too. love it!
i have enjoyed instagram over the last year and a half or whatever it is since i joined it. i was late to the party so all of the variations of jonnybaker were taken so if you want to find me there i am bonnyjaker - probably an error of judgement at the time but i am stuck with it now!
one of the things that i have liked about it is thinking in terms of square images and what works well in that format. you can make your own judgement of course about which you prefer. the image above taken in brighton a couple of weeks ago is also on flickr but not square - i still use and like flickr btw...
in the midst of the buzz of the pioneer conversations day on tuesday we launched (or relaunched) anvil, a journal of theology and mission. this has actually been running for 30 years or so - this is volume 32. it looks great - amazing what a bit of design can do. it is available free online - you can read each article there or download the whole journal or download individual articles. each issue will be themed and have a mix of articles and reflections on practice as well as book reviews. i have joined cathy and craig to be part of the editorial team. this first issue explores some contemporary themes in mission. i particular liked john drane's article on mission education - creative and provocative. anyway have a look and see what you think. do let us know if you have thoughts/ideas for it into the future.
on the web page you can choose to subscribe to get an email each time an issue comes out.
proost is actually organised slightly earlier than usual this year for advent season. and there are some great new resources. i think we are likely to use seeking light at grace (though yet to be discussed). anyway here's the proost update with info and links
As we approach the season of Advent we are reminded again that we wait for God to come to us. We wait in hope for we know that the presence of God with us - that we remember in the birth of Jesus - is transformative in ways that we can only begin to imagine. We wait in hope.
Writing his seminal book 'God in the Manger' Dietrich Bonhoeffer considered the amazing hope of the birth of Christ.
"God is not ashamed of the lowliness of human beings. God marches right in. He chooses people as his instruments and performs his wonders where one would least expect them. God is near to lowliness; he loves the lost, the neglected, the unseemly, the excluded, the weak and broken.”
Sometimes we cry out to God 'How Long Lord?" as we wait for him. But we wait in hope.
Sometimes we wait expectantly knowing that God will be with us. But we wait in hope.
Sometimes we wait in confusion. Unsure what will happen next. But we wait in hope.
All of our writers here on Proost know and share these emotions and experiences. We are all human beings. We know suffering and we know joy. We hope the resources we share on this website may bring hope to you in whatever you face this Advent.
We are pleased and thrilled to share 'Seeking Light' by Ian Adams. The latest in his series of season reflections - this time focused on Advent, Christmas and Ephiphany. If you've not encountered Ian's work before then do have a look. If you have then you'll know this will be a wonderful accompaniment to Advent.
We are also thrilled to share two new pieces of work from Tim Watson. Journey to the Inward Wild is Tim's second in the Hymnal to the Wild series. Bursting with beautiful poems it's an honest, vulnerable and hopeful read. These poems are perfect to accompany your own devotionals and worship or to read for pleasure or share with others. We are also pleased to share a free resource Advent Thoughts - a series of simple slides taking us through the season. This is free so what do you have to lose !
Advent is a season where Proost has featured many resources to help with your own journey to Christmas. These are available in our back-catalogue and through the Seasons button in the menu. On the frontpage we feature three highlights - Alt.Advent (Jon Birch), We Who Still Wait (a collaboration of Chris Goan, Si Smith, Ian Adams and Steve Broadway) and then People Walking in Darkness (a movie from Grace.) Do check these and other Advent items on the site.
Lastly the best way to access the site remains our Get it All subscription, still only £60. Perfect for you but also as a gift to someone else. Take a look.
Thanks for reading. May your advent season be filled with hope.
next grace stranger in a strange land is next saturday nov 12 8pm st mary's ealing - do join us
How does change challenge our identity? How do we handle situations in our lives when things familiar seem no longer so? We in British society are coming to terms with a future Brexit. Come and hear from those who have had to face even greater change, both individually and for their society.
i am teaching MA students today on a leadership module at cms pioneer training and exploring dissent for leadership. this has led to me re-reading gerald arbuckle's refounding the church - what a book! it is honestly the most helpful book i think i have read related to pioneering ever. here's a quote from the book for today's presentation...
i am pleased to say i have a chapter in the end of theology: shaping theology for the sake of mission. the chapter was originally presented at a conference exploring the relationship between theology and mission. as you can guess from the title of my chapter pioneering mission for the church's theology, i reflect on the importance of the practice of mission for doing theology rather than seeing it as something somehow either prior to or abstracted from mission. i also use it as an opportunity to reflect on what we have been learning about teaching mission and theology in the pioneer training at cms. the book is a collection of essays from a range of writers such as pete ward, kirsteen kim, michael goheen and is edited by jason sexton and paul weston. it is good to see this sort of conversation taking place and it is fun to be part of it. if i may i'll quote myself in the chapter to give you the gist - apologies if that seems like the act of an egotistical maniac - it's not meant to be!
The title of the gathering at which the papers in this book were presented was "Doing Theology for the Church's Mission", but this is problematic. It seems to assume somehow that the thinking part comes first, and then the church's ministry, mission and practice will change. I am highly suspicious of this way of orienting the conversation. In my experience all the best theology comes out of practice, out of real questions arising from mission or ministry on the ground, not as something that is worked out in the academy and then banked up for dealing with mission later on. That is why I called my paper at the conference "Doing Mission for the Church's Theology"
pioneers are a gift to the church and we need more
so says the archbishop of canterbury at yesterday's celebration of 10 years of ordained pioneer ministry. hooray! i agree so let's recruit, train and encourage more both lay and ordained :)
there is a new church of england pioneer web site which looks like it will be a good resource for pioneering and all things related
news from proost on new resources and old resources bundled together! i am a massive fan of si smith and have tried to get hold of his rage despair hope work for a long time so glad to see it finally land!
As October rolls into the beginnings of Winter so it's time for us to ramp up things here at Proost.
In the coming weeks you'll be seeing our Advent resources featured and you can look out for new material from Ian Adams amongst others. We're also busy completing our first Proost Fanzine - a downloadable PDF or EBook sharing poetry, prayers, ideas and features as well as some surprises. Watch out for more here soon.
So as this time we have some things to finish off and some features to share.
We've focused this summer on receiving and encouraging material from new artists. Many of you have sent in material which we're looking through and hope to feature some of in the New Year. We've also published some artists new to Proost. Rage, Hope, Despair is the amazing multimedia resource looking at Job and created by Youthscape. If you've not seen this yet do take a look as it's one of the most dynamic things we've ever hosted here on Proost. It also features illustrations from Si Smith.
We also featured new poetry from Kiwi Mark Laurent and we've been thrilled to hear your responses.
Today we launch creations from two new Proost artists. Openings by The Many is an amazing collaboration of music, prayers and ritual first premiered at the Wild Goose Festival in North Carolina, USA in 2016. We are thrilled to work with Gary Rand and see this resource on Proost.
We also are launching Poetic Justice by Rachel Edge. Rachel contacted us in the summer and we loved her poems - she has a gift for the metaphor and creates a wonderful collection of poems which we think you'll love.
Finally we were amazed by the recent UK reaction to our Box Sets of physical books and so have launched one more .... the Proost Poetry Box Set. These four physical books feature some of the best of Proost poetry including our best seller Learning to Love and work from Chris Goan, Ned Lunn and Tim Watson. Stock is limited so let us know if you want one. Due to postal costs this is a UK offer only but if you're from outside the UK do email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can let you know costs of postage to your location.
i love anthony gormley's work so it was great to visit his fit exhibition which is currently on at white cube gallery bermondsey. as ever he mainly explores the human form. it's fabulous and amzing that it's free to get in.
the photo above is taken from inside a long body shape tunnel that you walk down. because it's a phone camera it couldn't handle the light which makes for a pretty interesting photo. the photo is actually jenny's head exploding with light rather than mine but didn't make such a good title for it!
i loved a room of 500 plus figures on the floor making human shapes from blocks. this one is curled in the foetal position withdrawing, vulnerable filled with shame perhaps...
grace last saturday played with the metaphor of an iceberg where a large proportion of it is not visible, is below the waterline. it was a simple service but really profound too. the prayers and liturgy have been added to the grace website here. we explored ideas of what is hidden and visible in relation to the grace community, faith and god.
to what you cannot see
to what you cannot control
to what you cannot put numbers to
to what you cannot ignore
to what you cannot hide from
it welcomes you
the surface is open
the sea has room
the food is plentiful
the water is cool
the company is warm
the rest is undisturbed
the shelter is total
they welcome you
the welcome is universal
the entrance is free
the invitation is open
the hand is extended
there is no time limit
the time is now
they welcome you
to hidden generosity
to gentle undercurrents
to subtle nourishment
to unspoken prayer
to inarticulate longing
we welcome you
to actions beyond words
to help without asking
to provision without measure
to hospitality without price
to risk without fear
they welcome you
take hold of the unknown
accept the unconditional
let go of limitation
give up the guidebook
trust what you cannot question
god welcomes you
whether you deserve it or not
whether you think you deserve it or not
all are welcome
you are welcome
they welcome you to their mystery
their depth from which all creation springs
come and swim with them
they welcome you
the father that only the son has seen
the word that no-one recognised
the spirit that intercedes without words
they welcome you
world without end
twice a year i am involved together with others in running a training week called missional entrepreneurship. we seek to help people to take ideas for making the world a better place and get them to become real. students who are on our pioneer training at cms do this as a module on the diploma but lots of people do it as a standalone. here's shannon hopkins who leads the course explaining what it's all about. our next week is in november.
it's hosted at pickwell manor - steve baker who also leads the course tells that story here and why he loves the course.
and this year mark samson will also be on the team and he explores an alternative economic imagination here.
these three videos along with the brilliant eve poole all came from interviews at last years cms conversations day which was themed on missional entrepreneurship. we're excited about the one this year on future present!
was a treat to have lou baker artist satying this week while she is exhibiting in barking in a show of yarn and knitting called unravelling - it's on until next weekend. i have added a few photos here but i found myself drawn to the colours which i tried to abstract. lou told me this piece was to do with waves and it certainly looks like the sea when stripped down to its colours... it's probably annoying for lou for me to have done that but i did take some photos of the work too. reminds me very much of your work blythe toll if you are reading!
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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.