following the advent card i posted i have had so much good feedback on it that i decided to make a movie with a few more lines from cheryl lawrie's christmas confession in hold this space. i used the movie at cms carol service on weds and played sufjan stevens version of o come o come emmanuel along with it as the opening to the service. anyway, it being christmas and all that i have added it to vimeo and if you log in or sign up (which is free) you can scroll down the page and download it for free... if you are a subscriber to proost it is also in the download section of the site. thanks cheryl for the beautiful words.
if you are not a mac user i don't know how what i'm about to say compares with powerpoint as i never use it, but i use keynote (and arkaos at times) for presentations. keynote is so simple but does what you want it to - i'm a big fan. this movie originally ran in keynote. to make it i dragged the movie in and then set it to loop in the inspector. then each line of the movie is a build that runs for a round 15 seconds. but here's the neat bit - you can trigger the builds automatically with a delay before each one if you like. so put the slide on and the the whole thing plays. to turn it into a movie for somewhere else is a bit more tricky. the problem (and i don't have the latest version of keynote so don't know if that has been improved) is that if you export a presentation as a movie it only runs a movie through once even if you have set it to loop. so to get round this i created three slides and had two lines on each slide so that those transitions fitted with one run through of the movie. the transitions between slides when the movie exported were a little bit clunky so i then deleted a few seconds of the transition using quicktime (pro) and you can see the end result. did you want to know that? i have no idea. but i am making it a worship trick.
anyway this month on proost our upload is 5 movie loops - VJloops2 all filmed by me on the 5dmkii which takes such wonderful movies. they include the movie of the sky lanterns so the movie above is an example of how you could use a loop like this. you can actually watch all the loops in vimeo (though not download them). they are sky lanterns | carwash | candle hand | sparkle | fireeater . my favourite is still carwash - the first ever loop i took on the camera!
christine sine has written a lovely advent litany focused on homecoming. these are two prayers from it which i am adding to the worship trick list...
The advent of our Lord is near and we long for his coming
We long for new light to shine where there has been darkness.
The advent of our Lord is near and we long for him to call us home
We long for new hope to reign where there has been death and despair.
The advent of our Lord is near and we long for him to appear
We wait on tiptoe attentive to all the signs of his coming
[Pause for lighting of the Advent candles]
God we have caught a glimpse of your Messiah healed world
And we long for its coming
We long for the place where all beauty comes from
The place where all life is renewed
God we live in anticipation of Messiah’s birth and the world’s rebirth
And we long for its coming
God we long to come home to your world of wholeness and peace
Home to your eternal world where love reigns over all
Isaiah 2:1-4; Isaiah 25:6-9
Hold your head high rejoice in anticipation
Christ is coming calling us home
Home to the heart of God
Home to God’s living presence
Home to God’s banquet feast
Hold your head high, your redemption draws close
Christ is coming calling us home
He comes to redeem and renew
All that is broken will be made whole
All that is dislocated will be set right
Hold your head high, carry forward God’s healing
Christ is coming calling us home
To a world where truth and justice triumph
To a place where abundance flourishes
To a community where generosity flows
Hold your head high, Christ is coming calling us home
Calling to all of us, to all that will trust in his name
Christ is coming, calling us home
Into God’s eternal world where love reigns over all
today cms says goodbye to steve bevans who has been our missiologist in residence for 3 months. it's been absolutely wonderful to have steve round the place. i have leanrned so much from him. this is partly through his teaching and reading his books, but it's as much because of the way he is and who he is - full of faith, wise, curious, but incredibly humble and down to earth.
i've still not got round to reviewing his latest book theology in global perspective. perhaps i never will if i keep thinking it deserves something weighty so here goes - a few comments before breakfast...
steve's gift to the world is contextual theology - you may know his book on models of contextual theology. this is the insight that all theology is done through experience out of a context - socially, culturally embedded. so whilst we speak about god (do theology) we do it through that lens as opposed to a pure objective universal view of truth (that sat nicely with modernity but how did we ever think such a view was available?!). so to quote steve
there is no such thing as theology as such - there can only be contextual theologies: feminist, African, North American, Roman, Asian, theology of first nations and so on. A theology that might claim to be univesal is really one that is universalising - one that wants to impose a particular contextual theology on other ways of doing theology.
the move in his latest book is to say that because of this we need one another's takes down the ages and across the world - an intercontextual theology, a global conversation. it's only then that we will see our own blindness and discover insights about jesus christ and faith that we have never seen before.
there is a masterful laying out of theology as faith seeking understanding. that seeking is done globally and that is done in community. using the idea of variations on a theme steve busks several variations of his own - that theology is about activity not knowledge, that it is not located in the academy, that it is communal, that it is missional, that it is contextual... i loved these.
he then shows his genius by taking on the subject of tradition and the magisterium (sounds like something out of harry potter!). he is roman catholic so some of this is specific to that tradition but the moves he makes apply anywhere with his appeal to a depth and faithfulness to the tradition but to one that is living and moving forward. and that faithfulness at times will call for subversion for making a play that is not traditional but that calls the tradition back to faithfulness. it's a very rich piece. creative fidelity is the term he uses.
if you've not read models of contextual theology he has one chapter in this book that summarises that work pretty neatly. essentially this lays out a grid of relationships between theology and culture that contextual theologies take. what interested me the most about this summary is that many of the influences in evangelical mission theology seem to sit in the countercultural model. and on his grid that is the most negative posture towards culture. herein lies the reasons for so much of the evangelical legacy that is problematic in my view - it's basic theological instincts around culture are fearful and suspicious. i'd love to see this picked up and debated further. the following chapter is steve's summary of catholic method - on reading this i went and put my head round steve's door to tell him i was catholic (which of course i am, just not roman catholic). this is the second book this year that i have done that with. a sacramental view of all life, creation and culture, an opneness to all (catholicity) and an incarnational view of god's presence in the world are all compelling as is his critique of fundamentalisms.
the last section is a sweep of theology history which i confess i skimmed and need to come back to though ht to cathy ross who makes it into the line of the good and the great in theology!
if you want to read an inspirational book on theology look no further. if you prefer to read lectures or hear mp3s of talks then steve's cms talks are on the cms web site - have a search through the crowther pages.
steve peace for the journey and thanks for the inspiration!
it was great to call in on beyond's beach hut advent calendar in brighton today. like last year, jen and i combined a visit with a day of christmas shopping. around a hundred people gathered at hut 381...
i caught up with tony cant this week. tony is a great mission thinker, an aussie, worked with john smith for a season and is now ordained in the c of e. he is currently at st lukes church in walthamstow. here's how he has been applying his mission thinking to the area...
he has been looking for ways to get involved in the community rather than get the community involved in the church. one that came up was the start of a farmers market on sunday. the market was looking for a manager so tony took the role. so as a vicar he works at the farmers market every sunday instead of leading worship in the church building! it's relational stuff... then every market has a stall for a community project. tony as manager said that st lukes church would take it. every week they brew teas and coffees all day and give them away and chat with people and stall holders. so instead of being in church on sunday they are in the market place with the community. they have then developed some postcards to let people know about st lukes but in three designs - one for church people, one for dechurched and one for unchurched with the following straplines:
churched - welcome to st lukes on the high street your local anglican church
dechurched - disillusioned with church? you're not alone
unchurched - not interested in church? neither are we in the ways you are probably thinking about church
this is demanding for the church community - much more so than showing up for an hour on a sunday morning. the church meet for worship and fellowship on a weds night. it's a small church - around a dozen older people and then two families (i think). they are selling the building and working to get a house in the area and invest the money to create income for a sustainable future of a community living out mission on the hight st.
i think this is exactly the kind of imagination and risk taking the church needs. re-configuring around mission and reworking the assets towards sustaining the mission longer term. tony also functions as a chaplain to businesses and shops in the area, again spotting the opportunity to be present in the community.
here's the challenge - the existing church community are older and have been wonderful in coping with this shift but tony was saying how they could do with some more mission energy and imagination in the community to develop a more dynamic core. so if you are anywhere near walthamstow and are currently consuming religion on a pew but either bored or frustrated or too comfortable or want to do something more outward focused then go and join tony and co in their adventure.
Between the Old and New Testaments there are 400 years without word from God.
When there is silence from heaven, how do we wait amid noise on earth?
as i'm a fairly visual person some of it only makes sense with the presentation so a pdf of that is here... (thought you mac users would like this slide!)
si johnston buzzed me an e-mail to say that having had a small community going for 4 years in NI their community are going a bit more public now - see church. there are not many spaces in NI that i know of exploring christian faith in a non-institutional way. so it's great to see this development.
pete and becca brierly are doing some stuff with them next weekend - 12 and 13 dec - if you are in that part of the world
this is how they describe their thinking about calling themselves church...
church is always spelt with a lower case ‘c’.
church is always plural and never singular.
church is not the space we mostly meet in.
church needs neither prefix nor suffix.
church is as much a verb as it is a noun.
church is, for us, an aspirational name.
how often is it that you get a description like this?
So the first night began with the door of the calendar rolling up to reveal a life sized Tardis, Ice sculptures with objects frozen from different periods of time, with a giant time warp, lights and smoke
seems like bridlington's new venture is going to be fun - follow each day here.
or have angels frozen suspended in a lit up 1m block of ice? - brighton beyond is also under way. day 2 looks amazing! - follow here.leftbankadvent launch also looks wonderful - seems like yorkshire is the place to be!
cheryl has collated a bundle of her resources for worship in prison - again always inspirational...