Had some fascinating conversations with people. A lot of the people there are hurting in one way or another and really appreciate the fact that somebody is prepared to listen to them and pray with them. However, it can be quite intense and that is why i think it is important to have a team of trained people working with you. I prayed with a person who had suffered a bereavement recently and others who were suffering in one way or another. They would never go to a church to be prayed for and hence it is so important that we are there is this place with them. However, I'm also aware that they'll then go onto another healer or a reiki master and ask for healing there...this creates a massive tension in me. i still believe that we should be there but really do struggle with this aspect of it.
I spent a while talking with Alison of Everyday Angels, she is a fascinating woman. She channels angels, she paints them and then takes a message from them that they want to say to the world. the one pictured below is called " Light of the world" and the words that Alison has channel are very similar in places to John 1...fascinating. Here are some of the words:
Look into my Heart and there
you will find your True Love
So what is going on? Is this a movement of God as some people have said? Is this re-enchantment from God? I'm not sure, there is a tendency that Christians have to sacralize the societal forces at work at that moment. I am reluctant to say that this is a movement of God, i think that God is working in it but there are some other parts that are ungodly and need to be challenged. The new age movement is a great opportunity for the gospel but it is also a damning criticism of the failures of the church, before we challenge the ungodly parts of new age spirituality we need to first look in a mirror and recognize our failings.
Today was just the set up and once again I'm amazed as to how commercial the place is - It's simply a trade fair that is selling spirituality. Our stand is called Re-generate (£700 for the weekend) and we're next to Everyday Angels and an iridology stand. Opposite us is the British Academy of Sound Therapy and Juliusz W. It's a real melting pot of spirituality, I'm looking forward to having a bit more time to explore tomorrow.
It's interesting to look at who it is attending the MBS fairs, over the weekend there will be about 10,000 people from all over the North West attending the event. On the whole research has shown that more women will attend than men and they are spread over a wide age range, although there tends to be more younger women than older women.
Most people want to know what we're offering and why we're there. We have a sign up that says 'Free Healing' and when people ask about it we say that we're there to offer prayer for healing that is rooted in Christian Spirituality. People either say Ok I'll give that a try and we chat with them and then pray, or they say no thanks and then more on to explore the other installation in the stand.
My experience has been that people are really pleased to see us there and are pleased that the church is in that environment. I doubt that the people that we encounter will ever come to Sanctus1, but they may come to one of our film nights or to one of our club nights. We aim to give people a positive experience of Christian spirituality and Christian community - I believe that this is the first step in mission.
Anyway, if you fancy coming along it's in the Cathedral visitor centre at 7:30 tonight.
Connecting with Contemporary Culture
Saturday 15th October, 9.30-4.30 p.m at Altrincham Baptist Church
How can Christians engage biblically with the culture we find ourselves working and living in? With Mark Greene. Seminars include Corporate Business, Media, Multifaith Society, and Urban Life. £20 for the day (including lunch). To book a place, or for more details contact 0161 941 2018 or email@example.com
Have you ever thought about how to make Jesus all lovely for the non-churched heathen? B3ta, one of the best sites on the interwebular superspaceway, have set a challenge for their Photoshop-obsessed users; how do you sell church in a modern society?
Click here for dozens and dozens of ideas from B3ta-heads. Warning: this is not for under 18s or for the easily offended! Among the clever ideas there are matters of an, erm, adult nature. B3ta is entirely uncensored and you should not clickety-click if you are disgusted. By anything. Sanctus1 cannot be held responsible for external links, etc etc. Backtrack, backtrack, disclaim, disclaim. Phew. That should do it.
Still, there are some fab ideas. My fave is the one on page 5 offering free Burberry caps for all. "Check it!"
Anyway we were on telly this lunchtime, - I saw Kol, Eva, Eyan, Ruth, Jude, Cris and myself. It was on 'Granada Reports' and will probably be on again this evening. I also think that we're on drive time on GMR and the sunday morning show too. Bring on the BBC!!!
see this for more
But hasn't this been done before about 5 years ago with the "Meek. Mild. As if." campagin?... (eg http://www.bris.ac.uk/Depts/Chap/episcope/graphics/can1999.gif)
A case of nothing new under the sun?
On seeing a guy wearing a WWJD band – would Jesus buy a Bluetooth headset, have a camera phone, wear a tight-fitting trendy T-shirt, and run out in front of traffic to cross the road? Maybe…
Ten things that I would do if I was the Chief Exec of Manchester City Council (but this is the basis of a whole post on its own and something I’m going to think on more)
But mainly, how darn busy it was this morning… Now I was a bit later than I am normally on my walk to work. But still. I passed or was passed by at least a dozen people on the canal, when usually it’s only one or two. The pavement got to the point of busyness where I opted to walk in the gutter – actually something that I’d choose to do more often if the mad bus drivers and maniacal cyclists of Oxford Road would stop trying to mow me down when I did.
And why was the busyness of the pedestrian traffic particularly on my mind this morning? All because of a film book – Tom Shone’s Blockbuster. Buy it, read it, you’ll love it.
For last night before going to sleep, I read his chapter covering the blockbusters of 1992-94 and their legacy. And there he mentions Spielberg’s Jurassic Park as being amongst the Maestro’s worst work (which that year thankfully also helped birth a late-twin worthy of his usual – Schindler’s List). For it has struck Tom Shone, and thus me, that most of Speilberg’s greatest works are those that involve people. Crowds of normal folk, the masses, “that guy who wants to start a McDonalds franchise on the moon” (as he said of Close Encounters’ main character) and on a more individual level, just the average American John Doe. There were hundreds of dinosaurs, but hardly any homo sapiens. And normally this is what he does so well with people in his films – observe, examine, beautify.
So seeing all these people engaged in the beautiful minutiae of their lives, bustling to work, shopping, catching buses – mundane as it might seem – gave me cause to stop and wonder…
Sanctus2nds is an intergenerational service that Sanctus1 run every 2nd Sunday at 4 pm in Sacred Trinity.
Open to people of all ages, Sanctus2nds is a sanctuary for creativity, reflection and socialising. Sanctus2nds will feature a cafe space to refresh your body, a creative space to inspire your mind, and a prayer space to nurture your soul; building an environment to encounter Christ.
There is a service this Sunday, 11th September, called "Exodus", hope that you can come.
Greenbelt was excellent, really great to catch up with a few people from all over the country. Particularly enjoyed Pete Rollin's talk but will be downloading it later this week as it was so rich that there are a number of points that I want to reflect on.
The experience of Greenbelt changes each year, Ruth and I went 4 years ago when we moved to manchester and there was just us and a washing machine. All on our own in a field of 6,000 other people. The year after a few other people from sanctus1 attended, then a few more the year after and then this year there were about 45 of us camping together...It is great that so many people can be part of the Sanctus1 Greenbelt experience.
This year's greenbelt was the best ever for me. The atmosphere was very positive, the change in the layout made a lot more sense, the organic beer tent was perfect and I caught up with plenty of SoF/Holy Joes people from the past. That's not even mentioning the fab services I went to, and the fab Sanctus1 people I shared so many memories, drinks and jokes with.
One of the best bits for me was the long standing promise I made to myself to climb the hill overlooking the site, get to the "shark fin"tree and call a mate whilst dancing around like an idiot. I accomplished this task with Lucy on the Friday, and with the aid of Eyan on the other end of my phone, I was that tiny dancing speck on the horizon.
I didn't have a camera, and ran out of battery before I could take a photo from my phone, but have found a dramatic picture of the scene from the top on GB's website. Pretty good huh? I'm very tempted to organise a zip wire to be set up so people can go shooting down from the hill onto the campsite. But alas I can already see Rob's list of reasons why this is an appaling idea on Health and Safety grounds, not to mention the furious, or incredulous reaction from GB themseleves. It will, I fear, have to remain an item filed under "bonkers" in the darkened recesses of my mind.
But it's a thrilling idea, is it not?