Tree2mydoor Ltd is a sustainable gifts company, based in North Manchester. The company website can be found at www.tree2mydoor.com. We specialise in sending trees as gifts to our customer’s friends and family all around the UK and Eire.
As part of the company development we are now hoping to publish an official book of prayer and dedication that we can distribute free of charge to recipients of tree memorial packs, which contains readings or prayers suitable for the UK and Irelands main religions. We are particularly keen to include specific prayers and dedications that are suitable for Christians.
Planting a tree as a memorial is a fitting and appropriate way to remember a loved one.
Trees are also good for the local environment.
I am hoping to receive 2 appropriate prayers from you that will be suitable for a tree dedication for use by friends and family to help to mourn the passing away of a loved one. We are also willing to include a page of support and contact information for Christians.
We are keen to help to make peoples lives better with the giving of lasting gifts and memorials and we are keen to work with your faith to encourage and support friends and family during difficult times.
Anthony Gormley’s 100 statues on Crosby beach near Liverpool could be a bit spooky, a bit hopeful, a bit sombre… It seems as if your interaction with and reaction to the figures is not only based on them as objects, and a set of objects, but their ever-changing costal environment and weather as well.
They are as statuesque as you’d expect from the man who created the Angel of the North: Gormley seems to have a preoccupation with the transformation and elevation of the human form, and equally its place amongst the rest of the built and natural environments.
The individual figures, which are spread across more than 6km of beach, were rarely left standing alone (although some yesterday were past their knees in water, and further too). They were most easily identifiable by looking for a small huddle of two or three people at random intervals across the sands, which I thought said something about the attraction of community and being in relationship with others, as well as the attraction of the meandering from figure to figure in a sort of haphazard pilgrimage. (We walked from figure no. 96 to no. 14, the rest being rendered inaccessible by the tide.)
And what are they “thinking” as they look out to the horizon? Each time I saw another face, another body, resolutely looking out to sea, I came up with another reason, maybe even 100 reasons…
Of the futility of human endeavour?
Of our human smallness?
Of our attempt to travel, to conquer, to bring back, to transport?
Of the monotony of the horizon and its unending barrier between sea and sky?
Of turning their backs on the mess of the power station and container port?
Of acting in defiance or solidarity?
Of hopefully waiting for help or a sign or an arrival?
Of America, new starts, loved ones left behind or en route?
Of what had been, what was, what could be?
Perhaps, I wondered idly as we wended our way back, they’re simply making a stand.
That the Guardian film site has a fab mood matcher but no RSS or other feed for its main page.
That Rachelle’s Notes From a Truth-Seeker is a often a cracking read. And that she’s had two recent articles about gender and emerging church that have especially resonated with me. One called What the hell I could do with the hits and Be careful what you wish for. Go read.
And enjoyed her link to an article about Matthew Fox and his 95 Theses or Articles of Faith for a Christianity for the Third Millennium.
Plus (via John Drane and Olive Drane) an emerging church in LA called The Tribe.
Phew. Busy old month.
How am I managing to function as a normal person in real life with all this to read and discover? Virtual hermitage here I come… or uninstall the news reader? Hmmmm… Any advice from veteran bloggers?
Charles Kennedy admits to having a drink problem …and resigns, triggering a leadership election in which...
Mark Oaten… well, um, you know… wants his privacy
and…Simon Hughes has had gay relationships in the past after all.
Which only leaves Sir Menzies Campbell and Chris Huhne. Anything to declare?
But there's also today's much longer exploratory article in the Guardian, by John Lanchester, entitled Engine trouble.
It ends with this warning paragrah, which I'm not sure is either apocalyptic or hopeful:
"Technologically, Google is an amazing thing. As for whether it is a good thing, that depends on what happens next. ... Google is cool. But Google also has the potential to destroy the publishing industry, the newspaper business, high street retailing and our privacy. Not that it will necessarily do any of these things, but for the first time, considered soberly, these things are technologically possible. The company is rich and determined and is not going away any time soon. It knows what it is doing technologically; socially, though, it can't possibly know, and I don't think anyone else can either. The best historical analogy for where Google is today probably comes from the time when the railroads were being built. Everyone knew that trains and railways would change the world, but no one predicted the invention of suburbs. Google, and the increased flow of information on which it rides and from which it benefits, is the railway. I don't think we've yet seen the first suburbs."
Menu – mince and dumplings with peas and some mash
Film One - Wag the Dog
Why does a dog wag its tail? Because a dog is smarter than its tail.
If the tail were smarter, the tail would wag the dog.
And thus starts a film about the relationship between politics and the media, truth and perception, the war that never was and the peace that never went away, and as one tag line for the film reads “truth, justice and other special effects”.
The one line that sticks with me though is when one of the characters says that “a good plan today is better than a perfect plan tomorrow”. Still pondering whether that does what it says on my tin…
Now this is where (apart from the dumplings) things went slightly off the usual route. Wag the Dog is only 93 minutes long. So at 9.20ish we were sort of wondering whether we should quit there – but no, the other film we had from Amazon was only 83 minutes so we decided to dive on in. And what a film it was.
Film Two - Koyaanisqatsi
The IMDB link is here and on Wikipedia as well.
Now this made it onto the rental list courtesy of Gareth Higgins mentioning it as a “God” film in his thematic exploration of How Movies Helped Save My Soul: Finding Spiritual Fingerprints in Culturally Significant Films.
A film that is so hard to describe I urge you just to go and immerse yourself in it – the verb “watch” just ain’t even getting close here…
Brilliant time-lapse photography, weird and wonderful overviews of both the wilder sides of the planet and human behaviour/ environments, no dialogue and a soundtrack by Philip Glass. Apparently it’s been often mimicked but never bettered (think Madonna’s Ray of Light video).
I feel sure that this will be cropping up in a Sanctus service or some such at some point… In the meantime I’ll leave you with this – the definition of the title:
koy.aa.nis.qat.si (Hopi) [n]
1. crazy life
2. life out of balance
3. life disintegrating
4. life in turmoil
5. a way of life that calls for another way of living
And by way of Mark Berry (who was also in Sheffield), I found this great post by Steve Tilley:
There's been a lot of trouble about the precise amount of information the police can keep on someone if they are wrongly arrested.
Yes but there's a whale in the River Thames.
I mean suppose your DNA sample was mixed up or compromised and you were later implicated in a crime you never committed?
Did you know there was a whale in the River Thames though?
And what about sex offenders and teaching? This bloke repents of having an affair with a fifteen year old girl (who he later married), committed no further sexual offences yet has now been chased out of town.
Someone says they saw a whale at Southend too.
22 people were killed by the latest suicide bomber in Iraq.
It'll never get through the locks at Lechlade.
They might have killed Osama bin Laden's second in command in Afghanistan.
Perhaps it could be turned round and harried back to the open sea?
We may have got beyond the point of no return in global climate change.
It's really pretty the way it moves through the water. So graceful.
Too many of our schools are under-performing.
They should watch this thing on Sky News about a whale in the River Thames.
The Liberal Democrats need a new leader.
It's so sad that the whale may die.
(postscript - it did.)
Adapted from some very successful books, it’s the story of the three Baudelaire children trying to escape the clutches of their villainous (geographically) closest relative, Count Olaf, after the death of their parents in a mysterious fire…
It’s a funny “kids” film (with Jim Carrey – sigh) that actually turned out to be horrible, clever (should that be horribly clever?), entertaining and thoughtful in equal measure…
Just a couple of my fave moments...
Billy Connolly's cameo as one of their mad but loveable distant relatives.
And Lemony Snicket as the narrator telling us that: “Sanctuary... is a word which here means a small, safe place in a troubling world. Like an oasis in a vast desert or an island in a stormy sea.”
Emerging Church in Multi-faith Contexts
Churches in the West are increasingly experimenting with more symbolic, reflective spiritualities, drawing from Orthodox and Celtic traditions, and using digital technologies and ambient music. How far can we engage with the Eastern spiritualities of our Sikh, Hindu and Muslim neighbours whislt retaining our Christian integrity? What might an emerging church look like in a multi-faith context? What is British Asian spirituality? What lessons can we learn from cross-cultural mission in the development of fresh expressions of church?
Pall Singh and Richard Sudworth are both from Birmingham. Pall is the Director of East + West Trust and team leader of Sanctuary. Sanctuary is wonderful – alternative worship meets Eastern spirituality. He is from a Sikh background and became a disciple of Jesus in his late teens. Pall has been married to Joy for 22 years and they have two gorgeous kids, Josiah & Jasmine. Due to some very bad 'Karma' he is a Birmingham City supporter.
Richard is a CMS mission partner in Sparkhill, Birmingham, working alongside asylum seekers and developing creative ways of bridging church and community activity in a Muslim majority context. Richard is also a Mission Consultant for Faith to Faith with a special brief to help the 18-30 emerging church generation engage with other faiths.
blah...manchester is a series of conversations hosted by CMS in partnership with The Church Army and Manchester Diocesan Board of Education in 2005 on mission, worship, church and Christianity in today’s rapidly changing culture. It’s a time to keep listening, chatting and reflecting as God beckons us into the future.
Thursday 9th February
Drinks and refreshments provided
Drinks served from 6:30
Input begins at 7:00
We have a limited number of places. It would help us to know in advance if you're coming, so please book a place and turn up!
E-mail Ben Edson on: firstname.lastname@example.org
Venue: Nexus, Dale Street, Manchester, M1 1JW
For a map see: http://www.nexusonline.org.uk/contactus.htm
A film in which the male characters are killed, are potential killers, are sex-buyers, are absent, are ill, are insane, are actually women…
As the film trailer says:
Part of every woman is a mother.
Part of every woman is an actress.
Part of every woman is a sinner.
Part of every woman is a saint.
Part of every man is a woman.
Most of his allocated time for his 'devastating' critique consisted of showing the following sensational points:
- All religious followers, 'moderates' and 'extremists' alike, have faith in God.
- Religious faith is not a rational, intellectual exercise.
- Fundamentalism is a bad thing.
- Theocracy is a bad thing.
Completely forgetting the scientific method which he claims to love, he leaps from these points to assertions like the following (based on isolated anecdotal evidence in support, and ignoring plenty of inconvenient evidence to the contrary):
- All religion is based on top-down, authoritarian control from the leaders, and unquestioning total obedience from the followers.
- All religion is based on simplistic black-and-white thinking.
- 'Moderate' religion is a slippery slope to fanaticism
' After much focus-grouping and consultations with creative types, [Manchester] declared itself too "original and modern" to have a slogan. "No one looks at a slogan," shrugs the council spokesperson. "Manchester is different from other cities - we like to think the unthinkable and do the undoable. What we are is Manchester. That's our slogan. Manchester - it does what it says." '
Sanctus2nds is an intergenerational service that Sanctus1 run every 2nd Sunday, this Sunday it's in Sacred Trinity and is called '3 wise men' and will be exploring epiphany.
The service starts at 4pm and all people are welcome.
Sanctus2nds will also feature an under 5's play space.
You'll be pleased to know that I'm not attempting either sort of diary this year. But since I'm going on the re:source course in 2006, I am keeping a notebook of thoughts, musings and stuff that I've read/ seen/ heard. And it's in my very cool Christmas-present - The Very Hungry Caterpillar notebook. Nice.
It's not that I don't want to blog that sort of stuff, more that you might all keel over from the boredom of hearing me think aloud in this sort of forum. I'm sure that I will post stuff up here about things I'm encountering during the course, but hopefully it'll be a bit more thought through and edited by the time you encouter my encounters.
1 - It's the season to be all introspective (new years and all that, and none of us are getting any younger)
2 - I've just submitted my self-assessment tax return online and paid HMRC a pretty big chunk of money relating to that bill (meaning that I’ve not only managed to earn enough money through my business for me to live on, but for the government to want me to share some of it with them as well)
3 – I’m into my fourth year of running my own business (gulp – Nadine and I were pondering the other week whether this is making us slowly more and more unemployable…)
4 - I’m pretty amazed and horrified in equal measure to realise that we own/ have bought not only a flat (having bought and sold one before this), but also lots of bits of furniture, a fridge-freezer, a combi-microwave-oven, a dishwasher, a telly, a laptop and wireless network, an iPod, two Palms, a DVD player, four speakers and an amp, a freeview box, several pieces of art, hundreds of CDs and DVDs, a handful of musical instruments, and plenty other expensive pieces of electrical and other equipment/ gadgetry (meaning that it looks like all this “stuff” is pretty important to me when I’m not sure that it is, that I burn a whole lot of fossil fuels on a regular basis, and that I could be awake 24/7/ 365 entertaining myself somehow)
5 – I’m thinking about nipping in to the office later on to turn the heating up so that we don’t freeze when we go back tomorrow after the festive break (meaning that I plan excessively in advance, I like being warm, and that I won’t have to wear my thermals for once)
6 – Himself and I have been together 10 years… and married for more than 6.
7 - We worked out the other night that we’ve already got something like 23 weekends next year booked up with various things – work, holidays, family stuff, weddings, Sanctus, etc. (meaning that I’m turning into the sort of person who says “I can fit you in one weekend in August or it’ll have to be next year…”)
8 – I genuinely don’t like going to the cinema anymore because of morons who talk through the film
9 – Our Amazon DVD rental list has enough films on it for us to watch one per week for a year and still not run out, which is a bit much really, esp. given that more that I want to see come out each week (read in conjunction with no. 8 and no. 1’s subclause, above)
10 – Most people at 29 just wouldn’t be writing a list like this (for better or for worse, for them or me)
I’m sure this all sounds like me worrying about nothing, or bragging in a weirdly immodest way about how full my life is. I’m not, on either count I hope. I think I’ve just finally come to terms with the fact that I am a 15 year old trapped in a 29 year old’s body. And all this grown-up stuff, like dishwashers and hardback books and tax calculations, is a bit scary sometimes.
I've just updated the website, the dates of the next 6 months services are now there as are some newer photos...