what old testament event gives us the first words of the sanctus
charismatic church beliefs on masterbation
shine jesus shine meaning
evangelical alpha gay
i saw your flag on the marble arch
pink smiley ecstasy forums
how to make mince for mince and dumplings
polly toynbee crap
polly toynbee ignorant
the ultimate terror-judgment day by harold camping of family radio
With just 56 days to go until all the fun that is the GB festival, we're having the final big Operations Planning Meeting this weekend. We discuss what is going where, how major events will happen, what we need to do about certain issues, and we have a look round to see what's changed since we were last there.
I'm always worried that I'll burst out "But why on God's good Earth would anyone think it was a sane idea?": usually when we are discussing the latest great idea for a "really powerful act of worship". But then I am reminded that:
a] God delights in all our worship;
b] I am just there to facilitate it, not to judge it;
c] There is a REALLY SOUND point being made, and
d] Somebody has put a lot of creative energy into this.
I am responsable for the safety issues of the festival. More accurately, I am there to advise others on how to ensure that the risks associated with their component of the Festival are As Low As Reasonably Practicable. However, I fear that people mostly see us safety advisors as the people who say "No!"
I'm sure we're in line for a great Festival this year: we have new partner organisations and the layout of the site just keeps getting better and better.
Incidentally, if you're a qualified first aider, we'd love to have you on the team.
My only day off in the next 10 days or so is next Thurs. Hmmm - any guesses what I might be doing?
Ho ho ho (bottle of rum anyone?)...
This morning, I had a close call whilst cycling along a straight piece of road, in good light. A four wheel drive vehicle turned onto the road, as I was passing the junction: only some drastic steering prevented me from becoming an ornament attached to the vehicle's bull bars.
I noticed in passing* that the driver's attention was engaged with using her mobile phone at the time and she was completely oblivious as to my presence. Stupid, stupid, stupid.
Please people: if you have a mobile phone and a car, don't use both at the same time. And spend an extra moment looking for road vehicles that are a little smaller thatn your own.
If I were a cat...
* Passing much closer than I would have liked
I’ve been sitting on this post for a little while, reflecting and trying to polish it a bit. In the end, I thought I’d just put it up here…
Not so long back at Sanctus1, we did a bit of take on “sung worship led from the front” as a service at Sanctus1. Called 'Live', we had a huge projection of live DVD recordings of tracks by Moby, Faithless, U2, Coldplay, Ash, Robbie, and encouraged people to sing along (lyrics were in a fanzine-style handout, alongside questions, actions, reflections). The interesting thing for me was that it felt like one of the most physically and spiritually uncomfortable services that we’ve ever done – loud, big and very visual, with standing room only, containing a call to very actively join in, rather than sit/ ponder/ reflect/ internalise. And to be honest it only occurred to me afterwards that we’d basically presented a take-off of the “church worship band” – up front, micced and amped up, male… you name it, in fact, a totally static, unresponsive worship session. It certainly touched (both good and bad) nerves from the feedback we had.
Kester’s posted recently about music, the long and honourable tradition of protest songs, and the power of lyrics/ ambient music in worship. I found it a really thoughtful and provocative post – there are some good comments in response to it on his site too. It made me think harder about something that Jonny and I were talking about not so long ago – namely, guitar-led singing as worship. We were thinking out-loud (with Mark Berry, and others) about why sometimes as alt.worshippers/ emerging churchers we’re uncomfortable engaging with this despite being keen proponents for a diversity of worship. My initial take on it was that guitar-led singing as worship is a one-way street – that too often worship leaders (and I included myself in this) have been guilty of closing eyes and ears to the congregation (literally and spiritually) and thus “leading worship” risks becoming singing/ playing to connect me to God but in a way that doesn’t facilitate anyone else present. In some senses, a performance rather than worship. And although I have no experience of this, I suppose picking hymn numbers each Sunday for more trad organ/ piano led-worship could become a similar experience for the person who chooses. The difference I think with the more alt.worship/ emerging church stuff is that it has the potential to be more of a two-way street – more inter/active with more space to sit things out and/or to join in. Or introspective navel-gazing by candlelight as some would have it… ;-)
I’m not sure that this is really leading me to any grand conclusions – it’s more a set of observations…
My last post on this blog showed the only thing emerging for me on a Sunday was, well, nothing because I stayed in bed all day. Today may be busier because there's the football (avoid), a grand prix (watch) and, more importantly, a Sanctus1 service in which we all get to be angry and throw things at each other.
If you have a quieter day than me, why not surf the web? See if you can find God or perhaps his good friend Jesus in any of these links...
If you run Sanctus1, you absolutely must have a laptop, but not one of these exploding ones. They could hurt, in which case I would recommend some Jesus bandages. Meanwhile, the Greenbelt festival wants people to get naked for life drawing classes. I won't be doing this as it may be a little scary - however, not as scary as Curtis Glover's experience of post-modern church.
Have two music video links, starting with the first video on this blog post. It's worth the eight minutes and proves God really is a DJ. Unless of course you were at the decidedly ropey Aqua Bar on Friday when a bunch of Sanctus jivers went cheesy dancing. It ended in a police raid, but not before we were reduced to nostalgic wrecks. Check out this excellent site for 80s music videos, including such classics as, erm, Swing Out Sister and the London Boys.
Talking about videos, here is a hilarious guide on evangelising. I like the way we are encouraged to manipulate conversations so we can convince people they are a "lying, thieving, blasphemous adulterer". The bit with the banana about five minutes in is just a little unsettling if only for its truly fantastic logic.
Finally, a few Sanctonians went bowling this week. Which leaves me with this final link, a bowling game. Stick with it, it really is possible to score a strike, although please don't try this with real nuns. Or a real Pope.
Jonathan Safran Foer’s debut novel, Everything is Illuminated, is one of those Marmite-esque books – love it or hate it. I was discussing it with a colleague again the other day (he’d just lent me JSF’s new one which I’m now reading). But the conversation prompted me to go back to some parts of Everything Is Illuminated…
A book about a young novelist, also named Jonathan Safran Foer (huh?), who sets out to find out more about his Ukrainian family past, accompanied by an old ‘blind’ chauffeur, an amorous dog named Sammy Davis, Jr, Jr, and the unforgettable Alex. Alex is Jonathan’s translator who speaks in a sublimely butchered English. Just one too-good example: Alex calls the Sammy Davis, Jr, Jr the “all-seeing eye officious bitch” (the female guide dog)… It’s too hard to explain here how funny, fancy and inappropriately verbose all of Alex’s translations are.
But the bit that’s really caught in my mind is related to Jonathan’s novel within a novel – about the 1790s Ukraine that his great-great-great-great-great grandmother was born into (keeping up with this?).
Back then, there was a moveable Synagogue on wheels to be pushed and pulled between the Jewish Quarter and the Human Three Quarters of the shetl (village). The congregants split into two groups over a difference of opinion about whether to hold on to the ropes that kept them up near the ceiling, suspended by pulleys, or let go of the Great Book (having only two hands and being buzzed around by a particularly annoying fly one day). [Look I know it’s odd but stick with me.] The resulting split created the Slouching and Upright Synagogues.
The Uprights, having chosen to let go of their ropes rather than drop the Great Book, walked thereafter with an affected limp – a reminder that the Holy Word prevailed. They are at the high end of worship, and remain observant of the Holy Word (none of them know which exact word it is though). The Slouchers let go of their ropes and have since worn tasseled shirts – a reminder that the spirit of the Holy Word prevailed. The Slouchers also swapped the pulleys for pillows, became prone to eating and drinking after or sometimes during services, but were willing to sacrifice religious law for the sake of what they called 'the great and necessary reconciliation of religion with life'.
Ringing any bells with anyone?
One of my other loves about the characters of this weird world is that the Well-Regarded Rabbi always starts his sentences with the word “and” and only ever speaks in CAPITALS… Evocative, no?
As one of the review notes “if all this sounds a little daunting don't be put off; Safran Foer is an extremely funny as well as intelligent writer. [This is] a book that combines some of the best Jewish folk yarns… with a quite heartbreaking meditation on love, friendship and loss.”
(ref: p.17-19 if you want to look it up on Amazon Search Inside)
...when Ben casually mentioned that get some 300 unique hits a day on this site.
So, as a result, today's "stop by and say hi" day - we'd love to know who some or all of you are... If you've got time, please leave even just your name as a comment. :-D Could be fascinating, could be scary, could be plain dull. Whichever - please say hello...
I jotted some stuff down as I watched last night, partly because I couldn’t believe what I was seeing.
Ogilvie seemed to be able discern things within minutes that someone meeting that mother and daughter for the first time - a 19 year old single parent and a two year old, and later the grandmother too - couldn’t possibly know. For instance, he said that the two year old was aware that her mother had been raped at the age of 14 (before she was even born), and that the grandmother had previously miscarried a son.
My slight shock that he would say this out loud to these people, whilst being filmed for a national television programme, was compounded by the fact that after he asked her to confirm the rape, he told the mother that this was out of his area of expertise and that he’s leave her alone for a few minutes. I seriously hope that the producers had someone on hand behind the camera to help her at that moment…
But I felt that his advice in response to the reading, about how the mother and daughter should interact to stop the two year olds tantrums, was so generic that I could have been watching any recent parenting show:
1 – talk to someone about your past and try to be healed and move on from it
2 – be positive – children pick up on negativity from parents
3 – make dietary changes to include fruit and veg instead of sweets and processed foods
4 – have more fun – for instance buy a trampoline and a fairy dress
Of course if believing in Ogilvie’s methods and advice, him having gained their trust, meant that relationships were repaired and harmony restored then it’s no bad thing. For me, the programme was a bit of “Derren Brown’s House of Tiny Tearaways” if that makes any sense! I’m genuinely not sure what to make of it, and I’ll be intrigued to see another episode of it and see how it pans out.
Please find attached information regarding our pre-Christmas event on 27th June.
Let me know if you would like to attend or require any further information at this stage.
Now that's what I call a seriously 'pre' pre-Christmas invite. A record?
(I promise I also have 'serious' posts pending too but they require some thought and crafting - one on Everything is Illuminated by Jonathan Safran Foer, one on Kester's latest Complex Christ post, and one on last night's five show, The Baby Mind Reader. Who wants me to blog off and find my own space to post all this on?)
(Promise I'll try to get back to posting about serious/ interesting/ spiritual/ relevant/ Sanctus1 things soon. Maybe.)
'The Daily Telegraph leads off on "Anglican crisis as woman leads US church" failing to appreciate that "Anglican crisis" is as much of an oxymoron as putting "Crown Green Bowls" and "chainsaw rampage" in the same headline. The correct terminology should be "Anglican tiff" or "Anglican kerfuffle", PM muses.'
Kerfuffle - now there's a great word for a Monday morning...
So here are some links to make Sunday special...
For a couple of interesting websites, why not choose from JesusPan (why have normal toast when you can have Jesus toast) or on a more serious note here's an interesting piece written by McDonalds about how the world is going to end - you may or may not agree with what this person says, but it's fascinating reading.
A number of us saw this animation at Richard's leaving party last night (press 'Play') - geekiness really can really be clever. Meanwhile, this Shockwave presentation is both clever and mesmerising.
Why not play a game or two? Both of these are fairly new online. If you haven't come across 'Grow' games, you have now. It's a time consuming game where you have to click the symbols in the exactly the right order. if you get bored, you can always play scrabble.
Finally, no links piece is complete without video schmideo, both of them musical. Have four good scratch DJs or why not watch the best ukulele version of Smells Like Teen Spirit you have ever heard. Seriously.
Have you any links you would like to share for all the non-churching heathens this Sunday?
Thanks to everyone who came to II.
Despite the last minute venue change, and the lack of Fil and his phenomenal powers of spatial awareness, II was a massive success on Wednesday.`
It was great to see a good turn out from Sanctus1 as well as lots of other people, either from the art exhibition at Nexus (still on now, go visit!) or general punters. The Bay Horse seemed very pleased.
For a full report, have a nosey at my blog. For general Fat Roland news and ting, go to www.fatroland.com.
For the first time, I feel proud in saying "balls to you all!"
Actress Billie Piper is to leave Doctor Who at the end of the current series, the BBC has confirmed. But the corporation refused to comment on reports that her character, Rose Tyler, would die in the final episode. Writer Russell T Davies said the Doctor Who team had created "a stunning exit" for Piper's character. "The Doctor Who team have had a whole year to plan this final scene," he said. The series two finale, entitled Doomsday, sees Rose and the Doctor, played by David Tennant, caught up in an invasion that threatens to destroy modern-day Earth.
*** POSSIBLE PLOT SPOILER? ***
All through the series they've been dangling this possiblity in front of us. My money's on the final episode having something to do with The Face of Bo (remember the opening episode? A secret that The Face can only tell to the Dr... he promised he would, but not yet, not now.) And then last week's confirmation by Satan himself that "the lost girl so far from home would die in battle". Not looking like a happy ending and cups of tea all round... End of the last series - a new Doctor. End of this - a new companion.
This series has been stunning - ok, the special effects have sometimes been a bit dodgy but that's all part of the fun! And the apocalyptic/ messianic messages and symbols scattered throughout the episodes have proved that kids TV doesn't have to be dumbed down drivel. Truly brilliant telly for our times.
Guilty as charged m'lud. But I know of one or two other bloggers out there who could benefit from taking this advice from The Streets...
If you're at a loose end on Saturday 17 June, you may be interested in changing the world...
THE COMPASS NATIONAL & ROBIN COOK MEMORIAL CONFERENCE 2006
Imagine an event where you get to actually shape and influence a manifesto to change our world over the next 20 years, where you get to help come up with a new vision for the future, to debate freely the things you believe passionately about and discuss solutions to the biggest challenges of our time: like improving our environment, tackling climate change, renewing our democracy, abolishing poverty, delivering equality and more…The event where all the big debates take place including...
Four keynote speeches on the challenges we face over the next two decades with Ed Balls, Derek Simpson, Helena Kennedy and Richard Sennett; a major debate on whether the government should commit to a new generation of nuclear power stations or favour renewables including a speech by Jonathon Porritt; a lunchtime plenary discussion on dreaming of a progressive future with Billy Bragg and John Harris; a question time including Hazel Blears, Jon Trickett, Polly Toynbee, Fiona Millar, Greg Dyke, Shami Chakrabarti and chaired by John Kampfner.
With all the major pressure groups, think tanks and publications addressing the big issues including... Comprehensive education in the 21st century; a new approach to foreign policy; pensions smensions; a left political strategy; a new future for energy; the future for housing; sharing power; tackling climate change; new solutions to social challenges; the media and political malaise; the world of work; the future of political parties; developing citizenship; the public services; making Europe relevant; feminism; science; the health service; making life chances more equal; making poverty history; voting reform; English identity; human rights and the importance of the trade union link and many more.Your chance to shape a manifesto that Compass is preparing to publish in the autumn '06. Every workshop will prioritise key ideas for inclusion in the most radical and wide ranging manifesto the democratic left has ever written.
Book online here
This week's II will at the Bay Horse pub (in the basement) and not at Cord.
The Bay Horse is still in Manchester's Northern Quarter, quite near High Street where the trams go down. It is very near Bluu, almost opposite in fact.
The Bay Horse have been very accommodating, so do come down and spend lots of money at their bar. Oh, and they have a pool table!
II will run from 8pm til 11pm, is totally free and will feature me, Pachuco Plays Pop and Kid Mingus.
Here is a map which shows roughly where the pub is.
Pete Rollins' talk at blah... manchester tonight was fascinating. I'm sure there are people who had heard it all before, but I found his talk a breath of fresh air.
I loved the image of being so absorbed in someone/God you don't notice the colour of their eyes. And I really related to the feeling of being so absorbed by something (a painting, the Bible) you can't take it all in. I think that sums up much of my faith.
Lots of anecdotes and lots of images.
And challenging stuff too. I had never thought about slavery being abolished not by people who had stood up for Biblical principles, but by people who had come close to those who had suffered and therefore had reinterpreted their understanding of the Bible in the light of this. This has a lot to say for the plight of homosexuals in the church now, and no the struggle isn't over (thanks Phil for your posts).
Confession time. I was bound to enjoy Pete's talk tonight as I was already a 'fan'. He is the founding member of Ikon who ran an astonishing service at Greenbelt last year. The service still sends shivers up my spine now. I remember sitting in a room full of stones while an artist painted homophobic insults on the body of a motionless guy (pictured). She kept painting, even after the service had finished. Combined with funny and moving stories of people's experiences of sexuality, we were encouraged to 'blunt' our judgements of other people - putting jiffy wrap on the stones we (often unintentionally) throw every day.
Having said that, thank goodness Ikon don't blunt too many of their stones. Sometimes we need a bit of ouch! to keep us going.
The name comes from second helpings, a second generation, second Sundays of the month…
Learning the hard way often means making lots of messy mistakes en route. With 2nds, we started off thinking that having a light touch might be an integral part of our worship – nothing too neat or pretty, and some stuff planned but with a lot of in-built room. Our intention was always to make the planning bit as easy as possible for us all, the eight or so families and individuals who make up the core group. It’s a lot lighter touch for instance than an average Sanctus 8pm service – each of us undertakes to do one space, we all work to a theme and hey presto, a service is pulled together each month. Usually this means that we have a café space, a film space, a creative/ doing space and a prayer space that people can wander around after a communal start (eg intro, candle-lighting, story), coming back together at the end for communion. This means that until the service is over, none of us knows the totality of what’s going to happen during the worship – a real exercise in permission-giving/-taking, letting go, sitting back...
Yesterday, we changed the service format slightly so that we did the same spaces as normal but instead of having time to wander freely, we did them all together. The theme was 3, for Trinity Sunday and we were engaged in all sorts of things – making a candle decoration with three candles in one holder, praying by making triangular structures with paper straws, of course listening to “Three is the magic number”, and making bread with three ingredients, which we then used during communion.
I suspect Andy’s instincts to wait even a minute or two once the bread was brought up the altar were correct – despite the heat, he managed to hold it for long enough to break it in half, but a huge plume of steam escaped in the process… A beautiful, round, steaming loaf of bread that we’d made and were sharing together as a sign of God’s abundance and grace. Truly magic, as De La Soul would have it.
I love the slightly chaotic nature of our togetherness at 2nds, and the spontaneous moments that just seem to click into the rhythm and theme of our prayers, words, actions. And for me of late, this sort of worship-as-messy-mistake-making has become a more important part of my spiritual life than almost anything else.
Says the BBC website:
"Religion has emerged as the main theme at this year's Edinburgh Festival Fringe, including two shows featuring Jesus as a stand-up comedian."
Looking down the list, God's favourite bits of the Fringe will be:
- We Don't Know Shi'ite, a play about Islam;
- According to Jesus, features Jesus Christ as a comedian;
- Jesus: The Guantanamo Years which does the same;
- Bible Babel Live!, which is the Bible read from start to finish in 80 hours;
- Petrol Jesus Nightmare, a thriller;
- Breaking the Pope, which seems to borrow the theme of The Magdalene Sisters.
And of course Stewart Lee is there. He gained fame with Jerry Springer The Opera and is therefore God's favourite comedy writer.
All this cultural bosh doesn't answer my burning question though. If Jesus did do stand-up comedy, would he crack the best joke ever?
" 'God Bless. Practice Safe Sex. Drive a Hybrid if you can.' Words of wisdom from Jessica Alba on the MTV Movie Awards. Spirituality-Sexuality-Ecology--a triumvirate of critical issues for the upcoming generations if you ask me. More than anything, her comments highlight a few things that are part of the fabric of the MTV generation, if you pay attention you'll hear variations and discussions around those three things as often as you will anything else."
HT: Nevermind the Bricolage
A exploration into the Trinity
Sunday 11th June: 4 - 5 p.m.
Sacred Trinity Church, Chapel Street, Salford.
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.
Sanctus2nds will also feature an under 5’s play space.
Christians, superstitious? Don't believe in it mate...
I like noodle snacks. I mean the decent ones from the Far East, as eaten by people from the Far East, not the "filthy" snacks that we make here. You know the ones I mean...
Fortunately, there are several good Chinese & Thai supermarkets near me, so there is plenty of choice. Today, I enjoyed a particularly tasty and spicy one and idly wondered what else was in their range. So I Googled their name, and found their English website which told me what else they did.
However, my eye was also drawn to a page from the Food Standards Agency, which informed me that their products had been illegally imported into the UK, because they contain undelcared irradiated material (ie spices) that had been treated in an unlicenced facility.
Bex comes in to the night cafe looking for art, but there is none. Several months later and Bex is curating our first art exhibition at Nexus. Hopefully see you there!
The last few weeks have been a bit of a struggle for me for various reasons to say the least… So, I was really looking forward to surprising M with his pre-birthday tickets to see our perennial fave Martha Wainwright at The Lowry. If nothing else, it meant that we/ I could escape the “bad telly and bottle of wine” default setting for at least one night this week/ month…
We’ve seen her a few times now (second but last one blogged here). And I have to admit that a pair of tickets to a gig is the sort of present that works best when you both love something/ someone – so although it was undoubtedly a present for him, I took a sneaky enjoyment in it too.
Martha was on form but a bit under the weather (she - like me - is trying to stay off the sauce this week, so she tells us). She promised that she’s going away now to make another album having toured this one to death (and played a few news tracks to whet our appetites), and apologised for being a bit sick in the throat - and head (her gag). And it all turned into a bit of a alt. folk fest – the support was Catherine Feeny (liked her voice but I thought her material had the potential to be a bit twee) and then a guest appearance by Thea Gilmore!
All in all – a great night - with only one glass of wine and a half of lager (me, not her) and no telly!
And the following week (14 June) at the same time is a follow-up series in the same format called The Convent.