The Church of England has published an online advent calendar and it features Eva from Sanctus1! I'm not sure what day she is featured on, so you'll have to go back every day to hear what Christmas means to her!!
So, for a "Modern Expression of the Church", is Handel's Messiah something that is spiritually uplifting and relevant, or just a florid piece of 18th Century flannel?
Me, I enjoy a good singsong, and this is one of the great choral pieces, and fun to do in full arrangements (the Greenbelt Scratch Choir did this on Mainstage in 1998). However I'm not sure I would necessarily suggest that we work up to a performance for the next shared service.
Ba-humbug! Who needs twee Christmas films when you can have award-winning Asian extreme?
Sunday 3 December
The third in our 'The Outsider' series - four films exploring alienation, isolation, exclusion and ‘the other’
Every first Sunday of the month at Nexus
Doors: 6.30pm Film starts: 7pm prompt
If you want to explore the film’s themes and issues:
Post-film discussion: 9.15pm onwards Evening ends: no later than 10pm
Feel free to bring your own food. Drinks and snacks available on the night.
+ Book stall of film and spiritual books +
The Outsider series concludes...
7th January - The Life Aquatic (15)
Heroes and Villains
4th February - The Proposition (18)
4th March - House of Flying Daggers (15)
1st April - Leon (18)
6th May - 15 Minutes (18)
technorati tag: reel spirituality, oldboy
technorati tag: The Guardian, religion
No doubt using media not entirely unfamiliar to our own artist-in-residence Kolyn Amor, illustrator Aurélien Police mixes real material and computer wizardry to produce strange Victorian fantasies.
The picture above is called Putréfaction and you can see it bigger here.
Just looking at his biography, you would think his work is quite commercial - CD covers, books and illustrations for role playing games bulk up his portfolio. But his pictures ooze noir, and browsing a whole gallery is like getting lost in Tim Burton's mind with only a failing torch for guidance.
If that's not too scary a thought, start perusing here.
I was in two minds as to whether to post this: putting it up only continues to add fuel to the fire, but not putting it implies that everything's ok, situation normal (maybe more SNAFU, would be more appropriate?).
TSK has the skinny with all the links if you're really interested/ have the rest of the day to waste. But I more wanted to highlight the considered open letter that Rose Madrid-Swetman has published. I have to say I'd rather see more of her approach than any protesting...
Oh, and Mark has now put up a post called thank you critics.
technorati tag: mark driscoll
The highly irreverent, offensive and strictly not-safe-for-work website b3ta has been asking its users a question we have never heard before:
What would Jesus do?
Brilliant! Original! They've asked their usual Photoshop addicts to "put Jesus in an interesting scenario, like a news story, some advertising or an historical event and try and second guess his actions."
See the results here. It may be worth pointing out some of what you will see is highly blasphemous with lots of strong swear words. Just how we like it at Sanctus1. Um...
God loves b3ta. Don't tell Christian Voice that, will you?
When I clicked on a link for the technorati tag 'mark driscoll' on another blog post, I got this message:
"Something is wrong! We know about it, and are working furiously to fix it. Please check back later and probably everything will be back up and running."
Well, it made me smile...
technorati tag: mark driscoll
Kes by Ken(neth) Loach
Some points and questions that came to light as a result of the screening and discussion of Kes, as part of the Reel Spirituality series on “the outsider”.
Did the film stand up to scrutiny after nearly 40 years? Because of its age do we judge it more harshly, or do we give it sympathy points?
It’s a very character driven film, and still holds up well when compared with other similar “northern/ socio-realistic films, like Billy Elliot, Brassed Off and The Full Monty.
Childhood obsession – Billy’s utter focus on the bird to the exclusion of most other things, exemplified by his only show of school enthusiasm being his talk on the kestrel
Direct approach – Billy wants to know more about birds, so steals a book on birds when he can’t borrow one, and takes a bird to train
Link between Kes and Billy – Both locked in a cage, both at their best when free and outdoors
Indoors/outdoors – All the good things that happen to Billy are outside, while all the bad things happen inside
Hopes and dreams – Billy survives by satisfying his immediate needs, but are his hopes and dreams projected onto the bird, wishing the bird to do well rather than himself? The interest of his English teacher carries Billy’s enthusiasm into adulthood, almost as a validation
And the big question - what happens to Billy after the end of the film?...
technorati tags: kes, reel spirituality
Manchester Street Angels are ready to go...
- A partnership between Manchester City Centre Churches and the Police
- Providing a visible presence to Manchester’s nightlife
- Showing care and compassion
- Cutting down crime
- Providing a safe space
To fnd out more come along to a special gathering at Nexus on Thursday 16 November at 7pm.
Do you find the anonymity and fatigue of the road too tempting? Do you feel like your wife has let herself go and succumbed to laziness? Do you think that having a female assistant (God forbid, co-leader?) is a temptation too far? Do you ever think about sticking closer to Jesus to avoid sin?
Then get yourself over to Mark Driscoll’s blog for his handy hints on men and women working together in church, in the wake of the Ted Haggard allegations…
[The BBC has the back story about Ted Haggard here.]
No but seriously…
You couldn’t make this up, and Ben’s comment about laughing/ crying goes for me too… How 19th century and sexist does this all sound? I’m utterly convinced that unless and until men and women can model working together in church as partners, equal in God’s service and with gifts to offer together – whilst NOT having it off together all the time - no-one is going to take us seriously.
I work closely with male freelancers, designers, artists, chief execs and programmers every day. I’m the female third of an emerging church leadership team. I’m friends with men, see them in the street, get served by them in bars and shops. My husband even lets me out the house unaccompanied... So why is church seen as being so different, such a hot bed of inappropriate sexual desire and activity?
Anyhow, I think that Mark Driscoll’s given me, Ben and Cris a lot to think about in advance of our Sanctus1 team meeting this week… like – do we now need a third party chaperone? ;-)
technorati tag: mark driscoll, sexism, church
What does that say about both institutions, about perceptions of value for money and/or worth, and about me and the reasoning I employed about which one to go in to?
technorati tag: st paul's cathedral, national portrait gallery, admission charges, david hockney
The icon reflects a biblical story when Abraham and Sarah welcomed two strangers, they sat under a tree with them and shared a fire and a meal with them, gradually as they are talking with them it becomes clear that these people, these strangers are not in fact people – but angels - the angels bless Sarah by telling her that she will have a child even though she was 90 years old.
A powerful story of welcome that has arguable more to say today than at any time in human history. There is talk of closing borders and banning the veil, where suspicion seems to dominate our societies interaction with anybody not like us…The story and this icon both say that as we welcome the stranger in to our midst, whether our church or our country, we realise that the stranger is in fact an angel, and they bring immense blessing to us all.
The story moves on the angels leave the house of Abraham and Sarah and go and stay with Lot where they are assaulted and raped by the men of the town, quite simply because they are different…unfortunately I think that this is often the attitude to the stranger that rears it’s ugly head far to often in society today. Whether it’s in newspaper headlines about asylum seekers, or the opening up of the EU, metaphorically we are assaulting and raping these people, taking away their human dignity by force, just because they are not like us…
However, this is an icon of welcome and as well as drawing from the story of the two strangers in Genesis it is also an Icon of the Trinity. They are all clothed in blue, Blue is a symbol of the divinity of all three, and yet all three are different too – this icon is about unity in diversity and an all inclusive welcome.
The spirit is the figure on the right hand side, clothed in green and blue - Green is a colour that represents new life, the spirit brings new life to the world and us all, behind the spirit is the mountain place – the traditional imagery for the dwelling place of God.
Christ is in the centre clothed in blue, brown and with a gold stripe – the brown identifies Christ with the earth, his human nature and the Gold stripe highlights his divinity. Behind Christ is the tree, perhaps the tree of welcome that Sarah and Abraham sat under as they welcomed the strangers.
And finally the father sat in the shimmering ethereal robe, that highlight that this is the king of heaven, the master of the universe – behind him is the house, another dwelling place of God – Christ said ‘In my fathers house there are many mansions’ a mansion for each one of us. A permanent heavenly home with an open invite for all people.
The icon is in perfect balance, the three figures gaze loving at one anther as they sit around the table. On the table is a chalice of wine, they are about to share communion, but if we look there is an opening at the table, a space for one other person, a space for all of humanity to share the welcome of God.
A space for humanity to join the Holy Trinity,
a place for all of humanity,
the down trodden,
to join with God in the heavenly banquet.