Monday, November 30, 2009

I'm NOT going to be a History Maker in this Land

So last night was Delirious's last gig. I know a few people who went to it and I seem to have wound someone up on facebook by suggesting the song 'History Maker' epitomises, for me, much that is wrong with popular charismatic-evangelical spirituality and theology. And that's because, in short, it doesn't seem to deal with the ego.

When you stop to think about it, to say "I'm going to be a history maker in this land" is incredibly egotistical. The fact is that almost all of us aren't going to be history makers (at least not in the sense that I think most people would understand that phrase).

But our egos would love us to stand out from the crowd - to be someone important - someone that really mattered - someone that history will remember.

That's what I object to in this song.

Charismatic-evangelical theology/spirituality seems to leave the ego unchecked. It suggests that as long as we say we're doing these things for God (and of course that's what everyone DOES say) then our ego's can just find a new way to express themselves.

So - didn't mean to spoil anyone's moment last night at the gig (and years ago I went saw Delirious play plenty of times) but felt this was worth saying.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

John O Donahue joins my Jedi Council

I guess we all probably have wise guides we look to, people who help
us to shape our spiritual lives, sages who articulate things we
intuitively feel we already know but haven't been able to put into
words.

I lovingly refer to these people as my Jedi Council. They are people
like Richard Rohr, Brian McLaren, Wendell Berry, Eugene Peterson,
Ronald Rolheiser, Bede Griffiths. (looks like I need to add some women!)

John O Donahue is now joining my Jedi Council. I'm a bit late to the
party on this one. I did hear him speak at Greenbelt 3 years ago (I
think it was) but haven't read him until recently.

Pippa gave me 'Benedictus', his wonderful book of blessings, when
Samuel was born, and I recently blew the dust off 'Anam Cara' which
has been sitting on my shelf for years. It is beautiful, beautiful
spiritual writing of the highest quality.

I think I'll have to download some of his talks from the Greenbelt
site. In this season of the church year when we especially remember
the communion of the saints, Mr O Donahue thankyou for your wisdom and
for all you embodied.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Pentecost with Mark Scandrette

We have our Pentecost service coming up next Sunday. We will be joined by the Scandrette's from San Francisco who we met when we were over there a few years back. Mark will be telling some stories and sharing any other thoughts buzzing round his head. We're also having a supper afterwards. If you're in the area and you'd like to come then e mail me (matt@home-online.org).

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Stillpoint launch

On Wednesday night we launched Stillpoint. It felt like an important night in my life. We had about 120 guests at The Phoenix Cinema along with our special guests Bishop John (Bishop of Oxford) and Jamie Catto from 1 Giant Leap.
Ian and I presented the vision for Stillpoint and talked to Bishop John and Jamie. We also showed three chapters from 1 Giant Leap's amazing film 'What About Me?'
There was a real sense of the importance of this agenda. I said to Ian "it feels like we are catching a wave, now we have to figure out how to stay on it".
There are a few photos on my flickr page here (thanks Jim for taking these).

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CAC Emerging Church Conference will now be streamed live


Very pleased to hear that Richard Rohr's Center for Contemplation and Action in Albuquerque are going to stream their upcoming emerging church conference live over the web. Good news!

Speakers include Richard Rohr, Brian McLaren, Phyllis Tickle, Shane Claiborne.

More info on the webcast here.

Monday, March 02, 2009

Stillpoint launch this Wednesday

We are launching Stillpoint on Wednesday this week (March 4th) at a special event in The Phoenix Cinema in Jericho, Oxford.

We will be joined by the Bishop of Oxford, John Pritchard, and also by Jamie Catto - one half of 1 Giant Leap ("genius film makers" according to Bono). We will be presenting the vision for Stillpoint and talking to John and Jamie as well as showing some chapters from 1 Giant Leap's latest film, 'What About Me?'

We have had a really good response to the invites we've sent out but we still have some spaces available. If you would like to come please let me know (leave a comment to this post).

Thursday, January 22, 2009

technology and presence

Look at this photo from one of the Obama inauguration balls. It's extraordinary!! It makes me ask "Why experience the moment when you can be looking at a rendering of the moment on a tiny screen while taking a crappy photo". And of course the photos taken will never be as good as the ones in the papers or online.

I know it's an "I was there" moment and a personal photo - however crappy - will be a momento...but it just makes me wonder whether technology impedes us from experiencing our experiences. I say this to myself too as I'm an iPhone, twittering, facebooking, 2 Macs wielding technophile.

Is it helping us...is it helping me....be more present and earthed? It's undoubtedly not a simple yes/no question but I thought it was a question worth asking.