Thursday, February 24, 2005

hOME weekend away ~2

we had a cracking weekend away last weekend at the Eton Dorney centre next to the river where apparently they are going to hold the rowing etc. if we win the bid to stage the Olympics in 2012. unfortunately we were limited to bringing 25 people due to the size of the centre but i think it was a good number to have (and we had a couple of day visitors - Kate and Elizabeth - on the Saturday). as a centre they were obviously more geared up for teenagers than adults which was illustrated by the fact that when we were welcomed to the centre on the friday night we were told that we weren't allowed to chew gum and it sounded like there was a curfew of 10.30pm! (althought i think i might have misunderstood that last point). still the staff were helpful and really understanding when we spilt candle wax on the carpet (I should probably own up and say it was ME, and i should also give credit where it's due and thanks Jon W who scraped it off amazingly well).
our focus for the weekend was 'mission' - looking particularly at how we need to understand mission in the light of the missio dei..the mission of God. In other words, when we talk about mission we are talking about God's mission. we looked at the focus of the missio dei - the world (for God so loved THE WORLD) - and the content of the missio dei (the renewal of all things in Christ, which was the work that God began on Easter Sunday morning in the resurrection of Christ (as the first-fruits). the mission of God includes movements of peace, justice, reconciliation, ecology etc. as well as the more traditional understanding of it being about calling and inviting people into relationship with God. we then looked at how all of that cashes out for us in hOME and we launched the idea of mission hUBS (tho some people had been operating in this way for a while - liek the poetry slam guys)....micro outward focused groups joining in with the mission of God to the world. we looked at 3 different areas that they would conceivably operate in: causes, compassion, and culture (to reflect the breadth of the missio dei) : and then broke into three groups to brainstorm these areas in more depth according to the passion that God has put into our hearts. there was some remarkably creative and diverse ideas coming out from the 3 groups which represented possible directions for our hUBS to go in. throughout the course of the rest of the weekend we made the 3 brainstorms available and people put their name next to the things that interested them. we're going to publish this somehow so people can see who else in the community is interested in the same things as they are, make the connections and take responsibility for the next step as we seek to see the community of hOME become a greater blessing to the world around us.
we also spent some time on Sunday examining our Rule-of-Life which i'll blog some more about in a separate post cos this one is already way too long.
it was great to start each day with morning prayer from the Anglican Liturgy, and also to celebrate communion together on Sunday morning.
all of that sounds very spiritual so i should also mention that we did go to the pub both nights, played wide games, had a pub quiz (but not at the pub), played football and Ultimate frisbee, celebrated birthdays, shared objects which represented hopes and dreams for the future for each of us, and generally had a good time!

Originally uploaded by Matt Rees.

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