Tuesday, September 27, 2005

No Direction Home

anyone see part 1 of Scorcese's Bob Dylan documentary - 'No Direction Home' - on BBC2 last night? i taped it as the Spurs v Fulham game was on Sky but i've watched the first few mins today and it looks like great stuff. As i'm also a huge fan of 'The Band' who backed Dylan when he first went electric it was great to see some footage of them on the UK tour when Dylan was getting booed - people shouting 'Judas' etc - because he had moved in from being purely acoustic. Part 2 is on tonight, again at 9pm on BBC 2.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

we need a spirituality of the land

Pip and I get our vegetables from the local organic foodbox scheme. yesterday the farm that grows them were having an open day where their customers could go and see where they come from and have a guided tour. i went slightly reluctantly. Pip is far more into this side of things than me and i thought it would just be a load of trendy-leftie, Guardian reading, hippie types. and i was mostly right! but i ended up really enjoying it anyway. the farmer - Ian Tollhurst - looks suspiciously like a hippy to me (see pic) and I am sure there was a small greenhouse or two that he wasn't showing us - tucked round the back with some truly organic herbs being home-grown...if you know what i mean. but it was a very pleasant afternoon, all in all.
Nature is so finely tuned to deliver fruitfulness without the need for artificial tampering. the problem is we have got so used to trying to bend nature to our will rather than working with it and allowing it to shape us. for example, in the post war period farmers were given grants to take out their hedgerows so that they could get combine harversters in and supposedly increase productivity. now they are being given grants to put the hedgerows back in because there is a recognition that the kind of biodiversity that they bring is important for fruitfulness.
Farmer Ian also told us about how they really respect and protect the earthworm population in their fields as earthworms increase nitrogen in the soil which leads to greater fruitfulness. and by looking after some species of local wasp they can keep the cabbage-white moth population down (as the wasps eat cabbage white larvae) and thus reduce damage to their cabbages without the need for spraying them with pesticides etc.they also rotate their crop cycles and leave fields fallow.
here is a place where they have learnt that working with the land rather than against us can yield enormous fruitfulness.
listening to Ian - his passion for the land and for organic farming - made me think about how us city dwellers (and I live in Oxford which is probably considered the countryside by you Londoners!) desperately need a spirituality that connects us with the land. I know that there are some great theologians working in this field (pardon the pun) - yesterday i thought i must give this area some more attention.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Monday, September 19, 2005

Leaving St Aldates

Last night we officially said goodbye and so long to St Aldates church - the church that has been our mother church for the last two years.
It was a good service. they gave me an opportunity to talk for a while about how things had developed and how we got to this point. then they gave us some symbolic presents - a spade, an apple tree, and a rose bush - which were lovely and which tied in with the whole theme of moving on to continue this whole process of planting a new expression of Christian community in Oxford.
there was a good representation of hOME people there and they got us all up on stage and prayed for us etc.
then we all went to Pizza Express.
It felt important to have an opportunity to mark this important occasion in the development of our community, to have a good ending to that chapter as we enter into a new one.
we will always be thankful and grateful to St Aldates for giving us a start in life.

Sunday, September 18, 2005


tonight hOME is being bidden farewell by our parent church - St Aldates - at a commissioning service, where we will be prayed for and sent out. not that we are leaving Oxford but we are leaving the patronage of St Aldates and becoming more adult, more responsible for ourselves as a community in our own right.
we begin our new season of Sunday night gatherings next Sunday (25th). we did have a great venue for this lined up but it has unfortunately fallen through due to some complex ecclesiastical issues, so, at this moment, we are a hOME without a home. but hopefully we will have somewhere by this time next week. if you are in Oxford and know somewhere great to do church in East Oxford then do let me know!

Monday, September 12, 2005

well done England

i am chuffed to bits with the final result of the ashes series. what a summer it's been. i don't follow the county game too much but i enjoy the internationals. this summer has been extraordinary entertainment. i am truly sad that it is over, especially with legends like Warne and McGrath (not to mention Richie Benaud) making their final bow on English soil. it is an absolute travesty that the ECB have sold the TV rights to Sky - i thought the coverage by Channel 4, fronted by a dream team of commentators, was superb.
i guess my first love will always be football - Spurs in particular. but this summer will always be remembered as the year that the start of the football season was totally eclipsed by the wonderful, wonderful cricket that has been going on over the last 8 weeks.
well done England, but well done all involved - it's been special.

Friday, September 09, 2005

what's your theological worldview? at least i'm consistent

thought i would do this again as i have heard of a few people who re-did it again recently and have come out with a different result. i'm quite interested that this time i come out as almost Roman Catholic!
You scored as Emergent/Postmodern. You are Emergent/Postmodern in your theology. You feel alienated from older forms of church, you don't think they connect to modern culture very well. No one knows the whole truth about God, and we have much to learn from each other, and so learning takes place in dialogue. Evangelism should take place in relationships rather than through crusades and altar-calls. People are interested in spirituality and want to ask questions, so the church should help them to do this.



Roman Catholic


Evangelical Holiness/Wesleyan


Neo orthodox


Classical Liberal




Modern Liberal


Reformed Evangelical




What's your theological worldview?
created with QuizFarm.com

Thursday, September 08, 2005

iPod nano

it's a thing of beauty. it's the new apple iPod nano

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

more techie queries

can anyone out there recommend an online photographic service that can develop slides from JPEG's?
also, can anyone recommend a good printer for postcards/fliers?

Monday, September 05, 2005

Discussion Day: The Holy Spirit in the Emerging Church

Jason Clark and I are hosting a discussion day on Saturday November 12th in St Albans.

As we have talked we have mused about why it is that being involved in emerging church/alt worship very often means being post-charismatic. We wondered why that was and whether the two inevitably went together and whether others had questions in this area.

we are wanting to create a space to look at issues around how to express a charismatic spirituality, whilst also being formed by other spiritualities (liturgical, contemplative etc.) and without buying into the UK-charismatic-sub-culture/scene (which seems to dominate the way that charismatic spirituality is expressed).

this will hopefully be a great opportunity to connect with others exploring the same issues. it will be a fairly unstructured day - no big name speakers! so, come ready to contribute and participate.

More info, and booking (it's free!) can be found via Jason's blog here.

windows users getting desperate....

How to Pimp Your Windows XP Desktop to Look Like a Cool Mac Desktop

Sunday, September 04, 2005

Blog-geek question

here's one for the blog-geeks out there...i am thinking about switching from Blogger to Typepad and i am wondering whether it is worth the money. one reason is that i have started using ecto for composing blog posts and while it's a great programme it doesn't support image uploading to blogger (but it does to typepad). in these days of feed aggregators don't most people read blogs without visiting the actual blogs anyway? that would suggest to me that there is little to be gained by upgrading. does anyone have any thoughts on this?

for the doubters out there!...

this was taken yesterday at the end of my garden. what a monster! o ye of little faith!!

Saturday, September 03, 2005

Michael Moore on Bush's response to New Orleans

the acerbic wit and biting political satire of Michael Moore are once more clearly in evidence in this open letter to George Bush....



Dear Mr Bush,

Any idea where all our helicopters are? It's Day 5 of Hurricane Katrina and thousands remain stranded in New Orleans and need to be airlifted. Where on earth could you have misplaced all our military choppers? Do you need help finding them? I once lost my car in a Sears parking lot. Man, was that a drag.

Also, any idea where all our National Guard soldiers are? We could really use them right now for the type of thing they signed up to do like helping with national disasters. How come they weren't there to begin with?

Last Thursday I was in south Florida and sat outside while the eye of Hurricane Katrina passed over my head. It was only a Category 1 then but it was pretty nasty. Eleven people died and, as of today, there were still homes without power. That night the weatherman said this storm was on its way to New Orleans. That was Thursday! Did anybody tell you? I know you didn't want to interrupt your vacation and I know how you don't like to get bad news. Plus, you had fundraisers to go to and mothers of dead soldiers to ignore and smear. You sure showed her!

I especially like how, the day after the hurricane, instead of flying to Louisiana, you flew to San Diego to party with your business peeps. Don't let people criticize you for this - after all, the hurricane was over and what the heck could you do, put your finger in the dike?

And don't listen to those who, in the coming days, will reveal how you specifically reduced the Army Corps of Engineers' budget for New Orleans this summer for the third year in a row. You just tell them that even if you hadn't cut the money to fix those levees, there weren't going to be any Army engineers to fix them anyway because you had a much more important construction job for them - BUILDING DEMOCRACY IN IRAQ!

On Day 3, when you finally left your vacation home, I have to say I was moved by how you had your Air Force One pilot descend from the clouds as you flew over New Orleans so you could catch a quick look of the disaster. Hey, I know you couldn't stop and grab a bullhorn and stand on some rubble and act like a commander in chief. Been there done that.

There will be those who will try to politicize this tragedy and try to use it against you. Just have your people keep pointing that out. Respond to nothing. Even those pesky scientists who predicted this would happen because the water in the Gulf of Mexico is getting hotter and hotter making a storm like this inevitable. Ignore them and all their global warming Chicken Littles. There is nothing unusual about a hurricane that was so wide it would be like having one F-4 tornado that stretched from New York to Cleveland.

No, Mr Bush, you just stay the course. It's not your fault that 30 per cent of New Orleans lives in poverty or that tens of thousands had no transportation to get out of town. C'mon, they're black! I mean, it's not like this happened to Kennebunkport. Can you imagine leaving white people on their roofs for five days? Don't make me laugh! Race has nothing - NOTHING - to do with this!

You hang in there, Mr Bush. Just try to find a few of our Army helicopters and send them there. Pretend the people of New Orleans and the Gulf Coast are near Tikrit.

Yours, Michael Moore MMFlint@aol.com; www.MichaelMoore.com

P.S. That annoying mother, Cindy Sheehan, is no longer at your ranch. She and dozens of other relatives of the Iraqi War dead are now driving across the country, stopping in many cities along the way. Maybe you can catch up with them before they get to DC on September 21st.