Archives January 2012

I want to talk at Greenbelt….

I have just made the following submission to Greenbelt to speak at the Festival. I am delighted that this year the style will be in the form of 20-min TED talks. If you’ve never seen a TED Conferance talk, then you need to: short (<20 min), scriptless, powerful features which serve to inspire and challenge. I subscribe to the TED blog and get all kinds of technical, philosophical and interdisciplinary talks.

Traditional Evangelism strategies seem to focus solely on the intellectual arguments for God, for the need for Jesus and ignore the real reasons why people seek out the Paradise Promise: an emotional connection with the unseen, the sacred and meaning in their lives. There aren’t enough words to describe this movement of the heart and this is where the Sacrament life of the Church returns to fill the emotional void of mission. Based upon extensive work in alternative worship groups, youth work and real frontline evangelism with young people for whom a formal course would be meaningless, Fr. Simon Rundell, an Anglican Parish Priest in the Diocese of Exeter, seeks to raise our consciousness towards the mysterious, the sacramental and the numinous whilst connecting with those far outside the walls of the Church. The key question this year’s festival might want to ask is “what or whom are we saving paradise for?”, and how the traditions of the Church can shape the cutting edge of Gospel-shaped mission in the 21st Century.

Fr. Simon and the Blesséd Community are well known at Greenbelt for their wildly sacramental offerings in worship. He was written widely on Sacramental Alternative Worship and Sacramental Worship with Children and is currently developing materials for Frontline Evangelism with Young People.

I hope that this is the kind of thing that you and they are looking for. I’m not a real theologian (hey, I had to google apokatastasis yesterday) but I believe that my work, my writing and my mission is steeped in the practice of speaking of God (theologos), dripping with reflective practice; which means that even if it isn’t that academic, it at least is authentic and hopefully useful.

Interesting reflection

The Parish Communion Movement arose from the work of the then ascendant Catholic wing of the Church of England; now with the ascendency of the evangelical wing in the Church, holy communion in church is (slowly) diminishing from use in the wider Church.

Look around you and you see this happening. If it succeeds then the Church will be on the whole diminished, as it retreats to the ritualists (like me).

(from today’s Fresh Expressions meeting)

Fotoshop by Adobé

One of the things that I find most distressing with working with teenagers, and especially teenage girls, and even having teenage daughters is the awareness of their submission to the whole body-image hegemony: that the unreality of magazines and tv body image just messes with their minds and their self-esteem. This spoof advert captures the ludicrous tone of beauty product ads (does anyone actually believe that stuff anyway?) and will be perfect to use an an icebreaker in a discussion about self image.

We all know where this leads… I make no apology for this next clip, which is disturbing and confronting and just what needs to be seen:

and yet

“Man looks on the outside but God looks within”

Samuel 16:7

If there is only one message I seek to tell and tell and tell to young people (and in fact people of all ages) then it is that “God loves you. As you are. You are special.”

That is all.

Left Unanswered…

Beautiful photography. Challenging soundtrack. Interesting questions.

Makes me want to use this in a discipleship icebreaker. Pity you can’t easily download it, but then again there’s always Save2PC

Hands-only CPR from Vinnie Jones

My clinical speciality was ITU and Coronary Care, but it was now so long ago that the daily-honed skills I had on someone’s chest are now as rusty as the next person’s, but I welcome this move to make CPR far more widely known. I am also pleased that they have insisted on the use of the phrase “cardiac arrest” rather than “heart attack” because a heart attack is a Myocardial Infarction: a reduction in blood supply to the heart causing pain and dysrhythmia which is not the same as the sudden cessation of heartbeat which kills. CPR is for use when someone’s heart stops.

You can make a difference with CPR. Hands-only CPR is an effective way of maintaining circulation and it might just save a life with minimal risk to yourself. The current thinking is that in an un-monitored (ie outside of an ITU/CCU) arrest, the action of compression does some air exchange, and the continued circulation even at lowered oxygen levels maintains the vital organs. If they do die (and survival rates are very very low), it was probably because they were going to anyway. If they survive, then you have made a real difference: DO THE CPR!

If more people were prepared to help, then rates would improve. It’s never going to always work but you should try.

  1. Call 999
  2. Hands only CPR until the ambulance arrives
  3. Twice a second (ie to the rhythm of “Staying Alive”)


God [through the Lectionary speaks to me…

He does this sometimes. It is galvanising and always challenging, but sometimes the appointed Scriptures of the Office or the Mass just leap out and cry to me “What are you doing?”. Today’s first reading at Mass speaks openly to my sin, to your sin and to our collective sin. Lord have mercy…

1 John 3:7-10
My children, do not let anyone lead you astray:
to live a holy life
is to be holy just as he is holy;
to lead a sinful life is to belong to the devil,
since the devil was a sinner from the beginning.
It was to undo all that the devil has done
that the Son of God appeared.
No one who has been begotten by God sins;
because God’s seed remains inside him,
he cannot sin when he has been begotten by God.
In this way we distinguish the children of God
from the children of the devil:
anybody not living a holy life
and not loving his brother
is no child of God’s.
with thanks to who email me the readings every morning and begin my daily reflection on Scripture: you should check out what they do.

Scriptural Basis of the Anglican Covenant

The forced-through proposed Anglican Covenant should be based upon Scripture. No question about that. Maybe then it should be based upon these:

Matthew 7:1 suggests no-one can presume to sit in judgement on anyone else

Hebrews 8:13 and Romans 7:6 require that there should be no dependence whatsoever on Old Testament Law

Matthew 22:37-39 requires that compassion should be at its heart

…at which point the need for the Covenant becomes superfluous, and it should be withdrawn.

These three Scriptural Tests should be considered whenever one of our brothers or sisters seeks to condemn one part of the church by another: suddenly issues like women priests, bishops, sexuality and the rest pail into insignificance with the power and inclusiveness of the Gospel. It is, after all, all about the Gospel. Some might want to call me a liberal or a revisionist, but c’mon, read the Gospels!