Fresh Expressions Round Table in London

This isn’t LiveBlogging, but some things are worth sharing.

Opening reflection – silence and reflection of the following three scriptures. Powerful.

From the Gospel of Matthew

Wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, asking, “Where is the child who has been born king of the Jews? For we observed his star at its rising, and have come to pay him homage.” When King Herod heard this, he was frightened, and all Jerusalem with him; and calling together all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Messiah was to be born. They told him, “In Bethlehem of Judea; for so it has been written by the prophet:

‘And you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,
are by no means least among the rulers of Judah;
for from you shall come a ruler
who is to shepherd my people Israel.'”

From the Gospel of Mark
Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. And just as he was coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens torn apart and the Spirit descending like a dove on him. And a voice came from heaven, “You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased.”

From the Gospel of John
On the third day there was a wedding in Cana of Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. When the wine gave out, the mother of Jesus said to him, “They have no wine.” And Jesus said to her, “Woman, what concern is that to you and to me? My hour has not yet come.” His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.”

Then the business of the day – feedback from the Coventry Pilgrimage – overwhelmingly good, although some of the comments made me smile – complaining about the use of incense (at a Catholic event? never!) and my usual response went down well:
“A wise old priest once said ‘Ah well, in the end it’s either going to be the smell of incense or the smell of sulphur, you have to make your choice!'”

other complained about the foetus and the heartbeat as ‘provocative’ – excellent! I thought. If it shakes some, challenges some, even offends some then the Mass is back as the radical event that it was intended as. Others thought the two Gospels with the foetus and the heartbeat as the high point, and many others credited the Agnus Dei as the highpoint. You cannot expect to please everybody, so the comments merely amuse me.

Looking forward to the future, we proved that the RT5 was different because rather than just talking we actually did something – the pilgrimage – and now we looked further towards mission, teaching and evangelism.

We discussed a lot about our mission, about the catechumenate and about new monasticism. The rule of Life and the Rhythm of Life stuff that Moot is engaged in is interesting, but I fear beyond me and out weak, fragile community here; but I remain intrieged and resolve to read more on it and digest it more.

There are future events on the horizon, which are too fledgling to document here, and I look forward to my own work within the Fresh Expressions sphere in the next year, and some Mind/Body/Spirit engagement with the lovely Revd Pauline Warner, a Methodist Minister with a wonderful sacramental heart and a mission to the Pagans of Glastonbury – I sense the Assumption will be in Glastonbury for me this year!

On the way home, I called in at Watts and got very tempted by a new cassock. The old one has worn out with overuse and I desperately need a new one, but can I justify one from there or must I spend a bit less up in Newcastle? Hmmm… decisions, decisions.