Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Forge National Summit

Just a reminder to any of you who are considering coming along to the Forge National Summit this weekend to get onto it now-as there aren't many places left.

Should be a top weekend-and I encourage anybody who's in the area-particulalrly all you Frankstonites to come check it out-if only for a session or two. I know all of the night sessions will be quality, with Al Hirsch speaking on Fri night, Mike Frost on Sat night and the 'alt. worship' event Sunday night-which I'm totally looking forward to.

This will be a fantastic weekend for all interested in doing mission in their own backyard, looking to create relevant churches, nourish their own spirituality and respond to God's heartbreak for the poor.

Hope to see you there!

Friday, June 24, 2005

Home Is Where The Heart Is

Well after twelve long years I'm finally returning to the land of two heads, my birthplace and home-Tasmania!

I'm going back to catch up with a mate who I actually met over here in Victoria at YITS. Don't know how much it will really feel like a homecoming, as I'm not going back down to Hobart where I actually grew up-thats something I'd really like to do with my Mum and sisters one day.

So no posts for a couple of days, if you're bored go check out some other blogs, signposts backyard missionary planet telex or circle of pneuma are some I peruse regularly.

Peace out.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

R2 E2

I was reflecting a little more on the whole RE thing, and this being my second post on the topic-hence the stupid post title!

I guess my main motivation for doing it is all the horror stories I've heard of old ladies boring the pants off kids (although some kids, usually about year 1, seem to be terribly fascinated with taking off their pants anyway-so that not too hard!) using crap old hymns, snoring in the middle of the class, smell like musk-it seems every bad stereotype about old people and Christians have been rolled into one with many people's impressions of RE teachers!

If I did it I might be boring, but at least I wouldn't smell of old person...although there's a fair chance I'd fart massively in front of them-which they would find nearly as funny as I would!

I know there's some brilliant one's out there, and big ups to them I say-keep up the good work tigers!

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Make Poverty History prayer

With all the publicity around the Make Poverty History campaign, and the cool white bands which I have ordered-I thought it timely to post this cool lil prayer I found here.

Loving God, look with mercyupon the human race you have created.

Instil in our hearts a vision of your kingdomin which the destructive poverty of our world is destroyed and consigned to history.

May we all live together in peace, truth, justice and love,sharing the resources of the earth.And grant, gentle Father, that the Holy Spirit may give usthe will and the courage to act to make a difference,in order to make real your kingdom among us.

This we ask through Christ our Lord, Amen.

To RE or not to RE-that is the question?

I've been thinking for a while now about whether or not I should teach Primary CRE (Christian Religious Education).

From my experience with my after school coaching job I have discovered I am definitely not gifted in the area of working with children, but I can do it. I have the time during the day, but don't know if I could commit to the preparation time required to make a lesson fun and interesting for kids. I have enough trouble thinking of discussuion starters and questions for teenagers-let alone kids.

The other is my teaching style, which has a lot to do with my personality and where I'm at theologically at the moment-in terms of really trying to own everything I believe. I'm more into helping people question, analyse and discover for themselves, rather than just flat out teaching them stuff. And particularly as I'm deconstructing and reconstructing some pretty core elements of my understanding of God and faith etc. I just wouldn't have any integrity teaching kids stuff I wasn't sure about myself.

That's the problem with theological training, sometimes it can be hard to bring it back down to basics. But I guess you can't go too wrong just telling the kids God loves them-I know I believe that :)

Small church is not just a means to big church

I have been thinking a lot recently about the new congregation I'm starting up at some stage this year. One of the things I really like about the LivingRoom-a church a mate of mine started about two years ago, is that one of their values is actually being small. This doesn't of course mean they don't want to grow, they're doing that my multiplication rather than addition-which is a whole other post in itself. His thoughts on this are here and here

Some of the reasons I think I would prefer being part of a small church is because I really enjoy the face to face interaction, the higher levels of intimacy and accountability, the flexibilty of a smaller group, not having to worship looking at the back of each other's heads etc. And thats the kinda stuff you might lose if you grow in size and still meet as one group.

I really affirm the place of bigger churches and congregations, ones that may not have the stuff I just mentioned-there's heaps of advantages to that style of service too, but they needn't be our main aim.

Saturday, June 18, 2005

Masks in Evangelism

Further to my thoughts a while ago, this guy has some great thoughts on why we feel the need to put on masks to evangelise, that it has to be a special thing we do, not just a lifestyle. Check it out here.

Here's a sample:he basically said, "that's cool. At least I can let my church know I witnessed to someone for an hour."There's no other way to put this: I felt used like a spiritual whore.Let me be blunt: when we go into a mode or wear a mask, we are at the same level as a slimy used-car salesman. We might as well wear a cheap suit, aviator sunglasses, and a goofy grin and try and sell a pinto. We're not doing Christ any favors.So... this leaves us with some very interesting questions. Is there any model of evangelism that is right? Is there any way to stop throwing out spiritual sales pitches? Should we as Christians still try and be evangelistic?Of course we should. But, if we are trying out a model, than we are more than likely just throwing out a pitch, and people are going to think that there is a catch.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

QuizFarm.com :: What's your theological worldview?

Hehe, these quiz things crack me up! Sometimes there is some truth to them, but often not. Though I've gotta admit that is a pretty decent description of me.

These were my results:

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.
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Emergent/Postmodern
82%
Modern Liberal
68%
Evangelical Holiness/Wesleyan
61%
Neo orthodox
57%
Classical Liberal
57%
Charismatic/Pentecostal
46%
Roman Catholic
43%
Reformed Evangelical
21%
Fundamentalist
4%

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Don't bother

One of the quotes that has stuck with me from Sunday night's message was this "If you're not going to go back to school on Tuesday and talk to the lonely, left out kids at school, then don't even bother calling yourself a follower of Jesus-because that's what Jesus would do!"

Some found that a little confronting, but the Kingdom of God is often confronting and not easy-thats just part of the deal.

State Youth Games

Well it's all been run and won for another year. Congratulations to Monash for taking it out and Ringwood for taking out the Good Sports Trophy. Big ups to the Mighty Yabbies for coming in at 12th in the Small Churches category, even though we weren't a church as such.

It was so cool seeing people's reactions when you told them you were a footy club-I think we were the first non-church team to enter in a while-if ever! Not surprisingly, we took out the AFL Rec Footy, as well as a bit of 3 on 3 Bball. We competed admirably in Volleyball A, but choked on our own over-confidence in B Grade.

Frankston were awesome in helping me out and letting us pretty much just rock up, with them having done all the hard yards with food etc. It was pretty shattering having like half my team pull out on the Wednesday before went, but we soldiered on. It wasn't ideal either having a lot of people just come down for the day for the sport they were playing, but thats the way it goes sometimes hey. Everybody who came loved it, so hopefully they'll be back next year-to defend our footy title if nothing else!

The speaker was brilliant-best one we've had for years I thought. For those who were there-I did think he kinda didn't honour and value people's everyday life as part of their mission, but had some great stuff to challenge lazy Christians.

I think going as a footy club was a good idea, but was just a little hard with me being the only one pushing it-definitely need to get some others to help out for next year. Bring on 2006!

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Forge National Summit. As many of you would know, I am doing the Forge Internship this year, and our middle intensive is part of the National Summit. This lil flyer will give you a couple of ideas of what its all about. Should be an awesome time to get together with some other quality people who are asking some really great questions about mission and church in our culture. Due to massive interest, its now been moved to Wesley College at 620 High Street Rd Glen Waverley. If any of my blog friends are gonna be there, let me know so we can hopefully meet up in person! Posted by Hello

How To Build Community

weblog :: jordoncooper.com: How To Build Community#comments I've got no idea what sit on your stoop means-but this is a great list of some ideas of what it takes to build community. Anybody got others?

Turn off your TV
Know your neighbors
Look up when you are walking
Greet people
Sit on your stoop
Plant flowers
Use your library
Play together
Buy from local merchants
Share what you have
Help a lost dog
Take children to the park
Garden together
Support neighborhood schools
Fix it even if you didn’t break it
Have pot lucks
Honor elders
Pick up litter
Read stories aloud
Dance in the street
Talk to the mail carrier
Listen to the birds
Put up a swing
Help carry something heavy
Barter for your goods
Start a tradition
Ask a question-hire young people for odd jobs
Organize a block party
Bake extra and share
Ask for help when you need it
Open your shades
Sing together
Share your skills
Take back the night
Turn up the music
Turn down the music
Listen before you react to anger
Mediate a conflict
Seek to understand
Learn from new and uncomfortable angles
Know that no one is silent though many are not heard.
Work to change this.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Alice Cooper

PhilBaker.net: "'Drinking beer is easy. Trashing your hotel room is easy. But being a Christian, that's a tough call. That's rebellion.'
Alice Cooper"

Monday, June 06, 2005

Why do people do good stuff?

Something I've been brewing on for a while is the eloquently written title to this blog post. It was brought up again today when I saw so so many people doing so much awesome stuff in their communities, and seemingly not motivated by an articulated faith.

I am motivated in my job as a youth worker to love people as Jesus would, to invite them into the richness of following Him and see it as an essential outworking of that faith that I help those less fortunate than myself.

But what motivates those who would not claim to have such a faith? No doubt there a re a number of reasons, but this is i believe the underlying one.

That all people, no matter their faitha llegiance, are created in the Image of a Loving, Caring, Righteously Angry, Passionate God, and when people seek to stand up for those who in that moment may seem to be less fortunate, that is a practical outworking of that God which is within all of us.

Communities In Control

Just spent the day at the Communities In Control conference, which was brilliant. It was put on by the people that run ourcommunity.com.au.

Its basically just a conference aimed at encouraging and resourcing community groups and those that work in community development, plus heaps of people from various NGOs and welfare groups. There was about 1600 people there-it was just massive.

Luckily for me, due to my involvement with Communities That Care-a local volunteer group looking at addressing some of the key issues affecting young people, I was able to go.

I met some brilliant people, including the Ampersand people, who started out as abunch of Uni students who wanted to get their mates into volunteering for stuff, and have put together this website as a bit of a resource. Really committed quality guys, passionate about making a difference in the world.

It was really interesting for me to hear them articulate their passion for helping others, for seeing others grow and change by putting others first etc. Motivations that are not at all that dissimilar, in fact probably the same as those of most Christians;only understood and interpreted differently.

So much of the stuff these guys and many of the people there today are doing is totally Kingdom building stuff-whether they realise it or not.

I wonder if the Christian Union/Campus Crusade type people would be better served by joining in on what god is already doing here, rather than trying to run more Christian events to try and attract people to?

Saturday, June 04, 2005

backyardmissionary: Just a mess... see if you can make sense of it...

backyardmissionary: Just a mess... see if you can make sense of it...
Some more interesting thoughts from hamo on the expansion of the church as opposed to other alternate spiritualities.

Friday, June 03, 2005

Certainty and Uncertainty

Am currently in the middle of Brian McLarens follow up to my favourite Christian book ever-A New Kind of Christian, called the Story We Find Ourselves In. Really loving it at the moment, deals really well with a whole different bunch of questions to the first.

Its basically looking at the story of the God's interaction with the world, particularly through the Bible, the great story-'The Story We Find Ourselves In' as his characters call it. The thing I love is that its written as a novel, and so is totally readable, but still teaches you heaps of stuff.

One of the most interesting little exchanges has been between Neo (the main character) and Marciel, a new character, somebody who seems to classify herself as quite a fundamentalist. It talks a lot of the troubles she has in dealing with Neo, who doesn't see many parts of the bible as having to be interpreted literally, and believes the theories of creation and evolution can and do sit alongside each other nicely. This is too much for her to handle, and begins to question Neo's faith, something thats happened to him a lot.

There's some great stuff about the types of people for whom questioning and uncertainty are comforting and helpful, but for others it can be disconcerting and unhelpful. Its something I've been coming across so much lately. Both ways of faith have their place, and can learn a lot from each other.

Lava Lamp

Lava Lamp This is cool as, very funky little lava lamp prayer.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Schapelle backlash

I'm getting pretty annoyed at all this extremeist, xenophobic backlash about the Schapelle Corby decision. I think its an outrageous decision, and am all for speaking out wherever injustice is done, but seriously-since when do Australians attack embassies, abuse people of Indonesian origin and ask for charity money back? I thought we were better than that.

This incident has seen Australia's racist darkside rear its ugly head again. This is the kind of mindset that that fosters the militant extremism our Government and media have trained us to fear.

I think boycotting travel to Bali is a waste of time, it will only hurt a few small operators for a short period of time, before business returns to usual, just as it did after the Bali bombings. What good will be gained from punishing a people for its government's decisions?

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

The King Center

The King Center Check out this little piece of wisdom from Martin Luther King Jr, and make sure your speakers are on. Great stuff, and a timely reminder for us all.