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Journey 9 Day 20: Community

thankyou today

My celebratory journey is now half way through and so I’m beginning to take stock of the year as well as continue to celebrate. (This week includes a treasure hunt, staff Christmas lunch, Theatre trip and other delights)

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about my journeys. Its been great to be doing them and to be positive and intentional but more than anything I have come to the conclusion that the best form of intentionality, which leads to honesty, accountability and meaning is to be intentional in community.

My small group, family, friendships, Work Colleagues, Rhythms, Breathe, Advent 20 and Thank You Today are some very significant communities which I want to say thank you for and celebrate. Thank you for the honesty, fun and learning that has come from being part of these amazing communities.

I am grateful also for the concept of community in terms of lives lived out that inspire and challenge and encourage and also great perspectives and insights.

The Brian McLaren talk at St Pauls last week was once such example

Being recommended a good read called The Tangible Kingdom after a great conversation was another

The excellent Nomad Podcast yet another

#thankyoutoday for community and friendship

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Posted by on December 4, 2012 in Passion, theology, Work

 

Journey 9 Day 16: Advent (urous)

Adventurous Banner by

Today sees the amazing looking event by Greenbelt called Adventurous, At the beginning of the Advent season I am so hungry for a sense of renewal and restoration of my soul, society,church, economy and for my relationships. Its not that its all bad, far from it in many senses. I have a huge deal to be thankful for as I continue on this journey of gratitude and celebration.

However I also know that since the onset of my ankle injury and in the months proceeding I have also been wrestling, things have been stirring, questions that keep emerging.

This wrestling but also this sense of hope was brought to a head this week when I went to hear Brian McLaren speak at St Pauls on the theme of ‘A New Kind of Christianity‘. It was a profound and brilliant talk and Q+A session around the 10 key themes/questions that he raises in his book of the same title. It was a sense of celebration as some major lightbulbs came on for me and it was great to genuinely explore some of these themes in this way and also with friends afterwards. The talk and the book are going to be things that I return to as they seem so significant in so many areas of life, faith, work and relationships and what it means to be human and what my faith means to me in its outworking.

Its not all been wrestling though, The celebrations post Thanksgiving have also continued with friends and family. Highlights for me have included the incredible Ben Howard gig at Brixton Academy, A Great Day of Feasting and celebration and reunion with friends and a great conference with lots of great conversations and new contacts called How is my Neighbour

I am also looking forward this week  to the season of Advent, following a journey with e-help and inspiration from Brian Draper and meeting in a small community to pray and reflect. This week will also see a visit to The West End and a Christmas Meal which should all be fantastic celebrations.

A good friend of mine challenged me a few months back on just how adventurous my life and faith were. I think the space of being able to take these journeys, embrace questions and embrace celebration are at least a start or a step in the right direction. I hope that this Advent and as this season of journeying in these themes nears its conclusion that I will look back and see 2012 as a year of great adventurousness!

 

 
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Posted by on December 1, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

Journey 9 Day 8: Lament and Celebration

Having begun my Journey of celebration it feels that events of the past week have made it at times quite difficult to celebrate. The events in the Middle East and the outcome of the Women Bishop’s vote in the Church of England General Synod are but two examples.

Lament is a motif and way of being that is profoundly biblical. I have again been drawn to Walter Bruggemann’s Spirituality of the Psalms. And the Thread of Orientation, Disorientation and Reorientation.

I am thankful to say that in the midst of this Lament and difficulty I have been able to find a way to celebrate with legitimacy and integrity.

On Monday I was at LICC celebrating their 30th Anniversary. I am very thankful for the vision and work of LICC. They have played a significant role in my life, discipleship and growing faith. They have really highlighted the importance of whole life discipleship and the brilliant and releasing truth that all of life, all vocations, all moments are part of who we are and how we can live out our Christian faith.

Yesterday I was at HTB at the Fresh Expressions conference ‘ Following the Missionary Spirit‘. After the events of the Synod Vote it was so good and so encouraging to be able to look at this movement of the church and see its positive impact. Archbishop Rowan Williams spoke profoundly about the importance of the Church being challenged and renewed by the margins, the edges and the bold risk takers and prophets who are prepared to step out, ask questions, pioneer and think outside the box. He spoke brilliantly, honestly and with real clarity about the importance of reimagining church.

Bishop Graham Cray also gave this excellent talk on the reasons to be thankful and also to be hopeful going forward.

It was then great to move from this event to Thanksgiving last night and celebrate and be thankful with a great group of friends.

I am therefore celebrating that even in the midst of some real challenges and lament, there is a place, a needed place, for good and genuine celebration! May the Journey continue.

 

 
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Posted by on November 23, 2012 in Change, Food, Generosity, Humility

 

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Posted by on November 16, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

Journey 9: Celebration: Day 1

And so my ninth and final journey of this year (and what a year 2012 has been) begins! I am really looking forward to celebrating the year, this journey and taking time to be thankful and delight in the journey and year it has been.

Celebration is an important thing. Birthdays, festivals, promotions, life events, Graduations, Projects complete, Awards, Change, recognition, beauty, people’s talents, freedom, transformation, results, exams, new jobs, new baby, Marriage….. There are so many good things that warrant celebration. There are so many occasions in my life and the life of family, friends, culture and society that I count as an honour and just brilliant that I have been able to celebrate. Getting to this stage in my 2012 journey is another significant landmark!

The motivation for this Journey was to celebrate 40 amazing years of Tearfund’s Transform programme. Its also 10 years since I did my first Transform trip to Kenya, which turned out to be significantly life shaping and affirming in so many ways!

Celebrating is important.

A friend and colleague has a brilliant blog that shares and celebrates good stories called Talking up the Good. I love the hope, positivity and potential that these great stories bring. Another world is possible!

I want to celebrate so much and take time in this journey to celebrate this year and the many years, people, events and experiences that have made this journey and my life what it is today!

I am pleased that I have lined up some planned celebrations (Including the final day of the Journey being Christmas day) but am also looking forward to some more spontaneous celebrations and as all of the journeys have proved, enjoying the discovery and learning along the way!

 
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Posted by on November 15, 2012 in Food, Generosity, Play

 

Journey 8 Day 40: Hosting and Growth

For me this article on hosting and being hosted well in the context not of ‘the home’ (although similar principles could apply and no doubt reap great results) but of ‘the workplace’ has been my stand out and most helpful and profound insight on this journey of hospitality. I’m seeing it and experiencing it more in my life and workplace and it is bringing huge hope, inspiration and opportunity. I am thankful for my ‘hosts’ and hope also that I am beginning to do a bit more of this type of hosting myself? If not then I certainly desire to learn more about how I might be able to. Some of it is stepping out in courage and with freedom (losing the fear) and some of it is being yourself and just going with it!

Linked to this for me is the concept of Being Loving, Being Interested not interesting and The idea of the happy manifesto .  All things that have inspired the idea of hospitality in a much wider and much more helpful context than I have previously imagined. Things that make me want to journey in this direction more and more and enable the idea of hospitality, growth and opportunity to be more prevalent and possible in my life.

That said, the more traditional aspects of both giving and receiving hospitality have also remained special. Being able to bake for others, Being able to have people into our home, being able to be hosted by others and gather together as a group of friends and extended family have all been so great.

Hospitality – The giving and receiving of it, is a special, profound and deeply human, spiritual experience and one to greatly cherish.

I heard this interview yesterday which inspired me and highlighted the importance of giving to others and being in relationship with others. I then had a day of wonderful meetings, connections, conversations and experiences. Truly wonderful.

 
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Posted by on November 15, 2012 in Courage, Generosity, Journey 8, Passion, Play, theology, Work

 

Journey 8 Day 39: How is my Neighbour?

Its one thing to know who is our neighbour, its another thing entirely to know how they are. This one day conference: How is my Neighbour: Developing Livable communities by Livability looks great.

Across our communities trust is eroding, stress is increasing and inequality is on the up. Across the UK more people are reporting a reduction in their economic, health, social and spiritual wellbeing. This is made even worse as global corporations tell us that happiness means consuming more and sharing less. However, our children are the unhappiest in Europe.

As a nation we are richer and better connected than ever. With ‘friends’ easily accessible on the web our neighbourhoods trust is eroding, stress is increasing and inequality is on the increase. How do we love our neighbours when we don’t know who or how they are? 5 million people aged over 60 say they now consider the television to be their only source of company.

The day will include:

  • Plenary session on a theology of Livable communities and rediscovering shalom in the 21st Century.
  • 8 inspiring presentations on models of intervention to increase wellbeing in our communities.
  • A 60 minute taster of Livability’s new Happiness Course for community groups
  • An exciting and interactive exhibition of organizations with resources to help your work
  • Creative networking opportunities throughout the day
  • Tools for you to take away and utilise in your own context

 

 
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Posted by on November 14, 2012 in Journey 8