Categories
Mission Thought of the Day

Progress

When the Israelites decide that they want a king, like other nations, they are told by their prophet that the king will take their children, their wealth, and the best of their produce. They go ahead with it anyway and choose Saul.

The idea that the rich get rich from the work of the poor is not new. Some justify it by saying that it is right to reward those who excel, and that this encourages progress which benefits everyone. Others argue that (rare) examples of those who have worked their way to the top from the bottom up are used by the rich to blame the less privileged for their own lack of success.

Why in the 21st century UK does our economy leave some people starving themselves so their kids can eat, while those they elect to represent them eat in fine restaurants?

Perhaps part of it is that when we invented robot slaves to do our clothes washing, instead of gaining more leasure time, people washed their clothes more often. Perhaps it is because once consumers are alienated from manufacturers the worth of what has been produced can become lost in politics.

These questions may be of interest. However the crucial question is “what can you do about it?” In what ways can our actions help progress work for the common weal? Can we build a global community where technology meets humanities basic needs, and allows art, philosophy and spiritual fulfillment to flourish?

Everyone will have their own response, perhaps some will post suggestions in the comments.

Categories
Creative Worship Thought of the Day

Beyond analogy

We live in a beautiful and fascinating world.

Experiments with Tin

But what has this to do with analogy or creative worship?

If we allow ourselves time to experience wonder, and put into practice the belief that God is generous, then we can train ourselves to notice the goodness in everything.

This video uses timelapse to speed up the process of crystals forming. Where did the idea to do this come from though? Perhaps someone had to spend a day without timelapse noticing the beauty – they then became able to draw everyone’s attention to what they noticed, with the aid of timelapse.

Water is referred to a lot in the gospels. We learn to understand Jesus with an analogy of being thirsty and needing a drink. This is then developed to imagining a type of water that if you drink then you will never be thirsty again. Some people react to the experience of dissatisfaction or continuing spiritual thirst, after they have chosen Jesus, by thinking that “life giving water” is just an analogy and the reality will be encountered in full when we pass through death into eternal life.

Learning to delay gratification is an essential life skill! However, doesn’t Jesus also stress the presence of the fullness of God in life now?

If we spend time watching ripples, experiencing the way light sparkles, the different sensations of taste then we can enjoy the reality of water now. Not just so that we can write blog posts, or make better analogies, but because in living we learn to live and enjoy life.

Art, Scientific method, even suffering can then become cups that hold the living water. If we can encounter and explore reality through them, then religion, worship, can help us express and explain what we encounter as a community. If we practice the presence of God, then we learn to taste the presence of God in something as common as water. Or in the physical and chemical properties of tin.

Categories
Creative Worship Fresh Expressions prayers

Celebration Earth

Visit the page

This page is collecting poems, reflections and examples of the myriad of ways in which people express the good they see in celebration.

Check it out, send in tour thoughts….

Categories
Mission

Hope

There is a reality in words. There is a reality in deeds.

When one is lacking it is challenged to perform by the other. The aim should be to use words to inspire deeds though, and great deeds inspire songs and poetry. Or, perhaps simply a like, smile or love emojii.

Here are some examples from round the world of people inspired by hope, carrying out deeds, that inspire hope. It’s early for baubles – but it’s been a tough year for many!

Hope Up Close – Church Mission Society carol event 2020 from Church Mission Society on Vimeo.

Categories
Fresh Expressions Thought of the Day

Gardening

The spiritual practice of gardening.

For some the step forward will be the experience of working with their hands, growing things, and encountering a primitive world to balance a lifestyle of technology and 24/7/365 artificial light. By relinquishing their acknowledged position of dominance they can restore the relationship.

For others it will be access to education, birth control and the technology of overconsuming cultures. In being freed from the vice of poverty they will be able to care for creation. In gaining practical control they will be able to restore the relationship.

A video made for Harvest, but packed full of thoughts for every season.

Take some time out to reflect. Find your balance, then start to walk.

Categories
Thought of the Day

Analogy

This post is not about crafts. It refers to an event which never happened. It can also reveal a powerful truth.

Truth is a complicated concept, but learning wisdom through meditating about truth provides a secure foundation for life.

Categories
Thought of the Day

Disaster Shamanism

I’m reposting this because it’s from a while ago, which means it can be read to see if it stands the test of time. Lots of words which may be unfamiliar to people! but then again, lots of words which may explain the motivation of the clowns you see parking boats in the middle of the road or living in tree houses.

And, on a second reading one my be able to grasp more about the significance of being a “clown” and taking on the burden of presenting the absurd for those who need to recognise the need to change (rather than hiding an agenda of domination in a mop of perfect nonsense).

Here is the link it will open in another window.

Categories
prayers

This too, is prayer.

Everyday prayer for wearing a face covering

We ran an interweave called “This too is prayer” a while ago. We explored how everyday actions communicate the relationships which form us and our relationship with God.

This prayer reminded me to be mindful of the meaning that can be found in the moment of preparing to leave the house, or enter a crowd.

Like saying grace at the start of a meal, it doesn’t need to be an epic display. However taking a moment to reflect, being aware of what you are doing, and doing that regularly and frequently can add spice to every day.

Could this be a component in good liturgical daily prayer for 2020/21?

Categories
2ndSunday

Artwork

The thoughts, dreaming and poetry from last months creative worship.

Clicking this link will take you to a page with all the blog posts about 2nd Sunday creative worship events.

Categories
2ndSunday

November 2nd Sunday Creative Worship

Please use the pop up to register, e-mail Quartz(AT)wordsmithcrafts.co.uk or phone 07572 006290.

When you register, please say how many people are in your household group! this will help us plan the layout.

We will meet online as well as in St Johns. The creative response will involve clay and Psalm 46, which seemed particularly appropriate this year.