Tag Archives: featured

End of the Day Wellbeing Prayer

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This contemplative prayer is aimed at helping us become centred, and attending to the different parts of us to and with God to help us again find our strength and centre in the source of all life.  Again this is a great form of prayer and meditation if you feel anxious and find it difficult to switch off before sleeping.

End of Day well being prayer

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Dealing with Anxiety & Being Overwhelmed: The Welcoming Prayer

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We live in tough times, made even harder by the current viral pandemic.  If you like me struggle a bit with anxiety and getting overwhelmed, then I commend this form of contemplative prayer. It’s approach of focusing on emotions, the body and surrendering elements of your life to God a powerful combination of embodied meditation and prayer that bring spiritual relief, wellbeing and deep connection to and with God. I highly commend this, so please do see the audio below and the attached doc in words.

 

Text for Welcoming Prayer

If you are feeling stressed and overwhelmed by what is going on, I recommend doing this form of prayer at least twice a day

We the Western Missional Church needs to learn from the ways and practices of the persecuted Church of the Middle East

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You many not know, but one of the greatest growing Christian contemplative expressions of Church is in Iran and Iraq.  They meet to pray, but have no buildings, no visibility, no formalised leaders but are deeply oppressed where their lives are often at threat, and also at risk of rape by the secret police – both the men and the women.

Their model is a radical openness to the Holy Spirit, to be obedient to the Gospels, where there is a deep relational commitment to be brother and sister Christians, but how they wait and hold back and wait for others to ask religious questions.  The focus then is on living the Christian faith – discipleship – not evangelistic events or the approaches we use in the west which just don’t work. For them this is high risk, where they have no religious freedom and oppressed by the threatening domination system.

What can we learn from this?

Clearly at the moment we are not persecuted, but I do believe we are struggling in the west with a massive negative stereotype concerning Christianity and the church which is still too connected to establishment and privilege – and culturally is seen and treated in a way that is not far from forms of prejudice that can easily grow into forms of persecution.

The persecution in the persecuted church allow each of the individual to grow spiritually to have the maturity to cope with oppression but open to God doing things and working miracles that comes from prayer and being an underground network family.

In my new context, Christchurch Southwark, we are struggling because the area is I think sanitised by the market society which isolates the rich and dehumanises and marginalises the poor and vulnerable where our worth is measured against economic or commodified value. So the question is how to we relate to this type of society where many are not free and struggling and not open to Christianity, largely because they have never seen it lived.  Living it is critical so people can experience Christians and how faith and spirituality has transformed their life. Only by being an example can we be effective with mission and hence Jesus” teachings and the new commandment and the Lord’s Prayer as a way of life. So this is what we need to learn, and we have got lazy in the west, because we don’t have to fight for the right to express our faith.  I am struck by the approach in Iran and Iraq and China because they developed a movement, being able to use forms of relational ministry and do food ministry, friendship and soul friends so we put the focus on living it, and learning to live it better together.  If you get a chance see the Youtube clips of sheep amongst wolves.  It is cheesy in places and some of its theology is not where I am at, yet I believe the focus on living it guided by God builds mature disciples – I think is helping me to think what I need to get going at Christchurch..,..

 

A New Beginning in Southwark amongst the Tate Modern and Oxo Tower

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Pleased to be able to say that I have finally moved from Peckham to Southwark SE1 to an ancient parish of Christchurch Southwark, with the aims of revitalising an ancient church with a contemplative focus to being an ecclesial community with a focus on mission being contemplative action. I hope to found a residential new monastic community in the parish, and instigate a focus on Christian spirituality for those who live and work in the area.

For more information see Christchurch Southwark on Facebook see: https://www.facebook.com/chrisdtchurchsouthwark/

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The Pioneer Minister as Prophet

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Prophets, by their very nature, cannot be at the center of any social structure. Rather, they are “on the edge of the inside.”

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I have just spent 4 fantastic days at the Hui Mission & Theology Conference hosted by Church Mission Society at Ripon College Cuddesdon Oxford.  This was a gathering of practitioners, theologians and educators, and it was a wonderful opportunity for mutual learning and encouragement.

Personally, it was a breath of a fresh air, being amongst people with a similar form of vocation across Europe, and I loved it.

I have been struck by the call for such ministries to be prophetic, and in Richard Rohrs reflections this week, there has been a whole focus on the role of prophets, and the challenge it is for those whose vocation touches this calling and how has it is to be part of any organisational structure.  Prophets are called to hack the system for its own flourishing, an important function of both pioneering and fresh expressions of church.

Stations of the resurrection

So now we enter into the 6 weeks season of the resurrection as Easter, and I think we don’t focus enough on ways of engaging with the season after the intensity of Lent, the Passion and Holy Week.

One way to keep focused on the spirituality of the season of the resurrection is by keeping Stations of the Resurrection in the life of the ecclesial community: a good example is here.

Easter 4: I AM The Good Shepherd: Freedom & Obedience by Ian Mobsby

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In this podcast Ian Mobsby explores the Gospel of John Chapter 10 where Jesus describes himself metaphorically as the ‘Good Shepherd’.   This biblical passage is part of a large text where Jesus uses a number of ‘I AM’ phrases and metaphors to enable people to begin to understand his divinity.  This was recorded at the Parish Church of St Luke’s Church (Camberwell) in Peckham on the 4th Sunday of Easter 2018.

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Easter: The struggle for Hope & Living as a Christian by Ian Mobsby

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This podcast was recorded on the third sunday of Easter 2018, where Ian Mobsby explores the implication of the Gospel text Luke 24: 13-38 which explores the familiar stories of the Road to Emmaus and the first appearance of Jesus to the disciples.  These texts are crucial for our encouragement and hope looking back from the 21st Century, and says something about the calling to demonstrate that we are truly following Jesys by the way we live our lives.

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What is New Monasticism? 5: . A commitment to missional loving service as an individual and as an ecclesial community.

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In this the fifth blog on the essentials of New Monasticism – we look at the element focused on loving service.

As New Monastic Communities draw on a mixed vocation of Monk and Friar, they hold onto contemplative prayer and missional loving service.  This is why sometimes New Monastic communities are called ‘small missional communities’ as a particular focus on ‘prayerful action’.

 

So here loving action has a number of elements

– the alleviation of the suffering of the poor in sharing food, money and resources. Social and economic justice.

– hospitality in terms of friendship, kindness and human dignity.

– opening up the gospel in relational approaches to sharing the Good News of Jesús and the love of God.

– challenging injustice, oppression of people, the environment, other animals and the planet. Social, economic and ecological justice.

For those of us who are Anglican – this loving service is deeply tied into the Missio Dei – the mission of God or more accurately – Missio Trinitatis – the mission of the Trinity. Which is summarised as the marks of mission:

– To proclaim the Good News of the Kingdom

– To teach, baptise and nurture new believers

– To respond to human need by loving service

– To transform unjust structures of society, to challenge violence of every kind and pursue peace and reconciliation

– To strive to safeguard the integrity of creation, and sustain and renew the life of the earth

(Bonds of Affection-1984 ACC-6 p49, Mission in a Broken World-1990 ACC-8 p101)

It is vital then in an New Monastic Community that individuals are committed to mission and loving action just as much as they are committed to community and contemplative prayer. These need to be shared by the whole community and well as individual actions.

What is New Monasticism?

A. Introduction

1. A commitment to a Rhythm of Daily Life

2. A commitment to contemplative forms of prayer and meditation

3. A commitment to spiritual practices and radical community

4. A commitment to missional loving service as an individual and as an ecclesial community.

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