On Sunday, from 4pm until 6pm we, the local church (HTGP) are hosting a pop up drop off point to collect clothes for refugees. For a while we have wanted to do something real that will make a difference and help people who have been forced to leave their home.
We are collecting with and for a local charity called GRACE … and of you are in the area of the Greenwich Peninsula please do come and see us with your clothes gift in the Millennium Village Oval Square.
The two pictures below show what we are collecting …
we hope to meet you tomorrow …
Another good day as I met up with my great friend Richard from ICS and other people to chat more about Ibiza.
You may remember I went to Ibiza last summer (when I took the pic!) for 5 days with Richard to look to see how we could engage with spiritual seekers and tourists who both live on and visit the island. When I say engage … in case you were wondering … I don’t mean try and convert …. I mean to be a catalyst with them as they seek to engage with the spiritual, the creator and life.
I’m seeing that quite often people see Christian ‘mission’ as trying to change how they act, or how they believe. While that may happen; my view of mission is that it is more to join in with God is already doing, to help people notice what is deeply going on inside them already … to help them some some sense maybe of what they are experiencing in the spiritual part of their lives …. and then allowing God and the person to work it all out. After all … if God is God … then God does not need me t convince people …. God just needs me to show up and be there for when needed!
I simply want people to be aware that they are created in the image of God and seen as perfect by God … as they are … i.e. they do no need to change to be acceptable! Mini sermon done!
We chatted through some exciting ideas and possibilities for Ibiza today …. only possibilities and ideas at this stage …but I still hope to return to this beautiful place in the summer …. watch this space and we shall see.
One of the things we called to be involved in here as HTGP is that of ‘building community’.
In a listening survey I carried out in my first 9 months here I asked 3 simple questions:
What do you like about living here?
What frustrates you here?
What is lacking in this place?
To that last question the overwhelming majority answer (46% of people) said that the place lacked community feel. The next most frequent answer, at 14%, was facilities for teenagers. Nearly half of the people ho live around me feel there is no community or community spirt of feeling here. Whether that is right or not, it is a massive ‘popular’ opinion.
When I got here I quickly became part of the Residents Association and now, somehow I am secretary! This is actually group the campaigns well and puts on good events. Tonight I hosted a planning meeting for a large summer even, loosely called ‘The Village Summer Fete’. I’m excited about this because we are responding to the 46% by trying to deliver something that will bring community together . The plan is not to just have a one off event, but to have a forum or some method on the day itself for people of common interest to connect and maybe do something that will further develop community.
How does community grow?
I’m not sure I can answer that yet.
I wonder of we need ‘nodes’ or catalysts to ‘form’ around.
I hope The Village Summer fete might be one of those nodes or catalysts that gets something going.
I’m just think aloud really … because the Peninsula is quite a unique place … we are trying to develop community on land where people have not lived previously … in other areas of new builds this is not always the case and people are displaced or there is a community around that people either link, or not, with.
On the peninsula we do not have that option … we build together from nothing
It’s another exciting thing to be involved in.
So … if you live on the Peninsula …. or even if you don’t cos we are a pretty welcoming bunch …. put the date of Saturday 15th July in your diary and watch this space.
Tonight was Agapai.
Each week we get together at 8pm as the christian community that we are and we eat together.
This evening there were 4 of us.
Eating together and spending time together and listening to each other is the main purpose of Agapai.
We always ask two questions while we eat …
What has God been doing with you recently?
What can we pray for?
In the past some have seen the God questions as a bit of a threat and not wanted to engage with that with challenges like:
‘What if God is doing nothing?’
‘What if I can’t see God doing anything?’
“What if I don’t want to think about that question?’
or observations of:
‘God never does anything because God is not that interested!’
Of course those views and observations are ok to point.
Before you challenge me the fact I say they are ‘ok’ does not mean I agree with them!
I certainly don’t believe in a disinterested God! Exactly the opposite!
Sometimes, though, we do feel that God is distant and doing nothing … but I do believe if we never ask the question and consider what God might be doing, then we are never going to notice what God does.
If we take space, even if it is a little short pause as we eat, I believe we end up noticing a lot more of the stuff that is happening around us, and then we can wonder where God was in it … because it is pretty certain if we believe in a present God then God is there. Some would say somewhere … I think more in terms of everywhere!
A few years ago as part of IME training I remember Jean Kerr sent us out into a local high street and look for evidence of God’s love working. It was an amazing experience as all these young curares returned with unique observation after unique observation ranging from couples holding hands to people sitting with homeless and distressed individuals.
Tonights Agapai was a night of noticing God … every body could see an element of God somewhere in their past week or so ….. so tonights Agapai was pretty cool …. pretty inspiring …. and community building ….. why not think about joining us next week!
So … following from yesterdays blog …. do you want an opportunity to be involved in something really quite exciting?
A question … how often do you have an opportunity to be involved in something new, particularly where faith is concerned? How often do you get a chance to be involved in birthing and creating and moulding a new way of being church in a community that is ever changing, ever expanding, ever more diverse with incredibly exciting plans for it’s future like this … click here!
That’s the opportunity I have, and it’s one I would like to invite others to join me in.
We are looking to develop a missional contemplative christian community. As we develop we would serve the wider community in various, but relevant and as of yet unthought of, ways that we would come up with after listening and hearing what people around us say. This really would be living out gospel kingdom values in a dynamic and loving way …. really being good news for all we come into contact with.
What we are seeking?
- People who are Christians and interested in birthing and participating in a missional fresh expression of church with a contemplative flavour on the Greenwich Peninsula
- People who have, or have had in the past, a desire to focus more on contemplative and prayerful action within a Christian community and be willing to lead aspects of contextual worship, mission and community life on the Greenwich Peninsula.
- People who can commit to a Sunday evening Contemplative Eucharist, gatherings afterwards at a local pub or the vicarage and a Wednesday evening community meal with sharing of our weekly stories, prayer for each other with sharing of bread and wine.
- Where possible join in the prayer life of Holy Trinity, currently 730am Prayer & Pastry at the Vicarage.
- People willing to develop a meditation group on the Greenwich Peninsula aimed at supporting those who would call themselves spiritual rather than religious people.
I feel quite excited by what we can do here
But I know we need more people …. does that include you or someone you know?
Please take time to consider ….
I’d love to hear from you …. please get in contact via comments here or via our current website: http://www.holytrinity.online/
Today has been a good day.
A day of surprise conversations.
A day of unexpected opportunities.
A day of good interaction.
A day of sharing some dreams.
And even some laughter.
All the above came as a surprise.
Because today was supposed to also be the start of a new project which has had to be delayed at the last minute for a few more weeks. So, actually, I was expecting today to be a bit of a ‘meh’ day to be honest. Adding to this that I had a meeting that I needed to be at this evening which meant I would not be able to go to the Gills match with Joe meant I was expecting nothing of real value to come out of today.
But I was wrong.
And sometimes I like to be wrong.
A couple of new opportunities arouse today but the real exciting part of the day was to see this advert on the NOW gallery website. The above picture is our advertising postcard and flyer. So …. it’s official …. next week I will be leading our first meditation session in the gallery. It’s taken 18 months to get to a place where we can attempt to try to deliver stuff that we think will be a support to the local community.
18 months of listening and trying things … and I now feel that we are on the brink of a new era, a new way of working and new relationships …. time will tell …. so watch this space … tomorrow I will be sharing how you can ask get involved in this excitement!
I have been to see The Radical Eye twice in the last few weeks.
If you have not managed to get to this exhibition then I’d encourage you to get there if you can.
The photos are stunning and although I have many favourites, ‘Glass Tears’ taken by Man Ray in 1932 is simply captivating. Yesterday, my second visit was mainly so I could go and gaze at this photograph again. I just love everything about this image …. the blurred reality/fantasy divide, the look of wonder, the siren-ness ….
The exhibition is a beautifully stunning collection of photographs that belong to Elton John who has generously loaned them to the Tate. He says:
‘Each of these photographs serves as an inspiration for me in my life; they line the walls of my home and I consider them precious gems. I want people to think, ‘I’ve never seen anything like that before, never knew this kind of thing existed’ – just as I did when I first saw these photographs.’
The walls of his home must feel painfully and unbearably naked. If I had such a collection I am unsure whether I would loan them out for so long – not because I did not wish others to see them … but because I would not wish to suffer the sacrifice of naked walls!
But … it seems Elton John has a good healthy attitude to ‘possessions’. he actually wants people to see them, to be aware of them, to be inspired and struck by them.
As well as the gorgeous Man Ray photos I fell in love with some Irving Penn portraits taken where he had placed his ‘model’ in a corner made out of old set scenery. The one of Dali made me smile but I found myself connecting with this one of Spencer Tracey in an unexpected way. the image is clean and relaxed and just exudes peace.
Anyway … I’ve talked shit for far too long … go see …. go see now!