Another good Agapai this evening.
Agapai is our weekly church community meal … we eat together, talk, pray and share bread and wine.
For the last few weeks we have been considering the topics raised in ‘Dethroning Mammon‘, Archbishop Justin’s Lent book.
Tonight we talked about what is precious to us … based around the story of Mary pouring £25 000 worth of perfume over Jesus feet (which I spoke on last Sunday) in a chapter entitled ‘What we have we hold’.
We chatted tonight about what possessions are precious to us … homes, cars, sentimental value things; we spoke about how easy it would be to give these things away if people needed them, in the way Mary ‘gave away’ her perfume.
We also spoke about times when we may have questioned the way other people worship and took time to consider what is what about the actions of others that disturbed or bothered us. We wondered what we could learn from this.
The evening closed with us sharing, as Christian Community, bread and wine before we than prayed about stuff that needed praying about.
Tonight was a great evening. The discussion was sometimes shallow, often deep, and with enough water inbetween to flow or tussle with. There was laughter too. When HT get together there is always laughter!. I hope that stays.
Thanks you for coming … see you next time!
Tonight at HTGP we looked at Matthew 5 were Jesus calls his followers to be salt and light where they are.
In addition to listening to the passage and considering what it means to be salt and light (listen to Margaret’s homily here) we also said goodbye and blessed Angela, Esther and Josiah as they move on to a new stage of ministry elsewhere in the parish. It was an emotional time.
Tonight I felty our stations during Open Space worked well with the passage.
We had 2 bowls of crisps (Salt n Shake crisps .. the ones which are not salted and the salt comes in a little blue bag); one bowl was salted and the other wasn’t. The station asked people to taste crisps from each bowl and consider whether they, as salt, are in the mix of their communities flavouring and being good news or whether they are hiding in the little blue bag which could be various activities or places.
The other station used Glo sticks; the type that need to be cracked and shaken before they emit their light. The station asked people to take, crack and shake the glo stick while pondering and asking God ‘Are there places in my life that I need to allow you to crack and shake me a little so that you can shine brighter in my life?’
It seemed people were struck and challenged by these thoughts and the discussion time afterwards took these themes a little deeper.
We ended tonight service with prosecco and cake … a good way to celebrate a changing of ministry as well as acknowledging that we are all created in God’s image … and as such all contain God’s light … and that sometimes we need cracking to allow that light to shine.
1801 continues next week with the words of Jesus suggesting plucking out our eyes and cutting off out hands is better than sinning …. I wonder what creative stations I can come up with to get us thinking on that …. why not come find out!
This evening saw the first Agapai of 2017.
Agapai is the HTGP weekly meal together.
The format is simple.
We chat about each others weeks looking to see what God has been doing.
We pray for each other.
We share bread and wine.
Tonight we also chatted about developing some bible study/discussion/video teaching (possibly using Richard Rohr) to use particularly over the weeks of Lent.
Tonight seemed a bit like a new start, a new way forward … exciting!
If you are nearby … and you like the idea of eating with a fledgling contemplative community each week and sharing and hearing stories before praying together … then look us up or book yourself in here.
2017 is here ….
So … what is happening here in the pioneering peninsula of Greenwich …
I am looking ….
I am praying …
I am waiting ….
for people to join me
for people to join us
for people to get together to
to birth something new here
something intentionally spiritual
something deliberately communal
something that will make a difference
something that is new ‘cos there is no blueprint
something that will grow and develop as we grow and develop
something that needs to be moulded by whoever joins the journey
church …. yes
religiously set ways of dong things … no
collaborative, creative, meaningful … yes
having to believe ‘right’ things and behave in ‘certain ways’ … no
believing there is only one way to do things … NO!
Jesus gospel trinity based … yes
affirming and encouraging … yes
contemplative Christian community … very possibly yes
Does that sound interesting to you?
Do you live within reach of North Greenwich …. read on a little more …
What we are seeking?
- People who are established 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 possibly 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’d love to hear from you …. please get in contact via comments here or via our current website: http://www.holytrinity.online/
I think this is exciting … how often do we get a chance to develop and create and mould something new …. something that we hope will be of use not to us bit to those around yes as well … a blessing for us so that we can be a blessing for others … so … get in touch if remotely or only vaguely interested …
I inhabit a variety of spaces on the peninsula.
In the summer there are lots of benches to sit on. Well … they are there in the winter too but it is not as comfortable sitting on them then.
During the colder months I have taken to sitting in Cafe Pura and Craft. Both are spaces with coffee but both are very different spaces. Cafe Pura tends to serve the residents from GMV while Craft tends to serve more the workers of the peninsula plus those passing through.
Even before I moved here and started the role a question was, and still is, who am I to serve here as the team vicar?
Am I to try and connect with the residents and birth church with those that are interested, or should I link with those that are here in the day and work in the buildings around.
And what about the 280 or so students that live on the peninsula … is there a role to play in supporting them while they stay here?
Then there is the building workforce … I can count 17 new buildings between me and The Thames that have been built in just the 16 months that I have lived here. There is a large workforce that makes that happen. oh … and the thousands of visitors we have each day … what about them?
Of course the answer is ‘Yes’.
In an ideal world we should be looking to engage and serve every single one of those communities. But I am not in an ideal world. I am part time team vicar for 4 days and then school chaplain for 2. I also only have a 3 year contract which we are nearly half way through.
Those ‘limitations’ means we have had to focus whilst keeping an open mind and willingness to hear what God might be saying. This has meant I have been ‘inhabiting’ all these spaces and waiting to see where I come across the people of peace that want to work together to serve the various fledgling communities on the peninsula. While being in these spaces and listening and watching I believe it has been important to intentionally have a blank sheet … so that whatever we grow here grows around the people that are involved rather than the other way round. So … in other words I am looking for interested people to develop something with … not looking for people to get involved in something I have already thought up.
There is a possibility that I have now moved from seeing no ways forward to now being in a position where there are a variety of avenues to walk along to support and bless the people of the peninsula. 2017 is looking bright … er!
Over the next few weeks I will be using the blog to reflect on these and push ideas around … and I invite you to join me in that conversation as you have done in the past.
This will probably be the last post this side of Christmas …. apart from the customary photoshopped design Christmas Card that will appear here tomorrow.
See you on the other side …..
It’s been a great week so far …after lots of prayer across the diocese we finally got an answer ….
On Tuesday we got to meet the next Bishop of Woolwich. It was great to be introduced to him with lots of other people from the diocese. We had a little chat as he wondered around the people who gathered and my first impressions were of a very personable and caring person who seems to be totally motivated by the gospel. I think that is pretty exciting and I look forward to chatting with him in time about stuff on the peninsula. The staff team have been passing around this article which has some good stuff in it to read, particularly his passion for reaching out to people with God’s love.
Karowei will come to the diocese after serving in a London parish for the last 18 years. I can relate to feelings of bereavement that he will inevitably have for a little while as he moves from that community to be with us and so we need to be praying for him and Mosun as they prepare to leave there and join here.
Anyway …. WELCOME …. #excitingtimes
Todays we are holding a Christingle at HTGP.
We have done a lot of advertising via social media and given card invitations to the parents at the school I am chaplain at … it’s another part of our hypothesis testing of seeing if people here want to come together to mark certain times.
I hope people come today.
We have a shed load of oranges, we have candles, ribbon, currants, sweets … yes … everything you need for a Christingle.
We also have little collection boxes for The Children’s Society. It’s shocking to see so many vulnerable and homeless children and this is one way to support a great organisation that is making a difference in young peoples lives.
This will be a great event this afternoon with Christingles, carols, mulled wine and mice pies ….. all welcome!