what's on the CD player?
. the big chill - ichill . !k7 . fila brazillia - brazilification2
what books are by the bed?
. the music of silence - john tavener . hey nostradamus - douglas coupland . this is uncool (the 500 greatest singles since punk and disco) - gary mulholland . the bible . fences and windows - naomi klein . the art of looking sideways - alan fletcher
Tuesday, February 25, 2003
this may seem a little bit random, if not a bit sad... in fact as i write this i am wondering if i have become a total nerd???!!! but for those of you out there who are wondering the very same thing about yourselves i'll share this with you anyway..... besides it's nearly a week since i last posted so i should come up with something useful/quirky.
below are listed some sites where you can get some pretty cool free fonts. these sites are all listed in a book that basically claims to have found the best free fonts out there - with a couple of friends we flicked through the book and jotted down the sites in the book shop! the book is obviously useful if you want to see what they look like.... but i didn't jot down its title. the two fonts above are spaceman and funky mushroom - two of my favourite ones that we found. anyway if you are interested follow the links and see what you find and no i can't remember which sites those two were from. enjoy!
Wednesday, February 19, 2003 worship trick 36 much like the orthodox jesus prayer it seems a bit of a cheek to call lectio divina a trick but heck why not..... darren has taken the trouble to describe a take on it here which i thought was pretty good and it's definitely worth having on the list
john davies announces that billy bragg is confirmed to play at greenbelt this year which sounds great though curiously it's not on the greenbelt site (maybe it is another hoax?!) - apparently billy has announced it in a newsletter so it isn't just a wind up....
john has also put the lyrics to billy's song 'the price of oil' on his blog. you can download an mp3 of the track which is proving popular - note it's 5.6 Mb before you start to download. if you're interested download here and put it on your ipod....
Wednesday, February 19, 2003
Tuesday, February 18, 2003 osbd have released another video in the images for worship series. images 4 is 47 mins long. it is a bit of a departure from the others in that each piece sticks much more strongly with one visual loop or idea. from a user's point of view i think this is good news. also rather than just having music as backing there are several with meditations. i can really imagine some of these being used in small groups on a tv in the lounge. the music and meditations are from alternative worship group l8r in london. osbd have put the words of the meditations on their web site. these are worthy of worship tricks in their own right (though get the video as well!). i eulogised about mike riddell's gift of crafting words the other week. well someone else who is up there in that gift is brian draper - he has written my two favourite pieces so...
got a shock to see that my blog has been listed in this month's youthwork magazine as a must see web site along with mark berry's growproject. it's flattering to have such attention.... though a little scary at the same time. i guess i'll just carry on as before. you can read the article here. these are the kind words from john allan (thanks!) -
.....renowned alternative worship pioneer and CMS Youth coordinator. He enthuses regularly about things he likes - art, websites, books, ideas - creating a slew of links and intriguing thoughts for other youth workers. Even more useful, he notes down brilliant 'worship tricks' which have worked for him, and could electrify some of your services too
welcome to any youthwork readers popping in out of curiosity to the strange and wonderful world of blogs!
Tuesday, February 18, 2003
Friday, February 14, 2003
crack open the champagne!!! at last after what seems like years since doug gay and i first started on this project alternative worship is finally out. some copies have arrived in the post today. it may take a few more weeks to make it into shops - who knows?! it is a collection of liturgies, rituals, prayers, meditiations arranged in the seasons of the church year. the pieces are gleaned from alternative worship groups from across the uk. there are also a series of reflections on images, music, liturgy, ritual, incarnation, culture and so on scattered through the book. the book follows on from spck's prodigal project. like that book it has a CD rom with it. the CD rom has been put together by jenny brown from vaux. the CD rom is wonderful - again arranged in the seasons of the church year it has mp3s, video loops, still images, liturgy and so on. the pieces are also in folders as stand alone items so that you can use them in your own presentations as you wish. i am excited about this - it's been a long time coming. it will be available from spck, proost, and amazon. i'll put a note on the blog when it is up on proost. if you follow the worship tricks on the blog this book is packed full of similar stuff! i have been told that baker publishing are going to be publishing it stateside eventually which is good news as well. so cheers!!!
Friday, February 14, 2003
Thursday, February 13, 2003
a couple of groups in northern ireland i have come across....
one is creating 'godspace' relating to club culture and they are blogging here. a nice quote from paul tillich on grace on a recent post is
Grace strikes us when we walk through the dark valley of an empty and meaningless life…when, year after year, the longed for perfection does not appear, when the old compulsions rage within us as they have for decades, when despair destroys all joy and courage. Sometimes at that moment a ray of light breaks into our darkness, and it is as though a voice were saying, ‘ You are accepted. You are accepted, accepted by that which is greater than you, and the name of which you do not know. Do not ask for the name now; perhaps you will find it later. Do not do anything now; perhaps later you will do much. Do not seek anything, do not perform anything, do not intend anything. Simply accept the fact that you are accepted.’ If that happens to us, we experience grace.
the other is an alternative worship group ikon who have beautiful web site. they describe themselves as standing in the line of good heretics which i really like (you need to read it to see what they are getting at but here's a couple of samples
In short, ‘Ikon’ is a wayward inn for heretics, raggy dolls and wandering stars. It is the first few words of a new language, the first few notes of a new melody, the first tentative moves of a new-born life.
At 'Ikon' we endeavour to be heretical because we wish to return to the Christian tradition and re-read it, allowing it to speak in a fresh manner. At 'Ikon' we believe that this returning to scripture and allowing it to radically speak again is something that must continually occur so that the dominant way of understanding it at any one historical moment does not become viewed as the only interpretation. Thursday, February 13, 2003
Wednesday, February 12, 2003 emergent uk have these words from MLK in their resources section
Martin Luther King, Jr.
January 15, 1929 - April 4, 1968
"Nonviolence means avoiding not only external physical violence but also
internal violence of spirit. You not only refuse to shoot a man, but you
refuse to hate him."
"Peace is not merely a distant goal that we seek, but a means by which we
arrive at that goal."
"Through violence you may murder a murderer, but you can't murder murder.
Through violence you may murder a liar, but you can't establish truth.
Through violence you may murder a hater, but you can't murder hate. Darkness
cannot put out darkness. Only light can do that..."
"A time comes when silence is betrayal. Even when pressed by the demands of
inner truth, men do not easily assume the task of opposing their
government's policy, especially in time of war. Nor does the human spirit
move without great difficulty against all the apathy of conformist thought
within one's own bosom and in the surrounding world.... "Some of us who have
already begun to break the silence of the night have found that the calling
to speak is often a vocation of agony, but we must speak. We must speak with
all the humility that is appropriate to our limited vision, but we must
speak. For we are deeply in need of a new way beyond the darkness that seems
so close around us.... "We still have a choice today: nonviolent coexistence
or violent co-annihilation. We must move past indecision to action. If we do
not act, we shall surely be dragged down the long, dark, and shameful
corridors of time reserved for those who possess power without compassion,
might without morality, and strength without sight.
"Now let us begin. Now let us rededicate ourselves in the long and bitter,
but beautiful struggle for a new world...."
"We will not build a peaceful world by following a negative path. It is not
enough to say we must not wage war. It is necessary to love peace and
sacrifice for it. We must concentrate not merely on the negative expulsion
of war but the postive affirmation of peace. We must see that peace
represents a sweeter music, a cosmic melody, that is far superior to the
dischords of war. Somehow, we must transform the dynamics of the world power
struggle from the negative nuclear arms race, which no one can win, to a
positive contest to harness humanity's creative genius for the purpose of
making peace and prosperity a reality for all the nations of the world. In
short, we must shift the arms race into a peace race. If we have a will- and
determination- to mount such a peace offensive, we will unlock hitherto
tightly sealed doors of hope and transform our imminent cosmic elegy into a
psalm of creative fulfillment."
"I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the
starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and
brotherhood can never become reality. I believe that unarmed truth and
unconditional love will have the final word."
Tuesday, February 11, 2003
new massive attack album 100th window lives up to the usual massive attack brilliance! surprise of the album is a track prayer for england. worship trick 32 is simply to play it and pray... here's a few lines:
in the name of and by the power of the holy spirit may we invoke your intercession for the children of england....
the teachers are representing you so badly that not many can see...
the online labyrinth has proved incredibly popular. we (proost) have had lots of requests for copies of it to run offline as it were... well finally it is now available on CD rom along with a 7 week discipleship course journey that takes the themes of the labyrinth (journey and relationships with god, creation, self and others). you can order it from proost here.
Sunday, February 09, 2003
i wrote about david dark's book everyday apocalypse back in december. it one of the finest examples of theologising through popular culture that i have come across. i have just discovered that the opening chapter of the book has been put up as an excerpt (as a pdf file). i have added it to the list of articles....
Sunday, February 09, 2003
found a great resource (thanks bridget and nick!)... a couple of dvds of the best adverts of 2001 and 2002. they are published by the british television advertising awards. if you want to get a copy send a cheque for £10 to btaa, 37 berwick street, london, w1f 8rs, uk (they are £10 each). specify what year you want (2002 and 2001 are the two i got). why would you want them?.... well i use this kind of stuff to teach on consumption, popular culture and all that. there are some great adverts on there, plenty to deconstruct and plenty to spoof.
Sunday, February 09, 2003
with war on iraq apparently looming large on the horizon i have been thinking about the song 'terrorist' that i wrote after a visit to the middle east in 1998. taken from the album backbone it's lyrics seem as poignant now as they did then...
no one can catch you you cover your tracks
while your dirty work is done in east timor and iraq
your fingerprints on guns the whole world over
in el salvador somalia sudan the middle east and cambodia
you've got blood on your hands blood on your hand blood on your hands
in the interest of security you sell weapons to all nations
fueling the genocide of indigenous populations
the fact is your interests are purely economic
you enslave a people to increase your profit
you've got blood on your hands blood on your hand blood on your hands
spin doctored speeches images and news
leaves the search for the terrorist somewhat confused
as you point the finger at palestinian and iraqi
underneath your shirt sleeves what's that i see?...
your imperialist crusade will not be contained
'coercive diplomacy' as you like it named
we won't be fooled by your bullshit and lies
it's a reign of terror you legitimise
Friday, February 07, 2003 worship trick 31 i describe various people as heroes of mine - one is bruce stanley whose stuff on embody is all wonderful. one of the new pieces handwashing was originally on clubberstemple but seemed to get removed. anyway it's now here and gets the worthy accolade of being worship trick 31! it's a flash animation and is about 700k i think...
Friday, February 07, 2003
the baghdad blog found this on the guardian blog: here is a link to where is raed?, a weblog from baghdad by a guy calling himself 'salam pax'. some bloggers have questioned its authenticity, but it is nonetheless a fantastic read: a depiction of everyday life, spiced with a scepticism about the iraqi and american governments. Friday, February 07, 2003
Monday, February 03, 2003
new blogs added to the list of bloggers: smallritual and john davies. i noticed smallritual has some new sections in it's thirdplace - more reflections on church space etc. seems the word is getting out about the site which is great news.
a bit about me...
i am a londoner; christian; dad; postmodern (whatever that means - i know at least that i'm not modern); director of an independent record label proost which we set up to release music without being subject to christian record labels who had a frankly unimaginitive approach to music at the time as far as we were concerned; a member of grace , an alternative worship community in west london that has been an inspiration, lifeline, home, great bunch of friends, provided an arena in which to be creative about faith and worship and culture; i'm also part of the wider alternative worship movement/scene in the uk where i have lots of friends sharing the same dreams and struggles; an ideas person; a husband; national youth co-ordinator for cms; involved in various creative projects, the most successful of which has been the labyrinth which has been on a roll since we first installed it in st pauls cathedral in 2000; a mac user; co-ordinator of the worship at greenbelt arts festival where we have tried to create a space for new/creative/alternative worship especially in the new forms venues - a good place to visit if you want to encounter lots of creative uk worship in one go; writer (albeit a novice) with a few articles in books, mags and the web; a chelsea football supporter; involved in youth ministry - i have been for 15 years now - in the uk at least many people involved in alt worship want to avoid being labelled youth ministry as it's a convenient way for the church to write off what you do and the people involved aren't by any means youth (though some are), but i live in both arenas and think there's lots of overlap and creative conversation and ideas to be shared between the two; songwriter; lover of music especially the ambient, chilled, dub, instrumental end of things; lover of good food, belgian beer and conversation;