uk voice in the global conversation and buzz about alternative worship, mission, postmodernity, emerging church and all that



contact jonny
contact me at jonny baker

. interview with jonny on osbd
. interview with jonny on jordoncooper

photo albums
coventry stained glass   coventry

bath landscape   bath

. grace
. proost
. labyrinth
. alternativeworship
. smallfire
. flicker
. greenbelt
. embody
. smallritual
. one small barking dog
. the big chill
. ninjatune
. pork records
. iasym
. rejesus
. ship of fools
. kingdom space
. enetation
. tall lanky baker
. clubbers temple
. vaux greyspace
. adbusters
. sacredfuture
. everyday apocalypse
. sacramentis
. banksy
. txtevents
. theology and popular culture gateway
. future shape of church
. phuture
. highwayvideo
. jonbirch

articles by me
. the labyrinth: ritual as strategic practice (dissertation)
. alternative worship and popular culture
. jesus in amongst the brands
. using images in worship
. getting started
. youth culture
. novice guide to gforce
. coldcut and resistance
. youth ministry and the stranger
. revival
. forceful kingdom?

articles by other people
. beaudoin on capitalism
. forgotten fire
. guide to alt worship
. love affair
. how to start a blog 1
. how to start a blog 2
. churchless faith
. the mystery of mulholland drive
. the bible in transmission (lots of articles)
. chillout
. healing and reconciliation with young people
. beyond ground zero
. everyday apocalypse
. incomplete manifesto for cross cultural missions in postmodern times
. connecting up tvs and video
. women and men in ministry

. kingdom space
. proost
. andrew jones
. deepdirt
. jordoncooper
. bloggedy blog
. prodigal
. guardian
. daniels journey
. greenbelt
. wadders
. stevedownunder
. growproject
. living-room
. barky
. lebs rant
. davidhopkins
. smallritual
. john davies
. echoesofathenianidols
. grace lentblog
. en direct
. dave killingback
. emergingminister
. matt westbrook
. openground
. cre8d
. labyrinthaustralia
. bob carlton
. mootblog
. maggi dawn
. ramblin man
. tangled wib
. lillyspad
. aslansattic

music releases to date
. grace
. eucharist
. labyrinth
. backbone
. old hymns in dub
. spirit of the new

worship tricks
. intro
. 1 lazy
. 2 postcards
. 3 ad liturgy
. 4 my king
. 5 deadly media
. 6 liberation
. 7 compline
. 8 parables
. 9 gforce
. 10 pentecost flame throwing
. 11 virtual prayer
. 12 wwjw
. 13 connect
. 14 niceday
. 15 clubbers temple
. 16 shrines
. 17 timber
. 18 angel
. 19 do not be afraid
. 20 dvd rip for windows
. 21 celtic pumpkin
. 22 give us our daily product
. 23 alternative lords prayer
. 24 christ we share
. 25 born among us
. 26 imaging the word
. 27 o little town
. 28 magnificat and incarnation
. 29 jesus prayer and cord
. 30 network church
. 31 handwashing
. 32 a prayer for england
. 33 spirit and truth
. 34 when a man becomes a man
. 35 today
. 36 lectio divina
. 37 lost horizons
. 38 bloggers prayer
. 39 swearword and flesh of our flesh
. 40 focus
. 41 bitter journey
. 42 seven sayings
. 43 gethsemane
. 44 five angels
. 45 pentecost stencils
. 46 three is the magic number
. 47 arkaos
. 48 16 video ideas
. 49 the real thing
. 50 digital quilt
. 51 25 prayer exercises
. 52 not in my name liturgy
. 53 protest stencils
. 54 stations of the cross
. 55 jump london video idea
. 56 listen
. 57 cool stuff on CR dvd
. 58 flash texts
. 59 pentecostal ducks
. 60 mixed chemistry
. 61 the sower

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

jonnybaker blog
Sunday, June 30, 2002  
bono being interviewed on cbc following the G8 summit is here.
Sunday, June 30, 2002

nugget 3
i keep meaning to get round to adding some more nuggets. anyway here's one. this comes from a book called 'an unstoppable force' by erwin mcmanus. he runs a church called mosaic in LA. the thing that i like about this church from what i've read is the number of artists involved in the church. anyway the nugget is from ezra 3:10-13....

when the builders laid the foundation of the temple of the lord, the priests in their investments and with trumpets, and the levites (sons of asaph) with cymbals, took their place to praise the lord, as prescribed by david king of israel. with praise and thanksgiving they sang to the lord 'he is good; his love endures for ever'. and all the people gave a grear shout of praise to the lord because the foundation of the house of the lord was laid. but many of the older priests and levites and family heads who had seen the former temple wept aloud when they saw the foundation of this temple being laid, while many others shouted for joy. no one could distinuish the shouts of joy from the sound of weeping because the people made so much noise. and the sound was heard far away.

what mcmanus says about this passage is that this represents a generational shift and cultural crisis in the community. the older members of the community wept with the realisation that the new temple wasn't going to be like the old one that they had known (and in which god had done great things). but the younger generation didn't know the older temple with all its glory - they were excited about the new thing, no doubt more in keeping with their day.

we see this again and again that christians want to hold on to the way they've done things rather than embrace change, because often god has genuinely been experienced in the old things, structures, and ways of doing things. but to stay there is a mistake. why? because god never keeps still, and because culture doesn't keep still. so in spite of fears and insecurity the call is to embrace change and embrace the future.

Sunday, June 30, 2002

Saturday, June 29, 2002  
it's glastonbury festival this weekend. wish i was there having been a couple of times before. but did the next best thing of watching the concert footage on tv last night. first up was faithless singing their wonderful 'god is a dj' with the lines 'this is my church, this is where i heal my hurts' which we have played in many a grace service. watching faithless play feels like worship to me, or at least i wish worship was like that anyway! at the end of the song maxi jazz started improvising over the song and came up with the following line:
'the church is not in here - it's where you are everyday so take your responsibility'
pretty stunning line eh?! reminded me that when i went to glastonbury several people i knew who were christians had kind of spoken in worried tones before i went saying to be careful as though glastonbury was the territory of the devil or something. but my experience then was that there were rumours of glory or whispers of the kingdom all over the place. seems like the same thing is still going on. mission is always about seeing what god is doing and joining in. must book my ticket for next year.....

Saturday, June 29, 2002

Friday, June 28, 2002  
i have chatted to several people who have read my blog and come back again (amazing!). anyway several have asked how you go about running one. well it's easy and free! go to blogger and follow your instincts - that's what i did. alternatively here's two really helpful articles on getting started:
how to blog part 1
how to blog part 2
happy blogging!

Friday, June 28, 2002

just got sent a url for a talk on youth culture that i gave last summer at a university chaplains conference. have put a link to it in in the articles section case it's of interest/use.
Friday, June 28, 2002

Monday, June 24, 2002  
was very excited today to get the first ever journal of youth and theology of IASYM (the international association for the study of youth ministry). it contains a range of articles - i've read the first two so far - and it's wonderful. it's a sign that youth ministry is growing up. i expect this will be the context for ongoing debate and theological wrangling with all kinds of issues at the interface of youth culture, ministry, sociology, cultural studies, anthropology, missiology and any other relevant -ologys (oops forgot theology!). the IASYM is open to new members at a very reasonable rate. while you have a look at the web site look at the info on the forthcoming conference in oxford in january 2003 - it's a must. to encourage the development of interest in the association we have been gievn an extra copy of the journal to pass on. so i have a spare that i'll pass on to the first person to e-mail me expressing an interest. the only requirement is that you are involved in the study of youth ministry.
Monday, June 24, 2002

a record label that I love is the big chill who have consistently put out outstanding compilation cds at the forefront of chillout/leftfield mainly instrumental music, whilst managing to avoid the latest (in the uk at least) commercialisation of chillout cds as a genre. i really must get to one of their summer festivals, but i'm always busy organising stuff for the greenbelt festival. anyway thought this from their e-mail newsletter might be of interest to anyone interested in the big chill - a new free magazine!

The first issue of The Big Chill magazine is expected back from the printers today - and we can't wait to see the finished article. Completely advert free, this is a real labour of love with features on The Big Chill's first ever open air event in The Black Mountains back in 95, our Body and Soul practitioners, what to expect in Naxos, our Top 20 summer album playlist, and lots of lush photography and the latest on the summer's top events. Essential reading for Big Chillers everywhere.
What's more, it is available at no cost other than a one pound stamp (email for overseas rates). All you have to do is send us a large (A4 size) stamped addressed envelope to Magazine, PK Events, PO Box 7378, London N4 3RH.

Monday, June 24, 2002

Friday, June 21, 2002  
attended an anglican church planting conference in london yesterday. seems there are plenty of new churches and imaginitive ways of going about church in the new cultural situation. one of the things that struck me in the presentation was that several times it was mentioned that as you go out in mission and develop indigenous expressions of church, other than the overall direction, you really don't know what you're doing. i found this encouraging and it reminded me of the missionary to the massai, vincent donavon, who describes mission as a journey to a place that neither the missionary or the people being reached have been to before. one of the metaphors used at the conference was from that fantastic scene in the wallace and grommit's 'the wrong trousers' where grommit is chasing the penguin on a toy train. at one point the track runs out and to keep going grommit has to lay it directly in front of him as fast as possible. sounds familiar......! george lings who runs a series of booklets 'encounters from the edge' is setting up a new web site to be launched july 1 telling stories from the edge. i'll put a link to it when it's up and running.
Friday, June 21, 2002

Monday, June 17, 2002  
have added a new article love affair to the side links. this is an essay by a friend tony cant that i persuaded him to put online. it draws a parallel between the context of exile and our own situation. it's really inspiring and challenging. here's a couple of quotes to whet your appetite -

Unfortunately it seems that the church in the west has yet to recognise the disaster that has begun to shake its foundations. Instead, it seems intent on speaking peace and carrying on business as usual. And if the exile paradigm is to be accepted, then even more ludicrous is the church’s insistence upon renewal and revival before the recognition and grief of the disaster. Those in ministry seem to be running around in ever-decreasing circles trying to keep the institutional machinery ticking over. No wonder so many are exhausted!...

.... The other part of the argument is that exile was Yahweh’s decision. Theology is at the heart of the exile. So again, the church needs to take a deep breath and accept that its place in the transitional shaking between modernity, post-modernity, and whatever comes next is not just due to a socio-political upheaval passed off as another inevitable epoch in the human story. No, at the heart of its own exilic shakings is the theological decision of the King of the Universe.

....And the real tragedy is that the church in the west gives its blessing to this iniquitous system because it is hopelessly tied to the apron strings of its whore mother who gives it succour!

good stuff eh?! i think i'll make this nugget no 2 as i said a whil back i'd start a series of postmodern readings of the bible and haven't posted any since!

Monday, June 17, 2002

had a weird experience on sat evening. grace, the church i am part of and love, is a congregation of an anglican church. it would be fair to say that grace is a very different flavour to the rest of the church. i try and go to some of the regular services to stay connected with the wider community. usually i come away frustrated for a variety of reasons. anyway sat night was a big church bbq - and it was great. food and drink (even a belgian ale), conversation, a marquee with a band playing (the weird thing here was that it was a similar band to the one that do the worship in the church - i really struggle to get into their worship in church - feels so alien to me - and yet at the bbq the songs were much better, the feel was much better). this in my view was church... made me think that the things i struggle with aren't church or the people that go or even not relating to different generations. but a particular tired fixed expression of worship. the funny thing is that i think people of all ages felt the same thing. so church needs more meals and conversation and relaxing together (thinking about it wasn't that a lot of what jesus spent his time doing?....)
Monday, June 17, 2002

oops... haven't updated the blog for a while. main reason being that i've been watching the world cup in my spare time. i think england's next game against brazil or belgium will be the big one (could belgium beat brazil? now that would be good!). evn the usa seem to be developing their soccer skills! it's been great to see japan, korea and senegal doing so well too....
anyway before i put off any blog readers who loathe and detest football, a good site i found out about is tom and christine sine's mustard seed. tom and christine have been heroes for years at telling the story of the kingdom of god as a different vision/story of life than the western (in their context american) dream. this site pulls together theology, book reviews, discussion forums, practical ideas, seeds of hope from around the world. another passion of theirs that i think is wonderful is networking people who can learn so much from each other - people across the globe involved in emerging church and different generations learning from each other. this will be a site to revisit i'm sure.

Monday, June 17, 2002

Tuesday, June 11, 2002  
at the christian brodcasters conference... i'm afraid there are no great surprises! as in so many areas of church/christianity it feels like we need a renewing of imagination in our approach to the media. sure - appealing to old people is important; sure songs of praise has a place; sure the moral agenda has a place;.... but equally while all of these things are appealing to and reassuring a generally conservative crowd (both culturally and politically), they confirm to another crowd that christianity is not for them! as far as i'm concerned this conference is confirming that the 'brand' is in bad shape but don't expect the broadcasters to be the ones who will undertake a rebranding exercise. i'm afraid it's business as usual.
one pleasant surprise though has been that the bbc (as an aside i've just realised that a typical bbc voice is scarily like a typical anglican voice - mmmmm) have a funky community bus here with all sorts of computers and broadcasting studis on so i've been able to get in and update the blog - good old bbc eh?!

Tuesday, June 11, 2002

Sunday, June 09, 2002  
today i'm off to a christian broadcasting/broadcasters' conference. at it we'll be running the labyrinth. apparently lots of people involved in tv, radio, internet media will be there along with church leaders, bishops and all that. so it could be interesting. i must admit most religious broadcasting in the uk (particularly tv) leaves me cold. it seems to be aimed at a conservative elderly audience who want to listen to traditional hymns. interviews are conducted in victorian sets. it all seems to be wanting to hark back to another era. why?! it baffles me. clearly there is an audience for this religion as nostalgia but i'm hoping to find out at this conference if there's anything a touch more contemporary around..... we shall see. i'll keep you posted.
Sunday, June 09, 2002

Thursday, June 06, 2002  
new job
i have a new job! this may come as a surprise to people that know me well as i've worked for youth for christ for 14 years now. but it's time for a change... i will be working for the church mission society as their national youth co-ordinator starting on 1 september. cms are a mission agency, strongly linked with the anglican church. they've been around for 200 years and have done fantastic stuff down the years all round the world. but like so many organisations they are wrestling with what it means to do mission and what church should now be like in the new cultural context we find ourselves in. to try and develop new approaches of mission and church cms have set a new department 'impact' - this is the department i will be part of. youth for cms is age 16-25. the positioning of the job in this department is an exciting move i think. the job is to help develop a mission movement amongst youth in the uk and also to link and join in with a global mission movement. youth congregations, emerging church, and all that.... are very much part of the brief. i'll let you know how it goes!
i'll be sad to leave yfc as i have many friends there and they have supported me in lots of ways, particularly when i have come up with leftfield/creative/wacky ideas. but i'm sure i'll keep good links.

Thursday, June 06, 2002

worship trick 12
wwjw - what would jesus wear?! - this has been mentioned before on a few other blogs, but i've since used it a few times and people always want to know where they can get it from. so i'm adding it in as a trick. designed by steve collins, we first used it as part of a grace service exploring the practice of living as christians in a consumer culture. other ideas we used at those services are on the grace site in the zine as the heresy of simplicity.

Thursday, June 06, 2002

worship trick 11
virtual prayer. here's three different ways to pray by lighting virtual candles. good to use at home or go online and use in a service/at a station.
others (click on no 10 'others' to access this one)
post a prayer
and while you're at it try vurch's prayer wall.

Thursday, June 06, 2002

Saturday, June 01, 2002  
worship trick 10
pentecost madness. mark pierson from nz is always coming up with wonderfully creative ideas. he seems to have a particular penchant for crazy pentecost services that involve as much fire as possible! this is his latest (don't run it past the health and safety people first though or it will never happen).....
"Pentecost is my favourite festival. So many great images. We took the Spirit of God as Fire this year. 2 services with the themes The fire of God's Spirit enables... and reveals.... I set up the space with a campfire of tvs 2 high running fire vid loops, lots of red flood lights, mirror ball etc so the place was awash with red. After our usual (a tradition now) popping of the popcorn all over the floor while I talked
about the potential God sees in each of us and how the Spirit enables that potential to be realised in a relationship with Christ, I moved to the centre piece. I had a large steel bowl (wok ) on top of a metre high black plinth, with candle burning beside it. In the wok was a pile of
meths soaked pumice rocks (very porous). At the appropriate moment I pulled out an aerosol can of cooking oil and sprayed it across the top of the candle. It ignited like a flame thrower and lit the bowl of pumice beside it. Very cool effect! We also used a cross covered in magicians flash paper to ignite in the dark. Now next year...!"

Saturday, June 01, 2002

yet another fantastic new web site has just been launched. rejesus has taken months of work. several organisations/church bodies in the uk have got together and invested a lot of money in this site - it really is huge - and clearly there are plans to expand and keep it interactive. it's a great site for people interested in finding out about jesus with info, chatrooms, use of the arts etc.. and there's lots of creative ideas for anyone who is already a follower/friend. the organisations have had the good sense to get bruce stanley, creator of (embody and labyrinth) and simon jenkins, editor of ship of fools to put the site together so it has a wonderful creative edge. well done guys!

Saturday, June 01, 2002

a bit about me... small drawing of jonny 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;

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