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
Friday, January 31, 2003  
blah logo

liquid church on tap with pete ward

CMS presents the first in a series of open conversations reflecting on mission, worship, church and christianity in today's rapidly changing culture. the series kicks off with pete ward, discussing 'liquid church'. pete's recently published book is wonderfully provocative and argues for the need to 'liquefy' congregational life and ministry. in london this is the first major forum where those who have read the book can react and discuss it with pete and those who haven’t can find out what all the buzz is about.

thursday march 6
drinks and refreshments provided
admission free

venue: CMS partnership house, 157 waterloo road

[nearest tube waterloo - follow signs from station to old vic. go past old vic and partnership house is on the same side opposite the ambulance station]

if you want to come e-mail cms

Friday, January 31, 2003

Thursday, January 30, 2003  
cycle of violence picstumbled across facts of life 3 by pippo lionni. i already have book no 1, but didn't even know there were any more! they are books of simple drawings representing ideas. incredibly beautiful, thoughtful and inspiring. have a look here to get more of an idea. one drawing (from book 1 actually) that is pretty poignant at the moment is this cycle of violence (link from pic on left).

add to that this rhyme a friend sent me (from another friend) and that's my reflection on war for the day!

If You're Happy And You Know It Bomb Iraq
by John Robbins

If you cannot find Osama, bomb Iraq.
If the markets are a drama, bomb Iraq.
If the terrorists are frisky,
Pakistan is looking shifty,
North Korea is too risky,
Bomb Iraq.

If we have no allies with us, bomb Iraq.
If we think that someone's dissed us, bomb Iraq.
So to hell with the inspections,
Let's look tough for the elections,
Close your mind and take directions,
Bomb Iraq.

It's pre-emptive non-aggression, bomb Iraq.
To prevent this mass destruction, bomb Iraq.
They've got weapons we can't see,
And that's all the proof we need,
If they're not there, they must be there,
Bomb Iraq.

If you never were elected, bomb Iraq.
If your mood is quite dejected, bomb Iraq.
If you think Saddam's gone mad,
With the weapons that he had,
And he tried to kill your dad,
Bomb Iraq.

If corporate fraud is growin', bomb Iraq.
If your ties to it are showin', bomb Iraq.
If your politics are sleazy,
And hiding that ain't easy,
And your manhood's getting queasy,
Bomb Iraq.

Fall in line and follow orders, bomb Iraq.
For our might knows not our borders, bomb Iraq.
Disagree? We'll call it treason,
Let's make war not love this season,
Even if we have no reason,
Bomb Iraq.

Thursday, January 30, 2003

Tuesday, January 28, 2003  
one of my heroes is mike riddell whose writing is simply wonderful. he has a gift of crafting words like very few others i know. on a recent exchange of e-mails mike was kind enough to send me a talk he gave recently called beyond ground zero. drawing inspiration from brueggemann's incredible prophetic imagination he suggests that we need a reimagining of faith in our current context and opens up the poetry of dreaming with cybermonks, festivals and sensuality. this is meant to be the opening up of a conversation - be interested to see what other ideas people have. thanks mike - keep on keeping on!
Tuesday, January 28, 2003

Sunday, January 26, 2003  
got an advert from amazon with the title 'the whole world's for sale'. is it? mmmmm.... (it was an advert for travel)
Sunday, January 26, 2003

Friday, January 24, 2003  
Internet petitions
this week i have had loads of petitions against war being sent to me to sign. usually i ignore these kind of things but this time i had a closer look to wonder what was really going on. i certainly want to do something and if i ignore the petition i feel guilty but if i sign it may be a waste of time too. well jen and i discussed it and jen sent me this piece of ingenius maths today. this was coupled with enquiring about the web site that the petition is sent to see whether they would look at it/were expecting it to do the collation and they aren't! anyway here's the maths:

If one person, a, starts a petition, and sends it to two people, who sign it and send it to two people and so on (so with each forward it gets signed and sent on to two people)…, and say a completed petition has five names (ie it gets sent to the campaigning body once it has just five names on it)

After 4 forwards, you will have 16 petitions each with five names on. Each petition begins with a’s name. However, instead of 80 names (16x5) you have 31 names (1 + 2 + 4 + 8 + 16)

After n forwards you will have 2n petitions, each with n+1 names on and only 2(n+1) - 1 people will have signed it.

If each person sends it to 10 people who each sign it and send it on to 10 more… after 4 forwards you will have 10,000 petitions each with 5 names on, but instead of 50,000 people signing (10,000x5), 11,111 have signed (1+10+100+1000+10000). Who sifts through those 10,000 petitions to get the 11,111 names? Surely they don’t claim that 50,000 people have signed it when they know that lots of the names will be duplicates.

The numbers don’t extrapolate to 500 names on a petition, because even if every person sent it to two people who then signed it and forwarded it to two and so on, after 500 forwards you should have 3 x10150 petitions - rather more than there are people on the earth!

so that's the last petition on the web i'm going to sign unless anyone can prove to that there might be a good reason to take them more seriously!

Friday, January 24, 2003

Tuesday, January 21, 2003  
worship trick 30

this network church map is simply brilliant. if you can't be bothered to read liquid church then just play with this piece of flash from smallritual.

Tuesday, January 21, 2003

Sunday, January 19, 2003  
i am delighted tro see that karen ward is back blogging with a passion at deepdirt. she seemed to disappear for a while... but this seems to be because of a new church plant apostleschurch which looks great. i've said it many times but it always encourages me to see new things emerging. good luck with the new venture if you drop by this blog!

you must read this very fine rant by karen. the gist of it is that postmodern church is in danger of making the same mistakes as others in times gone by - making gurus out of people doing new stuff and rather than being creative and doing stuff that relates to your own context seeking to copy what someone else has done wholesale. to quote karen.....

you gotta get deep in your own dirt to see what got has put there. you gotta respond to your own zip code, your own people, your own gifts, your own calling from god, your own heart broken for god, learn from your own failed ideas and get your butt kicked while trying to serve in the world around you... and as you do this, there won't be any other parish or ministry exactly like yours! (welcome to the clone free world of the real emerging church).

she also links to an articleon the dangers of cloning that is also very poignant.

it might also be worth mentioning some rants of david hopkins whose blog i have added to the list. he seems to have caused a bit of a stir by calling the inner circle of the emergentvillage network a group of super apostles (there are 12!) in an article and follow up remarks on his blog. the comments are playful and it has created some good response. but the point is it that all this interest in emerging church , alternative worship and postmodern church could all get washed up on the beach if it loses its connection with being worked out creatively on the ground and if any of us involved ever feel self important or that we've arrived, or if we end up selling our dreams for a book deal or a fast buck/pound..... it's easy to be seduced. we've got to keep it real (whatever that means).

Sunday, January 19, 2003

Friday, January 17, 2003  
i said i'd let you know more details about liquid church when it was out. well it has finally arrived in the uk - you can order via paternoster. do a search on liquid church. in the usa it's published via hendrickson.
Friday, January 17, 2003

Thursday, January 16, 2003  
january seven magazine is also up and has some good stuff as ever. i particularly enjoyed mike riddell's people of the spirit and jeremiah griswold (what a name!) on meditation.
Thursday, January 16, 2003

Where do people go
to think deep thoughts?

Where do people go
to try and reach out
and touch the invisible?

Where do people go
to try and imagine the other?

Where do people go
to find something
or someone
beyond mundane reality?

Where do people go
to get away from all the things
that try to stop us doing this?

Can we find out where people go?

And if we found out,
would it be out of order
to leave some postcards there?

A postcard to send
to yourself, back home.

A postcard with
a beautiful picture.

A postcard to remind you
that there are other people
on the same journey.

by j.hoyland posted in the altworship discussion forum [used with permission]

Thursday, January 16, 2003

Wednesday, January 15, 2003  
' mounting evidence shows that when the offer and claims of god in jesus christ are presented to young and old in terms they can understand then, far from being hostile to him, many will embrace the gospel and follow christ. nevertheless both the unbeliever and the many young people now turning to christ feel considerable hostility towards the church, the institutional body... if christ is attracting people while the church which is supposed to be his body representing, proclaiming and showing hime to the world, is in large measure repelling or at least failing to attract them, then to that extent the church must be failing to be his body in this present world...'

guess where the quote is from? one of the many books on rethinking church at the moment?...... well actually no! it's from a book published in 1973 called 'christ's living body' by john baker, who (you guessed it) is my dad! he's no longer alive to talk to about it, but when i read it it was such a surprise to hear something from 30 years ago that we are still saying now.

it's a bizarre story of how i came across the book as i didn't have a copy. at the IASYM conference i was with some friends in a coffee shop in oxford. the walls were lined with books you could read. one of the people we were with announced she was going to look at a book that had caught her eye and it was this one. it was such a bizarre moment when i said it was by my dad... weird eh?!

Wednesday, January 15, 2003

something beautiful and fun (thanks adam!) - flyguy. it's a flash animation - will take a few secs to download but is well worth it. flash is fab isn't it....
Wednesday, January 15, 2003

Tuesday, January 14, 2003  
worship trick 29

prayer cord picto call something that has such a weight of tradition as the jesus prayer a 'worship trick' sounds like trivialising it but it's not meant to! on saturday at grace we had a guest speaker (very rare for us to have a speaker! maybe the first for two years?!), simon barrington ward, who spoke about the jesus prayer and then led us in about 10 minutes of prayer with it. what he had to say was wonderful but i didn't write it down. however the prayer is simple. there are variations on it but the basic prayer is 'lord jesus christ son of god have mercy on me (a sinner)'. this is from the orthodox church. you say it slowly repeating it. simon described how when he first encountered the use of the prayer at an orthodox monastery the person leading had a cord with 100 knots. beginning at the tassle as they prayed once through the jesus prayer they would go along the cord one knot. the tassle at the start could be a reminder to pray for the holy spirit to come to you. then after 25 knots there was a bead - whilst there are no rules the person praying suggested that on reaching that it might be good to gently focus on distractions and put them to one side. after another 25 knots there is another bead. at that point you could focus on someone else to pray for. after another 25 knots another bead at which point you could go into silence. this way you pray the jesus prayer 100 times and it gives a pattern to it. obviously you don't need the cord. but having said that it seemed like a good idea so the next day we made some from some string and beads (see pic).... just an idea!

Tuesday, January 14, 2003

Sunday, January 12, 2003  
ship of fools are launching the first internet reality game show. more details here. you can even apply to be on the ark......
Sunday, January 12, 2003

as you can tell, after a quiet couple of weeks i'm catching up!....

anyway been meaning to mention sacred future for a while but not got round to it. there's a great bunch down on the south coast of england doing some good worship stuff, thinking hard, and developing new ways of churching it, or at least negotiating the space to do so. mark barkaway has contributed to seven magazine before now. he has also started a blog barky and links to a couple of others. i have added it to my blog list.

also got an e-mail from someone in canada enjoying my blog who mentioned leb's rant which seems like it might be a blog to follow too...... also added to the list

Sunday, January 12, 2003

my barcodeyesterday i bought the latest issue of adbusters magazine. reminded me of what a fantastic site it is. in the magazine section of the site there is so much stuff. they seem to put lots of each issue of the magazine up. whilst following some links i found this barcode art site where there is an amusing animation where you are told your barcode. here's mine!

jesus barcodethere is also an image of christ reworked in barcodes which i love - don't know why! you need to go to look at it close up to see the detail

one of my favourite issues that i have of adbusters magazine is one where they are taking on designers for selling out their dreams by serving the big corporations and offering an alternative vision/commitment(no 37).

acid fontone thing that i downloaded from there that you might like is this acid font. it's available for pc and mac.

Sunday, January 12, 2003

Saturday, January 11, 2003  
had a great week. it is an exciting time for youth ministry i think. in the last two years the IASYM has grown to 200 members from 15 countries round the world. there is a new journal (the journal of youth and theology) that comes out twice a year. there has been a regional conference in south africa. there really is an amazing collection of people and a fantastic committee of volunteers making it all happen....

so this is a plug really. if you are involved in youth ministry sign up! it's very cheap. basically you need to be either studying or teaching youth ministry to be a member but this doesn't even have to be at an institution - it may be you are involved in training in your local context or whatever. and even if you don't think you do that you could still be an associate member. what are the benefits? linking up with youth ministers round the world, getting the journal, and access to the web site which for example has in the members section all the papers that were presented at this week's conference available to download. reflecting on youth ministry practice is essential i think. whilst it is an academic association, don't let that put you off - if you're thoughtful and like to read/reflect it's worth doing. so join up for 2003. to find out how look at the web site.

highlights for me from this year's conference were a paper on reconciliation in south africa [mark berry who blogs at growproject and was also at the conference has put the paper up here ] and the results of a research project into the use of popular culture in english young people in 'generation y' and its implications. there will eventually be a report on this so we'll all be able to access that research in a more detailed fashion. it was also just brilliant meeting amazing people from round the world. i even bumped into a couple of people from other parts of the globe who follow this blog which was fun. i'm glad someone reads it from time to time!!!!

Saturday, January 11, 2003

Monday, January 06, 2003  
off to the bi-annual conference of IASYM (international association of youth ministry) in oxford. looking forward to it a lot - good way to get back in the swing after christmas and new year! always a place to meet good people and hear new ideas....
Monday, January 06, 2003

Saturday, January 04, 2003  
liquid church coverliquid church is finally out - published in the usa by hendrickson and paternoster in the uk. it really is a fantastic book to contribute to the reimagining of church and mission in our current context. i hope it gets a wide reading. pete uses zygmunt bauman's notion of solid and liquid modernity to speak about solid and liquid church. he does a lot of theological work to underpin a new way of speaking about church. it seems to me that this new way of speaking is essential if 'language makes the world'. there are lots of things that i could highlight from the book but it really is the overall opening of discussion and imagining that is why this book is so welcome. to say that we need to re-imagine church or that it isn't working (for those outside it) or that it needs to change isn't news any more but there aren't many people who have offered the resources to help rethink the landscape. thanks to pete for offering us a way forward here.i fear it will be perceived as a threat by many who either have too much of a vested interest in church remaining solid or who see the invitation to engage with consumerism as selling out. change, mission and engagement with culture is always a risk but in my view it is one we have to take. pete's descriptions of three mutations that church has made in its solid form as heritage site, refuge, and nostalgic club are all too painfully visible. and the point about these is that whilst they may indeed be working as such for some people for many others they don't and they mitigate against mission. that is the whole point of why the whole thing of church needs rethinking - so many people involved in mission find the church bit the stumbling block. it's certainly true in youth ministry. pete doesn't offer any off the shelf solutions - it's more an opening up of discussion or imagination, but i hope that this does help open up new possibilites.
Saturday, January 04, 2003

Thursday, January 02, 2003  
rio from the aira wonderful day out to evoke a sense of wonder if you're in london is to go the earth from the air exhibition at the natural history museum. yann arthus-bertrand has spent several years travelling in over 100 countries photographing from the air. the results are staggering - they capture a sense of the incredible diversity and beauty of life on our planet and that the earth is in danger in our hands if we carry on consuming as we are. the exhibition is actually outside on wonderfully large mounts and is free. if you want a taster there is a gallery on the web site. the exhibition runs until autumn 2003 so plenty of time to catch it if you're passing through. there are plenty of books around with the pics in as well - we have the one with 365 images - one for each day of the year.

winning image of elephantswhile you're there you should combine that with a visit to the wildlife photographer of the year exhibition which is inside the natural history museum itself. the museum is free but the exhibition isn't. i've been every year for about 5 years now. the photos are beautiful. this one is this year's winner but a small jpeg image is never going to give you the sense that visiting the exhibition will. what a fantastic planet we live on!!!!!

Thursday, January 02, 2003

Wednesday, January 01, 2003  
happy new year!
Wednesday, January 01, 2003

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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