Thursday, April 27, 2006

Pearl Jam live on Letterman

Pearl Jam will appear live on Letterman's "Late Show" 4th May [local date] and do a concert outside in 54th St in Manhattan to promote their new self titled album that's released here in Oz on Saturday!!
Rolling Stone seemed very positive about the stripped back style and how it was truly a band collaboration in the writing and workshopping... the concert will be webcast on the Late Show site

Sunday, April 23, 2006


Two Options used in the US:
[though I would play around with the purpose at each point, limiting words used and bank on images and title slides to help people work through the experience.
As well as Eucharist these could be used with other kinds of responsive actions or a shared meal.

Opening Hymn: Pride (in the Name of Love)
Opening Sentences and Collect
Gloria: Gloria
(learned that it's not the best instumental. Instumentals are best kept in Preludes, Communion Hymns or Postludes)
Sermon Response: One
Prayers of the People: Peace on Earth
Confession: When Love Comes to Town (with BB King)
Offertory: Love and Peace or Else
Eucharistic Canon: (Enriching Our Worship or New Zealand)
Communion Hymns: Yahweh and Walk On
Prayer After Recieving
Recessional: One Reprise
Postludes: Beautiful Day

Hawkmoon 269; All I Want is You; Crumbs from Your Table; Pride (in the name of love)
Opening Hymn: Mysterious Ways
Opening Sentences and Collect
Gloria or Song of Praise: Elevation ("You elevate my Soul!")
Sermon Response: One
Prayers of the People
Collect of the Prayers: 40 (based on Psalms 40 and 6)
Confession: When Love Comes to Town (with BB King)
Offertory: Sunday Bloody Sunday
Eucharistic Canon: (Enriching Our Worship or New Zealand)
Communion Hymns: Grace and I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For
Prayer After Recieving
Recessional: Where the Streets Have No Name
Postludes: All Because of You, I Am Beautiful Day

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

U2 continued

So, what songs would I include:

"Pride [In the Name of Love]" as a call to worship
"" as a backing for a visual opening prayer
"Peace on Earth" as a part of the input alongside a 7 minute edit of Bono speaking
at the US 2006 National Prayer Breakfast in Washington
"Where the Streets Have No Name"as part of the prayers for others
"All Because of You" clip from New York as part of sending out
"Yahweh" as sending out blessing

Other good choices depending on your aim:
"Walk On" about discipleship
"40" for prayer and reflection
"With or Without You" especially as an Easter reflection
"Beautiful Day" about having hope even when the sky has fallen

U2 Easter Eucharist

The local ABC website carried a story and link to about several episcopal churches across the States using a postcard mailout campaign and U2 music driven liturgy to attract interested worshippers this Easter. Having done similar things I am interested in this and the raft of recent 'young people rediscovering faith' articles which pop up in the print media. For more on the U2 liturgy check out

I wondered if the original some months back was drawn from "Get Up Off Your Knees: Preaching the U2 Catalogue" but it certainly has interesting possibilities either way... Trevor J's 5 week exploration of U2's music at Neutral Bay drew someone from the neighbourhood in off the street just about every week!!

As ever the nay sayers will think what they will 'rich, rockers, swearing, who are you worshipping... etc etc'.... whatever!!

I'm happy to become all things to all people in order that I might at least encounter a few... not sure who does the saving?

Sunday, April 09, 2006

JESUS Easter Picture

Jonny Baker has alerted us in recent years to the Ben Bell created annual Easter Card. It's letterbox dropped to locals each year near St Stephens Cannonbury Rd to advertise worship options. Great idea using gifts and creativity locally to inspire and catch the eye!!
Last years appeared on this blog as well... the police mug shot of the guy in an army jacket with 'Jesus of Nazareth' on the name card.

Friday, April 07, 2006

Reinventing Judas!!


Wow!! Unless your family have been long term buyers, when was the last time you thought about buying a subscription!!
They have created some great publicitity today with the release of their edition about some new manuscripts showing Judas in quite a different light... as co-conspirator helping the grand plans come together!! Which isn't without reference in John's gospel!!

By Linda Morris, Religious Affairs ReporterApril 7, 2006

"A 1700-year-old papyrus manuscript suggests history has misjudged the greatest villian of Christianity: Judas was under orders when he betrayed Jesus.
The only known surviving copy of the lost gospel of Judas portrays the treacherous disciple as a loyal deputy acting at the behest of his leader.
In fact, Judas sold Jesus out as an act of obedience not treachery, thereby fulfilling his theological destiny. Key passages from the third or fourth century Coptic manuscript were released by its publisher, the National Geographic Society, last night, a week before Easter, the holiest time of the Christian calendar.
The society, which is rumoured to have purchased publishing rights for more than $1 million, plans magazine articles, television specials and book deals amid concerns about the ethics of ancient acquisitions.
The society's panel of scholars has submitted the document to radiocarbon dating, ink analysis and spectral imaging and has declared it authentic.
The gospel of Judas is believed to be the work of gnostic Christians, a stream of Christian thinking declared heretical by early church fathers. It is a companion text to ancient scriptures unearthed in 1945, which have formed the basis of some assertions in Dan Brown's controversial bestseller The Da Vinci Code.
Australian biblical scholars said the document would be likely to provide a window on early Christianity, but did not threaten Christian teachings because while it was old, it did not date to the time of the Bible's Gospels.
"The text bears witness that to some people Judas was a misunderstood character," said Dr Malcolm Choat, a specialist in early Christianity at Macquarie University. "It fills in the picture but it doesn't make the picture."
But the Coptic Orthodox Church dismissed the document as "non-Christian babbling resulting from a group of people trying to create a false 'amalgam' between the Greek mythology and Far East religions with Christianity … They were written by a group of people who were aliens to the main Christian stream of the early Christianity," the church's theological leader, Metropolitan Bishoy, told the Herald.
"These texts are neither reliable nor accurate Christian texts, as they are historically and logically alien to the main Christian thinking and philosophy of the early and present Christians."
The Judas gospel is a third or fourth century Coptic manuscript discovered in the desert near El Minya, Egypt, in the 1970s. It was sold to a dealer in illicit antiquities and languished in a safe deposit box in the US before falling into the hands of a Swiss foundation.
The Bible says Judas betrayed Jesus to the Romans for a purse of 30 pieces of silver in the Garden of Gethsemane. He later hung himself.
According to limited extracts of the gospel of Judas offered to the Herald, Jesus explains Judas his role in the crucifixion: "You will exceed all of them. For you will sacrifice the man that clothes me."
In other key passages released to the public, Jesus confides: "Step away from the others and I shall tell you the mysteries of the kingdom. It is possible for you to reach it, but you will grieve a great deal."
For his role Judas would be despised by the other disciples: "You will be cursed by the other generations and you will come to rule them." The gospel ends: "They [the arresting party] approached Judas and said to him. 'What are you doing? You are Jesus's disciple'. Judas answered them as they wished. And he received some money and handed over to him.
As well as the gospel of Judas, the newly discovered 66-page document also contained a text titled James, a letter of Peter to Philip, and a fragment of a fourth text scholars are provisionally calling Book of Allogenes."

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Ideas for Easter 2006 #1

A few years ago I was part of a small gathering of young adults who spent the Easter weekend at on retreat while staying on the property at Terrigal Uniting Church where we engaged in some of the significant worship experiences across the weekend and contributed to Sunday evening.
Over that weekend a local artist's work [who had been engaged over preceeding months] was used at the front of the worship space in different ways on different days.

On Good Friday we were invited to line up and stroll past the painting which broadly depicted a cricified Jesus in charcoals. We were offered a candle and a single rose. As you held the candle up to the picture it revealed a number of images in the background and a red colouring to some aspects. It was a very powerful space and activity.

On Saturday... nothing was up the front including the removal of all furniture and the cross that had been built and raised by attenders on Friday.

On Sunday night the vivid yellow picture was the Emmaus story and each of these pictures were a different interpretation on a famous picture from art history.

ALL OF THIS and some other examples I've seen reminds me of the power of the visual... whether represented as movies, audio-visuals, artspaces, sculptures etc... who has the gifts, who do you know or who is in your area who could be encouraged to provide you with artworks for reflection, public or private hall spaces for 'walk throughs' or practice of spiritual disciplines etc ??

We didn't get there this year BUT I harbour a thought of doing a public sacred space artspace in Newcastle for the weeks of Lent and opening it to the wider community to come and experience Lent/Easter in this way [not unlike Cityside Baptist Church in Auckland]

I pictured a space set up with stations not unlike a display at the Powerhouse Museum where easels have background, questions, credits etc... looped music plays in more than one space, artworks or installations track you through aspects of the Easter story and you can spend as little or as much time as you like and redo the space also. You get a handout at the end not the beginning.

There might be reference to a website with a handful of worship services listed 'if people wanted to check this out further', websites or other similar resources so people could continue their reflections.

Some tunes I'd use this Easter....
"Given to Fly" Pearl Jam
"Better Way" Ben Harper
"The Wonder" Alex Lloyd
"Hope & Validation" Bernard Fanning
"Ugly" Sugababes