Friday, June 22, 2012

Where the Hell is Matt Harding? Now

Thanks Andy Crouch for highlighting Matt Harding's new clip and the article that takes a great angle on what's different about the 2012 version!! Read the article here
Regular readers [both of you] will remember the original posted here several times... agenuine glimpse of how the world could be with Matt's unique dance all over the world. His new clip is great and could also double as a great contrasting image of imposing culture or learning from culture yourself in a mission context... or it's just another great clip from Matt Harding whose story and clips are all here

Thursday, June 21, 2012


day 01 your favourite song ‘The Dead Heart’ Midnight Oil
day 02 your least favourite song ‘Achy Breaky Heart’ Billy Ray Sirus
day 03 a song that makes you happy ‘I Know What You Need’ Shane Nicholson
day 04 a song that makes you sad ‘Better Be Home Soon’ Crowded House
day 05 a song that reminds you of someone ‘Khe San’ Cold Chisel
day 06 a song that reminds you of somewhere ‘King & Country’ Seth Lakeman
day 07 a song that reminds you of a certain event ‘When Love Comes to Town’ U2
day 08 a song that you know all the words to ‘Dreamworld’ Midnight Oil
day 09 a song that you can dance to ‘Stayin’ Alive’ The Bee Gees
day 10 a song that makes you fall asleep ‘McArthur Park’ Donna Summer
day 11 a song from your favourite band ‘Walk On’ U2
day 12 a song from a band you hate ‘Sacred Trickster’ Sonic Youth
day 13 a song that is a guilty pleasure ‘If I Can’t Have You’ Kim Wilde
day 14 a song that no one would expect you to love ‘Speak Now’ Taylor Swift
day 15 a song that describes you ‘Outdoor Type’ The Lemonheads
day 16 a song that you used to love but now hate ‘Living Thing’ ELO
day 17 a song that you hear often on the radio ‘Rabbit Song’ Boy & Bear
day 18 a song that you wish you heard on the radio ‘Four Chords’ Axis of Awesome
day 19 a song from your favourite album ‘Beds are Burning’ Midnight Oil
day 20 a song that you listen to when you’re angry “These Days” Dave Grohl
day 21 a song that you listen to when you’re happy ‘Burn Your Name’ Powderfinger
day 22 a song that you listen to when you’re sad ‘Sometimes’ Alex Lloyd
day 23 a song that you want to play at your wedding ‘One Country’ Midnight Oil
day 24 a song that you want to play at your funeral
‘Melancholy & the Infinite Sadness’ Smashing Pumpkins
day 25 a song that makes you laugh
‘Hey Christina’ The Pigs ‘All of the Dreamers’ Powderfinger
‘The EBay Song’ Weird Al Jankovic
day 26 a song that you can play on an instrument ‘Light Today’ Eddie Vedder
day 27 a song that you wish you could play ‘World Upon Your Shoulders’ Silverchair
day 28 a song that makes you feel guilty ‘400 Miles from Darwin’ The Whitlams
day 29 a song from your childhood ‘Let It Be’ The Beatles
day 30 your favourite song at this time last year ‘Rolling in the Deep’ Adele

30 DAY SONG CHALLENGE: DAY 30 A song that was my favourite this time last year? "Rolling in the Deep" Adele

It was a pretty disengaging time 2/3rds of the way through June last year... I didn't have a role for this year, we couldn't do much new or anything long term... our little Team was rolling up the rug and this song could be played very loud!!!
She has a fine Welsh voice, seems unfazed by worldwide fame from what I've seen/read and think she was great to speak up about her body shape and image in the face of ignorant comment from a so called fashion 'expert'!!
Either way this album persists in the charts... I think it'll still be featured at the London Olympics in TV coverage along with Coldplay and others...
There's a depth and gravel for such a young voice and it's not over produced... she has handled throat issues well and is willing to walk away for a year or two if it all gets too crazy!!
Adele's music looks great danced to in contemporary form and is great for reflection and backing spiritual practice...

AND that is IT!!!! Summary file tomorrow!!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

30 DAY SONG CHALLENGE: DAY 29 A song from my childhood? "Let It Be" The Beatles

Gotta have this band in any list of thirty songs I think. In truth we are talking early 1970s and the dominant Band of that any many years since... was it the invention of the passenger jet airliner that allowed them to be the big supergroup? e.g. ability to jump on a plane and head to the US [and beyond]quickly...
These songs were on TV, radio...on vinyl LPs and 45s and so on. I chose it because I recall watching 'The Beatles' cartoon in childhood [Saturday mornings I think] where they got into all kinds of adventures and played songs in each episode, had great accents, peppy cartoon selves and it was fun to watch... This clip has a sense of tension about it, with Yoko on the scene, scruffy and tired looking players and hints of little or no collaboration on these tracks?

30 DAY SONG CHALLENGE: DAY 28 A song that makes you feel guilty? "400 Miles from Darwin"

This is perhaps somewhere near my answer for Day 28... Whether I should have been more aware at a younger age, been more active on the issue and certainly in recent years I had hoped to get some partnership trips going through Uniting World [and will at some stage]... very pleased to hear of others partnerships and awareness of the sad history of occupation in Timor Leste [East Timor]... inspirational people alongside their leaders...
I'm also a fan of Tim Freedman and his many guises. Writing as he says 'about stuff that matters that others don't often write about'... couldn't find a clip so I put one together... might have to 'Ken Burns' it when I have more time!!

Monday, June 18, 2012

30 DAY SONG CHALLENGE: DAY 27 A song you wish you could play? "World Upon Your Shoulders" Silverchair

Silverchair were a band made up of very young Newcastle lads who were talented musicians that happened to attend Newcastle High School. Theirs is a great story... following the influences from their dads record collections they were exposed to an array of classic rock.
From sets at Jewells Tavern to Battle of the Bands and hooking up with manager John Watson, they went from the 12 yr old songwriters unkindly known as 'Nirvana in Pyjamas'to a mature world famous band...
In the end Daniel John's desire to break out and try a variety of musical styles led to their 'hybernation'...
Meeting them at Launceston Airport having seen them live the night before I still laugh about them being so excited to meet someone who played for the same Rugby Clu as their legend school mates... Wandereres Rugby Club... using Chris Joanou's dads laundry for our jerseys... Science Laundry at Merewether!!
We also won tix to their secret Luna Park gig with 300 others for what was an amazing concert so early in their fame!!
This song is exquisite in it's detail and musicianship... love Ben Gillies drumming!!

Saturday, June 16, 2012

30 DAY SONG CHALLENGE: day 26 A song you can play on an instrument?

Since I can't play any instrument beyond Year 7 recorder [Farewell Aunty Jack and God Save the Queen] or comb and paper... I am left to choose one I'd love to be able to play... I have always wished I was a drummer but I think ukelele is 'more' likely and this would be a very cool achievement!!

30 DAY SONG CHALLENGE: DAY 25 A song that makes you laugh?

I'm cheating but I can't split three songs...they all make me laugh!!
The first by 'The Pigs' is a 'tribute' to an ex I guess...
The second is 'All of the Dreamers' by Powderfinger...
I love their music but from the very first time I heard this song I laughed at the lines about coming 'down to the barrio, to get a feel for the people's scenario'... are you kidding me!!

And lastly the oh so apt ode to EBay by Wierd Al Yankovic...
If you're an EBay regular you get it...

Friday, June 15, 2012

30 DAY SONG CHALLENGE DAY 24: A song you'd play at your Funeral? 'Melancholy and the Infinite Sadness'

Not only would I not actually play this at my Funeral because I'd be dead, but also because try as I have [a little bit] I cannot play a musical instrument [nothing beyond Year 7 Recorder or paper and comb anyhow] BUT I love music so much that I marvel at and revel in great creativity...
Yes there are Oils and U2 tracks for part of the service, but at an appropriate reflective time or for the walking out I would include this piece of music demo'd in this file by Billy Corgan. Sarah McLachlan would also get a look in somewhere or 'Sound of White' by Missy Higgins.
I'm caught up now so later I will post a song that make me laugh...

Try as I might I have yet to include a few bands in my 30 Days or at least not enough of them:

ZZ Top
Mary Chapin Carpenter
The Indigo Girls
Sleepy Jackson
Elton John
Alice Cooper
10,000 Maniacs
The Dugites
John Butler
Crowded House and so it goes on...

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

"Brave" Featurette

Tee up a special holiday youth group outing to see 'Brave' then adjourn somewhere for food shared and help build group away from the pressure of a Friday Night!!
It's true sometimes kids need financial help to participate [and others seek it and then spend the whole film texting their mates on their prepaid mobile phone just to annoy you!!] BUT make a choice about what you're doing and why and follow up accordinagly with subsidy, work for subsidy or other creative possibilities...

Monday, June 11, 2012

30 DAY SONG CHALLENGE: DAY TWENTY THREE A song you'd like to play at your wedding? "One Country" Midnight Oil

Not would like to... did... pre data projectors on a large box TV perched on top of the piano!!
The song was chosen as part of the worship theme about community and connections...

30 DAY SONG CHALLENGE: DAY TWENTY TWO A song you listen to when you're sad? "Sometimes" Alex Lloyd

   I love Alex Lloyd's music... it's so honest and it's simple but emotional. I don't know how to articulate that you just know he's from Balmain [well Roselle] [can you help with that Nic?].
   He does interesting things with most of his film clips and he has music for many occasions. The songs sneak up on you!!
   The other reason I like Alex Lloyd is also hard to explain because it's probably an 'in' joke... is it just me or the members of my household who understand the idea of "a fat man in a thin man's body?" Over the years Alex Lloyd has appeared 'solid' or carrying a bit of weight and then next single he's trimmed down and lean... but secretly I know he'd rather be eating all the pies!! It's like the lead singer of 'Eskimo Joe'... who moving on from the 'Cardigan Song' got a hair style, lost heaps of weight etc etc... but of course it's all about the music!! Clear as mud... well, the quintessential example might just be Warney!! or perhaps only us 'big fellas' understand... especially those of us who only have to look at a block of chocolate and we put on 5kgs... let alone vacuuming them down at the sound of silver foil crumpling.... ok ok... There are other great versions of this track but this one is from 'Dancing with the Stars'... only spoilt by Daryl's intro and outro...
It can either lift your mood or tell you it's ok to be sad sometimes... that might be for good reason!!

Saturday, June 09, 2012

30 DAY SONG CHALLENGE: DAY TWENTY ONE A song you listen to when you're happy?

Just brilliant Powderfinger with a great clip!! There are other up tempo numbers but I just enjoy this song though I can't split it with.....

It is possible to hear this song too often... but it's been a while!!

30 DAY SONG CHALLENGE: DAY TWENTY A song you listen to when you are angry?

Frustrated, annoyed, over tired, but I don't get angry very much if at all... so maybe a song I listen to when I'm very annoyed... is 'These Days' by the Foo Fighters... I don't know Dave Grohl, but what I read and see in the public eye says I like him... unassuming, shouting the Beaconsfield Miners a beer, enjoying and wanting to be on Roy & HGs 'The Dream' Olympics show/s because 'he got it.' He seems to have a healthy perspective on the place of 'Nirvana' in music history, an appropriate memory of Kurt Cobain.
In this I find the music of Foo Fighters to be clever, honest and funny [especially Dave's willingness not to take himself too seriously in his clips... So here it is anyhow...

"Curious" not George, but many young people...

Mr Rogers is a US TV legend who pioneered a softly spoken version of taking kids seriously and encouraging them to use their imaginations... Mark Oestreicher's FB entry pointed me towards this funny remix clip that will get a run somewhere... I liked it so much I wasn't going to share it... but others will find a funny or appropriate place to use it I'm sure. I know some of the meaning is lost in Oz translation BUT if you get it you get it...
For me it fits with some thinking I had been doing about discipleship [or education] and imagination. Young people won't all make sense of the Christain faith or helpful faith practices without some shared wisdom but there's a real importance around allowing for imagination or questioning before attempting to 'educate' with 'jug and mug' facts...
I think what I'm saying is young people won't work it all out for themselves BUT encouraging curiosity,imagination and questions is a way into sharing, teaching and interpreting experiences that's more helpful than teaching 'facts'... that's what I think today anyhow...
"Curious..." is yet another good theme for an event, camp, reflection...

Thursday, June 07, 2012

30 DAY SONG CHALLENGE: DAY NINETEEN A song from your favourite album? "Beds are Burning" Midnight Oil

'The Oils' had always done things 'their own way'... band meetings, the Office running it's charity and band business out of Glebe, reforming for 'Sound Wave' and the Bushfire Concert, taking 12 months off just as they were about to break big world wide after this album and even wanting to perform a new song when they were asked to play at the Sydney Olympics. Perhaps Ignatius Jones and his team sold them on the 'behind the scenes' work that was being done to represent indigenous culture so brilliantly... so instead they agreed to play this song "Beds are Burning" and collaborated with their usual costume designer to fit the velcro covers to the word "sorry" on their overalls.
   The album represents the bands experiences travelling through remote parts of Australia and traditional communities. It's a great story that these 'pioneers' found out that no matter how far they journeyed into the outback with NT legends 'The Warumpi Band' they discovered that Slim Dusty had been going there for thirty years!!
   This is a driving album, a colelction for when your annoyed, a reminder of a white perspective that makes room for other voices and a band absolutely on fire, producing a unique Australian sound.
   Nobody plays guitar like Moginie and Rotsey, Rob Hirst' drums and harmonies make their sound and the other guy can't sing [but he has 'something']!!

"Beds are Burning"
Out where the river broke
The bloodwood and the desert oak
Holden wrecks and boiling diesels
Steam in forty five degrees

The time has come
To say fair's fair
To pay the rent
To pay our share

The time has come
A fact's a fact
It belongs to them
Let's give it back

How can we dance when our earth is turning
How do we sleep while our beds are burning
Four wheels scare the cockatoos
From Kintore East to Yuendemu
The western desert lives and breathes
In forty five degrees

30 DAY SONG CHALLENGE: DAY EIGHTEEN A song you wish you heard on the radio? "4 Chords" Axis of Awesome

This is 'The Axis of Awesome' at their funniest... the premise they haven't had a hit song because they hadn't written one with the stated four chords!! This is a 4+ min version of the original 6min 20sec song!!
I wish I heard this on the radio... Oh hang on!!

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

30 DAY SONG CHALLENGE: DAY SEVENTEEN A song you hear often on the radio? "Rabbit Song" Boy & Bear

Boy & Bear are 'flavour of the month' on a few local radio stations though I listen to ABC Radio way too much to know many alternative options I could have chosen...
Clever band, fun music and I think will get even better as they continue to gig and write!!
At the very least his 'tied' walk from Wollies to the QVB in Sydney reminds me of the many characters I'd regularly encounter on my trips across there day and night over the last 12 years... the lunch run or the wal back from Greater Union George St!!

Monday, June 04, 2012

30 DAY SONG CHALLENGE: DAY SIXTEEN A song I used to love but hate?

   There's probably no such thing as 'used to love but now hate' for me, although there probably have been a few songs cruelled by too much air play, too close an association with a relationship or when it was co-opted by a tv advert [poor Alex Lloyd and the New Radicals]...
   On the other hand this song perhaps comes closest in the sense that we all thought ELO 'The Electric Light Orchestra' were just brilliant!! and for me at least the music hasn't aged well... It's a curiosity but not a great listen! At the time we had not heard anything like this before and their songs were all big for singalongs!! I do wish I'd seen them live when they toured their big stage show...
This is the stuff of High School enthusiasm and marks the era of infatuations, unrequited love and teenage angst!! I was in Year 9 when this song came out!!


   TEDx is an event associated with the [2] annual TED events held in the US and the Sydney one has a creative team behind it that's headed by Remo Guiffre. REMO is well known in Sydney for his now Bondi based online store. It was originally an iconic retail location in Oxford St.
   The TED slogan is 'ideas worth sharing' and revolves around TALKS presented by interesting people without a corporate agenda. The basic idea is an 18 minute talk but different people are given anywhere from 6-11 minutes with some a full 18 and very special presenters might be given longer as an incentive to 'step up.'
   TEDxSydney was again held at the former Eveleigh Railsheds known as 'Carriageworks.' It's across the railyards from Sydney Technology Park and there are various Bays or large sheds set up as theatres. The front area provides a massive foyer to front end any event or make for community space as part of whatever is on.
Bay 17 had a large black stage with screen and red velvet curtain. At each end were simple LED lights and it was backed by an ARKAOS curtain. The seating was traditional tiered theatre style for approx 800 people and the building had a great side door design to several stairwells to quickly move a crowd in and out.
   There were approx 15 verbal presenters who spoke along with images or short video clips as part of their TALK. These were interspersed with approx 6 musical acts or soloists. A number of creative groups had been approached to make short videos for the day and they were exceptional. Some will appear on the TEDx site and I'm going to chase others via the companies listed in the program...
   Registration was smooth and well organised with tote bags and name tags to collect. You name tag was the front and back cover of the program and info book for the day, with a lanyard and hook keeping it together. The totes had minimal paper, a cool water bottle and two pens... one which was made to clip to a nametag lanyard easily and securely.
   Two MCs shared simple introduction duty and the musical acts broke up sessions otherwise puncuated by morning and afternoon tea, lunch and finger food dinner for ticketholders. 800 punters were selected to create an 'interesting audience' and we were asked to pay $160 for the priviledge...
   The day began with a simple but effective 'acknowledgement of the traditional owners of the land' with clap sticks, words and 'sorry' for National Sorry Day... the first music was then provided by the 'Stiff Gins.' Amazingly one song was in the singers traditional historical language and was written based on a blessing she discovered in a book about the 1880s. In the end it meant it was a song about words that would have been used to bless her own great grandmother... poignant and moving!!
   The atrium/foyer was set up with big screen so punters could turn up and watch 'outside'. It was also simulcast on the TEDx website and recorded by ABC Big Ideas... Radio National broadcast live post lunch at the rear of the foyer.
   ZIP water provided a chilled water [4] tap station to refill water bottles, coffee and snacks were for sale through the venue kiosk.
   While your name tag invited conversation around chosen topics there was nothing 'organised' to prompt that except space to initiate it yourself. The theatre was darkened for the TALK sessions and no time was left between talks for 'small talk'... conversation time was in the breaks...
   As a super introvert that was fine with me!! I did think it strange that the theatre was so dark as to be using your ipad, Mac etc made you shine like a beacon...

   This was a group of 800 aged 18-80 with most in the 25-40 age range by my guess. You self select to be there so I guess it was a group keen to listen but I was struck that the format was still 11-18min TALKS with a few pictures and maybe three presenters introduced a youtube type clip as part... interesting...
   The food was all healthy, recycling was in play and most products fostered Australian companies [the water bottles were good enough to be a cute exception.
   Presenters were all exceptional... what some lacked in lively presentation skill they made up for with the actual topic... others thrived in catching the audience attention with wit and personality. Each had one central idea to share and made a 'proposition' that their wisdom spoke to.
   Many were intuitively addressing other than religious perspectives in their topic and making a case for wonderment for it's own sake, not as the result of a sense of the creator. Some openly delighted in science, thought and ethics for their own sake or from their early Greek roots as opposed to a Judeo-Christian apologetic. In this sense it was engagingly refreshing and reinforced for me the importance of giving the listener credit for doing the listening. It's OK to 'teach' wisdom or give people tools to unpack or question or act on things themselves... just don't patronise or 'preach' in the sense of a manipulative agenda...
   Lastly my highlights included: Mandyam Srinivasan talk about his research into the cognitive functions of bees, and the exciting new prospect of monitoring physiological responses in bees to determine if they feel joy, fear, anxiety and love and Kate Burridge's talk on euphemisms was brilliant!! Tim Freedman stole the afternoon with just two songs and Katie Noonan was better than I expected. That said perhaps the most poignant music was 'Four Play' rendition of "Sabotage" covering 'Beastie Boys' as a tribute!!

Things I want to remember for other events or for their own sake:
- 800+ people sustained their interest and listening from 9am to 6.30pm
- the interspersed music was a brilliant way to do information heavy sessions
- the Zip chilled water station was a winner... as would $4 bottles/$1 refills be
- food kiosk open all day for food/drinks was great
- the inner and outer spaces served different crowds and different forms of connecting
- the table of newspapers with seats was winner and wasn't overrun
- video shooting and other displays modelled interactive sidelights
- Open source input or a variety of speakers is helped by an application/selection process
- bench seating or stackable individual chairs would have helped on breaks
- good coffee and a cafe space give people social space to hang but still engage
- the simple but effective 'acknowledgement of the traditional owners of the land' with cap sticks, words and 'sorry' for National Sorry Day... and the follow up music was worth modelling on
- I did spend the day thinking lots of random thoughts about youth event worship or gathering ideas despite trying not to...

   TED has launched a new brilliant idea called TED Ed where they are giving great teachers access to animators and graphic people to produce material of their best stuff and put it on the web so the world can share their lessons. They are also offering tailored space for uploading videos and group modified questions or tasks for groups...

I'd be interested to see if stories, talks, discipleship materials, leadership sessions etc could be added with discussion/follow on tasks... [that may be too agenda driven or may OK].

It was a great and inspirational day cappd by cheeseless pizza from Newtown and a relatively quick trip home with one quick view of a 'Vivid' Opera House...

"Lego House" Ed Sheeran

Fun clip from Ed Sheeran!!

Friday, June 01, 2012

Some TEDxSydney fun... more soon

"The Kings Speech"

I like Steve Taylor's ideas and inspiration around the notion of "finding voice" prompted by the story and the film "The King's Speech" for which I will use the trailer this Sunday in Scone!! We are focusing on the story of Nicodemus question and the replky that 'we need to be reborn' or every age sees us needing transformation for the task and context we have... it's the challenge to 'find our voice' in mission...

I'm also wrestling with the 5 Marks of Mission, which I like the idea of but still find too internally focused in their expression and attention... or is that just me?

Mission - The Five Marks of Mission

The Mission of the Church is the mission of Christ
To proclaim the Good News of the Kingdom
To teach, baptise and nurture new believers
To respond to human need by loving service
To seek to transform unjust structures of society
To strive to safeguard the integrity of creation and sustain and renew the life of the earth
(Bonds of Affection-1984 ACC-6 p49, Mission in a Broken World-1990 ACC-8 p101)
Reviewing the 'Five Marks of Mission'
At its second meeting (Ely 1996), MISSIO began reviewing the 'Five Marks of Mission' as developed by the Anglican Consultative Council between 1984 and 1990. We recognise with gratitude that the Five Marks have won wide acceptance among Anglicans, and have given parishes and dioceses around the world a practical and memorable "checklist" for mission activities.
However, we have come to believe that, as our Communion travels further along the road towards being mission-centred, the Five Marks need to be revisited.
Mission: Announcing good news
The first mark of mission, identified at ACC-6 with personal evangelism, is really a summary of what all mission is about, because it is based on Jesus' own summary of his mission (Matthew 4:17, Mark 1:14-15, Luke 4:18, Luke 7:22; cf. John 3:14-17). Instead of being just one (albeit the first) of five distinct activities, this should be the key statement about everything we do in mission.
Mission in context
All mission is done in a particular setting - the context. So, although there is a fundamental unity to the good news, it is shaped by the great diversity of places, times and cultures in which we live, proclaim and embody it. The Five Marks should not lead us to think that there are only five ways of doing mission!
Mission as celebration and thanksgiving
An important feature of Anglicanism is our belief that worship is central to our common life. But worship is not just something we do alongside our witness to the good news: worship is itself a witness to the world. It is a sign that all of life is holy, that hope and meaning can be found in offering ourselves to God (cf. Romans 12:1). And each time we celebrate the eucharist, we proclaim Christ's death until he comes (1 Cor. 11:26). Our liturgical life is a vital dimension of our mission calling; and although it is not included in the Five Marks, it undergirds the forms of public witness listed there.
Mission as church
The Five Marks stress the doing of mission. Faithful action is the measure of our response to Christ (cf. Matt. 25:31-46; James 2:14-26). However, the challenge facing us is not just to do mission but to be a people of mission. That is, we are learning to allow every dimension of church life to be shaped and directed by our identity as a sign, foretaste and instrument of God's reign in Christ. Our understanding of mission needs to make that clear.
Mission as God-in-action
"Mission goes out from God. Mission is God's way of loving and saving the world... So mission is never our invention or choice." (Lambeth Conference 1998, Section II p121). The initiative in mission is God's, not ours. We are called simply to serve God's mission by living and proclaiming the good news. The Five Marks of Mission could make that clearer.
The Five Marks of Mission and beyond
We commend to each Province (and its dioceses) the challenge of developing or revising its own understanding of mission which is faithful to Scripture. We suggest two possible ways forward.
  • The Five Marks could be revised to take account of comments like those above. This has the advantage of retaining the familiar shape of the Five Marks.
  • Alternatively a holistic statement of mission actions could be strengthened by setting out an understanding of the character of mission. This would affirm the solemn responsibility of each local church to discern how it will most faithfully serve God's mission in its context. An example of such an understanding is given below.

    Mission is the creating, reconciling and transforming action of God, flowing from the community of love found in the Trinity, made known to all humanity in the person of Jesus, and entrusted to the faithful action and witness of the people of God who, in the power of the Spirit, are a sign, foretaste and instrument of the reign of God. (Adapted from a statement of the Commission on Mission of the National Council of Churches in Australia.)
Whatever words or ideas each local expression of our Church uses, MISSIO hopes that they will be informed by three convictions:
  • We are united by our commitment to serving the transforming mission of God.
  • Mission is the bedrock of all we are, do and say as the people of God.
  • Our faithfulness in mission will be expressed in a great diversity of mission models, strategies and practices.
Discussion Question
If you were to ask people in leadership positions in your Province (diocese, parish) whether they see mission as "the bedrock of all we are, do and say as the people of God", how do you think they would answer?
Anglicans In Mission (MISSIO report 1999)
It's a bit like this...

"As Johannes Nissen has said, “A missiologically relevant reading of the Bible will not lead to any universal missiology but (as in the New Testament itself) to a variety of missiological perspectives. Different theologies of mission do not necessarily exclude each other, ‘they form a multicolored mosaic of complementary and mutually enriching as well as mutually challenging frames of reference.’ Instead of trying to formulate one uniform view of mission we should rather attempt to chart the contours of a pluriverse of missiology in a universe of mission.” (Nissen 1999:16,17)"

 and this

  1. The missional church proclaims the gospel.
  2. The missional church is a comunity where all members are involved in learning to become disciples of Jesus.
  3. The Bible is normative in this church's life.
  4. The church understands itself as different from the world because of its participation in the life, death, and resurrection of its Lord.
  5. The church seeks to discern God's specific missional vocation for the entire community and for all of its members.
  6. A missional community is indicated by how Christians behave toward one another.
  7. It is a community that practices reconciliation.
  8. Peoples within the community hold themselves accountable to one another in love.
  9. The church practices hospitality.
  10. Worship is the central act by which the community celebrates with joy and thanksgiving both God's presence and God's promised future.
  11. This community has a vital public witness.
  12. There is a recognition that the church itself is an incomplete expression of the reign of God.

Frost and Hirsch propose three additional overarching principles that give energy and direction to the above:

  1. The missional church is incarnational, not attractional, in its ecclesiology. It does not create sanctified spaces into which unbelievers must come to encounter the gospel. Rather, the missional church disassembles itself and seeps into the cracks and crevices of a society in order to be Christ to those who don't yet know him.
  2. The missional church is messianic, not dualistic, in its spirituality. Instead of seeing the world as divided between the sacred (religious) and profane (nonreligious), like Christ it sees the world and God's place in it as more holistic and integrated.
  3. The missional church adopts an apostolic, rather than hierarchical, mode of leadership. It abandons the triangular hierarchies of the traditional church and embraces a biblical, flat-leadership community that unleashes the gifts of evangelism, apostleship, and prophecy, as well as pastoral and teaching gifts.

Michael Frost & Alan Hirsch, in their book The Shaping of Things to Come, refer to the Gospel and Our Culture Network (GOCN) which defines the missional church as one that "seeks to discern God's specific missional vocation for the entire community and all of its members." p.11-12

and this

"How can this strange story of God made flesh, of a crucified Savior, of resurrection and new creation become credible for those whose entire mental training has conditioned them to believe that the real world is the world which can be satisfactorily explained and managed without the hypothesis of God? I know of only one clue to the answering of that question, only one real hermeneutic of the gospel: a congregation which believes it." – Lesslie Newbigin


Revisiting "Threshold of the Future" Mike Riddell

   "The essence of the church has always been mission. It is created by mission, renewed by mission, and participates in mission. That mission belongs to God, and the church has stakes in it only insofar as it shares the life of God through Christ. To take part in God's mission to the world is to become a conductor of the divine energy which has been unleashed through the tearing open of the Trinity. Apart from involvement in mission, the church becomes a tawdry relic; a dusty museum of reliogion, suitable for tourists and historians, but little else.
   The creeping temptation of the church is to believe that it is an end in itself. Power, wealth, security and the desire for continuity dog the life of the established church as they do any otgher institution. The characteristics of the God made known in Jesus - love, vulnerability, redmptive suffering, service - are not nearly so attractive. So it is that theology and praxis must continualy struggle against the tendency to coopt God to the agenda of the church, rather than shape the church according to the will of God. Such is the history of the people of God, who attempt top follow the moving pillar of fire.
God will not be contained. The attempt to construct boxes for the divine presence is doomed to tragedy. Those who invest their lives in such misguided pursuits will be left with splinters and ther distant laugh of the Spirit. God is God or even better, God is who God will be. It is no denial of the centrality of Christ to say that we are still finding out who God will be. Christian faith is not a deposit of information, but a relationship with the partner who is constantly luring and dancing in the direction of the horizon. Many groups have assumed that they know the mind and intent of God, and been made to look silly as they clutch their supposed certainties while God moves on."
"Threshold of the Future: Reforming the Church in the Post Christian West" Mike Riddell p174 1998

   Mike also writes about some indicators of hope out of some examples or stories he shares. Many years ago I shared this list at a 'Synod' or State meeting when we were asked to bring some reflections on the 'emerging church' with some concrete examples we shared.
   It's a simple list amd got the most response after from people wanting a copy, the name of the book again etc.
   I later heard that one former Church Leader passed comment about the list as though there was nothing new about it... if he had spoken to me I would have agreed and talked about the 'standpoint' from which the list comes and asked how if it's an old list, that we have precious few hopeful examples to point to AND noted the energy generated by a hungry crowd seeking 'something' to give them hope or a simple plan to focus on... anxiety is what the list spoke to...
   Mike's writing inspires me that I'm not completely mad and worries me that it was written in 1998 and could have been written this week!!

And that list in dot point form:
  • a focus on relationships that counter societies individualism
  • honesty and reality in refusing to gloss over the ambiguities of life
  • experimental ventures with minimal structures
  • attempts made to connect the worship and faith life of the community with everyday culture
  • open communities in every sense of the word... to new people, to God, to changing tack
  • dynamically ecumenical in the sense of low focus on 'brand' or traditional membership
  • attempt is made to express mission in some form or other
  • participants laugh and cry often in the community setting reflecting vulnerability and grace
  • Scripture is respected and allowed to speak, but not in a remote or disengaged fashion
  • surrounding culture is taken seriously
  • little emphasis on buildings
  • many are relatively small in historical terms
  • an appreciation of and encouragement towards genuine spirituality
  • such communities provide space and refuge for those who may be nattered by life
  • counter cultural in certain respects reflecting God's values
It's not an exhaustive list but was drawn from 'emerging church' examples Mike writes about in the book. My other word to our former Leader who listened in was that it seems like what we should all be doing or sounds like we are...  it is and we're not!!