our week of stuff on spirituality, imagination and culture is half over. it is such an essential combination of things that i feel compelled to work out how we will plant seeds of this peculiar trinity of connections. i keep coming back to dave gibbons comment about how church/mission developments at the moment seem to involve artists/creators, entrepreneurs, and community development people. its a brilliant insight from him. and i cant leave this stuff alone. indeed, it seems to keep me half-in and half-out of the church, and thats fine by me. and also looking for the rest of this trinity.
day #2 of 'a spirit of wonder' started with a session by steve taylor on intuitive leadership, then a lunchtime conversation with cheryl lawrie about spirituality and creativity. [i'd happily give you a summary but I was next door setting up the fringe thing.] then jonny baker led an afternoon on 'fresh expressions' at citysoul, with some input from citysoul pastor tim hein, hosted by steve. from all the feedback, good, varied, insightful, relevant conversations.
day #3 just finished. we launched 'the landscape of desire' last night, and I'm awaiting jonny's photos online (my soon-to-be-replaced-macbookpro just died and deleted some of mine). the church is an excellent space to work with in many ways (and in others not). enough people coming in each night to feel that its worthwhile (whatever that means!). here's the first review at talkfringe.
Wonderful, transports you to another place
& invites you on a journey of hope, reflection, beauty &
yearning. The lovingly created environment provides an opportunity to
explore at your own pace & depth. Highly recommended. An amazing
experience & an honour to attend.
SO ADELAIDE PEOPLE COME ALONG. IT'S FREE. PILGRIM UC. THURS 12-2PM, 7.30-9.30PM, FRI 7.30-9.30PM
I'm in the role of event-man this week, missing sessions and making sure it all happens. i'm embarrassed to have such brilliant people giving so much.
last night and today was spent getting pilgrim church ready for "the landscape of desire". 700kgs of gravel, heaps of black fabric and black plastic, some fancy work with perspex and beeswax, stunning photos, clever lighting, corrugated iron and concrete, and a rather nervous caretaker (actually, he was pretty good all the way through!).
its all starting to look pretty stunning really, but still more to do tomorrow. if you're in Adelaide, drop by one night this week to pilgrim church, 12 flinders st, 7.30-9.30 pm or lunchtime thurs 12-2pm.
tonight we kicked off "a spirit of wonder" with [re]generate at the astor hotel with jonny baker. about 40 people turned up to hear jonny talk about grace, the worship & mission community that he is part of in london.i actually missed half the night as i was doing setup at pilgrim, but got there in time to hear jonny talk about getting personally engaged in mission, and do a bit of a Q&A. firstly a good encouragement to find something you enjoy (in jonny's case photography) and get involved with people outside the realm of the church, and secondly the invitation to be present in the spiritual marketplace (my term, not jonny's). apologies for my dodgy low-light photo.
we have folk visiting from NSW, VIC and TAS, so it should be an interesting week of conversations from across the country.
yes, you guessed it. i was shovelling salt today. the nice people at cheetham salt let me come and fill 10 big buckets of unprocessed sea salt crystal. i wish i'd taken a camera. it is a surreal landscape on the north-west limits of Adelaide - 100,000 tonnes of sea salt mountains with shallow blue-pink lakes, me in my orange safety vest, no-one in sight, and a shovel.
it's the lead-up to "the landscape of desire" next week and I'm running around getting stuff. the school across the road from our college is being demolished, so today i arranged to get a pile of concrete rubble.
our kids are filming traffic in the front seat of the car on the way to uni. we have a team cutting out hundreds of tiny magnets. i have sheet metal to spray paint. and then there's the gravel, or more likely river stones.
hope you can make it to one of the "Spirit of Wonder" events next week and to "The Landscape of Desire". one of our daughters was handing out promo postcards in the mall today and gave one to frank woodley, who is in town as one of the comedy acts.
these events are part of an attempt to revision christian presence in the city through arts and public engagement (whatever that means).
We're co-hosting two public lunchtime conversations with Jonny Baker and Cheryl Lawrie in a couple of weeks, at Pilgrim UC Hall, Tuesday 9th and Thursday 11th March, 12.00-1.30 pm. Cost $10, BYO lunch.
john and olive drane are here in adelaide, and last week we hosted a two day session for ministers. it was a great couple of days, and far too short for the range of material that they opened up.
day #1 was on spirituality, and day #2 on culture. although we asked them to draw on their books, they brought a much more personal touch to the whole thing.
I am drawn to their engagement with 'new age' spirituality, mainly because of their broad analysis. there's no question that contemporary spiritualities are influenced by the range of new age spiritualities, and the recent australian research seems to confirm this.
in march next year we'll have jonny baker and cheryl lawrie here, partnering with steve taylor (who will then be a 'local') and tim hein for a week of seminars, public conversations and art installations titled "a spirit of wonder."
a central part of the week is an Adelaide Fringe Festival event. called "the landscape of desire", it will be an interactive, multi-sensory installation space at Pilgrim Uniting Church in the centre of the city. jonny and cheryl will curate it with support from me.
really looking forward to the whole thing. if you like the look of it, come along or send some people.
one of my bits of writing this week is some worship stuff for the upper room, so to help me find stuff i've added a worship resources section in the column to the right. thanks and apologies to all those whose ideas i've ripped off over the years, most notably cheryl, roddy, the iona community, darren, etc, etc....
Here's a group of cultural objects. I claim that they are related in some way That is what the history of curating is. The job of the curator is to say "I think this story is interesting" and to weave that story through all of this.
I find these words compelling and completely unlike what systematic theologians do. thank you stanley h for shifting my brain all those years ago.
reflecting on a wonderful and too brief time with mark pierson last week.