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Posts from July 2004

Orkney Islands

isle01Our pilgrimage continues. we have left behind the spiritual tourists and are now on the main island in Orkney. Orkney Islands are just north of the tip of Scotland, right before the Sheltands. I am attempting to get out to a minor island called Papa Strounsay - the Golgotha Monastary Island. It has been a Celtic monastic island for about 1500 years and is now run by a Catholic Order. Unfortunately, they do not have ferry service and there is no phone line in to the island right now, so getting in contact with them is difficult. I caught Brother Gerard on a different island and he is trying to get one of the brothers to come across with his boat to a larger island so we can meet and talk.
Anyway, thats whats up with our family pilgrimage. Thanks for your prayers.

at iona

Hey - we are on family pilgrimage to Iona. we are next to the island and will go there tomorrow. a few days ago we were at Keswick Convention Centre. Pray for us. We hope to tap into some of the history and spirituality of the Celtic pilgrims. Not much internet access out here on these islands so i wont be saying much for a few days longer.
Hope you all are well!!

INRI at Suddenly Seminary

Tonight! This will be the last one for a while. Summer is here and i will be traveling to places wifi-deprived and broadband-desolate so we will finish off our little virtual seminary experiment here.
I will turn up for one hour at 7pm London time. You have a few hours to prepare. I realise this is last minute, but this is SUDDENLY seminary and part of the experience is the element of immediate time and knee-jerk theology. Lets do this:
inri1. Download a PDF file of the INRI exhibition from its original location or by clicking the thumbnail on the left.
2. Read the file, as if you were attending the photo exhibition.
3. Choose one image and get ready to share why you choose it.
4. If you have time, take an screenshot of the image you choose and upload it to your blog. Try to optimize it to between 10k and 20k. Then leave a comment here and a link to your image and blog posting. You could do this during the week also. I would be curious to see which image you choose.
4. At 7pm tonight (London time), come to the guest room called Suddenly Seminary at
I will start. Having attended the exhibition in Prague, and bought the actual book (cost me a lot of money!!!) I scanned my personal favorite image and have cropped it here. It is a picture of the disciples with Jesus. I love the railway analogy . . the sense of taking off, sending out. When i think of the word "apostles", this image often comes to mind.
The INRI exhibition was a photo exhibition by Bettina Rheims and Serge Bramly depicting the Gospels in contemporary time.

Top 5 Festivals

Summer is upon us and its time to find the tent, pack the van, and head off to the festivals. Its an accountability thing . . turning up, showing up, presenting yourself before the elders and checking out how the church is doing. Here are the best 5 festivals you could attend this summer (those of us in the northern hemisphere).

1. Well, Cornerstone Festival is over and we missed it again. It is the best festival in USA. We have not been since 1999 but i always make an effort to get there. Maybe next year. Some of you went, didn't you? I have already received a report from the Underground Railroad roundtable. (Handbook for ministry to alternative subculture now online)

logo_2004_12. Edinburgh Fringe Festival(August 8-30) is the greatest festival in the whole world. 6 festivals in one. I think we will be there this year for at least a few days. There is a Christian festival run alongside it, but the comedy is the best. Also the world's largest book festival and worlds largest film festival. Doesn't get much better.

3. Slot Festival, Poland (starts this week - hurry up and get there!!!) A Christian based arts festival set in old monastery. Everyone who goes to this festival absolutely adores it. Friends of mine run Slot and I was supposed to speak twice but had to pull out - due to my van breaking down and needing some engine mounts (should come by wednesday - but, alas, too late)

4. stefanFreakstock, Germany. A great festival put on by the Jesus Freaks. Friends of mine like Trevor MacPherson from Underground Railroad will be there this year, as will DJ Kenny Mitchell and others. We were there last in 2002 and loved it. Its big on the 80's punk/goth scene, but that can be refreshing and fun. Great kids program too, BTW.

main_title_greenbelt5. Greenbelt Arts Festival. Aug 27-30. Home base for alt. worship and alt. church in UK. I will be teaching and leading the roundtable there.

Macworld UK free articles

They are only free this weekend so get them now at I am using a free trial program for Mac called PageSucker to find and save all the articles automatically into my hard drive. There are similar programs for PC. The address you enter to suck them all out is
And i found this out due to my brand new ultra-cool screensaver called Mac3watch which displays RSS feeds.

Tom Wright and Emerging Church

pooltable390Great time at the conference. Hard core thinking and then some good relaxing times around the pool table. Good to meet many friends there.
Tom Wright was great - bringing a balanced eschatology into a whole cosmology to inform his historic ecclesiology. What?????? He talked a lot about bringing the future of God into the present. Good stuff!!!!. His comprehension of the emerging church was a little short and narrow, but then he is a busy man and he lives in a castle on a little island so that was OK. We all liked him and he was very approachable and friendly. Si, Tim Keel, Jim Thwaites, Shannon Hopkins were there. Richard Sudworth, Jason Clark, Gareth Powell and Jonny Baker wrote reports and summed it up better than i feel like doing right now.

UPDATE: ok - two questions in my mind. Maybe those of you smarter than me can answer them.
1. Is the emerging church solely a reflection-of / reaction-to the past, or is it in fact partly prophetic? ie, are these new forms of church we are seeing a sign of God's future breaking in to the present? Tom Wright's teaching suggests the inbreaking of God's future into our present should be a reality. If this is true, then not everything we are doing can be explained easily by what we have come out of. I know much of what we are doing has been done before, and that is a good thing. But, are we, in some circumstances, displaying signs of the future kingdom without reference to the past ecclesial history?

2. Is there a word for this inbreaking of the future into our time?
If 'diachronic' means understanding our present through time (historically past time) and 'synchronic' means understanding our moment with other moments (a multilayered present) then what word would describe the phenomenon expressed in question one?

The Future of the People of God

hothorpeFor the next 3 days I will be trapped inside this creepy looking mansion with 120 people. I am not expecting WiFi and may not be blogging until Friday. Lots of friends and em. church/alt. worship people will be there.
Whats the big event?
"'The Future of the People of God' will be a unique gathering of thinkers and practitioners from the “emerging church” in conversation with one of the most influential biblical scholars of our day, N.T. Wright." More details at

Continue reading "The Future of the People of God" »

Fuse Factory Opens Today

samsFuse Factory just released their new web site from Lausanne, Switzerland. Bryce and Sam and the team there are very good friends, and we have done many things together. We are excited about their new website. They hope to produce new video each week and upload it on this site. This VJ/DJ team has been a strong artistic part of our big events - (Epicenter (USA 2001), Greenbowl (2001), Epicentrum (2002), Wabi Sabi UK) i think they are some of the most creative, talented and disciplined followers of Jesus on the planet. They will be staying at our house next month in London for a few days.