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Posts from March 2007

Spiritual Pilgrimage Online

UPDATE: ahhhhh. . . . how rude of me to get this introduction soooo wrong.

Heidi just arrived. And its Dr Heidi Campbell, having completed her PhD on internet community and theology in 2002. She now teaches new media and religion at A & M in Texas. Its her second time in Orkney and she will be teaching next week in Oxford with Pete Ward. Heidi blogs at When Religion Meets New Media and I think we have connected a few times through the internet but never face to face.

ORIGINAL: TWO interesting people flying into Orkney today. Jamie Oliver to meet with Orkney foodies and Heidi Campbell to meet with me and discuss internet communities.

Heidi is a PhD student and has written this interesting document called "A New Forum for Religion: Spiritual Pilgrimage Online" [PDF]. She will stay until Friday and, I hope, help me to build a chicken coop for the laying hens that arrive this weekend.
If I see Jamie at the airport, I will be sure to pass on comments from the angry students up here who are sick of the school menu.

Fellowship Reimagined

A few of us are learning what "fellowship" means and are putting it into practice. It started a month ago when my wife told me a few people in our community wanted to go in with us in buying shares in a cow. I said, "Thats what 'fellowship' means. It means to have half shares in a cow".

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This is what Kiwi Viv Grigg told me years ago at a Fuller Seminary class. He also suggested the word "fee" comes from the same word in old English. I did some research on the roots of the word and found out that the English word "fellowship" comes from the Nordic word "fēlagi". Interestingly, that was pretty much the language spoken up here in Orkney during that time.

Broch-Of-GurnessThis 2000 year old village in Orkney (Broch of Gurness, about 20 minutes from my house) shows how close everyone lived together. Livestock gave meat, milk and heat for the homes in winter - organic heating and organic smell. Families would often share these animals among themselves by becoming 'fellows' with each other.

[Middle English felau, from Old English fēolaga, from Old Norse fēlagi, business partner, fellow, from fēlag, partnership : fē, property, money + lag, a laying down.] Answers

Word History for "Fellow"

"A jolly good fellow might or might not be the ideal business associate, but the ancestor of our word fellow definitely referred to a business partner. Fellow was borrowed into English from Old Norse fēlagi, meaning “a partner or shareholder of any kind.” Old Norse fēlagi is derived from fēlag, “partnership,” a compound made up of fē, “livestock, property, money,” and lag, “a laying in order” and “fellowship.” The notion of putting one's property together lies behind the senses of fēlagi meaning “partner” and “consort.” In Old Icelandic fēlagi also had the general sense “fellow, mate, comrade,” which fellow has as well, indicating perhaps that most partnerships turned out all right for speakers of Old Icelandic." Answers

This idea of re-imagining fellowship in economic terms came up later with the idea of chickens. Four families, including ours, are going together to buy some laying hens so we can all get fresh organic eggs. Thats fellowship for you. Maybe "partnership" carries the idea a little better.

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Emerging Church Portugal

The Portuguese crowd had a conference last weekend which went really well. Barbara, who i have mentioned before, is raising money for some land near Lisbon where many of them will live in community and have a base for ministry around Europe and among street kids in the cities. Some of us are putting a little money towards it because we believe in the vision and in this exciting and passionate emerging leaders. Read more about this land on Barbara's blog ShantiPilgrim. Check out her little hut in the woods . .


I had a fantastic time in Portugal back in 2004 [blogged it here] and I will be there again September 10 -12, 2007

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London for a few days

I will be in London for a few days (Tuesday to Thursday) to discuss missional cells with CMS. We are getting ready to launch a number of initiatives and we need to get on the same page. We are still very interested in mapping out new churches and new movements and finding ways to support what is going on, as well as igniting new efforts. Also talking about Bible study and small group/cell resources for missional cells. Have you come across anything that might help? Let me know.

Pilgrimage is something on our hearts also. I will be meeting with Mark Berry and Shannon Hopkins to lay out some plans for promoting and supporting this movement. Ideas so far include websites, pilgrimage points, learning trails, resources, etc. Speaking of pilgrimage, our family will be on pilgrimage this summer in UK, Poland, Czech Republic, Germany, and France. We will be at Taize from July 29 to August 4 if you want to join us. You and 5000 others.

North Wind

Huge wind last weekend and its still blowing and snowing right now. Our friend's caravan was damaged beyond repair, despite being tied down. We lost one of our windows that got sucked out and blown away. I will be climbing on the roof later today to put another pane of glass up. Its an old house and we get it for pretty cheap rent in return for fixing it up.