Saturday, September 23, 2006


I’m just exploring ebible at the moment. Though it contains search facilities and resources such as commentaries what looks most interesting is the way that we can share bookmarks and comments on this system. I’m still getting my head around it but it looks like its potential is to be more of a social network like for instance flickr. So you can look at what other people especially those you’ve nominated in your community are saying about particular verses or passages. It refers to itself as a web 2.0 application. The web 2.0 philosophy is to use the internet much more interactively rather than placing content there that someone might view in the future. So blogs are web 2.0 whereas your standard website with lots of articles would be web 1.0. At college we have a virtual learning environment called moodle which also appears to run on this philosophy. It’s not just about giving access to courses online but also enabling your learners to discuss and debate about the material and enable others to learn from them as well as from the resources. Anyway, why not have a look at this web 2.0 ebible and tell me what you think?

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Sunday, September 17, 2006


As a church we have just started a teaching series on Nehemiah. Nehemiah’s job was to restore the city walls of Jerusalem. Interestingly – many years before Nehemiah – Zerubabbel had rebuilt the temple. We can read about that in the book of Ezra. This can be seen as a symbol of the restoration of the church. Perhaps now is it the time to go beyond the vision of restoring the church to also restoring our city, by Christians having an influence in society.

As I read through the book of Nehemiah these ten questions occurred to me:

1.How can we be like Nehemiah who honestly looked at Jerusalem’s walls in ruins yet, like Jesus, with a burdened heart and bended knee was utterly dependant on God?

2.How can we have a clear vision to purposefully work hard to transform our city?

3.How can we as a church community work together in mission to accomplish this?

4.How can we handle criticism, discouragement and even persecution when it comes our way?

5.What can we do to stand for peace, justice and liberation politically and be inclusive, welcoming and generous personally?

6.How can we encourage diverse participation and creativity among our church to these ends?

7.As Nehemiah called people to return to God's word how can we return to these ancient ways and yet communicate them in ways that are relevant today?

8.How can we be honest and vulnerable practitioners of God’s word?

9.As we celebrate our festivals how can we both look back and take hold of the future?

10.How can we identify with Nehemiah and with Jesus?

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Monday, September 04, 2006

Greenbelt - part two

Greenbelt Communion
Originally uploaded byJude Adam.
Last Sunday at Greenbelt we watched the Communion service, with cups of chai, on the big screen in the arena overflow. The Israelites fleeing from Egypt was interpreted in terms of liberation with political implications for today. In the afternoon I went to a meeting that looked at the lamenting and imprecatory psalms where we were encouraged to bring to God our anger from hurts and injustice. I then explored the installations in the New Forms Café, listened in on an impressive short all age service there and visited the labyrinth. After all that I met Nettes and Callie for a meal at the Performance Café. This time we heard the haunting vocals of Levi Weaver who IMHO musically was the best I heard all weekend.

Monday was a Callie day. We looked round the exhibition stalls and bookshop in the mud but thankfully undercover from most of the rain. In the afternoon we went to a Godly Play session to see some of the wonderful resources that this children’s ministry offers. Finally it was off to some children’s theatre with Callie. Exhausted by the evening all three of us went back to our tent realising that we had never bothered to go to the mainstage.

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Friday, September 01, 2006

Greenbelt - part one

Teepee village
Originally uploaded by Roger Saner.
Last weekend we went to Greenbelt. We got up early and arrived at Cheltenham racecourse just after the opening time and there were already thousands of people there - even a few in teepees. In the evening I went to a PowerPoint workshop at the Tank – Greenbelt’s cyber-café – for some tips on technique. And then I dropped into the New Forms Café for a snack, with worship happening in the background. My destination was a gig by Fuse Factory – whose fast paced video-jockeyed images had me transfixed. Projecting on gossamer meant that their singer could walk into and behind images.

I started Saturday early with Celtic style worship from Wild Goose interspersed with contemporary stories of slavery from Christian Aid. Later I went to short session by Revelation – a DJ/dance outfit from Bristol – that used songs that we sing at our church... club style. After lunch in the New Forms Café I had a chance to get a coffee and network with a very wide variety of people involved in creative worship. I had to pick up Callie from her children’s meeting just as we were going to have communion. In the evening I joined in a beautiful Taize worship session that included a very moving few minutes of silence.

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