Looking to the Future

FutureCONVERSATIONS are beginning to happen again about where we might take the Centre for Living Christianity in 2014 and beyond.

The reason for the ‘radio silence’ in recent months has been that two people central to the development of the CLiC idea, Donald Reid and Elspeth Strachan, have moved on from their posts and location in Edinburgh.

Donald was at St John’s for many years, and has now moved to Glasgow to take up the new challenge of hospice chaplaincy. Elspeth, meanwhile, is now working on Iona. We wish them all the very best in the new directions their paths have taken them on!

A number of us are still strongly committed to the vision and idea behind CLiC. But if it is going to have a future as way of a networking and linking various learning and cultural opportunities in an informal, engaged way, then we are going to have to regroup and rethink a bit.

If you have any interest in joining us, or have some thoughts and ideas to share, please to leave a note here or drop a note to me, Simon Barrow, at Ekklesia.

Another update will follow as soon as possible. In the meantime, we may offer some online and other resources / courses for your delectation…

Posted in Development, Programme 2014 | 1 Comment

The Risen Dust

RisenDustPUBLISHED by Wild Goose, the publishing imprint of the Iona Community, The Risen Dust is a powerful and moving set of readings, stories and poems for the season leading up to Easter.

The accounts of scapegoating, of power and violence and hope found in the gospels will always be current and significant, points out author Rachel Mann - an Anglican priest, poet and musician whose own personal and spiritual journey is in itself a testimony to the CLiC commitment to “living faith at the crossroads”.  

Despite the crises the church has faced as its cultural and social power in wider society has diminished, the story of Jesus Christ and of those who surrounded him remains a defining narrative of our time.

Using artistic and theological licence, Rachel writes with the voices of the characters involved in the biblical accounts of passion and resurrection. Unafraid to explore the darkest aspects evoked by these events, she says:

‘The intention of both the more humorous and the visceral stories is to play with abiding themes of death and new life in ways which – in church contexts at least – break unusual ground. Some readers may find some of the language crude and offensive. It is not my intention to offend or outrage, but … to indicate that there are places and experiences where blasphemy is prayer and prayer is blasphemy.’

More details about the book and how to purchase it can be found here

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A Quick Update…

CLiCLittleTHE Centre for Living Christianity has not been active since the beginning of this year, due to staff and other changes.

A big ‘thank you’ to those involved in events at the end of 2012, following our launch in October, and beginning of 2013.

In the aftermath of Just Festival here in Edinburgh, we will be considering the future, and hopefully some exciting possibilities.

Posted in Development, Programme 2013 | Leave a comment

Supporting Streetwork in Advent

homelessTHE Centre for Living Christianity is interested in exploring faith as a way of life, not as a set of beliefs abstracted from it. That means thought and action go together.

We are therefore very pleased to report an Advent initiative happening on Wednesday 12th December at St John’s Church in Edinburgh (corner of Princes Street and Lothian Road), which is CLiC’s base.

The team who bring you the Festival of Spirituality and Peace each year have linked up with homelessness charity Streetwork for a ‘street porridge sale’ from 8am to 1pm that day, outside St John’s.

Money raised will go to help the activities of Streetwork, who offer direct support for homeless people. It will also raise further awareness of the issue, and of the plight of many people over the Christmas season… those for whom “no room at the inn” is not a quaint biblical story, but a daily reality.

For more information about this specific event, contact Annika Wolf, St John’s Church, Edinburgh, EH2 4BJ. Email: info@festivalofspirituality.org.uk Phone: 0131 2284249

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‘Disorganised Religion’ update

rescheduleUPDATE: an initial small group met for a discussion recently. If you have emailed and were not part of that event, you will be hearing shortly about another one in the New Year!

Thanks to all who have expressed an interest in the ‘Disorganised Religion’ seminar / workshop / discussion. We have had over a dozen people wanting to come… however, unfortunately, most have difficulty with a Sunday lunchtime.

We therefore decided not to go ahead on 21st October, but instead to look for a fresh date which would enable more people to attend.

Further information will be published here, and mailed out to those who have contacted us, as soon as possible.

For further information, or to be kept in touch, please email: Simon Barrow and mark the subject line ‘Disorganised Religion’.

Posted in Disorganised Religion, News, Programme 2012 | Leave a comment

Forthcoming at CLiC…

Here’s the forthcoming programme for the Centre for Living Christianity, organised in date order, with links to further details.

Disorganised Religion (TBA – new date being looked at)
God Matters: an introduction (runs from 24 October)
Exploring ‘the New Monasticism’ (11 November)
Faith in Film (dates tba)
In a Strange Land: dementia (date tba)
Faith in Children (date tba, 2013)
‘Speaking Christian’: New language for old? (dates tba, 2013)
Pentecostal Ecumenism (date tba, 2013)
Faith in the Planet (date tba, 2013)
Faith in Ourselves; inner journeys (date tba, 2013)

Posted in Ecumenism, Environment, Facing Dementia, Faith and Film, Faith in Children, Future Church, God Matters, New Monasticism, Programme 2012, Programme 2013, Speaking Christian | Leave a comment

(How) does God matter to you?

From cheers to jeers to plain old ‘meh’, everyone seems to have some kind of view or question about God. What’s yours?

The German theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer, whose faith led him to resist the Nazis, and who paid for it with his life, once said: “May we always live aware that God is near and present with us.”

For some that’s very true. For others it may make little or no sense. In any case, which God are we talking about? The name of God is evoked in praise and as a curse. To bring life and to destroy it. For Christians, what difference does it make to talk of the God of Jesus, for instance?

Whatever comments or questions you have about “God matters” – whether you’re reading this as a believer or sceptic, religious or not, we’d like to hear from you.

CLiC aims to put on events and discussions which respond to the real concerns and questions that people have about God, faith and (not least) Christianity in a diverse world.

We need your input for that – though please, keep comments, however passionate, polite and respectful to others.

We look forward to hearing from you – just add your response below.

Meanwhile, here’s a few more pithy responses to “God matters” from Bonhoeffer:

* Our relationship to God is a new life in “being there for others,” through participation in the being of Jesus.

* We should find God in what we know, not in what we do not know.

* God is the centre of life and doesn’t just “turn up” when we have unsolved problems to be solved.

* God is near to lowliness – in loving the lost, the neglected, the unseemly, the excluded, the weak, and the broken.

CLiC’s own God Matters course starts on 24 October 2012. 

Posted in God Matters, Questions | 1 Comment