Well, we’ve been quiet in 2014, but some good conversations about the possibilities for renewing the Centre for Living Christianity (and kickstarting similar initiatives in other localities of the British isles) have been taking place behind the scene for the last six months. Nothing definite yet, but some ideas and possibilities…
Earlier in the summer I had an exchange with the Rev Steve Butler, who is rector of St James in Leith (my own parish) and plays a key role in the acclaimed Solas Festival. I also crossed paths recently with Andrew Wright, from St John’s, where CLicC was originally launched. They have a new ministry team there who need to be involved in the conversation. Ekklesia, the Christian think-tank I co-direct, is also in the midst of what is effectively a relaunch with backing from a charitable trust.
Last but not least (in fact, crucially) this past weekend I mooted the idea that relaunching CLiC might be a project I undertake as art of the new members’ programme I am undertaking with the Iona Community over the next two years. This was well received.
I intend to have some proposals by the end of 2014. If you are interested in the “CLiC idea” and how it can be developed, please do drop me a note. My email is on the ‘Get Involved’ page above. (SB)
CONVERSATIONS 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…
PUBLISHED 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.
THE 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.
THE 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: firstname.lastname@example.org Phone: 0131 2284249
UPDATE: 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’.
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