Are You Gonna Go My Way?

One of the many things I need to do now that I am back online is sort through all of the tasks that have been backing up.  Here is one of the clips of The Rock Mass that I’ve managed to get off my computer and up to YouTube.  Thanks to Trash II Treasure for the shooting and editing.

Guess I’d better update Metanoia’s website.

Greenbelt 2012 – U2charist

As you probably know, Ruth and I are involved in a couple of services at Greenbelt this year.  We’ve had details confirmed about when the U2charist will be happening.  It is going to be in the “InSense” venue at 5pm on Monday.  The worship is being organised by Luminous in Lincoln.  Metanoia will be leading the musical aspects of the service with a selection of U2 songs.

It’ll be great to see you there!

Rock Mass @ Biblefresh Wakefield – Thanks

From the “Paradise City” cam

Changing worship blogs are like busses.  You wait for over a week and then they all turn up at once.  I want to say a few words of thanks for the Rock Mass at Dewsbury Minster last Saturday night.

The event was great to be part of.  In the six years or so that we have been involved in this sort of worship event it has grown and grown.  To think that an idea I had for an MA essay would grow into this huge event is astonishing.  Previously we have been used to smaller local churches.  All told there were 355 communicants on Saturday night and countless numbers of others.  There was standing room only in the minster – for most of the people who were there!  Lots of people travelled great distance to be there (Liverpool, Nottingham, Newcastle and the Isle of Man!).  Several youth groups came along and many who have never been to church before came out of curiosity!

One of the great things about this experience has been collaborating with people.  The staff at Dewsbury Minster were exceptionally helpful, supportive, relaxed and groovy.  This was a great help because we were describing a concept that no one there had previously experienced.  Thanks to the many people who came from around the country to help set up – Newcastle seems to be a good location for summoning roadies!

The tech support for the service was brilliant.  A big thank you to Pete and Ken who both did an amazing job in exceptional circumstances.  As well as that I don’t particularly envy Julz at trashiitreasure who is currently editing down hours of footage from four cameras into a DVD.  Thanks for that!

The serving team with Revd Rach at the helm were brilliant.  Thank you for getting on with it without the need for too much direction.  Sorry you didn’t get to see the visuals.  Thanks to the Cathedral staff who stepped in at the last-minute when some of our plans fell through and provided some stunning vestments and a massive icon.  Thanks to Charity who preached a wonderfully cheeky and highly inspiring sermon about embracing the gifts of our young people.

As I say, one of the key things with this type of worship is collaboration.  Whilst I made many of the visual aspects of the service from scratch, some of this would not have been possible without Fr Simon Rundell.  He has been producing resources and making them open source for many years.  When one and a half hours of visual material is needed, this is an invaluable resource.  Thank you very much Fr.  Even though you were not present in the minster, some of your images were and for that we thank you!

My last vote of thanks goes to the band and especially my wife.  You guys worked really hard to put together the set and were professional throughout.  You guys also did a brilliant job of keeping me sane!!  ROCK ON!!

All of those who I have forgotten to mention, I apologise.  Thank you for all your hard work.

Rock Communion Methodist Stylee

I have just realised that in the business of the last two weeks I have forgotten to mention this!!  Burton Road Methodist Churchis holding a Rock Communion service in Lincoln.  Metanoia are going to be there two weeks on Sunday at 6pm.  Graeme, Ali, Ruth and I were all at college together with their minister, The Sten (The Reverend Sten?).  Perhaps I should call him Mark now.  He has invited us down to meet his community and assist with the proceedings.

Sorry I have been so remiss and forgotten to mention it.  I also promise that once the Rock Mass and the Rock Communion are done I will have time to sort Metanoia a decent web presence instead of just a Facebook page.

Alt:Hymnal – Him, The Sacrament

I humbly perform before you an act of contrition.  Dr Ruth pointed out that for the last few years she has wanted to play this song in church, probably at a Rock Mass and that she told me about it a long time ago.  I have to admit that I may have heard her say this but I never got around to doing something about it.  So here I offer my humble apologies to my wife.  I also offer you The Sacrament by Him as an addition to The Alt:Hymnal.  It’s very ‘igh.

“The Sacrament”

I hear you breathe so far from me
I feel your touch so close and real
And I know
My church is not of silver and gold,
It’s glory lies beyond judgement of souls
The commandments are of consolation and warmth

You know our sacred dream won’t fail
The sanctuary tender and so frail
The sacrament of love
The sacrament of warmth is true
The sacrament is you

I hear you weep so far from me
I taste your tears like you’re next to me
And I know
My weak prayers are not enough to heal
Oh the ancient wounds so deep and so dear
The revelation is of hatred and fear

You know our sacred dream won’t fail
The sanctuary tender and so frail
The sacrament of love
The sacrament of warmth is true
The sacrament is you

The sacrament is you
The sacrament is you
The sacrament is you
The sacrament is you

You know our sacred dream won’t fail
The sanctuary tender and so frail
The sacrament of love
The sacrament of warmth is true
The sacrament is you

You know our sacred dream won’t fail
The sanctuary tender and so frail
The sacrament of love
The sacrament of warmth is true
The sacrament is you

Blesséd @Home @ Greenbelt – The Video

This is a video of the Blesséd Alt:Worship Mass at Greenbelt last Friday night.  Unfortunately the battery ran out before the end but you get the idea.

I wish we had someone operating a roving camera as well so that you could get the full effect of being there as the bubbles filled the whole place during the confession liturgy.  Very well done to Fr Simon and the Blesséd team!

So here you go, me playing guitar with Metanoia – the first time I’ve put that on the blog!  Moshing in church?  8-o

Now I’d better get back to planning The Rock Mass at Dewsbury Minster!

Rocking @ Greenbelt

I’m really excited to announce that Fr Simon from Blessed asked us to collaborate with their team for a service at Greenbelt.   It will be in the The Big Top on Friday night at 6pm. 

From the way things have progressed it will be a blending of Blessed with the live music aspects of The Rock Mass.  It is a really exciting thing to be involved with and I hope to see lots of you there.

One of the most startling things about this experience is how technology has allowed us to collaborate remotely.  Whilst we are of a similar mindset we are separated by a couple of hundred miles.  Skype, twitter, email and video hosting websites have made something possible that could not have easily happened even 5 years ago.

Rock Mass @ Biblefresh Wakefield

The Rock Mass just got big!!  Time for ‘Metanoia’ to ROCK Dewsbury Minster!

Wakefield Diocese are having a huge celebration of the 400th anniversary of the Authorised Version of the bible called Biblefresh Wakefield.  There are all sorts of activities going on during the day.

In the evening we will be holding a Rock Mass.  It is ideal for bringing your yoof to.  It is also great for bringing your adults to.  Ancient sacramental worship with a rock band and everything you need for a rock concert.

If you are interested in coming or bringing a group, please join the facebook event and consider following @biblefreshwakey on twitter.

Fresh Expressions and The Sacraments

The May edition of e-expressions has an interesting piece from Bishop Graham Cray about the place of communion within a Fresh Expression of Church.  He highlights the defining characteristics of a church as:

One of the ways by which we can recognize whether something is church, is whether ‘the Word and the Sacraments’ are present. Scripture is studied, so that disciples can understand what Jesus wants them to know and do, and act accordingly. Communion is celebrated to rehearse what Jesus has accomplished and set our eyes, minds and hearts on his coming kingdom. If a fresh expression is really church it will develop to a stage where Holy Communion (under whatever name a tradition uses) is part of its regular pattern of worship and discipleship. This is for the most basic of reasons. Jesus told us to share bread and wine in this way in remembrance of him. It’s that simple!

This has been an area that has caused concern for any form of innovative worship within a church that is catholic in nature like the Church of England.  It seems that whenever the Anglican church tries to engage with new groups of people one of the first things that is removed from an act of corporate worship is the sacrament.  This can be seen historically in the Family Service movement throughout the last century or more recently in the alt worship scene.  It is an area that I looked into as part of my MA dissertation as I explored the way in which the Church of England is engaging with alt. worship.  At the time there was little in the way of sacrament within most Fresh Expressions of Church and the question of presidency is a sticking point for many in a variety of traditions.

Many denominations are involved in planting fresh expressions and not all of them require an ordained minister to preside, but many do.

Previously there has been no truly satisfactory solution postulated.  Bishop Graham suggests some ideas.

The leader or leaders of a fresh expression are not necessarily the ones who should preside. Leading the mission and the mission community are not the same thing as leading worship. An ordained minister can relate to a fresh expression, attend when they can without having to take responsibility and then act as a key link to the wider church when they preside. There needs to be a real connection between fresh expressions and the rest of the Church and this could strengthen it. When a fresh expression is linked in to a more traditional local church or group of churches it is possible to have a celebration of communion at one church, including, in its turn, the fresh expression and then each of the others has representatives who take the bread and wine to the other churches in the team. Churches in a more catholic tradition would be happy to use the reserved sacrament.

I suggest that we are at the beginning of the journey into fresh expressions.  This is a starting place will have to look at the theological implications of the movement as it develops.  We look towards christian unity and as we do this it is important that we foster links between the church historic and fresh expressions.  At the last supper Jesus instituted a meal that was a sign of the inclusive nature of God who invites humanity to eat with him.  It is a tragedy that many church structures turn this meal into a sign of division.  With that in mind it is good that the issue is being explored as we move forward as a mixed economy church.

Each fresh expression needs to find a way forward that is appropriate to its own cultural and denominational tradition and it is the responsibility of the leaders of each denomination to address real issues being raised by innovative mission. This is not a time for breaking the rules, but it time to ensure that new Christian communities can be fed by both Word and Sacrament!

Extreme Vicaring

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Each venue auditioned an average of 14 vicars taking into account: a) their willingness to hold an alternative service, b) their experience in working in varied environments and c) their ability to hold mass at fifty plus miles per hour.

I think I could say mass at a bit more than 50mph. Where’s the challenge in that?