And so we come to the end of Advent and enter into the celebration of Easter. Ian Mobsby shares some reflections and a poem in celebration of the coming of God in human form.
The next podcast will be in January 2012, as a dialogue between Aaron Kennedy of the Moot Community and Tobias Jones. Tobias is a wellknown writer, journalist and communitarian overseeing an unusual spiritual community in some woods in southern England.
As part of this years art, spirituality and reflections on Advent, Ian Mobsby leads this third podcast exploring the theme of 'Do not be afraid to respond to love'. This year the Moot Community at St Mary Aldermary are hosting a number of spiritual events to promote engagement with the season. For more details on this, see the Events section of the Moot Website www.moot.uk.net
As part of this years art, spirituality and reflections on Advent, Vanessa Elston leads this second podcast exploring the issue of risk, peace and the undefended life. This year the Moot Community at St Mary Aldermary are hosting a number of spiritual events to promote engagement with the season. For more details on this, see the Events section of the Moot Website www.moot.uk.net
In this second of three podcasts recorded in August 2011 Ian Mobsby conversed with Simon Walker - author, teacher, mentor and Anglican Priest to explore the issue of the 'undefended life'. Simon has written a number of highly acclaimed books on the sbject, getting to the heart of the calling of Christian spirituality to promote an apporach to life which is undefended. In this podcast Simon explores how getting beyond fear and the troubles of our world is possible by a deep relationship of love with God the Trinity, enables us to find liberation and freedom whilst enabling us to approach leadership in a new way.
In this first of three podcasts recorded in August 2011 Ian Mobsby conversed with Simon Walker - author, teacher, mentor and Anglican Priest to explore the issue of the 'undefended life'. Simon has written a number of highly acclaimed books on the sbject, getting to the heart of the calling of Christian spirituality to promote an apporach to life which is undefended. In this podcast Simon maps out the effects of early childhood on our personality types, and an interpretation of the New Testament that promotes liberation through experiencing the love of God to overcome fear and so be undefended.
For more information on Simon's work see here.
For information on Simon's books click here:
In the culmination a weekend spiritual retreat at the Guild Church of St Mary Aldermary, Pádraig Ó Tuama gave this homily on the subject of baptism in the waters of incarnation. Pádraig is an acclaimed poet, theologian and justice and reconciliation worker, and a member of the Ikon Community in Belfast Northern Ireland. This podcast was recorded at the Evening Service Eucharist of the Moot Community at the Guild Church of St Mary Aldermary on Sunday 9th August 2011.
It was with great excitement that Ian Mobsby had the opportunity to dialogue with Fr Richard Rohr concerning the importance of contemplative Christianity to the contemporary World. Fr Richard is the founder of the Center for Action and Contemplation, which seeks to deepen the impactfulness of Christian discipleship and wisdom drawing on non-dualistic, ego-transcending and gospel inspired activity. Fr Richard is a Catholic Franciscan Brother with an international speaking and teaching ministry. He has written many books and DVDs and has contributed much to the development of the Christian contemplative tradition in Western Europe and North America. In this interview Richard Rohr discusses a number of issues and thoughts pertenant to many of us who are explore new ways of being church engaged in contemporary mission who do so drawing on a distinctively contemplative Christian perspective. This podcast was recorded on 27th May 2011.
In this podcast Ian Adams, priest, speaker, writer and new monastic explores the theme of ‘Post-secular spiritual questers – an opportunity for mission’. This address was recorded at the national conference exploring the place of contemplative expressions of church, contemporary mission and fresh expressions of the church at the London Centre for Spirituality on Monday 16th May 2011.
On the Second Sunday of Lent, Julie Dunstan explored the Gospel text of John 3.1-17 using an amusing poem by an ancient mystic at the Moot Eucharist. Julie opens up the challenge of the Christian faith drawing on contemplative roots of the faith, which is at its heart, about getting beyond the ego and humility.
Julie Dunstan is a Spiritual Director, Psychotherapist, and has led a number of Contemplative Prayer Development Days for the Moot Community. Soak up the wisdom of Julie's considerable experience and Christian spirituality.
In this podcast interview, Brian McLaren dialogues with Ian Mobsby exploring the future of church and mission in the US and UK. Brian is an international author, speaker and pastor associated with emergent and emerging church in the USA and around the world. Brian addressed the International Anglican Lambeth Conference in 2008. In this podcast, a wide range of issues are discussed including new monasticism, mission to spiritual seekers, and the challenge of church in the twenty first century.
In this Podcast of the Eucharist at the Moot Community on 13th June 2010, Vanessa Elston explores the theme of Christ’s call for the conversion of head and heart. This homily is the second in the series exploring Moot’s proposal to develop its new monastic basis with some virtues, spiritual practices and postures.
Vanessa Elston is a member of the moot community, a teacher, a mother and a student of theology – who has substantial experience of being involved in the UK alternative worship and emerging church movements. Vanessa, as a member of the Lounge Project Team, is currently helping us to explore the possibility of piloting a formation approach to Christian practices drawing on the wisdom of the twelve step programme.
In the second of his four reflections, Mark Berry reflects on the importance of Perichoresis and its implications for being a participative spiritual community. Recorded on a spiritual retreat of the Moot Community On the weekend of 14th-16th May 2010. Mark Berry, Missioner and leader of the Safespace Community led the retreat. This is the 2nd of 3 recordings.
On the weekend of 14th-16th May 2010, the Moot community held a short spiritual retreat to explore the theme of participating in God. Mark Berry, Missioner and leader of the Safespace Community led the retreat. This is the 1st of 4 recordings. The handouts for the session will be uploaded shortly.
In this weeks podcast, Ian Mobsby explores the theme of Christ's Resurrection alongside the calling for hope and risk-taking to replace fear. Shalom, the Jewish theologial understanding of God's outworking of love in and to the world, becomes the Kingdom of God, and the disciples are challenged to live out this love in the Kingdom, through the peace of God's Shalom in openness to the world. This is our challenge as emerging and fresh expressions of church, to catch up with what God is already doing.
In late 2010, Ian Mobsby chatted with Brother Samuel, the leading Friar for the Anglican Franciscans in England. Brother Samuel is well known in UK New Monastic circles, because he has participated in a number New Monastic conferences and gatherings.
In this podcast, Brother Samuel shares his insights into the contribution of Franciscan Spirituality to the ongoing Christian tradition, as well as explore a particularly Franciscan reflection on New Monasticism.
Brother Samuel like Abbot Stuart are wise and very encouraging for those exploring new, emerging and fresh expressions of church. Ian found ther advice about engaging with spiritual seekers, particularly helpful. So take in the wisdom of this committed Franciscan Friar!
Prayer of St Francis of Assisi
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace,
Where there is hatred, let me sow love; where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light; where there is sadness, joy;
O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console;
to be understood as to understand; to be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive;
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.
On February 3rd, Martin Newell who is a member of the Catholic Worker movement in the UK, and Trident Ploughshares, came to discuss the essence of community and his own personal story with the Moot Community. The choices Martin has made and his insights from his faith are rich and challenging. The catholic worker movement offers great wisdom concerning 'being counter cultural' to a world obsessed with the free market and competition. A disposition that always oppresses the poor and the vulnerable. This podcast includes the discussions between the moot community and Martin.
This is the second podcast from Martin, scroll down below to listen to the conversation between Martin and Ian Mobsby
At the Alt Eucharist Service of the Moot Community on the 14th February 2010, Clare Catford explores the whole issue of seeking God in the details of life. This importantly includes the difficulties of living, in our journeys of human becoming. We do not need to feel ashamed or hidden. We are all broken, and it is helpful to live out the struggles of our lives in community, where others can encourage us to be whole both emotionally and physically. Hiding your struggles and shame can become toxic, that prevent wellbeing and a healthy spirituality. God loves us, even in our brokenness.
Apologies for the slight interference in this recording. We have worked out why, and it won't happen in future recordings.
In the second of two events, Dave Tomlinson leads a Moot Wednesday evening gathering to discuss his new book Re-enchanting Christianity. Dave explored the idea of a 'second innocence' developed by a number theologians, to explore the reconstruction of a faith that can engage with the reality of the twenty first century. For more information on Dave's book, click here. Dave has been a major support to the Moot Community. We hope to develop greater links between St Lukes Church Holloway and the Moot Community.
People are no less spiritual today than they were in the past, but they are a lot less religious - at least, in a formal sense. A disconnect has ocurred between religion and spirituality: people no longer see religion or Church as the natural setting in which to explore or express their spiritual aspirations. So they are drifting away from churches in droves. However, they are not doing so because they no longer believe in God, or because they have no hunger or interest in the spiritual aspect of life, but because, in their experience of Church, they are neither finding a faith they can believe in, not an existential spirituality that can sustain their souls in an age of anxiety and estrangement.
In a previous podcast, Jonny Spoor of the Moot Community talked to Ian Mobsby about his experience of participating and living in the L'arche community in France. He went there for his summer holiday from studying. Here he lived in a house with Jean Vanier and loved and served in L'arche, possibly one of the most important new monastic inspired communities in the world. Jonny recently went back to interview Jean Vanier about his experiences, theology and thinking to write an article for the Student Christian Movement magazine, and whilst he was there, he recorded some of the wisdom of the conversation. So this podcast is more unusual than the ones we usually do, in that it pulls together Jean Vanier's thinking where you can't hear the questions Jonny has asked. It however, allows the listener to engage with the remarkable wisdom of this important visionary and activist. For those in the emerging church, fresh expressions and new monasticism, there is much here to aid us in our quest to build ecclesial communities out of contextual mission.
Following a recent number of requests, we publish a short film played at the Moot Rhythm of Life Service at St Paul's Cathedral on Easter Saturday 2009. The film uses the stories and hopes of a number of people involved in the Moot Community, as we await the birthing of our vision of starting an arts cafe lounge in central London as a place for radical mission and hospitality, and our longer term hope of launching an intentional community. The Moot Community recommits to its rhythm of life as a new monastic community before the Bishop of London in the season of Easter every year. This follows the ancient practice of christian priests, monastics and friars to recommit to their vows and for the whole people of God to recommit to their baptismal covenant.
In the Little Service of January 2010, at the end of a resource training day, Ian Mobsby and Elizabeth Mowbray explored the theme of breathing as prayer, with a view of the ecclesial community as a new monastic community. Life then becomes a pattern of breathing in God's blessing and breathing out loving service and action. This homily was inspired by the words of Andy Freeman, a founding member of the 24-7 Boiler Room New Monastic Communities.
Ian Mobsby discusses with Shane Claiborne, the vision of New Monasticism, and the practical implications of living this particular form of ecclesial community, and the calling to a radical lifestyle. Shane is one of the leading voices in a growing movement of New Monasticism in the United States.
His first book, The Irresistable Revolution is a key envisioning texts for all those interested or involved in New Monasticism. It has been a core text for many involved in New Monasticism in the UK and Europe. In this book Shane outlines his experiences of working as a volunteer in Calcutta in India, in a community overseen by Mother Teressa, and how this opened up a whole way of being Christian that up to that point, he had been unaware of. Shane is a founding Member of the Simple Way Community in Philedelphia, one of the early new-monastic communities.
Be prepared to be inspired! Lets keep up with Shane's visit to Iraq in January 2010, and hopefully we may even have him a long to a moot event in the not too distant future.
In this podcast, Ian Mobsby interviews Fr Martin Newell, who is a member of the Catholic Worker movement in the UK, and Trident Ploughshares, which seek to challenge the use of weapons of mass destruction and the arms trade by protest and direct action. Martin is a Roman Catholic Priest, and has gone to prison for his involvement in this radical approach to the Christian life. In this interview Martin shares his thoughts about a radical approach to Christian discipleship focused on justice, resistance and a focus on the poor. The Catholic Worker movement has much in common with new monasticism in seeking to build a new society and the importance of community living out shared values through a rhythm of life. Most interesting, was Martin's thoughts of seeing Prison as a New Monastry as a consequnce of living out this form of discipleship. Martin and the Catholic Worker movement are a real inspiration and hope!
In the Moot Alt Eucharist on the 11th October 2009, Jemma Allen explores friendship as the sacramental outpouring of God's love. Jemma reflects on the key Gospel phrase 'I have called you friends...' with a God who identifies friendship with sinners and drunkards. So it is through friendship that God's purposes are outworked, transforming all things back into restored relationship with God. Therefore, friendship lies at the heart of the Christian life, that changes us and draws us into closer relationships with the divine. Loving our neighbours and our God. Friendship is the antedote to the structures of dominance and individualism that stand in opposition to the justice, peace and liberation that we proclaim when we confess a faith in Christ. Jemma is Chaplain at Waikato University and the Ex-ile Alternative Worship Community in Hamilton, North Island New Zealand.
Friendship is not some gimmick that we can market as a way of successfully living a Christian life. It is not even primarily about about an act of will or making friendships in a calculating way. Friendship as a spiritual practice, as the mark of a disciple, as a proclamation of the Good News of the Reign of God – this friendship is about entering into authentic relationships, relationships of vulnerability and trust, relationships of mutuality and care. In allowing ourselves to be affected by who we live with and how we live with them, by the gifts we receive in and from our friends, we open ourselves to being transformed by love and so enlarging the realm of God: the kinship and new community proclaimed by Christ. That, my friends, would be Good News!
In this podcast, Ian Mobsby explores the implications of Ecclesiastes 3:1-15 and John 14: 15-21. As Moot is part of the emerging and fresh expressions of church movements, it is founded on the vision of building ecclesial communities out of contextual mission. It is within this vision of being a follower of Christ and seeking to be part of a radical community, that we need to consider the issues of personal identity and issues of taboo. In the Ecclesiastes text, we are challenged by the need of an identity centred on God, where our lives are often hard and relatively short. The second text again returns to the idea of building ecclesial communities out of contextual mission, where the mission in question was to a hated people, the Samaritans, and a hated woman who was possibly a prostitute. Jesus in this text breaks many religious and social taboos by even talking to the woman at the well and to the local people. So this text allows us to see on the one hand the importance of a faith and our identity to be in God in an I-God relationship, but further, we are called to challenge those who put obsticles in the way of people knowing God, particularly where social taboos are concerned. So this text has much to say to the modern church, and the importance of God's love mission to the world.
In the Alt Eucharist Service on Sunday 14th June, Ian Mobsby explored the theme of the abundance of the Kingdom of God and the scarcity of this world. This followed a very moving service last week where the community supported a couple recovering from a failed pregnancy. This podcast explored how Christians can go deeper in the faith which is a call to powerlessness, pain and struggle alongside the desire for peace and love.
Clare Catford, broadcaster, writer and member of the moot community, explores the theme of balance in the Moot Alt Eucharist on Sun 15th March 2009 on the third sunday in the season of Lent. Clare explores the theme in the context of her own life experience, particularly the challenge of facing and living with depression.
The Moot Rhythm of Life Specifices Balance as:
We aspire to live with integrity in the City, striving as a community for balance between work, rest and play. We wish to develop healthy spiritual disciplines such as daily prayer, meditation and contemplation, drawing on the ancient Christian paths. We want to live within our means, living sustainable lives. We desire to not be simply consumers, but people committed to giving and receiving in all of life.
On Sunday 15th March 2009, Ian Mobsby of the Moot Community joined a recorded discussion in Sydney exploring the above title on Australia's ABC National Radio. In the discussions, the group explored the importance of Emerging and Fresh Expressions of Church engagement with our increasingly post-christian post-secular culture. For a link to the radio show click here
As usual, if you would like to comment on this podcast discussion, please do so on the Mootblog
In this podcast of Moot's Little Service in February 2009, Ian Mobsby explores why accountability is so important in the areas of justice, love and spirituality. In the service, people explored their perceived accountability to God, to themselves, and to others.
At this time, the Moot Community is exploring its 'new monastic' elements of its Rhythm of Life, to dig deep, in preparation for the community to recommit to these vows on Easter Saturday 2009, in the Crypt of London's St Paul's Cathedral.
This year more than ever, the times don't seem to fit with the traditional pattern of Christmas. Yet into this complex season, Christmas does enter once the schools have broken up, the office parties have ended, and work slows we are left with this uncomfortable pause when we remember that we are human. This reflection seeks to reflect on the significance of the birth of God in human form for us today.
‘Look, Mary shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall name him Emmanuel’, which means, ‘God is with us.’
In this alternative eucharist on the third sunday of advent, Ian Mobsby and the moot community explore the example of mary regarding discipleship, call waiting, the expectation of the Incarnation and the birthing of the Kingdom of God. The podcast begins with a reflection on the Song of Mary recorded in the Gospel of Luke:
My soul proclaims to the greatness of the Lord My spirit rejoices in God my Saviour For he has brought favour on his lowly servant. From this day all generations will call me blessed, The Almighty has done great things, and Holy is God's name.
Drawing on the famous text in Matthew, Ian Mobsby (drawing on the writings of N.T.Wright) explores the implications of Jesus' call to give to Caesar what is Ceasar's, and to give to God what is God's. For the last 500 years, there has been a divide between the sacred and the secular. However, recently, we have redescovered that not only is this wrong, but it is a myth. The truth as this text says, is that we find the sacred in the secular. Hence why Jesus acted and did what he did, with an incarnational sense of vocation. The change then for us is explore what this dual Citizenship means practically
Ian Mobsby explores this months theme of the Moot Community, exploring why the Christian tradition venerates Saints. Rather than these people being towering figures of strength, many were pretty ordinary people striving for faith and spirituality in a somewhat difficult world. What is it about these ordinary but complex radicals and mystics that makes them saints? And what can they teach us about strength from our weaknesses? How do our wounds become the basis for hope, love and action?
2 Corinthians 4
For it is God who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness’, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ... But we have this treasure in clay jars, so that it may be made clear that this extraordinary power belongs to God and does not come from us. We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be made visible in our bodies. For while we live, we are always being given up to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus may be made visible in our mortal flesh. So death is at work in us, but life in you.
Peter Rundell of the Moot Community, explores the place of God in the complexity of our lives, where our lives are a form of journey. Peter draws on personal experience to explore where God has been present in his life, sometimes, when he did not know it until later. This homily was recorded at a Moot Alt Eucharist on Sunday 14th Sept 08.
Clare Catford, broadcaster, writer, theologian and member of the the Moot Community in London, explores the title ‘affluenza: how to get beyond consuming to try and fill your empty soul’. Addiction is a very real issue in our contemporary culture, and one that needs careful thought and consideration from spiritual perspective. Clare draws on her own experience in dialogue with a number of scriptures from the Bible to explore this issue with some depth. This homily is a re-recording of a homily given by Clare at a Moot alt.eucharist service in June 2008. The Moot Community read together the book ‘Affluenza’ by Oliver James. Clare Catford has written a book entitled ‘addicted to love’ exploring the issue of addiction from a personal and spiritual perspective. Clare will be speaking about her book and her experiences with addiction at this year's Greenbelt Festival in August 2008.
In a new form of podcasting at Moot, Aaron Kennedy leads a new programme of interviews with a number of interesting and influential people involved at the interface between spirituality, politics, religion and contemporary culture. The first of these interviews kicks off with Ian Mobsby author, pastor and ordained priest, to explore why the Trinity is becoming an important basis for new forms of church seeking new/ancient forms of worship, mission and community in the 21st century.
For more information on the book, or to order a copy internationally please do click here. This interview explores how God modelled in Trinitarian persons inspires us to be an authentic Christian Spiritual community of persons, seeking to dig deep in culture that usually lives at the surface of things. All proceeds from book sales are ploughed back into the work of the Moot Community. Watch for Aaron's next interview.
Ian Mobsby, one of the founders of the moot community explores the need for hope as the foundation of faith to live in the complex world of today. In this way, with a basis in the love of God, we can be a community of hope reflecting the vision of the Church gathered in a City in Revelation 22:
In the City of God there will be no more night. Just the glory of the risen One. He will write his name on our foreheads, and we will worship him forever. And it won't be much longer now.
Ian Mobsby of the Moot Community, explores the farewell discourse of Christ to the Disciples as recorded in John 14:1-14. In particular Ian explores the tension of the most inclusive statement in the New Testament "In the Father's House there are many mansions or rooms" with the end statement from Jesus "No one comes to the Father except through me". The truth of Christ, lies somewhere between these two statements, and was a gift not only to the early Church, but to all Christians in all time.
Ian Mobsby, one of the co-founders of the Moot Community, explores the example of Thomas in the way of discipleship. In a world of increasing fanaticism, the place of faith and doubt as a mechanism that drives mature faith formation of the grey and not the 'black and white' is crucial to our journey of faith. Thomas enables us all to have hope that as we go through cycles of construction, deconstruction and reconstruction, that we are growing into out 'human becomingness'
In fact Jesus even models this process in his own life of incarnation (birth, blessing, construction), testing & crucifixion (deconstruction) and resurrection (reconstruction). It is not an easy journey for us to follow. But it is not a journey where will not be tested and doubt.
Being a 'back-slider' is an authentic part of the journey. Those who don't, are stuck in fundamentalism. The Emerging church, is inspiring us to live with an emerging faith.
Sam Rowland of the Moot Community draws on his own personal spiritual journey, to explore the themes of wilderness to hope. In Easter, it is important to remember that we arrive at hope and centredness after a hard journey that can take us through brokenness and pain. It is our challenge to keep going as Christians in such times to then go on to find re-orientation of the self and community.
This homily was recorded in Easter after Sam led a Moot Community Small Service in Lent 2008.