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October 21, 2009 @ 12:17 pm

Direct action, a spirituality and faith that costs

martinnewallcombined.jpgIn 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!

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October 11, 2009 @ 8:09 pm

Christ, Friend God and the Kin-dom

jemmaallenjpg.jpgIn 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!

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