Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Restoring the 'Scandal' of Christmas

"The Advent Conspiracy – the name of the movement – calls on churches and their members to give simpler but more thoughtful gifts that foster relationships. Christians are then encouraged to use the money they would have spent on expensive gifts to help the needy around the world.

'It’s called the Advent Conspiracy, because Jesus’ birth - his coming or ‘advent’ – was done in secret, almost hidden,' said Rick McKinley, senior pastor of Imago Dei Community Church in Portland, Ore., and an organizer of the movement. 'His coming was scandalous. He didn’t come parading as a king. He didn’t come posturing for power. And he gave himself away to others.'

Read on . . .

Friday, December 21, 2007

Talking Jesus Hits It Big!

Talking Jesus nearly vanishes | Dallas Morning News | News for Dallas, Texas | Religion

Talking Jesus nearly vanishes

The toys have sold out at Wal-Mart, and there aren't many left at, either

09:01 AM CST on Sunday, December 9, 2007

There's been much written about the scarcity of Nintendo's Wii this holiday season, but last week Wal-Mart sold out of another popular toy: the Talking Jesus Messenger of Faith doll. The 12-inch doll is made by one2believe of Valencia, Calif., which also sells Nativity scenes and other Bible action figures such as Samson and Goliath Spirit Warriors.
[Click image for a larger version] one2believe
The Talking Jesus Messenger of Faith dolls won't be restocked before Christmas. The toys were sold at about 600 Wal-Mart stores and online at, and almost 20 percent of the Wal-Mart stores that sell Talking Jesus are in Texas.

"We sold out at Wal-Mart, and the toys are still available in a very limited supply at," said spokesman Joshua Livingston. The company won't restock again before Christmas.

The toy company's press release says there "were doubters who wondered if a 12-inch tall talking Jesus doll that speaks Bible stories and scripture would sell well."

Click above for full article - what a strange world.

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The Wayfarer

This is a melancholy poem written by Padraig Pearse, one of the Irish revolutionaries (and no doubt connected with our own Tomas McDonagh of Cloughjordan) hours before his execution by the British. No one writes as clearly as the man who beholds his own hour. It was on the wall of my room in the Hotel Isaacs in Cork last night.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Machiavellian Musketeers

A few of an emerging troupe of leaders chatting about Machiavelli, ethics and leadership gathered in Cafe en Seine in Dublin tonight. we've been having great conversation around Os Guinness' book 'When No One Sees - The Importance of Character in an Age of Image'.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Sneak Preview - U23D

U2 3D is heading for cinemas later this year – and a preview airs in US cinemas this week.

The feature length film, shot during U2’s visit to South America on the Vertigo Tour, is directed by Catherine Owens, with additional direction from Mark Pellington. The movie will arrive in specialist 3D cinemas in the autumn and a trailer has just begun airing alongside the only other 3D film to come out this year, Disney’s ‘Meet The Robinsons’.

Owens, longtime collaborator with U2 on live-show visuals, says 'this was the ultimate challenge in presenting U2’. But the results, she predicts, will startle audiences.

'There is no comparison with a traditional concert film seen in 2D. One minute you are on stage with the band and the next you are at the back of the stadium. 'The best way I can describe it for the viewer,' she adds, 'Is that it's like being on the wings of a bird flying around the concert stadium - it's really something else.'

As the web is not yet in 3D, our 30-second clip has one dimension less – that’s plain old 2D.

Watch it here

Thursday, December 13, 2007


Here's a promo video for a project I'm involved with that is about active faith (shouldn't that be an unstated reality??) on the streets of Dublin with hundreds of teens in July 2008.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Good Friends

The saying is true, "Good friends are hard to come by."

I came across a photo of myself and one of my very closest friends - Paul Rutter - recently. It was from this past summer when my family and I were in the States.

Paul & I were placed together as roommates at Taylor University back in 1994. We met for the first time at an orientation weekend in a girls' bathroom in English Hall (where some of the guys were staying at the time). Prior to meeting, I had been asking God to make a good 'matchup' between myself and whomever I was placed with. Thankfully, it was golden.

Paul and I have shared many experiences. From rooming together for three years in Wengatz Hall where so many ladies came to visit and comment on a good smelling room, to trips home for the weekend (we both were from Columbus, Ohio), to road trips to Nantahala National Forest Park where we backpacked for three+ days and Paul rolled down the mountain in the dead of night, to hob-nobbin' in Nashville, to hitting innumerable people with water balloons launched from our sling shots, to being in each others' wedding . . . we have had some good times together.

Paul has always been a friend I can be myself with - completely. He has been faithful to stay in touch in spite of our distance these past nine years. I am very grateful for a true friend who has stood the test of time and no doubt will continue his track record in the years ahead.

Here's to you Paul. May you find as much joy through your friends as I have with you brother. The best is yet to come!

Friday, December 07, 2007

Very Interesting

I thought this video was very well done and also potentially a very soul-provoking opener to the discussion on spirituality - the understanding that "We are not human beings on a spiritual journey but we are spiritual beings on a human journey." [unknown source]

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Coming to Town

"Tony Jones is Coming to Town . . ." [to the tune of 'Santa Claus is Coming to Town']

So Mr. Jones arrived this past Friday to settle in for a whirlwind speaking tour of Ireland. I collected him from the airport and spent a few hours with him referencing one another and establishing a prelim friendship. On Saturday Tony shared on the 'Global Emerging Church' in the crypt in Christ Church Cathedral in Dublin. The response was great and people seemed to engage well, asking questions regarding all sorts of issues. As Tony well said, the issues with Emerging Church are not primarily methodological but theological. We need a change in how we 'do' theology - how we understand God and how we live our lives.

Saturday night and Sunday morning an organisation that I'm involved with - Dreamers of the Day - hosted a gathering of practitioners' to chat about the work of a fresh theology in a changing cultural context and some methodological concerns. It was a small group of about 15 people in a back room of a restaurant in Dublin city centre. I was happy with the direction the conversation ended up taking by Sunday morning. An analogy was offered that the institutionalised church is like the Titanic and you are Leonardo DiCaprio on the bow of the ship and you spot an iceberg. You rush to the captain and try to warn him of the immanent danger ahead which he cannot see due to the thick fog. The captain replies to your earnest warnings by patting your head and telling you to not to worry and that you can go back to whatever it is that you're supposed to be doing.

Do you decide to keep up your routine and go down with the ship? Or do you abandon the ship and get in a life raft with a few sane others? If you choose the life raft which items from the 'mothership' do you decide to take with you? Speaking illustratively, what is worth preserving for the new journey ahead? And when you reach the deserted island in your life raft with your new community, what will you build / do with your raft and the other materials you saved?

Tony then went on to speak at Belfast Bible College on prayer which 120 people attended. The same night (Mon) he attended the last supper with a few people from IKON and went through an Inquisition.

Finally, Tony has been presenting at a joint residential retreat between the Methodists and the Church of Ireland in Monaghan, Co. Monaghan on the theme of Body, Mind & Soul - a holistic approach to life. A number of the spiritual practices have been introduced including Lectio Divina and Body Prayer.

All in all, I think we have made good use of Mr. Jones during his time with us and, on top of it all, I have gained a new friend.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Anti-Emergent Propaganda - and I love it!

I thought these were fairly funny - I have come to love sarcasm now in my 9th year amoung the Irish!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Free Music

Thought you friends of mine might enjoy having a *free* introduction to an artist I've been listening to for some time - 13 or so years to be exact! His name is Bill Mallonee and he is one of the most transparent and honest writers I've come across. He also has a really rustic, rootsy Americana sound that is quite unique. Bill used to be a part of the band Vigilantes of Love back in the day and I had the rare privilege of working with him on one occasion. Anyway . . . if you're up for something wonderful, head on over to the website listed below and download two free albums (for a limited time): Summershine and Blister Soul track by satisfying track!

also MySpace!

Dreaming BIG,

Shane Tucker

"Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds awake to find that all was vanity; but dreamers of day are dangerous men, that they may act their dreams with open eyes, to make it possible."

- T. E. Lawrence of Arabia

Monday, November 26, 2007

ethur - rising to make you take notice

This organisation is responsible for some wonderfully creative and collaborative ventures that have real potential to change society and some of it's perceptions of Christianity. Check them out and get involved in something . . .

What is Ethur?
Ethur is a non profit ministry which exists to develop, launch and grow Christ-centered initiatives. We address both spiritual and social issues in our society in order to bring positive change. We utilize creativity, truth, and the talents of experienced professionals to launch these kingdom initiatives. So what does Ethur mean? The “ee-ther” is described as the upper regions of space, the clear sky, and the heavens. As a non-profit we are reaching higher, dreaming bigger, and trusting in the creator of the heavens. There are no limits. Ethur supports and executes on pure ideas that produce real results in the lives of others and in our culture. The time has come for all of us to look higher and discover the heavens once again. For more information on Ethur visit our website at

The 'Deadly Viper Character Assassins' is well worth some of your time!

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Q conference highlights - April 2007

Common Grace and the “Cultural Mandate”

I cannot get away from the fact that this is the direction God is calling me to in greater and greater depth! Thus the reason Dreamers of the Day is still developing and becoming more and more active as a facilitator of still spaces and learning opportunities. I have been greatly encouraged by the fermi project and 'Q' as of late.


LyonsLyons Gabe Lyons cares a whole lot about Christianity’s impact (or lack thereof) on culture. In 2003 Lyons founded “Fermi Project,” a small, collaborative gathering of Christian leaders and thinkers seeking to make positive contributions to culture, and he recently co-authored a book (just released in October) on a related subject. unChristian: What a New Generation Thinks About Christianity…and Why It Matters reveals what most sixteen-to-twenty-nine-year-olds really think about Christians. The findings are less than flattering: they show most young Americans find Christians to be “hypocritical,” “insensitive,” and “judgmental,” among other things, with the implication that the church’s cultural influence on future generations is quickly waning.

But what should the church do about it? That is the focus of the following reflections from Lyons. They come from a longer essay titled “Influencing Culture: An Opportunity for the Church,” that Lyons has made available to PGF here in abbreviated form….

Common Grace and the “Cultural Mandate”
As modern day evangelicals, we are most familiar with God’s saving grace—the means by which God’s saving power, through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, can redeem people from their sin and give them new life in Christ and throughout eternity. What we hear less about today is another theological concept called “common grace.”

This common grace is available through and to all of His creation. King David refers to it in Psalm 145: “The Lord is good to all, and his compassion is over all that he has made…The eyes of all look to you, and you give them their food in due season. You open your hand, you satisfy the desire of every living thing.” Jesus also referred to it when he admonished us to: “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for he makes the sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and the unjust (Matt. 5:44-45).”

Understanding both saving grace and common grace helps us understand the “cultural mandate.” It dates back to the Garden of Eden when, on the sixth day of creation, a momentous transference takes place as God hands Adam the responsibility to pick up where he has left off. He is called to reflect God’s image and to have dominion over all things, to steward God’s good creation and all of its resources in the service of God and man (Genesis 1:26-28)5. God’s declaration to humanity of their divinely appointed duties provided deep purpose and meaning to humanity. Humans were called to partner with God in the work He wanted to do throughout His creation.

In his book, How Now Shall We Live?, Chuck Colson describes the cultural mandate in the following terms: “God cares not only about redeeming souls but also about restoring his creation. He calls us to be agents not only of his saving grace but also of his common grace. Our job is not only to build up the church but also to build a society to the glory of God. As agents of God’s common grace, we are called to help sustain and renew his creation, to uphold the created institutions of family and society, to pursue science and scholarship, to create works of art and beauty, and to heal and help those suffering from the results of the Fall.”

Centuries of church history have shown that when Christians dismiss the cultural mandate as an insignificant part of the Christian life, separatism and piety increase and cultural influence fades, whereas when Christians learn and embrace the full Gospel and partner with God in restoring and redeeming his creation, their cultural influence follows and the Good News spreads.

How Now Shall We Influence?
Cultures are shaped when networks of leaders, representing the different social institutions of a culture, (business, government, media, church, arts and entertainment, education and the social sector), work together towards a common goal. The people who lead these influential institutions have the opportunity to shape the ideas, thoughts and preferences of millions of others.

And one of the most unique channels of cultural influence is the church. Few other institutions convene participants from so many areas of society. Although the work of culture creation may take place outside the physical walls of a church building, the local church creates a natural space where social networks of leaders, within all seven channels of culture, can work together towards a common goal. Nowhere else does this potential for synergy exist. Unlike other channels, the church is a living organism where God’s spirit constantly moves and seeks to express Himself through a willing Body.

The call to the church and to all Christians of our time is to rediscover the cultural mandate, embracing the opportunity to influence culture. In the church, we must teach about calling and cultural influence and provide vital support to cultural leaders. We must become an integral piece of the local culture, convening and encouraging creation of future culture that serves the common good. We must become connoisseurs of good culture, recognizing and celebrating the good, true and beautiful to the glory of God and begin to lead the conversations that will shape future culture. There’s the big idea. The vision. The challenge. The opportunity.

There are several steps you can take to realize this vision personally and throughout your church:

1. Explore and embrace the cultural mandate. Educate yourself on the full story explanation of the gospel and become familiar with how the story (creation, fall, redemption, restoration) shows up in all of life and brings clarity to the Christian’s responsibility in a fallen world. Read Genesis 1 and 2 with this perspective in mind and investigate other writings that delve deeply into the topic. Read books by C.S. Lewis, John Stott, Os Guinness, Chuck Colson, Nancy Pearcey, Michael Metzger or Neil Plantinga for specific insight into the cultural mandate.

2. Teach about calling and cultural influence. Inspire people within your church to discover their callings and pursue them with excellence, while celebrating their successes. Educate those around you about how cultural influence happens. Find the people within your church who hold unique and influential positions throughout the seven channels of culture. Help them cultivate and create culture that serves the common good. Your interest in serving them will go along way in building their confidence in the church’s understanding of their opportunity for influence while reminding them of God’s provision.

3. Connect with your local community. Ask yourself, “If my church were removed from the community today, would anyone even notice?” As an integral piece of your local culture, integrate a missional approach to the needs of your community. Add value to the culture, support local artists, businesses, and schools and serve the community with volunteers for good events that are redemptive in nature. Be an advocate for goodness and beauty throughout your surroundings so that if you ever left, you’d be sorely missed.

4. Look for the good. Become known as connoisseurs of good culture, able to recognize and pick it out in a fallen world. Instead of being offended when confronted with darkness, be provoked to get involved. Challenge yourself to find something good in all things and identify the redemptive nature of humanity and its place in creating a better world.

5. Convene conversations about future-culture. Initiate conversations about the values of your community. Host them at your church or in a neutral location and drive the cultural conversation instead of simply responding to it. Raise issues of injustice and offer potential solutions. Be the first to praise the good culture being created in your community and inspire imagination around opportunities that support the common good, elevate beauty and align with truth. Most of all, convene the cultural leaders in your church to encourage and inspire them to renew their channel of influence.

To learn more about Fermi Project and Lyons’ new initiative called “Q” go to:

Posted by Kristina Robb-Dover on November 09, 2007 at 08:18 AM | Permalink

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Friday, November 23, 2007


. . from the sixth chapter of Galatians in The Message:

"Make a careful exploration of who you are and the work you have been given, and then sink yourself into that. Don't be impressed with yourself. Don't compare yourself with others. Each of you must take responsibility for doing the creative best you can with your own life."

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Dylan's Excited!

The Message and Bono

"What can I give back to God for the blessings he's poured out on me? What can I give back to God for the blessings he's poured out on me? I'll lift high the cup of salvation -- a toast to my God! . . . I'll complete what I promised God I'd do, and I'll do it together with his people."

Sound familiar? Bono recited these lines, or some variation on them, before "Where the Streets Have No Name" throughout the Elevation tour. U2-watchers online quickly traced them to Psalm 116. You'd be hard-pressed to find an expression like "a toast to God!" in the Bible on the family bookshelf, however. Most fans, if they gave the matter any thought, probably assumed Bono had done a little creative paraphrasing. Bono putting an ear-catching spin on Biblical passages is, after all, nothing new. (He once described Jesus summing the law into "Love God and love your neighbor as you love yourself," then saying "That's what I'm about! That's my Greatest Hits!") But just like all those uncredited lyrics from other people's songs that end up sung during U2 concerts, this translation of Psalm 116 was not a Bono original. It is the work of Eugene Peterson, poet, Professor Emeritus at Regent College in Vancouver, and for 35 years a pastor.

Monday, November 19, 2007

My friend and rector, Stephen Neill, posted this on my facebook funwall. Pretty amusing.

Gospel Hermeneutics

"The greatest hermeneutic of the Gospel is a community that lives by it."

- Lesslie Newbigin

Saturday, November 17, 2007

284 Years of Stale Bread?

I spoke in a church last Saturday night in Dublin city centre which had a section off to the left of the main altar reserved for placing bread for the hungry. In 1723, the Right Hon. Theophilus Lord Newtown bequeathed enough money to pay for fresh bread every day to be made available to the poor of the city from this space in the church . . indefinitely.

284 years later it's such a shame to see loaves of bread going stale there everyday and no one utilising them. It's up to the Church to make sure the generous provision is distributed appropriately to those most in need isn't it?? It is an unfortunate but telling statement about just how far removed the Church often is from the reality of every day life. May God forgive us of the sin of 'insularity' and ignite in His people a new and fresh fire - an awakening - to the Gospel being Good News for everyone!

Friday, November 16, 2007

Music is Holy

Translated version of

"Music is holy,"
if we experience it as a mythical and ethical reality:
considering, venturing, transforming.

It is life, which eavesdrops on itself:
therein lies its power of memory.

It is a bridge, leading to silence:
therein works its future aspiration.

It is the recovery of joy:
therein its mission of proclamation lasts.

Thus it bends the bow of affirmation
Above the abyss of incompatibility.

Gottfried Mueller

English translation: Chris Bye, Nuremberg

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Simpsonize Me!

Well, I know I'm late to the party on this one but I'm posting it anyway. I visited Simpsonize Me this week and have officially become part of the cast of the show. Below is a cut from the reel of the scene I'll be in at the Krustylu Studios. What do you think . . is it a good likeness of yours truly? I'm impressed!


Saw this across from our Belfast office a few weeks ago. Could it have been intentional that the *artist* chose to place his slogan immediately below the sign for the ever-pervasive coffee behemoth with the placated mermaid?

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

My Creative Child

Neve definitely has a creative edge to her. I mean, I know every child appreciates and enjoys doing some colouring and doodling, but Neve is doubly so inclined. She LOVES doing craft. She colours, paints with water colours, finger paints, draws, cuts, makes cards, writes notes and creates animals / vehicles out of regular household items. She gets a lot of life out of making things. She also loves to exhibit her works and get feedback from anyone who will give her the time. Not to mention she has other qualities and traits that lend themselves (sometimes stereotypically) to creative types, i.e. she's left-handed, easily distracted, gets lost in the moment, often offers tangential comments seemingly unrelated to the current topic, etc., etc.

I love her so much and I celebrate the little woman that she is. She's my daughter and I'd have her no other way!

PS - she has also announced with great delight that she will be playing Mary the mother of Jesus (theotokos) in her annual Christmas play at school. That's my girl!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Soundtrack to the LAST SUPPER?

A laptop screen shows musical notes encoded in Leonardo Da Vinci's "Last Supper," during an interview with Italian musician and computer technician Giovanni Maria Pala, in Rome, Monday, Oct. 22, 2007. Pala, a 45-year-old musician who lives near the southern Italian city of Lecce, began studying Leonardo's painting in 2003, after hearing on a news program that researchers believed the artist and inventor had hidden a musical composition in the work. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)
Read More

On CNN . . .

On FOX . . .

On BBC . . .

24 1990's Pilot

Here's a hilarious sample from a 1994 pilot of the now popular 24 series that Brad informed me about. If you're a fan at all or have a mild interest in the show it should get you laughing . . .

Monday, November 12, 2007

Morning Chills

I was out doing some errands before heading into the office. I couldn't pass by without taking this shot. It's of the fountain in Rosemary Square in Roscrea, Tipperary. It is a cold, crisp sunny morning (3C / 37F) - winter is on the way here in Ireland! Ahh, the joys of simple beauty.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Dreamers' Practitioner's Symposium

Well, we're finally pulling ourselves together for a final, end-of-year hoo-rah. The Dreamers' Practitioners' Symposium - no frills, no propaganda, no BS - just a bunch of folks with similar hearts sharing space and time. Can't wait . . .

This public post does not constitute an invite.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Fresh Expressions Gathering

Emergent / Fresh Expressions: An *asterisk* or a liminal era???

Would this issue be worth at least a six-month, in depth investment of your time and energy? What if it could mean a redemptive paradigm shift for you and a noticeable, welcomed development in your interactions with those around you? Would it be worth it?

I'm attending a conference exploring the Church's nascent narrative in Ireland tomorrow in Dublin. The focus is mostly on an inclusive. all-age style of church. I have been asked to lead an opening reflection in the morning and to sit on a panel. I really hope it's worth the time and effort to get there and be away from my family.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Love me or Hate Me . . .

Love me or hate me, this is the *occasional* life of a national youth worker.

Room picture of the Talbot Hotel in Wexford, Co. Wexford, Ireland.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Top 3 Favorite Missional Church Books for 2007

Pastor Roger's top 3 favorite missional church books for 2007:

"The Forgotten Ways" by Alan Hirsch
- Explores the missional church in a postmodern context. Strongly endorsed.

"God's Ultimate Passion" by Frank Viola
- Breath-taking drama that unlocks the grand narrative of Scripture. Strongly endorsed.

"The Gospel According to Starbucks" by Len Sweet
- Powerful cultural analysis on the modern gospel.

Anyone dare to contribute any others?

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Musical Enterprise!

We're very glad to welcome Flynn Adam & Poems (part of acclaimed troupe LA Symphony) to Anois this year!


It's time again . . for our annual Republic of Ireland youth weekend called Anois. It's such an exciting time on so many levels. First off, it a fantastic opportunity for young people to encounter and engage with a loving God and his invitation for them to join Him in His work in the world through relationship. Second, it's an awesome opportunity to serve with some of the very best youth workers in Ireland - I love them! Thirdly, it a wonderful creative outlet as we use everything imaginable to convey the truth of Christ to young lives: speaking, music, VJing, DJing, activities, film, discussion workshops and friendship. May God be pleased with His kids as we make Him famous amoung the youth of Ireland!

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Céilí Dé Two: Immanence

We had our second Céilí Dé gathering tonight in our parish church in Cloughjordan, Tipperary. See our running order below. Any thoughts on the evening (from what you can deduce) would be greatly appreciated!

IMMANENCE (Session Two)
Running Order
* Atmospheric
- lighting
- seating
- food

* Greeting
- Welcome at door
- Offered refreshments ( fruit salad / snacks )
- Video / music ( ‘no religion’ loop / ‘Afterward’ by MUTE MATH )

* Official welcome
- Theme / focus ( reading from Spencer Burke : A Heretic’s Guide to Eternity )
- Define: American Heritage Dictionary
im·ma·nent (ĭm'ə-nənt) Pronunciation Key adj.
1. Remaining within; indwelling; inherent.
2. Philosophy. (of a mental act) taking place within the mind of the subject and having no effect outside of it. Compare transeunt.
3. Theology. (of the Deity) indwelling the universe, time, etc.
Compare transcendent (def. 3).

* Video / Pop Culture Clip
- On Immanence ( Clip from film ‘Bruce Almighty’ )

* Hopes & Dreams
- Céilí Dé
- Personal intro

* Poem
- On Immanence ( ‘God’s Grandeur’ by Gerald Manley Hopkins )

* Accounts
- Of Direct Encounters
+ Paul on the road to Damascus? ( take out identifiers )
+ Local stories ( house blessing )

* Literary Snippets?
- Group discussion ( separate readings )
+ Brennan Manning: The Ragamuffin Gospel
+ John O'Donahue: Eternal Echoes
- Reflection Questions ( on screen )

* Reflection
- Video ( ‘One of Us’ by Joan Osbourne )

* Closure
- Blessing ( John O’Donahue: Eternal Echoes )

* Invitation
- To pub / out to eat! ( Corner House )

* Outro
- Video / music ( ‘no religion’ loop / ‘Afterward’ by MUTE MATH )

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Bling the Bishop

The Bishop of Maidstone (Graham Cray), who has been over with us in Ireland, getting 'blinged' up for a youth service. Unbelievable!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

The Black Rose

New release from passion-punk rockers Blindside.

Could they be touring Ireland in 2008? Stay tuned . . .

Getting Greener

So, here's my posthumous post on seeking to be TRUE stewards of this big, beautiful green & blue ball God has given us for home. If you're at all thinking - I mean at all - we don't have to look beyond our own lifetime to see how humanity's activity is affecting the delicate balance of creation God set in motion from time's origin. I was recently watching a programme by the BBC on RTE's '2' that gave some very good suggestions for helping to bring CO2 emissions to zero in a HUGE, global seven step process. The catch is it takes everyone contributing. China is set to eclipse the US in 20 years (I believe) as the number one carbon polluting nation. Try these on and see how they fit:

* If you reduce your home's thermostat by only three (that's right - 3!) degrees you will have reduced your personal carbon emission by one ton in one year. The general suggestion is dress for the weather even while in your home (snow suits & winter shells excluding ;-) ). You will also be making a saving on your heating bill.

* Appliances in the 'stand by' mode consume up to 10% of your electricity bill. The general rule in saving (the environment & your bank account) is to unplug the appliances (or switch off at the wall in the Ireland / UK) when they are not in use. I know that for some this is impractical (in the case of using a clock on some appliances to tell time), but it's possible if we just get in the habit.

* Keeping our refrigerators clean is also supposed to reduce our electricity bill as unused & un-usable foods absorb more energy (keeping them cool) and thus increase your electricity use. You will save here on bills as well.

* An obvious choice is walking places whenever you're able and not in a rush; but therein lies another problem - many of us are in a rush all too often. Maybe a solution to this epidemic is to simply plan ahead more, keep a schedule and learn the art of saying 'NO' more often to requests made to those who are people-pleasers or who get a sense of self-worth from activity. Car-pooling can be effective, as can buying more desired household items locally, such as produce, etc. which aren't shipped half-way across the globe. Much of this depends on how effectively we deal with the 'want it now, get it now' policy most of (us) the western world lives by.

Try these & other habits on for one month and see if they make a positive difference in your budget and lifestyle. After your experiment - make a decision on how then you shall live.

On iTunes check out some *FREE* podcasts from National Geographic on getting greener here.

Check out a previous post on an artist's view of global conservation . . 'Running the Numbers'

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Let's Join Together

Blog Action Day -Yeah!

Bloggers Unite - Blog Action Day

Tomorrow is Blog Action Day. I hope to be taking part in this year's push to highlight our collective responsibility to be good stewards of the environment. Click on the image above to take part and help spread the word!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Support a Brutha!

Alright peoples, please visit this eBay page of a dear friend and brother - Michael Guido - who does some amazing work (together with his wife Celeste) with people in the Art 'n Entertainment industry . . supporting 'Creatives' in their life calling. Their work is under the banner of PR Ministries and they've been at it for 25 years!

You can get your mitts on some killer swag by going to the eBay page and bidding on one of the great guitars signed by no other than legends in their own right . . P.O.D., Blindside, Michael W. Smith, TobyMac and Pillar. You know that there is just someone you know that would love one of these and would be greatly encouraged in their pursuit of music by it. So check it out now!

PR MySpace

see previous posts about Guido

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Space to Grow

My co-worker for Northern Ireland - Sharon Hamill - recently facilitated the first ever 'Space to Grow' Mobilize session from the Church of Ireland Youth Department. It focuses on helping people explore the spiritual disciplines in a way that is conducive to their regular adoption in everyday life. Sharon lead it in Derry (Co. Londonderry) and I heard that it went well. As a part of the interactive learning experience, we have designed a number of locations around the room which people engage with. Here is a picture of one such space with some of the feedback people gave regarding a specific theme they were exploring. Looks good! Great job Sharon!

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Tuesday, October 09, 2007

I Graduated Today!

I graduated today! Just got home from my commencement ceremony at Milltown Institute. Two years of spending one weekend a month at Manresa House (the Centre of Jesuit Spirituality in Ireland) and a bit of work later - voile . . a diploma; but more importantly the experience behind it! The course in Spiritual Direction was a milestone of sorts for me. I felt I entered it at a good time and now that it's over I'm not sure what to do with it. It's actually easier than I've made it sound because 'it' (the training) has become a part of who I now am.

Isn't that the point?? That whenever we take on experiences such as this it's not for information, but transformation?! I know it was the right move and that God orchestrated my involvement in the course. I have had a sense of Spiritual Direction. I sense a calling to servepurpose and direction for many years now that lends itself well to people on a stage (figuratively or literally) by walking alongside them in their journey, helping them to fulfill their calling to the best of their ability. I will now wait to discern how our magnificent Maker might want me to put it all to use in His service.

The best is yet to come!

Monday, October 01, 2007

the ALLELON Missional Order

Background to the Missional Order: October 15-18, 2007
For the past two years Allelon has been in conversation with leaders around the globe about the questions of forming missional leaders in a post Christian world. Our conversations have taken us to the UK, Australia and New Zealand as well as meeting with leaders from across the churches in North America. We've been seeking to discern what God is saying in the midst of many experiments and numerous currents of church life across these countries.

One of the constants that emerged from these conversations is a deepening sense that the task of forming leaders will take time. This is probably going to be a multi-generational movement in which we are continually discerning the shaping of the holy gusts of the Spirit. At the same time, we have been struck by the almost universal consensus we have heard about the need for the formation of some kind of missional order.

In the UK we met with the Northumbria Community and were struck by the wisdom of its leadership and the common commitment to a Rule of Life that guides thousands of people around the world. Jonny Baker from the Anglican Church Missionary Society, is also a friend who shared with us his own early explorations into the formation of some kind of missional order.

Read more . . .

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Sunday, September 30, 2007

Next Best Thing!

Lovin' It! See below:


Fermi Project is a broad collective of innovators, social entrepreneurs, entertainers, artists, futurists, scientists, historians, environmentalists and church leaders experimenting with ways to positively contribute to culture.

The focus of this project is strategically placed on Christians and leaders throughout the Church. Multiple mediums are leveraged to push forward the essence of this project, including boutique events, essays, films, books and culture renewing projects.

Click here to hear Gabe Lyons share about the Fermi Project.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Choose Your Religion

A kitsch look at spirituality - wonderful. A friend of mine introduced me to this as a desktop image but it is an actual product that you can purchase. Fantastic! Something fun to bring a smile even on the gloomiest days in Church work. Here's a write up:

"It's a brightly colored cardboard wheel with different religions written around the outside. Pointing the dial on a religion provides you with a basic description plus information on 'Potential New Friends' (membership), 'Drawbacks,' 'Perks,' 'Afterlife Promises,' and 'Accessories/Paraphernalia.'

The religions include the major ones (Hinduism, Judaism), denominations within major ones (Quakerism, Pentecostalism), maligned ones (Scientology, The Moonies), and the non-religious ones (Psychoanalysis, Atheism). Let's see what the wheel says about one of my favorite 'religions,' Consumerism.

  • Accessories/Paraphernalia: Credit cards, designer jeans, SUVs, suburban tract homes.
  • Drawbacks: Credit overuse begets spiritual bankruptcy. Hard to keep up with Joneses. Corporate leaders unaccountable.
  • Perks: Few rules. Fun for those with disposable income.
  • Afterlife Promises: Can't take it with you, but can leave it to the kids.

    For a more detailed "what religion are you?" questionnaire, try Beliefnet's Belief-O-Matic. To purchase a Choose Your Religion Wheel, click here."
  • Wednesday, September 26, 2007

    30 Fastest Cities In The World

    "We scoured the globe in search of the perfect place to transplant yourself and your business. From Chicago to Shanghai, we selected 30 urban centers that are shaping our future. We have creative-class meccas, R&D hot spots, even cities so fast they're scary. Plus, the world's slowest cities. Is your hometown on the list? Vote for your favorites and submit your own."

    Read more . . .

    Which would you choose to make your home in? Me? Austin, TX!