This, amazing photo, was taken during the Vancouver riots following the ice hockey match last week. Apparently it's genuine, not posed - she must be quite a girl!
Sunday saw the last of our 3-in-1 events for 2011. This one was hosted by Clarence Park Baptist Church, WSM.
We're trying to apply the two lessons we've learnt from PMC in a wider context:
i. congregations learn most from one another.
ii. congregations don't want to learn from one another.
If both of these statements are true and from observation, so far, I'm suspecting they are, then our challenge is a difficult one. Not an impossible one - simply providing an environment in which 'churches' can learn from one another in a non-threatening way. Story telling is the medium were using in this present attempt.
Essentially, a 3-in-1 consists of worshipping, telling stories and listening to God .... together.
So far, the word 'inspirational' has been used by some of the people at, at least, three of the four events. As the person who has preached on each occasion, I need to immediately say I am under no illusions they were talking about my sermon, but about the impact of one another's stories. More accurately, we're looking for the story of what God is up to among them. I know God is not actually so slow in speaking as we often think, but I pray more people among our churches might be catching more of his words, prompts, nudges. I would be concerned if I thought people simply started what the church is doing along the road, without any further reflection, or contextualisation, but I don't think most of our churches would do that, which proves the other point - churches don;t want to learn from one another! I wonder sometimes, if the lesson really is 'Ministers don't want to learn from one another'. Whilst competition is good for innovation, the insecure simply seem to dive for the nearest sand-dune to bury their heads!
Just heard from Emily - in Berlin today on an eleven country inter-rail adventure.