Chelmsley Wood Baptist Church faith//hope//love

  • Religious Nutters

    I'm never quite sure how it is that 'religion causes all the wars'. I thought it was angry, violent and power seeking people, who then seem to want to drag their god(s) or other ideologies into it by using them as justification. Another thing is that I think there is a difference between religion and spirituality. We're holding a spiritual fayre this Sunday, which some Christians think is weird (or even, shock horror, heretical!). But we think people are interested in spiritual things, and are not interested in religious institutions. We get that, and so have been experimenting with ways to explore faith and spirituality without necessarily having to buy in to all the institutional stuff.

    The Fayre isn't preachy, there's no standupsitdownhymnsingingsermonpreaching. We hope it wll work a bit like a retreat. You can amble from one thing to another, sit around, drink coffee, look at some art, discuss stuff with others. It's not a day designed to 'tell you' what to think or anything else, it's a day designed to help you reflect and consider.

    What's going on? We've got a number of ways that people can explore their spiritual journey, none of them are a prepackaged answer, they are reflective, in that they aim to help you consider where you are and listen for God's voice. They also use ordinary people, we haven't got any experts booked, or professional sooth sayers! These are ordinary humans, good and bad mixed up, who are on journeys of their own. If you want an expert to tell you what to think and explain the mysteries of the universe to you, I'm afraid this isn't the place. We are a community of seekers and believe that the truth is far bigger than any of us can grasp and that it can't be put into a sound bite or book on sale for £7.99 (and why not buy the DVD and come on a course for £90). No, whilst we all have bills to pay, we don't reckon you should be paying fees in order to listen for God.

    So, we have Prophetic Art, which is a conversation with someone while they draw a picture. Using picture and symbol, the aim is to help you consider your own spiritual journey and listen for God's voice. We'd probably say it was Jungian, if we knew what that was.

    There will be opportunities for meditation, craft (or as we call it, 'spirituality for the fidgety'), an art exhibition by Ruth Goodier (it's well worth a look and we'll be running it for a couple of weeks) as well as some live music in the afternoon.

    The Jesus Deck is a slightly odd thing using a deck of cards that tell the story of the life of Christ. Some people think its a bit like Tarot, which it is in appearance. But the Jesus deck doesn't tell your future, it's far more important than that, it helps you reflect on your present. There's a link at the side if you want to see my archive on the Jesus Deck.

    We've also got foot massage, Caim prayer from the celtic tradition and the Angel Tent, which is a good chance to chew stuff over without being told you're right/wrong/insane/a heretic.

    As followers of Jesus, the day is unapologetically Christ-centred. This doesn't mean churchy, it means it is focussed on the person of Christ, who we understand to be about grace, justice, courage, healing, and other good stuff. The day is open to all people of good will, whatever their understanding of the spiritual, from atheist to agnostic to the convinced (although we have found 'the convinced' aren't usually very good at discussion!). So come along, share your journey and we'll share ours, and we can explore together what life, the universe and everything else is all about.

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Neil

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Welcome to the blog

Neil (the minister) occasionally gets round to blogging so welcome to the trivia and ramblings of an erratic stream of consciousness.

Because we try to be properly Baptist, these views aren't necessarily the views of everyone who is part of the church family here.

We're not even sure they're Neil's.

Either way, we try not to fall out over it.

You can also follow Neil's personal and irrelevant twitter.

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