Friday, July 15, 2005
Blah courtesy of CMS and Jonny Baker was worth being at this week. I was glad I didn't miss. I've been several times now and each time has been of value.
I love the Blah when the invited guest (this time Pall Singh and richard sudworth) outline their subject - (theirs mission in multi faith contexts) but there is something within me that can't cope with the blah afterwards.
I'm quite sociable, I'm quite amiable, I'm not shy, I usually have something to say- but I'm happier not bothering at Blah! Is there something wrong with me that I don't want to pick up the thoughts and take them further with people I don't know? That I don't want to reflect? Have a conversation? I don't feel like I am in recovery and need to share a story with other recovering Christians. It's all very nice and I am not being critical. I just like soaking it up, making my excuses and getting back to Poplar. All the way back on the tube I feel decidedly unsocial - but decide it definitely says more about me than Blah - which is so resourceful.
Pall Singh and Richard Sudworth were excellent. The single concept that stood out for me was the importance of dialogue within mission. Pall gave a illustration from Sundar Singh: Wisdom of the Sadhu: Teachings of Sundar Singh "if someone is in a dark room holding a candle why blow it out - when outside is the blazing sun"... Having just written that it looks ridiculous - but within the context of cross-cultural and religious conversations it made a lot of sense. The strength of the gospel is that it outshines! Richard outlined this concept with mission that he is involved with and it was like a refreshing summer shower to hear someone from a Evangelical charismatic background engage with an authentic grace centred mission to their community with one agenda to show God's love. No hidden agenda's just God's love. Some of the power point induced soundbytes were worth remembering.
"The draft has got to go both ways..." underlined the conviction that the church needed to be open to be shaped by its community. (Not in the sense of compromise, but in the sense that the community was there as much for the church as the church for the community).
"Learning to be liberal in evangelical spaces and evangelical in liberal spaces..." I still have that to work out but am looking forward to doing so.
All that plus two great meditations and a slick excuse and escape added up for a well spent evening. If you are at Blah next time round and you see someone begining to sweat and look at the doors nervously at about 8pm you'll know that's me!