Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Emergant begging...

As the commuters busy themselves to make the next leg of their journey into work I wonder if The Salvation Army is more emerging than we think

They were not there when I came back.

I saw them from the top of the 185 bus as I made my way to Victoria to do a stint of collecting for the SA Annual Appeal - ironically sleeping under the bridges - as I went to 'do something'. As the bus slowly passed overhead I looked at the time 6:30am, the group seemed to be slowly waking up, some of the group folding away sleeping bags, others folding up their cardboard, their only insulation.

Five minutes later I am signing in at Victoria, collecting box poised - I'm hopeful that I might have a better place to stand than last week when at another station I stood in front of a poster boldly promoting its message "DO NOT ENCOURAGE BEGGARS BY GIVING THEM MONEY". For the next three hours with the image of Vauxhall Bridge in my mind I 'encourage' people to contribute and I am happy to 'beg' in their places.

At a recent Tom Sine seminar on the emerging church, he pointed out that the real losers in this recession will not be the banks or stock markets but will be those individuals on the margins. With less people in a place to give Sine suggested that the emerging church needs to identify with those to 'have not' in a way that will help them through. As the army of commuters busy themselves to make the next leg of their journey into work I wonder if The Salvation Army is more emerging than we think :o)!!

My stint over, I settle down on the bus to read. At Vauxhall Bridge I look up and out for the small community... they've gone!


darrin said...

Are you going to see Tom Sine on his UK tour?

I'm off to have a listen and a ponder at Moot on Sunday.

Gordon said...

how was it?

darrin said...

I really liked listening to his whirlwind tour of churches and church communities doing things around the world.

I find that encouraging especially where they are within an established church structure and held accountable.

You asked in your post about what emerging church would look like when it emerged. As I sat there I couldn't help thinking that it would look a bit like The Salvation Army. Or rather The Salvation Army where the corps and social services are joined at the hip.

I was interested in bits about co-housing and building different communities. My mind wandered to the Training College complex. You need to get rid of those big fences and plant some crops :-)

Moot itself is interesting. Ambient music - check...Candles - check...Incense - check...Sandals - check...Inclusive seating plan...check.

Tom Sine's talk was part of the compline service (we just do complain at the Army?)...and would be as alien to someone not of that tradition as would an Army meeting. I've spent a good part of this morning looking up some of the words in the liturgy.

I liked the chance to breakoff and talk about what had been said and then come back for a chance to air those thoughts.

I struggled to see how it served the community in which its worship took place. Though I can see how beneficial it is to those worshipping together. It was kind of delightful.

I would go back for refreshment and respite I think.

Overall food for thought though.