Tuesday, May 31, 2005



cafe church
every Tuesday, 8-9:15 pm
@Opawa Baptist

Posted by steve at 04:00 PM

Monday, May 30, 2005

Recipe: being led by the Spirit

used digestion: sunday evening church service

1. Find ingredients (toothpicks, polystrene pieces; coloured paper).
2. Build boat of your choice; using polystrene for the base; paper for the sail; and toothpicks for a mast.
3. Place boat in water and gently blow, committing your future dreams to God.


This took about an hour of creative preparation (i.e playing) on Sunday afternoon; altering mast lengths, trying paper, then wood, then polystrene. The thing that I most enjoyed was seeing people build on the idea. I suggested a simple boat.Yet people made rafts and catamarans and multiple rigs. It is so neat to see a group take worship further and beyond what I was worship curator dreamed or imagined.

Posted by steve at 02:58 PM

Saturday, May 28, 2005

recommend: fat freddys drop


after initial dislike, “based on a true story,” by fat freddy drop, is growing on me. i still think they are better live, but that is a reflection of how good they are live, rather than the album.

Posted by steve at 02:19 PM

Friday, May 27, 2005

art internship

Our first ever Opawa art intern started this week. Shannon McMillan is from the US and is here at Opawa with us for the winter (her summer).

She is involved in setting up creative prayer in our new 24/7 prayer room, using creative art in services, reading in the area of arts and Christianity and in developing her own creativity. Today we talked about reclaiming hymns books for intercessory prayer and she went off to make a sail cloth praise wall for use in worship.

Art internships are a new area for me, and for Opawa church. I am not sure how it will all work out, but I am glad to be a part of.

Posted by steve at 09:30 PM

Monday, May 23, 2005

emerging church hui

All the Taylor family are away at the emerging church hui (indigenous word of gathering). Back Thursday. Looking forward to speaking with the family around, rather than alone. Lynne is leading worship and a workshop.

Posted by steve at 10:57 AM

Sunday, May 22, 2005

nor’west festival

a week of Spirit~ed reflection ended with Saturday’s creativity workshops;
kitemaking and flying; metalwork expressing what it means for us to be Spirit-filled; washed down with coffee.






many more photos (all taken by Lynne) here

Posted by steve at 09:38 PM

ouch :)

At the door of our Sunday morning congregation, as my hand is shaken. “I pray for you every day pastor. I pray that God would deepen your teaching ministry among us, so that we can hear the Word.”

Ouch. So amidst all the change, there is (inevitable) unease.
Ouch. Isn’t this the use of prayer as a Trojan horse to deliver a message to a person, not to God?

Posted by steve at 02:45 PM

Saturday, May 21, 2005

Random stuff

: just read marko’s blog and sort of missing the Nashville emergent convention
: as I type, I’m looking after the kids and Lynne is at church where there’s a creativity workshop going on as part of our norwest pentecost festival. There’s been a week of teaching, live music, cafe coffee, movies and two creativity projects. It’s been a lot of work, with a few nervous moments wondering if anyone would turn up to a new concept, but overall a great week.

Posted by steve at 10:53 AM

Friday, May 20, 2005

what dreams may come

arrived today … View image: 48K

Note for all Opawa people – come on down to church Saturday 21st (morning best) and learn how to make your own ….

Posted by steve at 02:31 PM

Thursday, May 19, 2005

blogging the author

Being a writer who both blogs and publishes has lots of tensions.
: If I write stuff and it’s months before it’s published, has my thinking moved on?
: If I write stuff on my blog, will people rip it off before it is published?
: If I write stuff on my blog, will people read the book and think, “Oh, read that before”?
: If I write stuff on my blog, will people comment and nuance and enhance my thinking? This is great, but will they then sue the book/publisher/me for how their thoughts have shaped my thoughts.
Such are some of the tensions of being caught between two medium.

At the same time, I’m currently experiencing some real joy being between two mediums. I set up a separate out of bounds church book blog. It’s a bit tricky because I can’t totally separate the two. After all, the emergentkiwi is the author of The out of bounds church? book. But I didn’t want this blog becoming choked by my book stuff, or seeming like an info-mercial. And I wanted a book blog rather than a book website, because a quick surf showed me book websites with forums that are broken, with information that is out of date and with very little author presence.

So I responded to a review yesterday and this comment appeared; PS- I love that I get to interact with the author of a book I’ve read! The ability to discuss it makes the book even more exciting. It’s a thrill for them. And its also a thrill for me because it sharpens my writing and thinking, if there is a next time.

Now perhaps, this is just because I’m a “little” author and have only a “little” bit of feedback. (And yes, I still have not responded yet to all the emails and comments I have received.) Who knows. That’s the future. For today, I’m enjoying the way that a book blog allows a book to become more of a conversation.

Posted by steve at 11:49 AM

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Returning to old memories

Tonite I speak to the cell group leaders at Avonhead Baptist Church on the topic: Growing Together. They very graciously allowed me to move the date so I could go to Melbourne.

It feels sort of weird. Firstly, because the Nor-West festival teaching continues. I deliberately wanted a team of teachers. This speaking engagement ensured that would happen; me on Tuesday; Bob Robinson on Wednesday; Lynne on Thursday and Jason hosting each night to give continuity. So I am achieving what I aimed to do, but it is still wierd.

Secondly because the church I am speaking at is the church that sent me to train at seminary. They sent me to learn/grow and now I return to speak.

Thirdly, I am being asked to speak by the Small Groups Pastor, Stephen Jeon. He and his family used to be on team with us at Graceway. Stephen was an intern with us, working on trying to build a ministy with Korean migrants, and integrate them into an alternative.worship community . I learnt an aweful lot from Stephen and Hannah Jeon and their Korean friends.

So there are a fair few memories swirling around me today, as I work through some thoughts from my out of bounds book on Jesus, meals and community, and build on it further by trying to integrate with Myers, Search to Belong.

Posted by steve at 03:11 PM

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

of fuller, theology and story

Note to self: Further to here
“Narrative theology” is not the same thing as “telling affecting stories.” The narrative dimension of theological truth may involve many different things, but it still involves questions of truth that engage more than simply the heart-rending experiences of the aggrieved. Whatever we say about theological truth, we need to connect those claims with the truth that the church has received over the centuries, with Scripture, in a way that constitutes a satisfactorily reasonable argument.


Posted by steve at 12:01 PM

Sunday, May 15, 2005

less flames, more fire

Pentecost 2004, things got pretty heated around Opawa, as we lit a 2 ft pumice rock soaked in meths.


Pentecost 2005 had less flames, but perhaps more fire. We:
: baptised Andrew Wilson
: launched a 24/7 prayer room
: commissioned expresso, a new cafe congregation, to go live Tuesday 31 May.
: gave the kids chalk and let them chalk flames and kites all over the concrete outside the church. It made a great site as people left the building, sort of like our worship leading us into the community.
: listened to a digeridoo and heard Acts 2 read in 6 different languages. The best part of worship was giving the kids bubbles to blow (the wind of the Spirit), and seeing our intermediate boys cascading bubbles down on the congregation from the balcony.

This week Pentecost continues. The Nor-West festival offers teaching, live music and an outdoor art project (if you’re trying to get your head around what this looks like, go here.)

I looked up an old hymnbook this week. There were 143 hymns about Jesus; 29 about the Creator; 18 about the Spirit. The nor-west festival week of teaching and music and creative expression is simply our attempt to honour this “forgotten” member of the Trinity.

Posted by steve at 10:13 PM

Saturday, May 14, 2005


Well, Melbournians certainly know how to work a person hard.

I got off the plane on Wednesday night and went straight to my book launch. Over about 90 minutes, I offered some thoughts from my out of bounds book on spiritual tourism, peg and ethical communities, plus a few new comments on how the emerging church re-weaves forward with integrity toward our roots in Scripture and tradition.

Up early to a breakfast with Forge interns, then straight into a day with about 80 church ministers, tag team teaching with Al Roxburgh. It was intensely tiring – new people, new context, new speaking partners. I never find it easy speaking to new groups, but I think I’m getting better.

Friday I spoke again, doing a 90 minute workshop around the topic of transitioning church in times of cultural change and some implications for environments and leadership. Our move to Opawa was certainly a jumping off point for some rich conversations. Friday I also caught up with a range of people, including Darren Rowse, and then finally got to spend some time with my wonderful hosts.

I flew back today glad of new friends, glad of attentive listeners who offered some rich conversations and warmed by the hospitality of Phil and Dan McCreeden.

Posted by steve at 10:22 PM