Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Paul Kelly and the ministry of connect

“Connect. That’s what I want to say to the mixed row of young faces in front of me, some earnest, some giggling, some bored. Connect. Some distracted, some looking down, some asleep. Connect. That’s all I want to say to them – connect, connect, only connect.” Paul Kelly, How to make Gravy.

And I admire the way Paul Kelly uses his gifts of connection to tell stories. Stories we tend to walk past. Indigenous stories.

For another example of Paul Kelly and a ministry of connect, specifically in tragedy, go here and here. And for a review of a recent Kelly concert, on the theme of spirituality, go here.

Posted by steve at 06:39 PM

Friday, February 04, 2011

whinging with U2 and Paul Kelly in Auckland

I’m in Auckland later next week, at a research conference exploring the cultural and theological implications of lament. The two day conference (Thursday 10th and Friday 11th) involves discussion of a range of papers on themes including:

  • Spiritual Complaint and Lament
  • Lament in the Global Village
  • Job the Lamenter
  • Lament in Music
  • Lamentation and Liturgy
  • Lament and Penitential Prayer
  • Contemporary Conceptions of Lament

I’m co-presenting a paper with my Old Testament colleague here at Uniting College, Liz Boase. We are bringing contemporary lament into conversation with Biblical lament. Specifically looking at how U2 (responding to the Pike River tragedy) and Paul Kelly (responding to 2009 bushfires in Victoria) “whinge” publicly before God.

I’ll also be catching up with one of the D.Min candidates I supervise, taking another research step in the emerging church 10 years on project and sharing a K1 Shiraz 2008 with good friends.

It should be a busy, yet rich time. (Apart from the humidity – Auckland in early February can be pretty awful)

Posted by steve at 10:54 PM

Saturday, May 08, 2010

Ascension day and emerging worship with Paul Kelly

I spent some time in preparation for leading (Wednesday chapel) worship, playing with Ascension Day, which the church affirms, as it says in the Apostles Creed:

I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord …
He ascended into heaven
and is seated at the right hand of the Father.

Tall skinny kiwi engages with Jeremy Begbie concerned that the emerging church doesn’t engage with Ascension Day. Well, Jeremy obviously doesn’t read this emergent/ing blog, like back in 2007 when I noted what Ascension day means for Christian faith. (Get with the internet Jeremy) and when I noted the following points about Ascension Day.

  • God in Jesus is present through all time and space.
  • A human body now live with God.
  • Faith without sight is now the normal way to follow Jesus.
  • God’s people are the primary hermeneneutic of the Gospel.

Anyhow, back to my emerging worship, with me making random connections, humming the Paul Kelly song, “Meet me in the middle of the air”, which was played in my recent Sociology for Ministry class. (Here’s a cover, the actual song I was thinking about was Paul at the bushfire concert.

In the midst of all that bushfire pain, Paul sings acapella a song that seems to claim outrageous hope in the world beyond. Was it inappropriate? Pietistic? Or is there more going on in the music and life of Paul Kelly, that lets him slap a form of eschatalogical, Ascension-like hope on the bushfire table?

Is this why Ascension Day is important for the church – in Creed, worship and theology – because it keeps alive a note of outrageous hope? If so, when, how, in the midst of a broken world, to name it? Not sure if such thoughts will be woven into Wednesday worship, but writing them helps me process them.

Posted by steve at 09:40 AM