Sunday, March 05, 2006


All afternoon people have been cruising around various workshops. I believe in contextual theology and so I worked hard so that Brian’s input could be surrounded by “coal face” New Zealander’s working on the issues, not as experts but as storytellers.

Do the workshop topics indicate who my friends are?

Or could they perhaps give some idea of the unique “charism” of the emerging church in New Zealand; in worship and art as mission, transitioning existing churches through multi-congregations, workplace spirituality, ministry among church leavers?

Or could the workshops also show the new edges of a movement? 10 years ago the emerging church in New Zealand was under heavy criticism and the practioners tended to be bunkered down and concentrating on survival. Are we seeing a move toward greater dialogue among denominations and a focus on mission, justice and the margins?

Workshop topics included;

How much Spirit has the emerging church got? (Steve Graham): A look at the questions Pentecostal/Charismatic churches and the emerging church might have for each other over what it means to be people of the Spirit eg the place of congregational singing in worship, ecstatic gifts in services, divine creativity, seekers’ ‘initiation’ into the dynamics of the Spirit

The Art of Curating Worship (Mark Pierson): seeing worship as an art form to be curated rather than a list of boxes to be filled.

A cafĂ© church spirituality (Lynne Taylor): two stories of emergence, of different groups engaging with our world in different ways… with common themes.

Spirited Exchanges (Jenny McIntosh and Elizabeth Taylor): Spirited Exchanges is something for people who are struggling to find a “place” at church – who have been wounded or hurt by church or it’s leaders, who are asking questions but not necessarily finding answers. We want to create a regular place where people can come and air their doubts, share their story, and find acceptance, not judgement. This is a double workshop that includes exploration and then the running of an actual Spirited Exchanges. Ideally people would attend both.

Emerging Workplace Spirituality (Alistair McKenzie): Emerging church can easily just focus on doing things differently when we gather together. If we continue to think that church is something we come to, then we will fail to realise our potential for being the church God sends out into the world to work in partnership there. What sort of spirituality will support the ministry of all God’s people the other six days?

Emerging church and post-colonial mission: A discussion of how the emerging church discussion could stimulate mission in non-Western, post-colonial contexts.

Posted by steve at 04:22 PM

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