Monday, August 15, 2011

outdoor stations as fresh expressions

Over the weekend we had our mission-shaped ministry weekend away. Rather than withdraw to a rural campsite, which seemed at odds with the mission approach of the mission-shaped ministry course, we headed to West Lakes Resort, a conference centre in Adelaide city. Money saved on accommodation and exclusive use of a venue was put into a food and open bar on the Friday night, and the use of a conference room for evening and all day Saturday sessions.

West Lakes resort backs onto water, so as I prepared to lead the worship on Saturday afternoon, I was keen to maximise this opportunity. I adapted an idea from earlier in the year (see here. I introduced the idea of stations.

  • They can be used, as we had experienced on the Friday evening, to allow a way to engage material at an individual pace
  • They can be used, as the ancient church did, as an aid to physical pilgrimage, providing mediation places in the city of Jerusalem
  • They can be used, as the medieval church did, as an aid to spiritual pilgrimage, providing meditation places in a church building
  • They can be used as outdoors as well as indoors. And so I offered people a prepared card

Followed by the opportunity to worship by walking outdoors. When you come across a sky “station” or a flower “station” or a pavement “station”, to use them as invitations to prayer and reflection.

Feedback was very positive, people loving the chance to be outdoors, to be among people. And as usually happens, most came across 5th, 6th, 7th stations, other things though which God spoke.

Which all underlined the theology of fresh expressions and the input of the day, that God is active in the world, and we are simply invited to participate in that activity. Which starts by paying attention. In the words of Rowan Williams:

Christian mission is “finding out where the Holy Spirit is at work and joining it.”

Posted by steve at 02:35 PM

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