Deconstruct / Reconstruct

Life is complex, but the theology you have been given for dealing with it is simplistic. It is not fit for purpose for the life in which you find yourself. Too many hard questions have been given too-easy answers. You ask yourself: are gay people really going to Hell? What about non-Christians? What about science? What about the way a large portion of the church seems to have sold itself body and soul to political charlatans? What about a hundred and one things, all of which are of burning importance, not least the startling moral failures of the church?


One of the ways we seek to reconstruct our faith at Cafechurch is by using the Ignatian tradition of spirituality. It has been a fruitful way to re-engage with God for many of us, and I trust that it will be for you as well.
The Examen is a key part of Ignatian Spirituality - something to be used daily to keep ourselves tuned into God. You can read more about the daily examen here.

T S Eliot reads "Ash Wednesday" Part 1

At the Lenten Caravan in 2014, we used a video of T S Eliot reading the start of Ash Wednesday. I have uploaded the video, below.

Because I do not hope to turn again
Because I do not hope
Because I do not hope to turn
Desiring this man's gift and that man's scope
I no longer strive to strive towards such things
(Why should the aged eagle stretch its wings?)
Why should I mourn
The vanished power of the usual reign?

Lent As A Spiritual Practice

I suspect that for most people in Cafechurch, Lent is a bit of an unknown. It sounds boringly self-denying, isn't part of our tradition, and flirts dangerously with works righteousness. I hope that this presentation might go a little way to counteract that. Fun fact - mega-evangelist John Wesley used to fast weekly.

However, having said that, wherever spiritual practices are, um, practiced, there is the opportunity for irritating levels of self-righteousness, dull legalism, and the attempt to make God love you (you know that God already loves you anyway, right?)

The Examen

Preparation: You may wish to light a candle. Do whatever helps you to experience unconditional love. For example, imagine yourself in a favourite place with someone whose love you trust, such as a friend, Jesus or God as you understand God. Put your feet flat on the floor; take a few deep breaths from the bottom of your toes, up through your legs, your abdominal muscles and your chest. Breath in that unconditional love, and when you breathe out, fill the space around you with it.

Boardroom Tycoon vs the Epiphany

I have been playing quite a lot of Boardroom Tycoon recently (yes, I know, but I've got more spare time than I'm used to), and it occurred to me that a game that is all about making money, hiring and firing, and generally all about being a mover and a shaker in this world would provide a really useful foil for thinking about the Epiphany: who is the *real* king, and why?

Sharon's Christmas Poem

I love this poem by John J Shea, in which we learn the proper way to repond to the Good News of the Incarnation!

Here is the slideshow I made for it on 10/12/13, uploaded to slideshare for your viewing pleasure!

Read more

Detail from the Isenheim Altarpiece

Faith Stories

Take some time to read this through, quietly, meditatively, slowly - prayerfully on a quiet evening, or early in the morning. Light a candle if you like - that always make me feel spiritual - and hence helps me to concentrate, and to be present in the moment.

This exercise is also available as a pdf attached to this page. Print it out and read through it at leisure, away from your technology!

Ploughs and Faith Stories

Faith development #3 - Adulthood

This is the Third of our Four (or so) presentations on what it means to be an adult in sprituality and faith. Using his book "Finding God Again", we step through John J Shea's description of adulthood as being defined by these attributes: The adult self:

(Almost) Everything I Know About Spirituality I Learned From Epic Movies

Over the weekend I watched The Lone Ranger (yes, I know.) But it got me to thinking - do I want to be a boring, prudish, ineffective religious person, notable mainly for my bad singing, or do I want to be a cool, seeking, spiritual warrior like Johnny Depp? I mean, who wouldn't want to be Johnny Depp?

Tonto looks at his magical horse in The Lone Ranger