February 1998: Lent
0: Vox pops
as people arrive, film answers to 'who are you?' and 'what are you addicted to?' [mark]
t.v.s - have two ideas running for the whole service - one t.v./projector with images of the busyness/ noise we live with (shopping channel, traffic, sped up people etc.) - the other with still images or a word sequence slowly changing (quiet, still, calm, repose.....).
also have an oscilloscope (mike to get hold of one) running all service to monitor the noise - have a camera on it to project it [mark]
thoughts about usual approach to lent.... brief/light... [jonny]
read/retell story of jesus in the wilderness and his temptations [jen]
3. desert reading/meditation
simple idea that many characters in the bible spent time in the wilderness, so for us when either we choose to go into the wilderness or find ourselves feeling like we're in a desert we're in good company.. 'you're not alone' [mike]
consider the process jesus went through, the kind of steps and the importance/inspiration/challenge they might be for us
4. stepping back/getting away from the usual noise.
perhaps surprising for life in a peasant culture, but if needed then what about in london? story about internal and external noise (from 'firstname.lastname@example.org' by mike riddell) [mark]
5. discussion in groups
what is the noise we live with? external and internal? do we know how to stop? are we afraid to stop? thomas merton reading on noise..... [dave]
'calm me o lord', 'i will wait'
one of things about fasting is that you begin to realise what your addictions are and what you are driven by ('reach for creature comforts for the filling of our holes' as peter gabriel put it) .... perhaps some comments from 'celebration of discipline'?...
playback voxpops recorded at start of service
what are we addicted to? [kev and ana]
'my heart is restless'
9. meditation on identity
10. ritual of affirmation
refer back to vox pops - how many descriptions of who we are relate to what we do?.... can you hear god's affirmation? have some affirmations/texts written on paper (jen to write them out) buried in a tray of sand. everyone takes one (finding identity in desert?!) - time to take it in [steve and dave]
11. focussing on calling
where are you going.... easy to just carry on without reflecting on the way we live individually, corporately, nationally, globally... jesus came back into life focussed for next three years.... what does it mean to follow christ then?... story about whether to keep car from 'fearfully and wonderfully weird' - what would you do?/should a christian drive a porsche?... mention shaker pledge and slides that have been up and will be up as one response [jonny]
'counter to the culture'
give everyone copies of shaker pledge and adbusters credo as two focussed responses to take away and use (and discuss at pub next time?...). thomas merton quotes from late late service of only reason for stepping back from life being to live more fully etc.... [dave]
The wise monk, Thomas Merton, said that we must only leave the world to learn to love it more. We must only leave behind needy people in order to become more committed to serving them. We must only embrace celibacy in order to deepen our love for men and women and ourselves. We must only vow poverty as a way of learning to see the true value in the world. We must only “waste time” with God as a way of discovering what the time of our lives is for.