Archive for October, 2012

Meet Jude Smith, our day away contributor

Posted: October 30, 2012 by reviveleeds in Events, revive
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It’s less than two weeks until our day away, and I thought you’d like to meet Jude Smith, known on twitter as @gingervicar:

Hi Jude, can you tell us where that accent comes from?

Hello, yeah- I’m from Luton.. which when typed has a T in the middle but rarely does in spoken form.

Some of us know Liz West, who first recommended you to me and us. What did you two get up to together?

I first worked with Liz when we were setting up some peer led cells in Luton. Liz advised us and we had a great time translating from St Albans to Lutonian (a bit like from Harrogate to Gipton). Liz became my mentor, and walked me through one of the darker moments of my life. More recently Liz has introduced me to the enneagram!

Can you tell us something good about Luton?

It’s a little bit of the North in the South. Its incredibly in your face and is one of the only places in the country where people are having difficult but honest conversations about race and culture. It has an amazing carnival, some of the most radical thinking community work in the country, is a Labour beachhead in the midst of Tory madness. Its a place that has historically birthed extremists- some get all the headlines but over the years some of those extremists have been extreme for good.

You live and work in Cottingley, an oft-neglected part of South Leeds. I’ve lived in Leeds for 40 years and only ever been there to visit you. What’s it like?

I’m going to use a cliche; “it’s an island”. Depending on your personality that can be a good or bad thing. It has a sort of stability that holds it together, but also a stagnancy that threatens to crush all creativity. The twin towers create a micro climate: its always breezy! It suffers from being the butt end of LS11, without all the shabby chic of Beeston. But it has in its midst some real innovation, some brilliant people and a real generosity.

And what have you been doing there?

My official title is pioneer minister. What that has meant on Cottingley is that I have spent three years working with the ecumenical church there to see them grow in discipleship, and to grow in confidence to be a missional community. Its early days in many ways but we are now at a place where the church has a plan to reach out to the estate, but also has the experience of God’s transformation among them which gives them a distinct edge.. I’ve also kicked off a youth project which works with young people through the transition of primary to secondary school.

You have been given a Sunday off work. What would you do?

Get up- read the papers (which would have miraculously arrived somehow). Nice coffee and food, then some kind of exercise.. later maybe a film and good food with people. Finish the day with a decent book.. Or a half marathon (All the best races are on Sundays)..

What’s the last CD/DVD/book/game you bought?

Is it sad that I bought my friend’s CD? Drowning In the Shallow by Andy Flannagan.

Can you tell us anything about what we’ll be doing together on the 10th November?

I’m hoping that we will get to spend some time digging around in the book of Acts to give us a framework to think about how we can have a spirituality that gets us looking outwards rather than gazing at our own navels. There will be (I hope) something for everyone, a bit of meditative reflection, a bit of Bible teaching, some discussion, time to talk and time to think..

And finally, why are you a Christian?

When I was fifteen someone told me about Jesus for the first time. I found this man who was God to be utterly compelling. This powerful, yet humble, murdered yet victorious paradox still has me hooked…

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Musica Obscura

Posted: October 26, 2012 by reviveleeds in Music, revive
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Dan Norton’s dad remixed one of our songs before we’d even recorded it – bet you didn’t know that!

A blast from the past…

Posted: October 26, 2012 by reviveleeds in Music, revive
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Sadly, the CD from the launch of revive’s first ‘proper’ album has gone the way of all rewritable media, but I’ve managed to salvage one track from it…

Challenging wisdom from Brian McLaren

Posted: October 26, 2012 by reviveleeds in Quotes
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…what we call the secular is actually the realm or domain of the Spirit. The secular – literally meaning the world, the realm outside of church control – isn’t profane. Rather, properly understood, it is sacred because the Spirirt is and always has been active there, evoking light from darkness, order from chaos,fullness from void, life from lifelessness…

If the secular is sacred, that means that the Spirit is at work in what we call secular work in the secular world… So the scientist studying interstellar  dust is investigating the domain of the Spirit, and the Spirit gently ‘hovers’ over her neurons as they fire a hypothesis into being. The same is true of a paleontologist excavating a fossil, an executive developing a marketing plan, a stonemason fashioning a chimney, a father changing a [nappy], a mother planning a vacation, an engineer designing a solar panel and a bookkeeper wrestling with a budget. And that’s as true for a Muslim astronomer, a Buddhist paleontologist, a Sikh executive, a Hindu stonemason, a Jewish father, a Jain mother and an arheist engineer as it is for a Christian theologian. What may differ is not the presence and benevolence of the Spirit, but the awareness and responsiveness of the individual.

From Why did Jesus, Moses, the Buddha and Mohammed Cross the Road?, p141

Connect to the City

Posted: October 16, 2012 by reviveleeds in Events, Leeds
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Thought some of you might like to know that there’s a great event on in Leeds for everyone from the church that cares about social action in the city. It’s an amazing opportunity to see what’s going on around Leeds, and it’s on the 6th November. This year the theme is diversity…

http://www.networkleeds.com/Articles/328744/Network_Leeds/Events/Connect_2012_Tuesday.aspx

Christmas, already!

Posted: October 15, 2012 by reviveleeds in Events, Left Bank
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Revive doesn’t really do religion very well – that’s sometimes on purpose, sometimes by accident or neglect.

But Christmas is different, particularly because so many other people do religion at Christmas. Last year Left Bank gave away 360 free tickets to its Carol Service, and this year there will be two. Our ‘Left Bank God Group’ (suggestions for a better name are welcome) is actively supporting Left Bank in developing its programme to reflect the Christian faith that founded both the original church and the new arts project. Stuff like the carol services are obviously part of that, even though our main focus will be ADVENTurous.

If you’d like to come to one (or both) of the services, you’ll need to either volunteer or get tickets, and tickets are already going fast. Here they are:

Candlelit Nine Lessons and Carols, 9th December: http://leftbankcarols2012.eventbrite.co.uk

Family Carol Service 16th December: http://leftbankfamilycarols2012.eventbrite.co.uk

Business Meeting Summary

Posted: October 14, 2012 by reviveleeds in News, revive
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Here’s a quick summary of our meeting on the 7th October. It’s not the official minutes, which will be posted here soon, it’s just my recollections.

I felt the meeting was really positive and enthusiastic (from en (in) and theos (God)). I talked about the people that I have got round to see so far (I’ve seen a couple more since – I hope to see everyone eventually!) and said that there were two emphases in terms of how people wanted revive to grow: to reconnect with God together and with our heritage of creative worship, and to be more available to new people.

Our first step has been to reconfigure our meetings a bit, so that Sundays are generally something we can all do. Film nights seem to be very popular, and we agreed that we would find a way of making them more ‘public’ (although it’s very expensive to show a film in public…). Our food/fellowship/pray nights were felt to be a great way of including the whole family, so we agreed to have them at 4pm once a month. The first one will be next week! The book group has been really great for those of us (myself included) who love to get into things in a fairly intellectual way, but it’s a bit of a marmite thing and some people just don’t engage with God in that way. So we took the decision to make it a midweek group, and see if we can use the two freed up Sundays every month to get intimate with God and creative in how we do that… That may mean we don’t need to have six days away a year – maybe three and a weekend?

Here we all are hard at work drinking.

We now have a variety of fortnightly groups that meet during the week. I’ve suggested that each group has a ‘connector’ person; how the group is led is up to the members. The connectors can meet occasionally to, er, connect. We’ll have a free market for midweek groups: anyone can start one up and we’ll see what survives! (In the calendar on this site I’ve added James and Jez’s group, which isn’t technically a revive group, but is full of revive-y people…)

In terms of making revive more accessible, we talked about the film nights, about Cafe Theologique and about something like Alpha that was perhaps slightly more open to the questions and needs of those that came to it.

The big question is who’s going to do all of this – I can’t do it all on a day a week. If each different bit of revive had a connector/organiser, that would make a big difference. We’ll try to work that out over the next few weeks. But the truth is that if we don’t all share this we will probably end up doing the bits for ourselves, and not the bits for others.

SO… it was a great meeting and I’m really excited to be working for you all again! See you soon!

Much love,

Simon