Please find below details of events this Advent at Moot:
Our final regular Sunday service will be a Christmas Eucharist on Sunday 17th December, although we will also meet for a short contemplative evening prayer service on New Year’s Eve at 6pm (for 6.30pm).
Ahead of that we will enjoy our annual Carol Service on Friday 15th December at 6.30pm, to be followed by mulled wine, mince pies, and our Moot Christmas Party. All welcome to both of these – please join us to celebrate!
Additionally, join some of us at Moot on Christmas Eve for a carols service and communion with the congregation of St Vedast-alias-Foster nearby, followed by drinks in the rectory.
Friday 15th December 6.30pm | Carol Service followed by mince pies and mulled wine
Friday 15th December 8.00pm | Moot Christmas Party following the carol service
Sunday 17th December 6.00pm | Christmas Eucharist
Sunday 24th December 11.00am | Carols and Communion at St Vedast-alias-Foster
Sunday 31st December 6.00pm | Contemplative Evening Prayer for New Year’s Eve
Fresh from their Edinburgh Fringe residency, Harry and Chris bring their outstanding show of slam poetry and music to St Mary Aldermary in support of the Al Alhi hospital in Gaza.
29th September, 7.30 pm. Bar and Dj’s till 11. Please do support what will be an excellent event in aid of a very good cause!
We’ve recently had a number of changes to the team at Moot and thought we’d update you on who’s been coming and going.
Firstly: with a heavy heart we said goodbye in April to our temporary Priest Andrew Norwood. Andrew joined us in September 2015 at the beginning of our interregnum and over the last year and a half has supported us wonderfully both spiritually and practically, including guiding us through a period of reflection on who we are as a community. We are extremely grateful for Andrew’s presence over the last period and will miss him!
On a happier note, in March we welcomed Gonzalo Cabezas Talavero to the Moot team as Cafe Manager and Building Manager. He will be splitting his time between managing Host and helping the community make the best use use of our beautiful building. Make sure you say “Hi” to him when you next swing by the cafe. He is working with the staff to create some innovative new drinks so be sure to ask to try any new creations.
We also say farewell (as a Moot staff member) to Effie Gemi-Iordanou who has most recently been working in the Moot office improving processes and getting things in shape, but has also worked as a barista in the Host Cafe as well as volunteering with Moot before that and through the years! Effie has been working in one way or another since 2014 so we’re glad that although she’s ending her current role at Moot that we can still hope to see her around the community in the future.
Lastly, we look forward to the arrival of Paul Kennedy our new Priest-in-Charge who will be licensed on Monday 8th May (see information about the event here). We will share more details about Paul and his background in the coming weeks.
The grass never sleeps.
Or the roses.
Nor does the lily have a secret eye that shuts until morning.
Jesus said, wait with me. But the disciples slept.
The cricket has such splendid fringe on its feet,
and it sings, have you noticed, with its whole body,
and heaven knows if it ever sleeps.
Jesus said, wait with me. And maybe the stars did, maybe
the wind wound itself into a silver tree, and didn’t move,
the lake far away, where once he walked as on a
lay still and waited, wild awake.
Oh the dear bodies, slumped and eye-shut, that could not
keep that vigil, how they must have wept,
so utterly human, knowing this too
must be part of the story.
Lent looms ahead of us, and that can at first seem quite ominous. Perhaps it’s because I’ve just used the word “looms” and that really isn’t helping.
I have had mixed feelings about Lent in the past. It feeds into my regimented, “I need to do X, Y & Z in order to be good enough” mentality and really isn’t healthy. One year I had a spreadsheet. All the things I was going to do and not do, all the books I was going to read. Lent eventually became another reason to beat myself up and to set myself up for certain failure.
Lent is perceived to be a solemn time of year, with its emphasis on repentance and self-examination. Ash Wednesday seems to be a rather bleak day as we are made to face our mortality with the imposition of ashes. But Lent takes its name an old Anglo-Saxon word len(c)ten, meaning “spring season”. The lengthening of the days is a key clue to the season here, as we set aside a time for self-reflection as we prepare for the renewal of life at Easter.
Yes, it begins with ashes and “Remember that you are dust”, but Lent is actually a time of growth. In order to grow well, yes, some pruning may be involved, but the aim of Lent is to provide the adequate conditions to ensure that we thrive and flourish.
How can I do Lent corporately?
Lent is a journey we go on together. I think a lot of our ideas about Lent can tend to be quite self-obsessed and we can risk navel gazing (I am preaching primarily to myself here). As a community our primary Lenten activity will be our Book Group, discussing Paula Gooder’s Lent book, meeting on Sunday afternoons. Of course, throughout the week, we will read as individuals but we will gather together as a community to discuss themes and ideas that have arisen from the readings. During the week, there is always the Facebook group or the blog as a way of keeping this communal discipline going.
Other things you may want to consider are:
And how about individually?
For 2017, I’ve been reading Daily reflections from Frederick Buechner and there was one recently on the theme of Lent. It framed Lent in a way I’ve never thought about before. 40 days is roughly a tenth of the year, so Lent is a kind of spiritual tithe: a period which we commit to God in a specific way. For some that may mean adding a new daily practice, say setting 10 minutes aside each morning for silent meditation or committing to praying the examen. For others, the giving up chocolate thing (*or booze, TV or whatever you fancy) may be just for you! What matters is the intention. How is this commitment to abstain from X, Y or Z going to make me different come Easter Sunday?
I gave up my daily habit of watching Neighbours one Lent at uni, to which a friend said “What’s sinful about Neighbours?” She was right. There was and is nothing wrong with watching antipodean soap operas. But I gave it up as a way of committing that time to God. The tithing analogy is useful here: just as I set aside a proportion of my money, by abstaining from something I am setting that apart as an offering.
Some ideas for your own personal Lenten tithe can be found on Rachel Held Evans’ blog – she hasn’t done it recently (I think parenthood has other demands on her time!) but in the past she has compiled “40 ideas for Lent”, which I have found really useful. 40 ideas doesn’t mean doing 40 things: but it is a good starting place for thinking about things that might help you grow in this season.
Whatever you do, don’t make a spreadsheet. What I mean is, don’t follow my mistake of piling expectations on yourself so that Lent becomes another burden rather than a gift. To end with an observation from Buechner:
“[Lent] can be a pretty depressing business all in all, but if sack-cloth and ashes are at the start of it, something like Easter may be at the end.”
There will be a number of particular services over the Lent and Easter period, which we hope you’ll join us for. You should be able to see them on our events calendar, but here’s a list of a few highlights:
Ash Wednesday March 1st 6.30pm – Ash Wednesday Service (Ashing and Eucharist)
Sunday March 5th 4.30pm (and every Sunday through 9th April) – Lent Book Discussion Group
Maundy Thursday 13th April 6.30pm – Footwashing Service and Vigil
Good Friday 14th April 6.30pm – Tenebrae Service
Easter Sunday 16th April 6pm – Easter Eucharist and Social
Merry Christmas from all of us at Moot!
We hope you enjoy peace and rest over the Christmas season, and look forward to seeing you in 2017. The church (and related activities) will pause until the new year, when meditation group will resume, along with Serum, on the 4th January. Our first Sunday evening service back will be on the 8th January.
Yesterday Moot took part in the annual Open House London event, opening up St Mary Aldermary for the whole Saturday as well as the Host Cafe. Based on the huge number of historical fliers we handed out and the great success of the cafe, we estimate around 500 people came through the church building – a great success!
Here are a couple of photos from the day.
We are starting a new, short contemplative service this week – Moot on Thursdays – for members of our community and anyone who would like to join us at St Mary Aldermary on Thursday evenings. It’s a quiet reflective service at the end of the working day – comprising of some prayers, silence, reflection and simple chants. All are welcome to join – you won’t have to ‘do’ anything, you can particpate as much or as little as you wish. We start at 6.30pm and finish at 7 – with wine and nibbles if you wish to hang around before heading home.