Tag: becoming of g-d

Ian Mobsby on ABC Radio Programme

Had great fun talking on ABC National Radio on the whole area of Emerging & Fresh Expressions of Church – click here to listen to it.

POSTED 15.03.09 BY: paulabbott | Comments (2)

Melbourne Storms and Fires

I am enjoying starting my speaking & book tour in Melbourne Australia, but it has begun in a background of ongoing trauma. I am now stuck inside after storms have caused a return risk of fires so a state of emergency has been created, requiring to all be at home and await instructions.  It feels very traumatised here, a lot of people have died, and the risk continues.  It feels a little bit like that feeling I remember from the London Tube & Bus terrorist activity 2 years ago.  There is a profound sense of fear here, but at the same time, a real sense of people coming together.  I was really moved by the memorial in the Anglican Cathedral remembering those who have died.  So it is a strange time to kick off a tour when I have bronchitis and on antibiotics, and where the books I sent over were all printed wrongly by Lulu!!!  So it has been extremely challenging. I am hoping it is going to get easier!!

POSTED 03.03.09 BY: paulabbott | Comments (1)

Ian Mobsby Speaking Tour in Melbourne, Gold Coast, Newcastle, Sydney, Blue Mountains, Auckland, Hamilton & Cambridge March 2009

Just in case you have missed it, Ian Mobsby of the Moot Community, is about to embark on a speaking and training tour of selected cities in Australia and New Zealand.  This is a great opportunity to hear some of some of the work of the Moot Community, and the thinking that Ian has been doing in his two books, Emerging & Fresh Expressions and the Becoming of G-d.

There are a number of opportunities for people to be able to hear what Ian has to say on topics including: New Monasticism, Phenomenology, TechGnosis, A 21st Century culture of techno-spirituality, Trinitarian ecclesiology, multi-sensory worship, Emerging & Fresh Expressions of church, and host of other subjects.  He will also be leading some alternative worship services, and preaching in some churches.  So he is going to be busy.   For a full listing for all the places Ian is going, click here.  From there you can see the various flyers and booking information.

POSTED 16.02.09 BY: paulabbott | Comments (1)

Transformation is multi-discipline

In icon magazine this month, there was a great article by some radical architects from around the world, who use their discipline to transform the communities they seek to serve. They do this not by building new buildings which only causes gentrification and forces the poor to move elsewhere, but by improving what is already there, improving the lives of the poor. The article quotes a number of practices in areas of international urban poverty, to show how architects are working alongside social workers, activists and others to seek social transformation. I love this idea, that we can be counter-capitalist who often only believe in the power of trickle down, or preference for the rich to bring social change.

In Ysidro, an extremely poor neighbourhood near San Diego, a community group led by architects improved what the locals felt was a slum by reconditioning 12 homes, a ruined church into a community centre and a shared garden out of abandoned street markets. It created a new community that refound its centre and self-respect. The architect quotes:

It’s so important to think of housing differently, not as units thrown on the landscape [often to make a quick profit], but strategically and politically about density and social structure.

Or a group of architects working in San Agustin Caracas, a run down area socially isolated and excluded. Here the architects have planned and are currently building a new metro cable car station to enable inhabitants to be part of the city. In addition, they have built gyms for the kids living in the middle of the slum barrios, some of the most densely inhabited places of the world. They have built new markets for employment, new toilets to reduce disease, and new bridges to increase access. Next they plan to build schools and a medical centre. Notice not nice riverview developments for the super rich, but a recommitment to the poor. Statistics have shown that these inclusive activities have contributed to a 35 per cent drop in crime in the area.

These projects point to a commitment for social transformation to be experienced in the here and now, not in some future after life treasured by many Christians, but the desire for liberation, love and inclusion to be the experience of the now.

What this all points to for me, is the importance of phenomenology and its connection with theology with such people like Jean-Luc Marion. Christianity, if it is true, needs to come out of experience of the here and now. Many Christians bang on about social transformation, but I can’t think of many situations where this is actually achieved in the here and now. This approach is hardwork, is political, comes with a cost. In my second book, the becoming of G-d, I am highly influenced by a phenomenological reflection of theology, particularly of our understanding of the Holy Trinity coming out of the experiences of the people of God, and how God through present experience challenges us to live out a focus of radical spiritual community that is committed to social transformation. This lies at the heart of the notion of the Kingdom of God., not only of some after life, but of the here and now.

So this story, of architects playing their part in improving aspects of the lived environment, improving transport, sanitation, fresh water supplies, communal space and safer streets contributes in a real way to social transformation. This is a challenge to many Christians like me, who often have lots of words but not much action.

Many know, that I have dreams about Moot living this out more, if and when we move to our proposed new home in Old Street London.

POSTED 08.11.08 BY: paulabbott | Comments (3)

Ian Mobsby UK Book Launch 24th Sept

You free on Weds 24th 6-9pm?

I am having a UK launch of my new book at:

nearest tube: BANK

There is wine and nibbles, so please do consider coming. It is an RSVP event, so help us by reserving places. Click here for more info and booking places here There is a map here too.

POSTED 18.09.08 BY: paulabbott | Comments Off on Ian Mobsby UK Book Launch 24th Sept

New Moot Podcast interviews with Aaron Kennedy

Today the Moot Community launched a new element to the podcasting site, to include the interviews of interesting and influential people who surf the edges of spirituality, religion, politics and contemporary culture. Aaron Kennedy of the Moot Community, will be launching these to complement the diet of homilies and reflections already made available from the life of the Moot Community.

So if you have not checked this out, check it out here

You can subscribe to these podcasts for free through itunes, to set this up, click here

In this Podcast, Aaron Kennedy interviews Ian Mobsby about the implications of his new book, the becoming of g-d

POSTED 11.07.08 BY: paulabbott | Comments Off on New Moot Podcast interviews with Aaron Kennedy

Being Persons

OK, I know I promised I would have a break from Trinitarianism, but I have been reading the dissertation of a colleague from the States about the Egalitarian nature of God. In it, the writer makes the important point that being a fully human ‘person’ is greater than being an ‘individual’. In our culture at the moment, the stress is on being individual consumers rather than being individual human persons. So our culture has increasingly dumbed down on the depth of being a person.

Personhood is therefore explicit in the Christian faith, when it draws on a Trinitarian ecclesiology, that has something to say about a God who is three persons of one substance, (Please note that this is not three substances and one person which is the mistake that many of us Westerners make). So we can take inspiration from the Trinitarian God, to seek our personhood, or what it means to be a human person – or more accurately – how we are becoming persons.

In contemporary business, we used to have personnel departments with personnel managers. I find it interesting in this light, that these departments have become human resources departments and human resource managers. The difference is sublte, but points to an increasing depersonalisation of roles in every area of life, that seeks to make us individuals and not persons.

Christianity then has a lot to say about what it means to be a person. Indeed, a person in connection with other persons, which then takes inspiration from a God of three persons that find their identity in being one holy community. If anything, Christianity is about putting back this ‘egalitarian-ness’ back into culture which is increasingly becoming little more than a market. If we draw on the Trinity, we have much to say on being persons and justice…

POSTED 10.07.08 BY: paulabbott | Comments (4)

Unexpected encouragement at 50 000 Feet

Well I am now back in London, but the most surprising thing on this trip, was the chance encounter and discussion I had with a girl called Carmel, on my return flight from Seattle to London. Carmel, had just finished her studies in Social Work in Seattle, and was off for studies and political action in Israel. Carmel was a curious mix of passionate Jew and social and political activist. Our conversations were a joy, and I really did feel the very presence of God in our discussions. We explored each others belief, and our concern for social action, and a high view of community. We explored some of the awful things Christians had said to her in her youth – things like – You killed Jesus, (which still makes me angry as I reflect on things). We talked about the One God having the attributes of Creator, Redeemer and Sustainer – and how we Christians go further in calling the One God the Holy Trinity. We laughed, we shared passions and dreams of hope for the world, and we shared our concerns for justice, mercy and peace. I was really encouraged to hear how Carmel had a deep faith, with a strong concern for Social Justice. In Israel, she is going to study the Torah and the Jewish faith, as well at times, taking part of political action, joining in with other Jewish groups seeking justice for the Palestinians – literally putting themselves between the Palestinians and the Army. I learnt of the breadth of Judaism, and for the love God and change that she longed for. I appreciate now, just how she saw her faith as being about practising community, inclusion and love. All of which we both agreed on.

She was very brave, seeking to follow God where ever God takes her. In an amusing way, I really do think God was teaching me something, which revisited Chapter One of my book “the becoming of G-d”. That Christians and Jews really do have a deep shared tradition, along with Muslims, but sometimes, in the contemporary world of politics, you would never know it.

Carmel expressed her pleasure in meeting me, of always taking delight in meeting people of faith, to share and envision hope. In our conversations, Carmel and I, we touched a deep shared faith, and one where she showed me respect and hospitality, and I remain deeply touched by our conversations. She hungered for a solution to the Palestine Israel Conflict, she detested Zionism, she longed for a new just President of the United States, and deeper understanding and love between the Abrahamic faiths. Yes, unexpectedly, I was deeply challenged. My prayers go with Carmel, that she continue to bring hope and reconciliation where ever she goes, as God uses her to further the Kingdom in ways, I initially would not have been able to imagine. And so I return to England, and all the pain in the Anglican Church of division, before the Lambeth Conference. Thank you God for people like Carmel! That we can have some hope in our future.

POSTED 03.07.08 BY: paulabbott | Comments (1)

It is Finished!!

Pleased to say I have finished the last of the talks associated with this book tour, with a big bash in Seattle. Today Mark, Gareth and I contributed to a clergy training day for the Diocese of Washington, looking at ‘Anglimergent’ and promoting it in the Diocese. Afterwards, we went back for Belgian beers and food… we weren’t too boystrous honest!!

It was a suitable end to this years tour. So tomorrow I catch a plane and start heading back to the UK. It was good to finish this tour amongst friends. So thanks Karen and COTA again for your support and hospitality.

POSTED 02.07.08 BY: paulabbott | Comments (4)

Diasporic Moot Gathering in Seattle

It is good to be back in Fremont Seattle, where Mark McCleary and I have caught up with Gareth Powell and Karen Ward. Tim Dendy was through here recenty, so there is a strong sense of the Moot-COTA covenant in place. It is now very hot, and we have taken refuge in the local cafe, which is now an annual pilgrimage, as it is by far the best coffee in the City.

Great conversations already, including catching up on Gareth’s thinking about some of the theology he has been reading as part of his course at Cambridge. All good stuff, and reminds me that the more you study the more you realise you don’t know. So taking in easy today before working tomorrow, hopefully it will cool down by then. It now seems ages since I was in London, so I am beginning to look forward to stopping this speaking tour and talking about other things than the Trinity…. However, I have submitted a book proposal to Paraclete again arising out of the conversations on this tour, and you will be pleased to hear that it is not on the Trinity!!!

Mark McCleary has been a bit of a hit over here, with his wit and Irish accent, particularly with some from a more German extraction, he certainly knows how to make an impression! The highlight of the tour so far for me, was a moment at a sunset in Vancouver overlooking the bay and pacific ocean when Mark said – what a beautiful and large moon (under the influence of alcoholic beverages). He mistook a large sodium street lamp to be the moon. I suppose you needed to be there…. You can’t take these Holywoodinians anywhere!

POSTED 30.06.08 BY: paulabbott | Comments (9)