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Tag: gareth powell

india and cms


Am off to Delhi tonight to do some filming with the New Delhi Brotherhood. A monastic group that is part of the Church of India. We will be filming their work with street children in Delhi who number some 30,000.

We are hoping to spend a few days living with some of the street kids – literally hanging out with them from dusk till dawn to see how they live and to try and gain some insight into the complex social issues that brought them to live on the streets.

I am also really looking forward to the food which from the guide books sounds fantastic and immensly varied.

Am sad to be missing moots first service of the term tonight. I was supposed to be leading it until I realised that my flight was tonight rather than tomorrow night – doh!

I will hopefully post some more stuff as and when I can (though probably no pics as I doubt the Internet Café with have bluetooth capability).

POSTED 04.09.05 BY: paulabbott | Comments Off on india and cms

dog track scandal



A load of us were at the dogs in wimbledon tonight to celebrate my birthday. We all had a great time and I think everyone had a winning bet (aaahhhh)…

Karen turned out to be the stealthy customer, silently placing two bets for two big wins… she named and claimed her victories with liturgical aplomb …safe to say that the rest of the funding for COTA abbeye is well and truly raised.

I think Ian wins the prize for placing the most bets and we shall soon be sending our dear father off to gamblers anonymous – although in his defence he did win twice but only by invoking the Holy Spirit to bless his dog.

Thanks to Alex for the fab pics and thanks everyone for coming. Looking forward to another great year with you all.

POSTED 02.09.05 BY: paulabbott | Comments Off on dog track scandal

Painting Day

The community spirit of moot was much in evidence yesterday. Owing to impending childbirth, myself and Carey are on a time-limited mission to make our flat habitable – both for ourselves and the nascent bambino.

Having lived in an apartment in various states of completion (my fault), we can no longer dilly-dally, procrastinate, or plead lethargy (or a mixture of all three).

After a week of intensive preparation by me, several moot members descended in dirty clothes (or in Phillipa’s case, pink trousers) took up rollers and paintbrushes and set to on my meticulously ordered game plan.

One paint-fume filled day later, Carey and I were the proud owners of an (almost) completed flat, the day in question saving me five days worth of hard labour which I would much rather spend pondering my impending fatherhood.

Carey, Gareth, Phillipa and I retired to the nearest Indian restaurant for restitution and well-earned grub, I later retired to the pool hall with Bartley, Ian, Steve and Gareth; and Sim and Fiona just retired.

An absolutely huge thank you to all those who helped, and a special mention must also go to James who helped me construct the kitchen ceiling a couple of weeks ago (YOU try manoeuvering 8×4 sheets of plasterboard above your head solo).

The community has really shown its true colours of support, and Carey and I are truly grateful, proud, contented and.. well, knackered.

POSTED 21.08.05 BY: paulabbott | Comments Off on Painting Day

Thievery Corporation

Saw Thievery Corporation tonight at Koko in Camden. They were fab. Big beats, fat bass and even the occasional sitar. Highlight of the night was a song that was apparently about the bad guy in Washington DC — ummm wonder who that was — sounded great, no idea what on earth the two guys were singing about but it got the whole place moving…

A few of us are planning to go to the Optronica night at the Spitz on the 23rd July. Optronica is a festival thats being put on by the NFT that explores DJing and VJing, the Spitz night features some wicked DJs and VJs slugging it out – should be fun. If you fancy going leave a comment and I’ll get back to you. There is alos a live set being performed on the 22nd July at 10.30pm where some VJ’s will mix up sounds and images onto the side of the NFT building.

POSTED 27.06.05 BY: paulabbott | Comments Off on Thievery Corporation

Israel revisited …

We have neary come to the end of our trip and are spending the last day trying to get the last shots we need and then its off home.

For me the really disturbing thing about this trip has been the sheer number of people aroudn us who suscribe to a Christian Zionist perspective – in a nutshellthat the Jews need to reclaim the land and rebuild the temple before Jesus can come back) – this profoundly blinds people’s eyes to the obvious plight that this causes to those who are not Jews and have been forced off their land, and for the tens of thousands of refugees in Jordan and Syria, out of there country.
These people have the same core belief about Christ, and emphasise Christ’s life as an example to us all. Yet a really warped literalism interpretation of a very small portion of scripture has meant that for many life is made a living hell. Without the support of Christian Zionists, particularly those in the US, Israel would be unable to continue on such a path of downright disregard for international law and such obvious disdain for those who live in the West Bank and the Gaza strip.

It saddens me when the bible is used in such as way, where the core story of gods liberating purpose for humanity is lost, and gods ultimate vision of a city where all are welcome, and all bring worship in their own way has been distorted.

POSTED 10.06.05 BY: paulabbott | Comments Off on Israel revisited …

well have made it to Israel…


I am sitting in a cafe in central jerusalem with 10,000’s of Israeli’s walking by outside waving flags and singing. today they celebrate the indepedence of Jerusalem when they seized back the city in 1957 (I think thats right). Its a pretty incredible sight, there are so many police and military (most of which look 14) and thousands of young people all wavnig flags dancing and singing songs…

It really hits you that religion dicates life here probably more than anywhere else in the world.

Tomorrow we are off to the West Bank to interview a Palestinian Christian, hopefully whilst walking alongside the infamous wall that Israel is building. They guy works for Musalaha with Palestinian and Israeli christians, helping them meet together and trying to bring reconciliation between these two groups – its hard work and not made easier by they pretty much complete shut down of the borders between Israel and the West Bank/Gaza strip. We have heard hopeful storties as well as desparing stories.

The history of this place shapes and moulds people, and the propoganda on both sides is everywhere. Its very difficult to see a break through the impass, but good to hear of people who are genuine in their attempts to understand the ‘enemy’.

POSTED 06.06.05 BY: paulabbott | Comments Off on well have made it to Israel…

Mobsby, Powell & Johnson Go West & the New HTB emerging church college

Not that I like blagging, but Gareth, Si & I are off to Seattle – to spend some time with COTA and Karen Ward – with the ECUSA equivalent of Moot and Head:Space in Seattle. I am going to finish the final leg of the research for my research project on the emerging church. I can’t wait!! They run a cafe-church and do services – which all sounds exactly the sort of things I would love to be doing, so it will be interesting to see.

On a sadder note – many will have seen the news about HTB finding £6 million to fund a new “emerging church” theological college using St Pauls Onslow Square as the site in London. I have to confess to being frustrated, that so much money seems to go the way of mega church – when a lot of the ‘real’ emerging church projects which are small and often innovative, are starved of cash and resources. It seems that a lot of the charismatic evangelical mega-churches are jumping on the band wagon of emerging church or “fresh expressions of church” which really worries me, as it is really in danger of becoming a phrase related to a post-modern branding attempt to get more people into what are now traditional charismatic evangelical churches, rather than a new type of church and mission for our post-modern context. If this is the case, then the real contribution of the small and real emerging church is going to be swamped by these big heavies….. We’ll see what happens.

To see the press release written up by Jonathan Bartley through Ekklesia – see here.

POSTED 29.03.05 BY: paulabbott | Comments Off on Mobsby, Powell & Johnson Go West & the New HTB emerging church college

Mobsby, Powell & Johnson Go West & the New HTB emerging church college

Not that I like blagging, but Gareth, Si & I are off to Seattle – to spend some time with COTA and Karen Ward – with the ECUSA equivalent of Moot and Head:Space in Seattle. I am going to finish the final leg of the research for my research project on the emerging church. I can’t wait!! They run a cafe-church and do services – which all sounds exactly the sort of things I would love to be doing, so it will be interesting to see.

On a sadder note – many will have seen the news about HTB finding £6 million to fund a new “emerging church” theological college using St Pauls Onslow Square as the site in London. I have to confess to being frustrated, that so much money seems to go the way of mega church – when a lot of the ‘real’ emerging church projects which are small and often innovative, are starved of cash and resources. It seems that a lot of the charismatic evangelical mega-churches are jumping on the band wagon of emerging church or “fresh expressions of church” which really worries me, as it is really in danger of becoming a phrase related to a post-modern branding attempt to get more people into what are now traditional charismatic evangelical churches, rather than a new type of church and mission for our post-modern context. If this is the case, then the real contribution of the small and real emerging church is going to be swamped by these big heavies….. We’ll see what happens.

To see the press release written up by Jonathan Bartley through Ekklesia – see here.

POSTED 29.03.05 BY: paulabbott | Comments Off on Mobsby, Powell & Johnson Go West & the New HTB emerging church college

Our unhealthy obsession with sickness

Our unhealthy obsession with sickness is one of the best articles I’ve read in ages, considering how concepts of illness have become so pervasive that the state of being ill is taken for granted by many people. Alongside this ‘wellness’ is promoted as an aspirational state, a marketing wet dream that countless products refer to directly or indirectly. Very personal to me is that the concept of illness has become an integral and even valued part of people’s identity.

When I started work I observed people who had come from dreadful situations starting to learn to be counsellors. In some cases this was not appropriate but more a response to draw something positive out of their suffering. Ultimately in some way they were still ill.

Since that time I have had one long illness together with various overlapping ones and have identified very powerfully with being ill, this becoming one of the most fundamental ways of understanding myself. Over the last 6-7 months I have become increasingly aware of my wellness and it has been even a painful process accepting that previous explanations of my actions and myself no longer count. Understandably I had fallen victim to valuing and appreciating illness, finding a special and unique quality in what I had gone through which sheltered me from the threat of normality. Against that it has been wonderful to move into accepting wellness and to do it without a subscription to Men’s Health!

I’m intrigued about the place of the Christian community here. What is our response? The church itself can culturally affirm illness by promoting ‘becoming’ well whilst paradoxically it’s compassion can turn into an acceptance of illness. This may well be reasonable but on the other hand should it aim to provide an environment simply in which to ‘be’ well? How would the two approaches differ?

POSTED 28.03.05 BY: paulabbott | Comments Off on Our unhealthy obsession with sickness

More debate on the Marks of the Emerging Church

Pete’s response to Gareth

Link: ResponsetoGareth.pdf

POSTED 16.03.05 BY: paulabbott | Comments Off on More debate on the Marks of the Emerging Church