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10th March: Prayer Development Day

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In 2007 the Bishop of London Challenged the Moot Community to seek to become contemplatives to be able to sustain the vision of Moot – to be able to discern a complex God in a complex culture. The place of prayer and contemplation in our lives is therefore important as we seek to discern God. Our Moot Rhythm of Life in its aspirations and spiritual practices has an explicit expectation that we will go deeper in regular committed prayer. As Karl Rahner, a German theologian has said, “Christians of the future will be mystics, or there will be no Christians at all”.

Moot has for sometime been promoting new/old ways to engage with prayer, particularly forms of contemplation. This prayer development day seeks to enable participants to explore and experience different forms and approaches to prayer, to work out what particular approaches resonate with what you seek to include in your spiritual time. Julie Dunstan, a good friend of Moot and a spiritual director trained in forms of ignatian prayer will lead the day. This event is open to all people who are exploring prayer – whether you feel a novice, struggle with it or just want to go deeper.

This event will be held in the Guild Church of St Mary Aldermary, the beautiful surroundings of one of the oldest churches in London, right next to Mansion House Tube (Exit 4) and 3 mins away from the Bank Tube, and 5 mins away from Cannon Street Station National Rail station. It will start from 10am and finish at 3/3.30pm. Do please bring a packed lunch. There will also be coffee breaks.

Bio on Julie Dunstan
I have a particular interest in how Christian spirituality can (though often doesn’t!) reach people at depth and foster growth and healing. I want to help people experience God’s presence in personal and authentic ways; to get people out of their heads and into their hearts; into God’s heart. I am a member of All Saints’ Church, West Dulwich, and presently developing an alternative prayer project called All Saints’ Soul Space. I am married with one lovely daughter. I am grateful for God’s grace.

POSTED 07.03.12 BY: paulabbott | Comments Off on 10th March: Prayer Development Day

Lent 1: Invitation to silence, soltitude and human becoming by Vanessa Elston

In this first podcast of Lent 2012, Vanessa Elston starts this years Moot at St Mary Aldermary Lentern season with a reflection on the title ‘An Invitation to silence, solitude and human becoming’.

“As we grow up our minds grow more complex and more settled in their orbits. We spend so much of our adult energies thinking, planning, worrying, trying to get ahead or stay afloat, that we lose touch with that natural intimacy with God deep within us. The gift of silence gradually recedes in the face of the demands of daily life, so that when we do re-encounter contemplative prayer as adults, it may seem like a strange and inaccessible inner terrain. With some effort, we can stop the outer noise. Silent walks in the woods, Lenten and Advent quiet days at the local church, or a retreat at a monastery are wonderful ways of doing just that. But stopping the inner noise is another matter. Even when the outer world has been wrestled into silence, we still go right on talking, worrying, arguing with ourselves, day-dreaming, fantasizing. To encounter those deeper reaches of our being, where our own life is constantly flowing out of and back into the divine life; what first seems to be needed is some sort of interior on/off switch to tone down the inner talking as well.” (Cynthia Bourgeault, Centering Prayer and Inner Awakening)

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POSTED 01.03.12 BY: ianmobsby | Comments Off on Lent 1: Invitation to silence, soltitude and human becoming by Vanessa Elston

Want to join a Mini-Moot? On a Tuesday Evening or Saturday brunch?

Mini Moots are a vital part of our life in Moot as a new-monastic community.  Moot is very much a network church, with people spread out all over London and beyond.  Our time together then is very scarce, and mini-moots are an opportunity to meet with around 6 to 8 mooters for food, support, study, prayer and some form of spiritual practice coming from our shared rhythm of life.

A new mini moot is about to start on Saturday brunch times, which is seeking new participants whose work life and other commitments make tuesday attendance very difficult.  This starts on 14 January at 11:00. Nic will be emailing those attending the saturday mini-moot shortly.  If you are interested please get in touch with Ian or Nic, as this will be starting up soon.  Please note that we are expecting people to be committed to turning up to these groups regularly once you start, and that you shouldn’t belong to more than one mini-moot. This new mini-moot will move around areas of central London.

Most other mini-moots meet up on Tuesday evenings timed to fit in with our usual moot programme of events and services, these are currently situated at  Mansion House EC4M, Borough SE1, Tooting/Streatham SW16/17, Forest Hill SE23.  With the new London overground services, these various mini-moots are accessible for those living in East, West and North London.

So if you are interested in joining a mini-moot, please do get in contact .  To be able to join a mini-moot, we do expect people to have become participants in the community demonstrated by joining our electoral roll and attending some of our weekly events on a regular basis. Do speak to me Ian Mobsby if you are wanting to do this.

POSTED 07.01.12 BY: ianmobsby | Comments Off on Want to join a Mini-Moot? On a Tuesday Evening or Saturday brunch?

Questing to seek the sublime in the spiritual

A Moot friend Mike Angell gave me the heads up on this article. I really like the focus here on all of us mooters being spiritual questers, where we are questing with existential questions, where these questions relate to spiritual and religious experience rather than the answer. Click here for the article.

The main thing I like about questing, is that it is a form of spirituality where you are going deeper with who you are.  One frustration I have with some friends is that they see spirituality as a form of  ‘reinventing yourself’ – a consumptive identity – that you just take down from the shelf – one day materialistic the next anti-materialistic, one day prayerful and the next no such thing as prayer, or wanting community but then shunning or keeping away from participation.

What this article echoes for me – is that the spiritual path is one where we don’t reinvent ourselves, rather we go deeper with actually who we are, we seek the essence of what life is, facing ourselves God by living with the questions.  This path has for me three loci – hearing God as an inner voice from within through prayer, meditation and reflection, hearing God through participation in community through the wisdom and pain of friends and fellow travellers, and hearing God through poetry, art and spiritual writing and scripture.

So for me being an authentic quester, is not about reinventing yourself through consumptive-surface-self-definitions as for me this gets very close to self-deception, but rather the need to face your pains, get involved in community and quest through the questions through getting your hands dirty and getting involved in life and not being a spectator who shuns away from participation.

I hope that I will be this type of contemplative CHristian – committed to contemplative-action, where both Christians and Spiritual Questers are hopefully journeying towards the love of God.

POSTED 29.12.11 BY: ianmobsby | Comments Off on Questing to seek the sublime in the spiritual

Spirituality, Economics and the Human Future with Philip Sheldrake (2 of2)

In this second of two podcasts, Ian Mobsby dialogues with Professor Philip Sheldrake about Spirituality, Contemporary Culture and the Church. Philip is a well-known international authority in the areas of Christian Spirituality, Public Theology and inter-religious dialogue. He has written a number of leading books and articles on these significant subjects. This second podcasts looks at the themes of spirituality informed economics, and the understanding that the market was supposed to be about building a better world. Philip shares his hope that we begin to see that consumption is not an end in itself, and that we recover a sense of a just and human centred society.

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POSTED 11.11.11 BY: ianmobsby | Comments Off on Spirituality, Economics and the Human Future with Philip Sheldrake (2 of2)

Serum – Wednesday night

This week we will be talking about meaning – what makes a moment, a place or an encounter meaningful? Is it possible for experiences to have an intended meaning? Or is it all down to us to find whatever meaning we can?

We’ll be upstairs in Ye Olde Watling pub from 7.30pm. All are welcome to join the discussion.

POSTED 04.07.11 BY: Moot Archive | Comments Off on Serum – Wednesday night

The Rapture that Didn’t Come

Well, it’s May 22nd. And as you may have noticed, despite the hopes and expectations of Harold Camping and his followers, the world did not end yesterday.

Yesterday, sceptics across the U.S. organised “Rapture parties”, and talk-show hosts joked about Judgment Day. At the restaurant where my sister and I had lunch, the end of the world was *the* topic of (lighthearted) conversation among our servers and fellow diners. Thousands of people even RSVPed to the facebook event “Post-Rapture Looting”. It’s easy to mock Harold Camping. After all, he already predicted the world would end once before, in 1994. This time, he calculated the date of the Apocalypse based on the belief that Noah’s flood began exactly 7,000 years ago, and that Christ died on 1 April 33CE. Hmmm.

But dig a little deeper into the media coverage, and Camping’s prophecy begins to hit closer to home. The New York Times reported yesterday that relationships are strained in families divided by belief. One teenager (whose parents stopped saving for university in light of the coming Apocalypse) states, “My mom has told me directly that I’m not getting into heaven.” Conversely, one believer who had just said goodbye to his unbelieving family expressed his deep sorrow that they wouldn’t be with him in heaven. Both of these sentiments are painfully familiar to those of us who have strayed from our childhood religion, or who have embraced new expressions of faith alone, later in life.

It’s also difficult to read about the man who spent his life’s savings on publicity materials to spread the word about the Apocalypse, the woman who fled an abusive relationship and found meaning through Camping’s teachings, or the man who said he planned to euthanize his beloved pets before the Rapture. Where are these people now? What are they thinking? Now that they’ve lost everything chasing a lie, will they lose their faith altogether? Will they be able to trust again?

Ultimately, I have to believe that Camping’s followers were driven by love—love of the divine and of humanity. Only this, I hope, could have empowered them to endure apathy and mockery as they bade farewell to family and friends and attempted to convert unbelievers before it was too late. Likewise, the only legitimate response to the “crazies” is love—by recognising that their extreme behaviour stems from the same profoundly human search for truth and significance that drives our own faith.

POSTED 22.05.11 BY: Moot Archive | Comments (3)

Being Human being a wave

Now that I am 43 years old, my parents are in the third age of their life, and life has become somewhat consolidated. I sense that I am in a place a bit like when you have swam out from the shore to reach an island which is further away that you thought and you are now halfway.  In many ways I think 43 is half way.  It means that I have become quite reflective on my life – thinking from where I have come and where I am going.  The themes of waves, life and death are very much on my mind at the moment.  In many ways Moot’s focus on the contemplative life has become a life saver.  I can see that much of my Christian life, I have surfed quite literally on the surface of myself disrupted by passions and disquieting emotions rising deep from my inner self.

Meditation, prayer and the whole contemplative approach to Christianity has helped me to be aware and grow to like that fuller deeper me – Ian as Adult and child – and I do feel much healthier (but much busier) than I have felt for a long time. The contemplative approach helps us get beyond the insecurities and pain inflicted by a life centered on the ego.

It was in the light of this that I was really moved by a programme on BBC 4 on the secret life of waves, which towards the end reflected on life and actually we are  not just metaphorically like waves, but we are also scientifically like them too.  This is an interesting and reflective documentary which I highly recommend.  See here for the link, which is still available on iPlayer.  Tim Dendy gave me the heads up about this programme a while back, it is very good.

POSTED 13.05.11 BY: ianmobsby | Comments Off on Being Human being a wave

Action for Happiness

Not sure if you have been able to the follow the agenda of this new charity and project on BBC TV and Radio. I am impressed with what they are seeking to agenda – a recovery of a sense of wellbeing away from consumerism and materialism.  There aims are:

There’s more to life than money and possessions.
What matters most is our overall happiness – i.e. how good life is taking everything into account – including our inner lives, our relationships and our sense of purpose, not just our financial situation or material possessions.

Everyone’s happiness matters. We believe in a more collaborative and altruistic society which cares about the welfare of others and values positive relationships, trust and emotional intelligence.

We can all make a difference. We can all play a role in creating a happier society by the way we choose to live our lives – as partners, friends, parents, neighbours, employees and members of society.

They suggest that people to need practice a number of things on a daily basis to maintain a sense of happiness and wellbeing:

1.   Do something kind for other people.
2.   Do something like meditation to be in connection with your thinking and feeling.
3.   Express love to someone by expressing your feelings.

I like the way this makes connections with our aspirations, spiritual practices and postures, but equally makes me sad that it feels like spirituality without the spiritual.  For more on Action for Happiness see here.

POSTED 26.01.11 BY: ianmobsby | Comments Off on Action for Happiness

Podcast: The Challenge of Mission and Formation to Fresh Expressions of the Church of the Catholic and Contemplative Traditions

In October 2010, Ian Mobsby gave this recorded paper to the gathered Fresh Expressions Roundtable Number 5 for the promotion of Fresh Expressions of the Catholic and Contemplative Traditions at Lambeth Palace. This paper addresses the subject of the Challenge of Mission and Formation with Fresh Expressions of the Church.

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POSTED 01.11.10 BY: ianmobsby | Comments Off on Podcast: The Challenge of Mission and Formation to Fresh Expressions of the Church of the Catholic and Contemplative Traditions