HeartEdge Mailer | June 2018
HeartEdge is a growing international ecumenical network, passionate about nurturing Kingdom communities via four C’s - congregations, culture, commercial activity and compassion.
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- Hairdressing, community work, commissioning art and Banksy
- Food coops, Big Local and the Big Welcome - resources for welcome and collective hospitality.
- 'Power to Change' and an Aladdin's cave of resources!
- Plus John Bell on the legacy of Lizzie Lowe and going beyond inclusion, Vicky Beeching and being an inclusive church, Maggi Dawn on pilgrimage, and Walter Brueggemann on poetic imagination.
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"Art in a church building will become part of the place where we meet to worship and to encounter the divine, as a gathered church and in personal prayer and contemplation..." More on commissioning art here.
“Against the backdrop of Paris Fashion Week, the French capital was hit for the first time hit by the world’s most elusive street artist — Banksy…” In case you’ve missed it – have a read here.
Reflections on art, prison and a new exhibition by our own Jonathan Evens here.
Couple of short films this month on aging and identity…
“I’m ready to stop looking back and to look forward…” Short film here with themes of family, identity and the passing of time... here.
“If someone you loves walks through the door, even if it happens five times a day, you should go totally insane with joy…” This short about humans and what dogs teach us about ageing may appeal… here.
Finally… because hairdressers provide essential community work here’s an example from a women’s hair salon owned by a Christian Arab in Haifa, Israel Palestine. Over the shampooing a brief unexpected portrait of a space providing temporary freedom, where women share differences and views on politics, history and love here.
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“If such monuments to a religious, communal past — and reduced present — did not exist, it would simply not be possible to hold meetings or organise classes and advice sessions locally...” Insightful analysis of church and Mosque engagement in the Big Local, wort a read here and a summary here.
“Adoption, fostering and caring for children…” Affirmation and insight and the importance of this role here.
A food bank - or a food cooperative? The food pantry is making an impact. Your Local Pantry is a network of community food stores run by volunteers for the benefit of their local communities…” Questions? Answers here... Detail here...
The Big Welcome is a fantastic resource, all about collective welcome and hospitality - and how to do it! It's chock full of ideas and approaches to help nurture a big welcoming community. Have a read here.
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It’s all here! Power to Change offer an Aladdin’s cave of resources if you’re looking to set up an enterprise or develop your project – sections vary from PR and campaigns to marketing and management! Really useful and worth a long explore here.
“Not another toolkit: Is there a better way to organise ‘how-to’ guides for community groups?” Local Trust's innovation lead David King explores how support for community groups could improve… “a starting point is surely to create a shared list of everything that’s out there right now. I’ve started one off and would love it if others could contribute, just be sure to add your name and comments in the second sheet.” Have a look here.
"Real change happens when the right individuals are connected to the right organisations…" How to find and recruit here.
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“If the bookshops and interest in Mindfulness is to be believed silence, and how to be silent is one of the greatest hungers of our time…” Silence, mindfulness and mission here.
Rector, Nicholas Bundock and John Bell of the Iona Community talk about Lizzie and her legacy on their church. This video has reflective questions for church groups at the end here. Further reflections here.
“This is not the memoir of a victim but of a strong and purposeful woman. I finished reading it with huge admiration for her…” All about the new book by Vicky Beeching here - and more about inclusive church here.
“Even as I was learning the rules, I was rewriting them… I have come to the realisation that pilgrims have always rewritten the rules…” Love the ideas about Pilgrimage from Maggi Dawn here.
While we're at it... 'no women on your bookshelf'? Then this is helpful: "I’m jotting these down off the top of my head – but the fact that I can come up with a list like this without thinking too hard is evidence enough that there are plenty of places to go if you realize there are “no women on your bookshelf”..." An essential read here.
Walter Brueggemann writes: “The institutional church is a very weak instrument for the poetic imagination. But it is the best instrument we got. It is the best instrument we got because when people come to church they expect us to talk funny. They expect us to talk about God. And I believe we are now at a point when the church has got to recover its nerve and its energy and its courage and its freedom…” Read more here.
Or catch Brueggemann on the Old Testament, - where the teachers, "have the best material…” – more here and in discussion, on the traditions of Moses here.
HeartEdge pal, Tim Vreugdenhil from CityKerk Amsterdam has published a book of Stand-Up Theology talks here. Watch Tim and learn more about this distinctive approach here.
Finally, in conversation on meaning, “I can’t just rejoice – when I rejoice, I rejoice over…” here, and on Christians and Muslims together here...
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HeartEdge: News and Events
This months new founding members include:
HeartEdge Annual Conference 2018 - 12 & 13 September 2018: St Martin-in-the-Fields and Lambeth Palace, London.
Commerce, Compassion, Culture, Congregation are essential – in our view, it’s all church! The September two-day HeartEdge intensive includes theology, ideas, resources, plus time to linger, build connections, make plans, develop practice, find encouragement, get involved and do HeartEdge!
- Programme: Including keynote speakers, workshops and panels on 'Church, Welfare and the Future', 'Start-Ups (and Keeps-Goings)', 'Digging Deeper into Mission', 'Art and the Impossible' with more to follow.
- Confirmed so far: Bishop of Liverpool Paul Bayes, urban theologian Ann Morisy, Chair in Christianity and the Arts at King's College London Ben Quash, Theologian and writer Professor Anthony Reddie, activist Russell Rook, Baroness Maeve Sherlock, Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, Vicar of St Martin-in-the-Fields, Sam Wells, Rector of St James, Piccadilly Lucy Winkett - with more next time.
- Venue: Day 1 at St Martin-in-the-Fields, day 2 at Lambeth Palace
- Cost: Early Bird rate £69 (until 20th July 2018); HeartEdge members rate - £79, non-members rate - £99. Tickets include conference programme, refreshments & lunch, plus complimentary Jazz on evening of 12th September.
- Registration: Book tickets here.
- For latest information email Revd Jonathan Evens here or call 020 7766 1127
Something Worth Sharing, 2018.
Saturday 13 October 10.30-4.30, St Martin's Hall, St Martin-in-the-Fields, Trafalgar Square, London.
A weekend of events on Disability and Church, by St Martin in the Fields and Inclusive Church. What can we do to unlock gates and share our gifts with each other and the church? From access statements to advisory groups, connecting and communicating, we explore ideas and share practical resources to getting in and joining in.
- Speakers include: June Boyce-Tillman, Tim Goode, Fiona MacMillan, Ann Memmott, Emily Richardson and Sam Wells. £20/£10 concessions.
- Registration: Opens 9 July, detail and book here.
- Sunday 14 October 10am-11.30am
Something Worth Sharing: Eucharist and Healing Service
- 2pm - 4.30pm, St Martin's Hall, Something Worth Sharing: Defiant LIves
- Special screening of feature-length documentary followed by discussion. Defiant Lives tells the story of the disability rights movement in the UK, US and Australia, Mixing archive footage and recent interviews with disabled people who fought for a society where everyone can participate. All are welcome.
- Registration: Book here.
HeartEdge recently held events at Greenbank Parish Church Edinburgh exploring the role of music and voice in our churches, including performances by the Choral Scholars of St Martin-in-the-Fields. Also at Queen's Cross Parish Church in Aberdeen. Churches, resources and projects featured were:
New Roots: Artist in Residence
Friends at New Roots have teamed up with new HeartEdge members commission4mission to create an online artists in residence programme. The New Roots Artist in Residence will be invited to profile a number of different works on the New Roots website for a month. The first Artist in Residence is commission4mission member Valerie Dean (see/).
- New Roots are keen to work with artists using different visual mediums – interested in becoming a ‘New Roots Artist in Residence’? More information here. Get in touch here.
With all its range and diversity, music and art provide a clue about a HeartEdge approach. 'It's all church', writes Andrew Eavis: One of my particular focuses is producing worship services which respond to tragic events in the life of the nation and the world. For example, I’ve recently worked on programmes for Radio 4 in response to events like the Nice terrorist attack, and the Bataclan attack in Paris.
Two weeks ago, I had the privilege of producing a forty-minute long Sunday Worship for Radio 4 marking the first anniversary of the Manchester Arena attack. It was led by the Bishop of Manchester. To complement much of the news coverage at the time, what we wanted to do was explore the faith community response to those terrible events, but do it all within the framework of a recognisable worship service. We had prayers written by the children of a north Manchester primary school where two parents died, and a reflection by their Vicar. The Chaplain of one of the local hospitals told the story of that night, and we had a conversation and prayers between the Bishop and the Imam of Manchester Central Mosque.
The challenge in putting this all together was in how to make this work as a worshipful experience for the listener, without it becoming a news documentary. No ‘formal’ liturgy really existed for what we needed. So what we did was create something new, a sequence of reflections, prayers and music, into which we placed all the different elements. When it came to the choice of music to bind it all together, the challenges became evident. Should we give it the feel of a traditional service, with traditional hymns and anthems? Or something more contemporary which might better reflect on the lives of some of the young people affected? In the end, we did neither of these, but decided to make the choice of music entirely driven by the words and the stories being told – even if that meant the need for the service to hold a wide range of musical styles.
We began in a traditional way with the hymn Be still my soulsung by the choir of St Ann’s Church in the centre of the city, where many of the vigils had taken place. We followed the story of the school by a song performed by voice and guitar written in response to the attack by a local singer-songwriter. We reflected on the dialogue between the Bishop and the Imam by using a special setting of the prayer of peace by St Francis – Make me a channel of your peace. And at the end we use the theme tune from The Mission– Gabriel’s Oboe, to wrap around the final prayers.
Despite the wildly different styles of music, we hoped that the whole service felt like it had a coherency, with each piece of music reflecting on the words that had gone before and were to come. And for me it is this way of thinking about and using music in worship that is at the heart of what we are trying to explore with HeartEdge. Whilst there will, of course, always be a place for more formal liturgy and traditional music, for me, finding new ways of opening people’s minds to a much broader range of words and music is really important. And in addition, thinking about how, through this, we might be able to use these words and music to connect with those who perhaps might be coming to faith for the first time, or reconnecting with their faith after a long break.
When I started at St Martin’s nearly ten years ago, our pattern of music in worship was quite traditional – Parish Eucharist and Choral Evensong on a Sunday, with an occasional more informal Sunday evening service, and similar offerings during the week. Our programme now looks very different. Each Thursday lunchtime we offer Great Sacred Music – a thirty-five minute sequence of words and music which we carefully don’t describe as a ‘service’, and don’t describe as a ‘concert’. Each week it explores a different theme, and it now attracts over 250 attendees. Every Wednesday evening we now hold an informal Eucharist with our Choral Scholars called ‘Bread for the World’ which involves a wide range of musical styles from traditional choral music, to songs from the Taize and Iona communities, to contemporary worship songs.
And at the same time we’ve looked at our concert programme. We now give around 40 concerts each year with our in-house choral ensembles – focussing particularly around the seasons of Remembrance, Christmas and Easter. For me, there is little distinction between all of this activity, it is all ‘church’. It’s hard to argue that a concert performance Bach’s St John Passionon Good Friday, or Mozart’s Requiemin Lent, is any less of a spiritual experience than a church service. And what we’ve found is that, through our Great Sacred Music programme, concert series and the like, we’ve tried to create a number of different ways into ‘church’ for those who are exploring faith in their own individual ways. And we’ve attempted to do all this through a combination of growing our voluntary, education and professional music making in a balanced and financially self-sustaining way.
For so long many of us have been working independently to develop the music and culture programmes in our churches. What I’m particularly excited about with HeartEdge is that it gives a possibility for like-minded churches to begin to work together, to share ideas, to tell each other about what has worked – and what hasn’t worked – in our own particular environments and circumstances. This is at the heart of what HeartEdge has to offer.
Andrew Earis is Director of Music at St Martin-in-the-Fields and BBC Radio religion producer.
Thats all for this month! Back in July!
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