- Prodigal -

With the drawing of this Love and the voice of this Calling we shall not cease from exploration... (T.S. Eliot)
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Monday, September 29, 2003

It's school holidays here, so I took the day off work yesterday and took our two girls up to Auckland to spend a lay with Steve, Lynne, and their two girls. Thanks Steve for the award winning, and my personal favourite, Monks Habit. Well remembered! It was a wonderful day - lunch at the Cock & Bull, following by playground adventures, and a visit to Kelly Tarlton's Underwater World. One thing that really struck me about the trip to Kelly Tarlton's was the contrast between us 'tourists' and observers being conveyed though the glass tunnels of the aquarium and a diver who had immersed himself into the 'other' world of fish and sealife. We watched. He 'entered into' and participated. Are we those who enter into the world of Text, Narrative, Spirit, and Kingdom, or are we content just to observe from the outside? What does it mean in our individual and communal contexts to immerse ourselves into the Jesus-story? What might that immersion feel like, look like, 'taste' like, smell like, and sound like? What practices of 'immersion' fund and nurture our Jesus-following journeys?

Paul Fromont 9/29/2003 11:55:00 PM
Saturday, September 27, 2003
I interviewed Cory recently, his responses are now posted.....

Paul Fromont 9/27/2003 02:16:00 AM
Thursday, September 25, 2003
A bit of a theme has begun to emerge for me this week - community, specifically "small communities" and inter-relationships.

" In the case of consumer-driven corporations
and churches, the emphasis on
meeting people’s expressed and ever-changing
needs and on producing large-sized results
seems to be the alternative, competing
story to Christ’s vision for discipleship focussing
on a few
The patient, persistent cultivation of
character and the investment of one’s life in a
few of those coming behind
—“the long obedience
in the same direction”—through timetested
and exampled discipline has proven to
be a far more powerful and enduring vision
and strategy than that of the cover story leaders

(taken from an essay I mentioned earlier in the week, "Leadership Lessons in Following: Learning from the Writings of Dallas Willard" by Ray Blunt)

And, from "Waking the Dead" by John Eldredge. An author I wouldn't normally have pulled off the bookshelf, but positive comments by Malcolm Hawker, and Kevin Rains (especially in respect of chapter 11, "Fellowships of the Heart") meant I did, and I just finished chapter 11 tonight.

"[We will need our ] friends...we must cling to those we have; [and] search wide and far for those you do not yet have. [We] must not go alone (p.187). It must be small." (pp. 190-193).

[We interrupt this broadcast to talk to Malcolm who I see it wide awake over in Oz]

And a slighted edited section from an e-mail Mike Bishop sent me ( now yesterday). Thanks Mike it was a blessing.

I've made a decision over the weekend that the context for my mission towards people...will be...in the simple and quiet relational work that no one hears about or gets paid for.

It's struck me this week that it's the little things that are important...the small clusters of wayfarers who share a dream and a Kingdom-passion. It's the quiet prayer, that ways in which we join ourselves to Jesus' continual intercession for each other. The ways in which we simply listen to the rich ways in which God speaks among us, to us, and through us. The small things we say, the connections we provide for each other and the ways in which these contribute to our formation, to our becoming more fully alive after the intent of God's heart for each one of us. It's the small individual and communal things we do to deepen relationship with God, with one another, and with those God places alongside of us as neighbours. It's the small ways in which we affirm, encourage, and accompany one another through this life. It's the little (sometimes silly) things we share in common (e.g. Alan Creech and I were both born on the 25th day of a month. Kevin & Tracy Rains celebrate 10-years of marriage in the same year that Kathryn and I do, and on and on it goes...). It's the little things that create, nourish, and deepen relationship and human connection.

It's Bill Bean taking the time of the way out the door with children in tow to send an IM to say "Good Morning" (really early morning here, in the future Bill).

Paul Fromont 9/25/2003 06:03:00 AM
Tuesday, September 23, 2003
I sat in the sun beside the Waikato River yesterday at lunch time and read a wonderful essay by 'younger-than-me' Kiwi Baptist Pastor, Mike Crudge. I've had a few conversations with Mike over the last 12-months when I've had contact with Graceway Baptist, but this was the first essay of his that I had read. I loved it. There's lot's to interact with as he focuses on Aussie Dave Andrews and the "Waiters Union" in Brisbane. Dave Andrews is the author of three great books which I'm delighted to have in my library: "Building a Better World", "Christi-Anarchy: Discovering a Radical Spirituality", and "Not Religion, but Love: Practising a Radical Spirituality of Compassion."

The essay is entitled: Locations, Relationships and Incarnational Evangelism as Concepts in Urban Mission

Here's a paragraph backgrounding the "Waiters Union":

This is shaped by a big dream “of a great society of small communities cooperating interdependently to practise personal, social, economic and political compassion, love and justice, and peace.” This all sounds very idealistic, and it seems to be that striving after these ideals is causing small amounts of radical transformation in West End. This arises from a praxis in which “[they] simply seek to do justice to the people in the inner city of Brisbane, for whom the love of Christ ought to be good news.” In other words, to reflect their love of Christ, they seek to develop their relationships to Christ, and their relationships to people through Christ.

As noted already, it's very thoughtful stuff. Thanks Mike for letting it get 'out there,' and to Ian Mobsby for bringing it to light via moot.

Paul Fromont 9/23/2003 12:57:00 PM
Monday, September 22, 2003
Looking out the study window as I type, the trees are starting to 'green' as leaves appear, pink blossums are appearing on the tree near the letter box. New life is appearing, the seasons are changing, the days are warming, the sun is rising earlier and setting later. The gift of life is all around us, and we have much too be thankful for, especially in this household as today we praise God and celebrate the 2nd birthday of our youngest child, Alice ('one of integrity; truthful). Happy Birthday sweetie. You bring joy and laughter to our lives. "The blessing of Almighty God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit be upon you now and always." God is at work in rich and diverse ways.

Paul Fromont 9/22/2003 11:37:00 AM
A couple of excellent 'essays' - the first from my friend Steve Taylor who is always an inspiration to me (and I don't say that lightly!), while the second is from "Knowing and Doing" an on-line 'journal' produced by the C.S. Lewis Institute. The essay is titled "Becoming Like Christ" by Richard Foster (you'll find it by downloading it as a pdf.file and then scrolling through to the relevant section. There is also a "review and reflect" piece in the same "Knowing & Doing" journal entitled "Leadership Lessons in Following: Learning from the Writings of Dallas Willard.

"History shows this
all too well. Enduring results come more
from persistence on the few, “small” efforts
of cultivating relationships and living obediently
than from the larger, spectacular visions
for transformation of culture and
organizations commonly espoused today

Celebrating Pentecost: Spirit as water, wind, fire and earth's healer by Steve Taylor.

Becoming Like Christ by Richard Foster (Spring 2003 / see pages 6-13).

Be enriched by both.

Paul Fromont 9/22/2003 02:58:00 AM
Sunday, September 21, 2003
Catching up on the 'community' after a couple of days away - was moved a great deal by Mike Bishop's blog post of Sept. 14th . While Mike's situation is uniquely his I see strong parallels when you're working within an existing church congregation - my situation (Maggi Dawn captures a sense of my situation nicely in her post of Sept. 16th ).

Something I wrote in a report a little while ago:

"I think some radical changes are necessary but the thought of trying to do this incrementally over conceivably a 10-year period doesn’t lift my energy level – I’ll be nearly 50 years old at the end of that time frame! If the general consensus is that it’s simply a matter of time and that given a few cosmetic changes ‘postmoderns’ (for want of a better expression) and others will just return to church, then I’m on another page."

I had a real struggle on my hands as a minority voice (alone on another 'page') - leave and join with another group of those living in the margins between what was and what will be; stay with the status quo and move away from the 'edge'; break away and do something completely new; or serve as a 'bridge,' connecting the past with the future and the present with a missional future (in other words, serve as an agent of transition within the present congregation. I still have some fears, I don't know how things will pan out, but I feel myself being invited, for a number of reasons, by God to serve within the last option - seving as a bridge by means of which a new future can be entered into. My Spiritual Director gave me a text to work with over a month ago - Joshua 3:12-17. My question, "what was God inviting me to do: (1) Stay on the 'wilderness' side of the Jordon, (2) Serve as a 'priest' and stand in the middle of the Jordon so others can safely cross over, or (3) Cross over myself into new possibilities, forgetting about the past, the community on the 'wilderness' side and strike off unencumbered into something new?" I had wanted to go to a little creek near out home and prayerfully enact the text but weather etc. prevented this so the discernment process was less of a physical entering into the text.

However, my sense of God's invitation was to stand in the middle of the river and help those who wanted to cross...so that's where I am, in the middle of the riverbed waiting to see who will make the transition. I can empathise with Mike & Amber, as I'm sure many others of us can. It's lonely on the 'edge,' on the "borderlands" (to use an image from Philip Yancey - below); it's lonely standing in the middle of the 'Jordon' or on the far side when everyone else is on the other side;' it's lonely and scary being out of step with the status quo - looking for others who'll "hang-out" over a beer or a meal - who'll, as Mike says, walk alongside as partners and fellow pilgrims; it hurts as you resist "having your spirit shrivel up and die," and like Mike, you feel a compelling invitation to remain a "voice crying in the wilderness" that says, "Hey, don't you realize that in 20 years "XYZ" church will be a [ineffectual dusty relic] unless someone listens to the under-30 (and I have to say under 40) practitioners out there?"

Let's keep one another in our prayers - let's accompany one another, whispering encouragement, and helping with discernment.

Paul Fromont 9/21/2003 02:39:00 AM
Thursday, September 18, 2003
Expanding my recent post about “intentional community” (see and Corey’s of 12th Sept). I've been 'listening’ in on a ‘conversation’ between Leighton, Corey, and Karl. As I'm sure all three agree, it’s not an either/or option – ‘virtual’ community versus ‘incarnational’ community. Clearly, 'virtual' community has it's place (and an important place in my own Jesus-following journey), but like Karl, I wouldn't want to push 'virtual' to an extreme for a number of reasons including the downside of Cory's comment " I can closely guard, monitor and edit my self-revelation."

In a digital world I can just delete you or not visit your blog if I don't like you or have a problem with what you're saying etc. 'Editing' our self-revelation, and being 'deleted' or 'distanced' happens in 'flesh & blood' community too. We "hide" from one another there too, but over time, where there is intentionality and a commitment to communal stability it becomes more difficult to "hide" who we are from others, thus community, given that I’m willing, can become a formational 'place' in which I am accompanied, cared for, helped, challenged, loved, and formed after the likeness of Jesus Christ. Where we authentically live as community (‘glocally’) around and “in” Jesus Christ we reveal the God in whose image we are created (an important theme that Stanley Grenz and others are beginning to research’ lecture, and write about)

I see that happening to a much more limited degree in 'cyberspace' which is still largely one-dimensional - I am who I project, rather than I am as I am deeply known by myself and others on many levels and in many contexts. Ultimately I want community to be incarnational, and where possible I'd love 'virtual' to become embodied friendship and community. Embodied multisensorily over a meal, a walk together, a movie, a beer, a road trip, the telling of stories etc.

Late November and early January 04, for me, God-willing will provide that longed for transition from ‘virtual’ to incarnational and multisensory. I’m looking forward to the experience and the ways in which ‘virtual’ might change and be enriched as community is given flesh

Paul Fromont 9/18/2003 12:50:00 PM
Wednesday, September 17, 2003
Now available in New Zealand (H/C $29.95 Good price!), Rumors of Another World: What on Earth Are We Missing by Philip Yancey. Non-technical, thoughtful reading.

From Publishers Weekly

"In a work that is startling and original, Yancey (What's So Amazing About Grace?; The Jesus I Never Knew) writes for people on the "borderlands" of Christian faith: those who may have been scarred by bad church experiences, or those who simply have more doubts and questions than they have faith. Most people, he says, perceive "rumors of another world" while inhabiting this one; they long for something more, and yearn for belief in God's transcendence. We substitute other things for God in order to fill this void. (In a chapter that by itself is worth the price of admission, Yancey claims that our culture's fascination with sex stems from the fact that sex is one of the only transcendent, mysterious experiences remaining in the contemporary West.) The quality of Yancey's writing-and his thinking-are simply superb. He is fond of modern literary giants like Simone Weil, Virginia Woolf and Evelyn Waugh and is apt to defer to the insights of 20th-century poets such as T.S. Eliot and W.H. Auden. He also draws from his understanding of God-in-nature (shades of Annie Dillard here) and from his travels all over the world, using Tasmanian sheep to illustrate a point about human freedom and Costa Rican leatherback turtles to demonstrate "the mixed messages in nature." One particularly powerful chapter discusses the thorny-and unpopular-topics of guilt and repentance. Yancey, one of the Christian market's best writers, shows a marvelous ability to speak to the world outside that market."

Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Paul Fromont 9/17/2003 12:28:00 PM
Tuesday, September 16, 2003
Good advice from Alan Roxburgh

"God’s future is among God’s people — we must invite them to ‘infect’ each other, to get them into the system to change it," Alan Roxburgh declared. "Don’t try to convince everyone, work with those who are the innovators and responders. Start there to work at the transformation process and remember that it won’t happen overnight. Take it one step at a time."

And from the Allelon site, this 1998 essay by N.T. Wright - God's Way of Acting

Finally (for today), another 1998 essay, this time by Paul Miller, Gospel, Culture and Church in the Writings of Leslie Newbigin

Paul Fromont 9/16/2003 12:18:00 PM
Monday, September 15, 2003
A very good on-line publication (pdf) produced by the Mennonite Mission Network - Missio Dei - is a series of biblical and theological essays on the work of mission.

The current issue - "Does Your Church "Smell" Like Mission? Reflections on Becoming a Missional Church." by James Krabill.

"The reflections offered here do not provide an easy shake-and-bake recipe for answering these questions. But they do invite the church to a careful evaluation of current practices and understandings, and inspire us all to fuller participation in God’s mission in the world..." Read James' reflection HERE.

Paul Fromont 9/15/2003 11:50:00 AM
Saturday, September 13, 2003
Well yesterday was a good day. Kathryn, Sophie, Alice and I spent the afternoon with Rachel & Regan, which included a boat trip from downtown Auckland to Devonport - A first for Alice, and breakfast (bacon, eggs etc.) @ 3.15pm. It's always good to catch up with them. The day was capped off by a SENSATIONAL "Warriors" win again the Canterbury Bulldogs from Sydney. Thanks for the post-card Steve, I toasted the news with a Radler Bier

Rowan Williams is to have a new book on Desert Spirituality released in November - Silence and Honey Cakes: The Wisdom of the Desert. Also three thoughtful evangelical sermons by Rev. Christopher Ash reflecting on Rowan Williams and....

Authority and the Bible

God and Sex

The Church of England

Paul Fromont 9/13/2003 12:40:00 PM
Wednesday, September 10, 2003
Like Dan @ signposts, I couldn't resist dropping a note to Karl Thienes to ask if he'd be able to interview me (a first!). Well, he came up with some good questions, BIG questions (I apologise in advance for the length of my answers). Thanks Karl. May your discerning be fruitful. Anyone who wishes may take part, the rules are at the end of this post.

I have written in the past about my desire to live in a more intentional community, specifically a "lay ascetic" co-housing situation. In your 9/5 post, you wrote about "urban monastic communities" saying, "I wonder if community is possible at all in our self-centered culture, without intentionality, without my intentionally working to remain in communion with you, and you with me?" Can you expand your thoughts on this?

An authentic, intentional Jesus-following community seems to me to be rich with sacramental potential - the potential for me to encounter God and for me to become more authentically one who is created in the image of God. I need other persons if I'm going to become less self-centred, less grasping, less self-opinionated, less hypocritical etc. I need others who will help me not to hide from myself and those areas in my life where God is at work. Rowan William's has been a big influence on my thinking at this point.

When I am intentional (I'm thinking here of the monastic vow of stability) about relationship with an 'other' I'm deliberately choosing to allow space for us (whoever "us" might be) to be who we are and who we will become. In the kind of community I'm thinking about (a "lay ascetic" community, to use your very appropriate expression Karl) I'm intentionally choosing to make your growth toward God, your growth as someone created to image him, a priority for me. I need your intentionality to be a source of strength, courage, and help for me too. Without intentionality, our working to remain in communion with each other (especially when the going gets tough) the temptation is always for my ego's agenda to surface again, for me to become the centre of my own constrictive world, or for me to run away from you and others.

When we are intentional about relationship ("communion") I can learn to trust you, to be less fearful that you (whoever you are) will abandon me when the truth of who I really am is known, or that you will not allow me the space, time, or resource to change and to grow as one who was created to image the Creator.

Without intentionality and stability in the context of community I just cannot see that this kind of deep transformative work of Spirit, Word, Sacrament, Intentional practices (e.g. the communal praying of the Daily Office), and Persons-in-Covenant will be the kind of rich, life-giving experience that it could be.

I also use "intentionality" to talk about the intentional act of ensuring that the edges of community are permeable, are open to the stranger and the possibility of embrace. In this context intentionality and openness becomes a way of resisting the subtle movement of communities toward homogeneity, communities forming around exclusion rather than embrace.

To be intentional, it seems to me, is to be profoundly subversive in our disposable world where we discard those things, persons etc. that are no longer of any use to us. Again, monastic communities have something to say to us at this point also.

Bottom-line, I don't think that authentic, deep community just happens!

What are the 5 most influential books you've read this past year?

Threshold of the Future by Mike Riddell (a re-read). Now Out of Print.
Thirty Days by Paul Mariani.
Prophet of Justice, Prophet of Life: Essays on William Stringfellow by Robert Boak Slocum (Editor). Now Out of Print.
Surfing the Edge of Chaos by Mark Millemann, Linda Gioja, Richard Tanner Pascale.
Jesus & The Victory of God by N.T. Wright.

I couldn't resist adding a 6th title

Changing World, Changing Church by Michael Moynagh.

(I must say essays / written lectures are proving to be important influences for me. I increasingly find myself with less time and space to read more complex and dense books).

How do you see your life mirroring the sentiments expressed in the quote from T.S. Eliot that you have on your masthead? In terms of theology or ecclesial issues, do you think there will be a time in your life when intense exploration might cease or at least make way for a more focused pursuit?

For me exploration is about a growing maturity it's about a focused pursuit of God. Exploration for me is about becoming deeper rather than wider; it's about deepening my relationship with God; it's about engaging more deeply with theology, with prayer, with a whole range of issues and people . It's about sinking below the surface and encountering the God who whispers our names. Exploration is about asking questions and allowing those questions to become stepping stones for our journeys. For me it's not about frantic activity. It's about reflection and contemplation. It' about conversation. Without the opportunity to wrestle with honest and needful questions people at certain points of the Christian faith are effectively denied the very stepping stones they need to move forward, to grow, to stretch, and to mature. So "exploration" is an important theme for me. It' an invitation from God.

Tell us a little about what you've learned about being a husband and father. How have these relationships challenged you?

These are the relationships where the truth about me is really known and experienced. I can't hide from them and I can't hide from both the joy and the pain that I bring them. I am profoundly enriched, grown and stretched by these relationships. The growing and stretching is not always easy and is not without growing pains but our commitments too and love for each other is a real source of strength. I could echo many of the things I wrote in response to question 1. As in that context my wife and two daughters challenge my selfishness, they challenge those things about me which are damaging to both myself and others, they challenge me to be more at peace with who I am, they challenge me to be unconditional in my love, and more loving toward myself. They are the fingers of God by which He as the Potter shapes and forms me. They're foundational.

I originally came across your blog about 9 months ago through James Ferrenberg. Over time, I've noticed that he is the lone Orthodox link on several Protestant blogs, including yours. What is your relationship with James? How did you find his blog?

James and I connected as a result of our responses to a question asked by Canadian blogger John Janzen about the atonement. I've always had a real fondness for the Orthodox tradition having read over the years a number of significant (for me) Orthodox texts ranging from "Unseen Warfare" edited by Nicodemus of the Holy Mountain, to "The Mystical Theology of the Eastern Church" by Vladimir Lossky. I've always deeply valued the "stretch" that James brings -the ways in which he challenges and enlarges notions of what it means to be a follower of Jesus. James and I have, and continue to exchange e-mails on an irregular basis. It's this ongoing (even if irregular) contact that builds some relational depth, a sense of communion (even if that is only virtual at this point) between diverse persons and Christian traditions. That's why I tend not to have a huge blog roll. I'm more interested in depth than breadth. I want to have deepening conversations rather than increasingly broad and shallow conversations.

The fact that he is the lone Orthodox blogger is reflection of my already mentioned inclination toward depth rather than breadth. He gifts to me an open window through which I can listen in on (and occasionally join in with) the typically very rich conversations and thinking that are happening within that part of the "body of Christ" which is the Orthodox tradition. As James says, "Christ is in our midst."

Official Rules

1. If you want to participate, leave a comment below saying, "interview me."
2. I will respond by asking you five questions - each person's will be different.
3. You will update your journal/blog with the answers to the questions.
4. You will include this explanation and an offer to interview others in the same post.
5. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions
6. I will answer reasonable follow up questions if you leave a comment.

Paul Fromont 9/10/2003 01:47:00 AM
Saturday, September 06, 2003
The whole issue of clerical homosexuality in the Anglican communion is raising some significant questions and thinking for many of my Anglican friends...here's a news article - self explanatory title. Reading the comments on Jordon's site reminded me of a conversation I had recently, for many Anglicans the "homosexual" issue is the "last straw". The line in the sand has been drawn. Thanks for the 'heads up' Jordon.

Archbishop dares to speak its name: the breakup of the Anglican church (September 2, 2003)

"Contemplating a schism for the first time, Dr Rowan Williams warns against unity purely for its own sake..." The full-text of Rowan's article, referred to in The Guardian piece above is here (New Directions, September 2003).

Paul Fromont 9/06/2003 01:17:00 PM
It's Father's day today. Happy "Fathers Day" Steve, Geoff, and Jeff if you're reading this.

Kathryn and I went, with friends Geoff & Janette, to the Auckland Philharmonia last night. A really lovely evening. The Orchestra is very good. Played: Weber, Chopin, Zagni, and Mozart. The Chopin piece featuring American pianist, Robert Thies, was brilliant, as a was the Zagni piece called "Mokehu" (a "Kiwi" composition). The conductor, Marco Zuccarini from Italy was fantastic to watch - huge amount of energy and passion. It was interesting and sometime funny to watch the little 'rituals' or 'liturgy' around Orchestral tradition - I kept wanting to ask, "why do you do that?"

Life is enriched by contrasts

Now I'm listening to Salmonella Dub's new album, "One Drop East." Thanks Steve for introducing me to their sound...their "liquid grooves and expansive rhythms..."

Reading, "Jesus Drives Me Crazy" by Leonard Sweet.

"...Authentic discipleship is an all-of-life spirituality that interrupts all of life and interrpts life on God's terms..."

Paul Fromont 9/06/2003 12:44:00 PM
Friday, September 05, 2003
".Anabaptists and monastics are at least spiritual cousins, Monasticism, like Anabaptism, is rooted in protest against compromise in the culture and the church. Evangelical author Alan Roxburgh suggests that the missional church in our age should take the form of "urban monastic communities"

Mennonite pastor, Arthur Boers

“…Community is not experienced mostly through intentionality. Community spontaneously emerges from environmental influences

Joe Myers

Reflecting on what I see as conflicting notions – Missional church as “Urban Monastic Community” gathers around intentionality on lots of levels – intentional / covenanted / earthed community – community lived intentionally for and with the “other,” relationships intentionally worked at and grown; versus Joe’s reflection that “community is not mostly experienced through intentionality.” I know Joe prefixes his statement with the term “mostly,” but I wonder if community is possible at all in our self-centred culture, without intentionality, without my intentionally working to remain in ‘communion’ with you, and you with me…? Atrophy results from a lack of attention, a lack of relational / communal nourishing. If I don't weed the garden it becomes overgrown with weeds and the flowers are 'choked' so it seems to me are communities where there is an absence of committed, faithful intentionality.

Paul Fromont 9/05/2003 03:30:00 AM
Wednesday, September 03, 2003
A couple of articles that have kept my mind ticking over the last few days:

The galleries: Bring your own reality


Art is on an arch between the spirit and reality, the abstract and the real...The effect of the layering, the mysterious traces of shadows and the subtle modulations of colour make these much more than conventional colour field painting. Read the review here. It seems to me to have something to say about the realities we each bring to the gathered life of church - the layers of meaning and experience.

The honor of listening: indispensable for mission
By Vinoth Ramachandra

Theological Education in a post...world, post secular, post modern, post Christendomby Kevin Ward (June 2003) pdf. file.

Paul Fromont 9/03/2003 01:06:00 PM
Tuesday, September 02, 2003
Firstly "welcome" to the world of blogging Jeff - Jeff is a good friend of mine living in Nelson, Aotearoa New Zealand. Jeff has a real passion around Church History. I for one look forward to sharing his journey.

Still early days, and work he wants to do around personalisng his blog. Here's his first post - I like it

"Why call this blog site "Peregrini."

The Celtic Church used the latin word Peregrini to refer to the soul who had undertaken a pilgrimage. I, like the Celtic saints, am on a pligrimage. Not to some shine, but an interior journey - a journey of passion, driven by love. A pilgrimage to learn what it means to be disciple of Jesus Christ in our Postmodern world and how to relate to other pilgrims along the way...."


Can anyone see why my "comments" isn't working? Others using the same service don't seem to be affected!

Paul Fromont 9/02/2003 12:18:00 PM
Monday, September 01, 2003
Issue 22 (August) of the newsletter produced by "Spirited Exchanges" in Wellington arrived yesterday - a really good issue, the centrepiece of which was an 'essay' entitled "The Place of Questions" written by Alan Jamieson and Jenny McIntosh (thanks you two!). Specifically it reflected on a Christianity that doesn't allow space for questions...and the importance of questions and deep conversation (listening and speaking). A couple of thoughts from the essay:

"It is the unknown that defines our existence; we're constantly seeking not just answers to our questions, but for new questions. We're explorers."

Attributed to Cmdr Ben Cisco - Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.

Questions "can act as stepping stones for our journey. Without the opportunity to wrestle with these questions people at certain points of the Christian faith are effectively denied the very stepping stones they need to move forward..."

The newsletter also brought Rainer Maria Rilke across my path again this week. The first time was in a 'post' by Mark Palmer (22/08/03). The second was this one in the newsletter. I like it a lot.

"Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves...do not seek answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer.

And from another source entirely, this reflective statement by Gregory Rohde included in a 2001 essay by John Hebenton, "The Place and Nature of Spiritual Direction to the 15 to 25 year old":

"...faith is more than having the right answers, [rather its] having the [courage] to wrestle with the questions..."

Questions asked and wrestled with deepen and enrich our faith; they propel us as explorers beyond the edges and into the unknown where all we can do is trust God or in the journey discover we don't trust God at all.

Paul Fromont 9/01/2003 12:42:00 PM

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