George [Kent UK]
wouldn't refuse a Danish.
welcome to our virtual coffee shop. Pull up a chair, take the load of
your feet. Let's chat.
who are you, where you from, what do you do in life?
originally from Birmingham England but living in Medway in the county
of Kent. I hold down a conventional day job but together with my wife,
we are youth leaders in a local village Anglican Church.
I get you a drink? Cappucino, earl grey, dandelion and burdock, pale ale?
Right now a latte would go down a treat!
you like a doughnut or pastry to go with that?
I wouldn’t refuse a Danish.
if you had to describe the church/project/experiment/thingy you are currently
involved with in one sentence, what would that sentence be?
Finding ways for young people to experience the real living presence of
God. When I write that it sounds pretentious! So many youth programmes
focus on helping them find out about God and so they are head based. Often
it never gets beyond that. We are beginning to help them come to the silence
within. God is knocking on all of our doors and calling our names but
often we ignore this and carry on with our “religious” programmes. In
silence, we can come into the presence of God and hear him. This is like
Mary sitting at the feet of Jesus, being with him, listening to him whilst
Martha is busy in the kitchen. It’s early days yet but using Lectio Divina
(sacred reading) seems to be a genuine way in. The youngsters enjoy it
and come up with amazing insights into the scriptural passages we use.
We also do games, theatre, go out bowling and do normal bible study. Jesus
would often go out into the wilderness to pray, it was the bedrock of
his mission. This is so important. Without that connection, we can do
nothing! (sorry a bit more than one sentence).
you an instigator? / new recruit? / have absolutely no recollection of
how you got involved?
I suppose I am an instigator. There was certainly nothing like it before
in our church. My wife and I attend a centring prayer group at a local
Carmelite Friary. Our own daily silent time is our inspiration.
do you value most about being part of it?
Being part of the stream of living water. I often have dreams that feature
running streams or sometimes stagnant pools that speak so very directly
to me. Life emerged originally from water and we cannot live unless we
are submerged in the living stream, are in fact part of that stream that
runs from under the throne of God.
excites you most about it?
How God lights people up! Sometimes it’s like watching Lazarus emerge
from the tomb.
anyone ever turned up out of the blue not knowing what to expect?
What did they say?
We have a regular group of 11 (12 to 17 yrs) youngsters with a few more
that come only for the social events. This is as I say, early days. We
had a new intake of two at the beginning of September and we intend to
introduce more and more meditative and contemplative prayer to them slowly
over the next year.
words that describe your attitude to 'being church' in the big wide world:
Connected, emerging, living.
words that DON'T:
Isolated, fear, dead.
have this weird dream - you meet Jesus face to face.
Where does it happen, what does he say to you?
He says: “Follow me”.
the big secret you're itching to share with everyone?
“Seek first the Kingdom of God”.
would your 'emerging church survival kit' contain?
Friends and laughter and silences together.
else you'd like to share with us before you have to rush off?
Nope, that’s enough.
Good to see you. Have a good day!