Monday, December 18, 2006

Monday, December 11, 2006

How to speak of things beyond words

A little reflection on John 1 for the carol service at church tonight. The lights are on the South Bank, the music is 'The Light' by The Album Leaf. By Jeremy

Monday, December 04, 2006

Reflections on Galatians

It felt like an important momant for us tonight, looking back on our time with the Epistle to the Galatians. The conversation we had about how to take what we have learned and put it to work in our community was good, and I want us to hold those things and continue to pursue them.

The things which I distilled from today were these; please add to them what was important to you:

The thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love. Church should be the place we come when we feel our brokenness rather than where we have to pretend to be fine. The call is to carry one another’s burdens and to share in that struggle.

Our experience of brokeness and conflict is not a mark of our failure but evidence of the spirit of God at work in us. Let us learn to be more honest with each other. We should change our expectation and declare that the norm is struggle and dissonance.

Keep in step with the spirit. We are a spiritual community, and we need to learn to speak of spiritual things in our own language. We walk together and share in the adventure of knowing God. Let this be the place where we talk of our real experience of God without fear of not being correct.

We intend to take sin more seriously not less. Sin is not some outward contamination which can be washed away, but something innate in our nature, something which we will fight with all our days. And we will take grace more seriously. The mercy of God does not come to an end once you become a Christian.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Children of Promise

Jeremy's amazing video response to the sermon last night.

Monday, October 30, 2006


We have been studying the book of Galatians this term at COTC and the major theme which Paul drives home passage by passage is the insidious and damaging error of legalism

Gal 3:3 Are you so foolish? After beginning with the Spirit, are you now trying to attain your goal by human effort?

I think that very few of us are in danger of legalism in terms of our justification - in terms of how we start as Christians. But our great danger is that we fall into legalism when it comes to sanctification - in terms of our growth as Christians. And the implications of Legalism in terms of our attitudes to ourselves, to guilt, and even to the Gospel are serious.

"Legalism is common to us all In one degree or another because it is human nature. We want to do everything on our own; we want to be self-sufficient. we want to feel like we are in control. So when it comes to good works we look at them as the way in which we can control our salvation. If we are bad, we forfeit salvation; if we are good, we earn it.”

Or as John Piper puts it "Human effort is the insubordinate, self-determining ego which in religious people responds to God's Word not with reliance on the Spirit but with reliance on self. It can produce a very rigorous morality, but it nullifies grace and removes the stumbling block of the cross."

Monday, October 09, 2006

Pub Theology

Pub theology starts this week.
It is intended to be a place where you can invite your friends who wouldn't be comfortable at church. You can give them a flyer or point them to the website but the best thing is definitely to bring people with you.

The format is simple. Beer conversation and God. Everything is up for discussion, no assumptions, no barriers to entry.
We meet upstairs at the Angelic pub in Islington every wednesday at 8pm.

There will flyers on the table so you can spot us. Flyer available for download here.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

COTC Homecoming Party

Check out that new floor

We celebrated the end of our building project, and rededicated the building last night. The place looked beautiful, as did everybody, and there was quite a lot of dancing. But the new floor is okay!
Lots of picture on my flickr page. [more to come]

Monday, September 11, 2006

You are here

Well we have had some adventures this summer, but it is good to be back. Yesterday had a real sense of new beginnings - and that wasn't just the lovely new building.
For those of you who missed it here is the 'Streets' film that Ruth made.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Music Downloads

Francis Blight has been in the studio with Stuart Mclean and others, and their work seems to be paying off. You can listen to tracks online and download a free MP3 of ‘My Hope Is Built on Nothing Less’
His 6 track mini album called 'New skin for old song' is now available at Cross Rhythms Direct


Monday, August 07, 2006


This is cool - a cross between wikipedia and google maps called Wikimapia. It is essentially google maps with articles about landmarks. Anyone can add locations and articles, so why not contribute your favourite places around Islington (or beyond). I have added Church on the Corner.

Friday, August 04, 2006

jLow in Egypt

Judy Low is heading out to Egypt for three months with World Horizons. She is going to be working at two special needs centres outside Cairo and utilising her physiotherapy skills.

Please book tickets now for her fundraiser in the 18th August. Flyer here

It will be great fun, and we want to support JLow in this adventure. And Tom Preston will preside over the wine tasting which always makes for a memorable evening...
It will take place at the crypt at St James Clerkenwell Price includes a 3 Course meal & Wine Tasting.
but buy your tickets now or you will miss out!

Wednesday, August 02, 2006


Goodbye to the germans
Greenbelt is a christian Arts & music festival. And as christian events go it is pretty good. Really high calibre speakers, a good focus on justice issues, innovative alt. worship. It still has moments when it is a bit cheesy, but it is the best christian event of the year. If you haven't planned to come yet talk to Roseanne about it.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

COTC on Tour

This sunday is the first of our ON TOUR events. We are visiting Moot at St Matthews Westminster [Map]

Moot are hosting a labyrinth service which is an ancient form of worship reframed into the contemporary as way of prayer and intimacy with God. Through it people have experienced God whether they are spiritually searching or have a Christian faith. Additionally, the BBC will be recording the event, but don’t feel intimidated – your ability to worship and encounter God will be the focus of the time. For more info on labyrinths see

We will get there at 6.30pm in time to grab a coffee and chat with people involved in the community, the service will start at 7pm.

Place: St Matthews Church
Meet up: 6.15 outside Westminster tube (facing Big Ben)

Thursday, June 08, 2006

The Monastery Revisited

I’ve been to a few churches around town and they just annoy the **** out of me because they’re so fake, and the people look so lost, and the people on the stage just look so plastic and so charming and so seductive, and I just think ‘I don’t believe in these people’. These people are not an expression of faith. So, I’d much rather just slip into a church and sit there for 10 minutes and have a bit of quiet time, or pray at home. I don’t feel that you necessarily have to turn up at a certain place at a certain time dressed in a certain way to express your faith and live out your faith. I think there’s other ways of doing it.

I am once again inspired by this BBC 2 Series 'The Monstery", and this is the experience of church of a genuinely seeking spiritual guy. His experience is far from unique, and this is important.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Easier to Lie?

Below is the video from St Mary's last night based around a song by aqualung called "easier to lie..."

Saturday, June 03, 2006

The Lost

I'm not planning on making a habit of this, but recorded the talk for last week on DVD. If you missed it you can watch it below.
Part 1

Part 2

Friday, May 19, 2006

What is next for the Morning Service

Last Sunday our morning congregation had lunch together and we talked about where our service was going. We had a really good conversation, and you can read the notes from it here:
What is next for the morning Service

Responses and further thoughts are welcome below. My plan is to draw these ideas together into a statement of vision, and present this to both services as part of our vision seeking exercise.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

To the ends of the Earth

We started our new series last Sunday at Church called 'To the ends of the earth'. The first in the series is The Call and if you missed it, or want a recap you can download it here

Comments below as usual

Friday, April 14, 2006

Creative Consultants

We have set up a part of this website for creative ideas for church, a place to throw ideas around, or ask for advice. I hope it will be a resource for our service leaders or any of you involved in communicating, and a way of continuing our pursuit of authentic creative worship.
It is moderated by some of the experienced creatives in church so you can throw ideas at them, or seek their wisdom on how to do stuff better...

Thursday, April 13, 2006


Bit tired this morning because I sat up way too late last night answering questions on Yahoo's new Answers forum. It is quite an interesting concept - people get to ask any question they like, whether it is about their homework, or about the existence of God, and then others answer them and you can vote on the best answer.
As ever with these online discussions there is plenty on nonsense, but I am intrigued by the possibilities.

I think this might be a great idea for the church website - what do you think?

I haven't found the technology to implement something like this. Does anyone have any suggestions?

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Rejection hurts

We are going video crazy on this blog - sorry about that. However here is a genius advertisement by a US denomination called 'ejector pew' and asking for peoples stories of rejection by church.

"God doesn't reject people. Neither do we"

a short film about prayer

We have been doing better at being creative this term at COTC, the service leaders have been taking initiatives, and that has had inspired lots of others. Jeremy made a short film about prayer, a beautiful simple piece of work drawing on the image of a message in a bottle.
He writes...
'I think the message in a bottle makes a interesting metaphor for prayer, because it is simultaneously a symbol of both hope and desperation. The castaway on a desert island resorts to messages flung into the outgoing tide because there is no other way to communicate. And at the same time, there's hope as that message is thrown into the sea - hope that someone will find it, that someone will send help. It's a last hope and an only hope. And it's going to take patience. It's a symbol of hopeful waiting, and faith in eventual rescue'.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Son of Man

I really enjoy making these videos to tie into talks at church, but they take ages to do.

I had been meaning to do this one based around my favorite Doves track called 'Pounding', and finally got the chance. We used it as part of the talk 'Son of Man' thinking about the apocalyptic subtext of Jesus ministry.

You can watch it here. [8mb Quicktime]

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Blue sky

One of the questions we have been asking ourselves as part of the vision team is this.
'If you were to start church from scratch how would it look.'

I know this may seem theoretical, and of course we need to be practical, but I want us to have at least tried to think how we might be, rather than just trying to fix what we have.

I wonder how you would answer the question?

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Coralie Grace Davids

We are desperately sad at the news of Anthony and Peachy's tragedy.

Thank you to all of you who have promised to pray throughout the day.

Even if you can only pray for them for a few minutes at your given time we want the Davids to know they are surrounded by our prayers. Please set a reminder. If you are not on the list email me and I will allocate you a time.

6am Claire Pearson
7am Liz Tissing
7.30am Pete Burnham
8am Gemma Gent
8.30am Tom Crease
9am Ruth Crease
10am B Arnold
11am Sarah Perrin
11.30am Stavroulla Andreou
12pm Sarah Wall
1pm Ellie Welsh
1.30pm Jayne Welburn
2pm Jo Arkell
2.30pm Angela Fletcher
3pm Jane Love
4pm Amy Winger
5pm Danny and Kirsty Allen
6pm Sophia Hanvey
6.30pm Willow Kail
7pm Claire Dean
8pm Vicky Mirfin
8.30pm Sonya & Nick Sireau
9pm Alex Goldfinch
9.30pm Michele and Terence Berry
10pm James Mortley
10.30pm Sarah Hulcoop
11pm Mark Fletcher
12am Dan & Summer Passerelli
1am Elizabeth Cameron

Wednesday, February 22, 2006


As you may be aware we are in the process of reworking the vision and direction of our Evening Service at the moment, and we would value your prayers. As part of that we would be interested in your responses to a couple of questions...

If our goal is making and maturing disciples, are we right in thinking that we tend to put much more emphasis on maturing than making? Is that important?

How appropriate is it for a church to focus its energy and attention on reaching a particular section of our community (eg in our case young, professional, educated)?

Monday, February 06, 2006

What is your Theological worldview?

Had lots of conversations about this Theological worldview quiz recently, so I thought I would post it on this blog too. It isn't too serious, and neither is it flawless, but it is interesting and a good discussion starter. Take it here, and post your results in the comments below.

Monday, January 23, 2006

If you are not aware of Kurt Vonnegut you should be. His article in the Guardian last saturday was fantastic writing. Speaking of the hypocrisy in American politics he writes:
For some reason, the most vocal Christians among us never mention the Beatitudes. But, often with tears in their eyes, they demand that the Ten Commandments be posted in public buildings. And of course that's Moses, not Jesus. I haven't heard one of them demand that the Sermon on the Mount, the Beatitudes, be posted anywhere.
"Blessed are the merciful" in a courtroom? "Blessed are the peacemakers" in the Pentagon? Give me a break!

Enjoy the article.