ARCHIVE 2013-14

Holy City 2013: 'BODY' -

Flesh and bones and earthy faith

HOLY CITY's Autumn/ Winter 2013 'Body' programme explores and celebrates ways that flesh, bone, spirit, senses, head and heart are understood in historical and contemporary, biblical and church experience. Each evening consists of participative, re- flective workshops and liturgy engaging body, mind and spirit.



HOLY CITY: 'Bony Bodies'

Sunday 6th October 2013

Our theme tonight - ‘Bony Bodies’ - regards renewing, restoring, reforming and regenerating - in personal, social and religious spheres and situations.

Workshops

Helen Wallace, art therapist at Priory Hospital, Glasgow, on eating disorders, body image and spirituality.

Ben Spencer of
Velocity, in conversation with Jean Cameron, on re-imagining, repairing and reconnecting the physical and social fabric of Glasgow, through a public art programme, in a collective and creative response to the impact of the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games on the city.

‘The Man Who Planted Trees’ - a film of the wonderful, award-winning performance by
Puppet State Theatre of the book by Jean Giono.

Phil White on biblical bones, breath and re-building in Ezekiel & Nehemiah.

Worship

‘The Valley of Dry Bones’

An embodied, participative liturgy on renewal and restoration as evoked by Ezekiel’s vision. In sound, silence, song and symbolic action.


@ 6.30-9.30pm
in
Renfield St Stephen’s Centre, 260 Bath Street, Glasgow.

Facebook:
Bony Bodies event
Holy City Glasgow page

Twitter:
HolyCityGlasgow


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'Oh, The Troubles Of Job'


Holy City Urban Retreat 2013 with
Pádraig Ó Tuama
Friday 29th - Saturday 30th November 2013

@7.00-9.30pm (Fri) & 9.30am-5.00pm
Unitarian Centre, 72 Berkeley Street, Glasgow G3 7DS

Holy City's 2013 urban retreat with PÁDRAIG Ó TUAMA.

The opening and closing chapters of the book of Job are among the oldest writings in the Hebrew bible. About 500 years after this story was written, a poet felt that there was need for more argument, so added in 39 chapters of poetry - with comforters offering hollow poetic words to Job who feels abandoned by God and who will not stop accusing God, Justice and Life for his downfall.

It's amazing that this poem is over 2500 years old, and yet, we hear a subtle, poetic and energetic argument between a person and their God about what it means to be alive, about what we can hope from the world and what we can for from each other.

Come join a weekend of reflection in the city - we will befriend some of the characters of this magnificent book, add to, take away from and argue with the text. There will be argument, engagement and alligators. What a perfect way to start off Advent.

The suggested cost for the retreat, £30/ £15 concessions (because of the limited number of places, pre-registration and a deposit of £10 is required). Deposit/ Payment can be made by cheque (payable to 'Wild Goose Resource Group'), or call office with credit/ debit card details.

Contact Wild Goose Resource Group, 0141 332 6343 or [email protected]

This event is organised by Holy City & Wild Goose Resource Group
Web: www.wgrg.co.uk
Facebook: ‘Wild Goose Resource Group’
Twitter: ‘WildGooseRG’
Web: www.holycity-glasgow.co.uk
Facebook: ‘Holy City Glasgow’
Twitter: ‘HolyCityGlasgow’

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About Pádraig Ó Tuama

Pádraig is a poet, theologian and group worker from Cork, on the south coast of Ireland. Following a nomadic decade, Pádraig settled in Belfast where, for the past decade he has used elements of faith, poetry, hope and truth-telling for the purpose of helping individuals tell some of their experiences of living through the Irish conflict in a way that builds curiosity and connections through simple story.

Much of Pádraig’s public dialogue work has centered around improving the tone of pub- lic discourse around Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual andTransgender lives and stories.A gay man himself, Pádraig uses skills in poetry, theology and mediation to nurture connections where fruitless and predictable arguments can be transformed into dignified and dignifying human encounters.

Pádraig’s poetry explores the meaningful in the everyday, as well as putting some words to the wordlessness of meaninglessness. Seeking to give small lenses into everyday experiences of loneliness, hope, exile and joy, his poems are accessible and powerful. Both on the written page and in his compelling performances, his poems speak of big truths by telling small stories of humanity.

Padraig’s blog:
intheshelter.com


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HOLY CITY: 'Heavenly Bodies'

Sunday 3rd November 2013

Second instalment of Holy City's 2013 programme, 'BODY... flesh and bones and earthy faith'


This month - in 'Heavenly Bodies' - we celebrate inspirational figures, saints, memory and remembering, grief, heaven and earth and other kingdom things.


Workshops

'Mary Lily Walker - Forgotten Visionary of Dundee'

PETE KINNEAR will introduce us to one of Scotland's too-often forgotten saintly women, Mary Lily Walker. The session will take the form of short biographical input, covering what transformed her, what did she do, what is her legacy. Thereafter there will be a time for Q&A. Pete has spent 5 years working as a meteorologist and some 30 years or so in the field of nature conservation. He is one of the team of four folk who have worked on the research for the Mary Lily Walker book, which will be published this coming June. He is am currently researching the correspondence between Mary Lily Walker & Professor D'Arcy Thompson.

'Anam Cara - Soul Friend'

Deep interest in 'heavenly embodient' and deep engagement with spirituality is not the sole preserve of Christians, nor only of established (sic) religions. One of the initiatives of the Church of Scotland's Mission and Discipleship Council over recent years has been ‘Anam Cara’ – Christian outreach & dialogue amongst those interested in spirituality, but not necessarily Christianity, through engagement at Mind, Body & Spirit fairs. This interactive session will explore something of the why and how of this type of work and examine some basic principles in a setting that gives a flavour of the experience of attending the fairs. LESLEY HAMILTON-MESSER works as Church Without Walls Team Leader.

‘Sacred Scripts, Ordinary Objects and New Visions’

Liz Lochead, Psalm 139, and Norman MacCaig. What scripts?
Shoes, cabbage white and violins. What objects?
Rembrandt and Rothko. Which images?

This creative and participatory workshop with IAN STIRLING invites you to explore and examine the scripts, objects and visions that you turn to in order to make sense of the mystery and moment of death. For the last ten years has been the chaplain at the Ayrshire Hospice and is currently doing research on spiritual care in palliative care. In the past, he has enjoyed coaching and playing rugby at Ayr, but now relaxes in the garden with his family.

‘Don't judge by appearances’

A chance to creatively delve into a lesser-known angelic encounter portrayed in the Bible, with KATY LOW & JO LOVE, sharing what we make of it and seeing where it takes us in our understanding of the meetings between heaven and earth. KATY is an active volunteer with the team of the Ignatian Spirituality Centre, a gifted potter, and an occasional truck driver in the name of humanitarian aid. Among her deep spiritual convictions is the feeling that her guardian angel must be eternally fraught. JO is a member of the Wild Goose Resource Group & Holy City team.



Liturgy

‘The Company of Heaven’

An embodied, participative liturgy on our 'saints': those who have affirmed, inspired and shaped us by their example, kindness and challenge. In sound, silence, song and symbolic action.


@ 6.30-9.30pm
in
Renfield St Stephen’s Centre, 260 Bath Street, Glasgow.

Facebook:
Heavenly Bodies event
Holy City Glasgow page

Twitter:
HolyCityGlasgow


If you want to be kept up to date with future events sign-up for our mailing list, on the right hand column.

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HOLY CITY: 'Earthy Bodies'

Sunday 1st December 2013

Third instalment of Holy City's 2013 programme, 'BODY... flesh and bones and earthy faith'

Tonight - 'Earthy Bodies' - reflects on the vulnerability and fragility of life, both old and arriving, embodied and expectant, trusting and hoping in a new start... and a recovered Nativity.


Workshops

‘Animated bodies’
a workshop with GRAHAM MAULE on making inanimate objects and matter morph and move and mutate (and any other verb that starts with ‘m’). Maximum 12 folk.

‘A present contemplation’
This time and space will allow an opportunity to reflect on both World Aids Day (and HIV/Aids in general) and also, on the terrible post-typhoon situation in the Philippines. We will listen to music, look at some images and mostly, be quiet and reflect on these two heart-wrenching contexts of suffering, but also celebrate the human resilience, courage, hope and resurrection active in these contexts.

‘Smells, sweat and touch in the Gospels’
Many of our Christmas hymns speak more about the nature of Jesus than the flesh of Jesus, and much language about Jesus’ body surrounds itself with careful disclaimers - perhaps even his defecation was divine. This workshop, through stories, gospel readings and poetry will discuss the body of Christ, and our own bodies, in all earthy goodness. PÁDRAIG Ó TUAMA is a poet, theologian and conflict mediator living in Belfast. He likes a good curry and, for an Irishman, displays a spectacular lack of patriotism in his preference for Islay whiskies. Information, links and god-botherings available on www.intheshelter.com

‘Why are British children so unhappy?’
Pressurised and commercially vulnerable, our children are the most miserable in the world. Why is this? FIONA EVANS and CAROL McARTHUR will lead a discussion about childhood past and present with an experiential element.

Liturgy

‘Cloth for the cradle’

An participative liturgy to prepare for the arrival of a baby, the new, soon to be welcomed and harried in equal measure by those less young and those older. In
sound, silence, song and symbolic action.

@ 6.30-9.30pm
in
Renfield St Stephen’s Centre, 260 Bath Street, Glasgow.

Facebook:
Bony Bodies event
Holy City Glasgow page

Twitter:
HolyCityGlasgow


If you want to be kept up to date with future events sign-up for our mailing list, on the right hand column.

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TARTAN JESUS? - 'Food'

Sunday 5th January 2014

The first instalment of Tartan Jesus is 'Food’, and, as you might imagine, it deals with what it says on the packet…

Workshops

On thinking global and eating local with Mike Small on the eating locally, thinking globally and the Fife Diet (www.fifediet.co.uk); global food justice with the John Riches on the 90kg Malawian Rice Project (www.justtradingscotland.co.uk/pages/90kg-challenge); and Our Daily Bread, a behind-the-scenes look at the ways our Western daily food is processed and produced.


Liturgy

‘Jesus The Foodie’… a participative liturgy on nutrition, sustenance and sustainability. Participative liturgy in sound, silence, song and symbolic action.

@ 6.30-9.30pm
in
Renfield St Stephen’s Centre, 260 Bath Street, Glasgow.

Facebook:
'Tartan Jesus? - Food' event page
Holy City Glasgow page

Twitter:
HolyCityGlasgow


If you want to be kept up to date with future events sign-up for our mailing list, on the right hand column.

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TARTAN JESUS? - 'Stuff'

Sunday 2nd February 2014

The second instalment of Tartan Jesus is 'Stuff'... matter, material, goods, things and more. Christianity is in one sense, the most 'materialist' of the great world religions, with its emphasis on the Incarnation, God made flesh. Yet the good Book also is full of warnings of the shadow side of stuff... from collecting only enough manna in the desert, to our daily bread and Jesus' words about not worrying about tomorrow, or even Bonhoeffer's 'Hoarding is idolatory'. Yet our lives, communities, churches and nation clearly struggle with or even ignore this radical critique... how can we be more radically sustainable (and more faithful) in our lived attitudes to enough stuff?


Workshops

The Great Takeover – how materialism, the media and markets now dominate our lives and what we can do about it

In this workshop CAROL CRAIG will outline some of the key ideas from her 2012 book ‘The Great Takeover’ and get us talking about what it means for us and our lives. She will specifically look at what we can do individually and collectively to combat materialism and to encourage people to create better lives.

Carol is the Chief Executive of the Centre for Confidence and Well-being, a small charitable organisation which she set up in Glasgow in 2005. She is the author of ‘The Scots' Crisis of Confidence’, ‘Creating Confidence: A Handbook for Professionals Working with Young People’, ‘The Tears that Made the Clyde: Well-being in Glasgow’ and ‘The Great Takeover’. Carol is Commissioning Editor for Postcards from Scotland, a series of books published by the Centre and Argyll Publishing. The Great Takeover is number 2 in the series.

Energy Justice – a distant dream?

Your opportunity to participate in discovering how the energy market is weighted towards the rich by playing the role of an energy consumer – how difficult is it to heat your home? Are we mortgaging our energy future, or is there opportunity for progressive change? with COLIN JENKINS.

Details of further workshops soon..


Liturgy

‘Stuff...’

Participative liturgy in sound, silence, song and symbolic action.



@ 6.30-9.30pm
in
Renfield St Stephen’s Centre, 260 Bath Street, Glasgow.

Facebook:
'Tartan Jesus? - Stuff' event page
Holy City Glasgow page

Twitter:
HolyCityGlasgow


If you want to be kept up to date with future events sign-up for our mailing list, on the right hand column.

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TARTAN JESUS? - 'Art'

Sunday 2nd March 2014

The third instalment of Tartan Jesus is 'Art'… Christianity's historic attitudes to art have covered all the bases with extremes of fascination and repulsion, patronage and iconoclasm. In society today, we often speak of art in the hushed tones that were once reserved for religion.

On things creative and catalytic, the practices and media that (along with some ritual) we turn to in order to imagine the present and recognize the future. So how do the arts help us to dream and dance and deliberate and what might they have to say about the nation Scotland could be?

Workshops

A reflective journey through the sights and sounds of The Great Tapestry Of Scotland.

Visual artist, Eòghann Mac colla, offers us an opportunity to create a symbolic collaborative artwork in text or line. http://www.dealbhadair.com/

A workshop with Phil White takes us ‘Beyond Thistles and Flowers’ to look at the symbols and sounds that attempt to define what a nation and nationality are.

Tapping into core human dance rhythms (flowing, staccato, chaos, lyrical and stillness) Jean Cameron invites us to take the floor.


Liturgy

Are there Gospel attitudes, prerogatives and tactics on creativity, culture and open mindedness? Creation, contradiction, querying and parabolae. Participative liturgy in sound, silence, song and symbolic action.

@ 6.30-9.30pm
in
Renfield St Stephen’s Centre, 260 Bath Street, Glasgow.

Facebook:
'Tartan Jesus? - Art' event page
Holy City Glasgow page

Twitter:
HolyCityGlasgow


If you want to be kept up to date with future events sign-up for our mailing list, on the right hand column.

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TARTAN JESUS? - 'Love'

Sunday 6th April 2014

The fourth installment of 'Tartan Jesus?' is 'Love'… true, false, deep, eternal, hard, soft, wilful and wayward, love comes in all shapes, sizes and sorts. And in public form, we can measure it in compassion, forgiveness and reconciliation, where practices and systems aim for justice. So how does - and might - love work out in Scottish society in personal and public spheres?


Workshops

‘Love, Redemption and Hope’
KARYN McCLUSKEY, in her role as head of Police Scotland’s Violence Reduction Unit in Glasgow, has been dealing with violence, its causes and how to prevent it for over a decade. After the riots in English towns a couple of years back, the UK government sought out the Unit's work and wisdom. Karyn will speak about violence - some of the challenges and the journey so far. www.actiononviolence.com

'ATOS Miracles. Consequence and Actions’
The sick effects of ATOS Work Capabilty Assessments on the disabled in the UK in 2014, in context; capitalism in crisis, Con-Dem cuts and the computer test. With MORAG BALFOUR & EILEEN ELLIS.

‘Wholesome Prison Blues’
Vox Liminis makes rich and meaningful connections between the arts and prison life, cutting through tired perceptions of rehabilitation, often for the first time, people connect emotionally with themselves then others as they discover their own voice. KIM LONG will open up the prison gates for us. www.voxliminis.co.uk

'Songs of Songs'
A reflective workshop in music & text, themed around the Song of Solomon. One of the two books in the Bible that do not mention 'God' explicitly, the provocative texts are somewhat more explicit in their descriptions of carnal love and spiritual yearning.


Liturgy

‘The Edge of Love’

Participative liturgy in sound, silence, song and symbolic action.

@ 6.30-9.30pm
in
Renfield St Stephen’s Centre, 260 Bath Street, Glasgow.

Facebook:
'Tartan Jesus? - Love' event page
Holy City Glasgow page

Twitter:
HolyCityGlasgow


If you want to be kept up to date with future events sign-up for our mailing list, on the right hand column.

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TRAVELLING TOWARDS EASTER

Sunday 13th - Sunday 20th April 2014
A journey through Holy Week within the city with Wild Goose & Holy City
@ various venues

In various places throughout the city, in the evenings (except Friday 18th) and during the day on Friday, there will be reflective activities which will explore the happenings of that day in the Holy Week story. These will variously consist of conversation, biblical exploration, film, song and liturgy and will allow time for individual and group devotion.

Each evening will run from 7.30 – 9.30pm (except Sunday 13th, which starts at 8.00pm and Saturday 19th, when there will be a late vigil).

Organised by Wild Goose & Holy City in collaboration with the congregations of Kelvinside Hillhead, Coston Milton and Glasgow Unitarian Centre.

SCHEDULE

Sunday 13th April
A Prelude to Holy Week
Word, song and symbol in preparation for the Passion of Jesus.
@ 8.00 - 9.30pm,
Kelvinside Hillhead Parish Church of Scotland, Observatory Road, Glasgow G12 9AR.
www.kelvinside-hillhead.org.uk
www.facebook.com/KelvinsideHillheadParishChurch
Map: click here

Monday 14th April
A Cleansing Conversation
A reflective conversation and liturgy on what we carry and what we might need to leave behind.
@ 7.30 - 9.30pm,
Unitarian Centre, 72 Berkeley St, Glasgow G3 7DS.
www.glasgow-unitarians.org.uk
Map: click here

Tuesday 15th April
Among those who Followed
A celebration of women of faith in reflective discussion & liturgy
@ 7.30 - 9.30pm,
Kelvinside Hillhead Parish Church of Scotland, Observatory Road, Glasgow G12 9AR.
www.kelvinside-hillhead.org.uk
www.facebook.com/KelvinsideHillheadParishChurch
Map: click here

Wednesday 16th April
Anger and Patience
A poignant film for Holy Week, that depicts a 20th century, true life experience of faithful Christians facing great danger and echoing Christ's Passion.
@ 7.30 - 10.00pm,
Unitarian Centre, 72 Berkeley St, Glasgow G3 7DS.
www.glasgow-unitarians.org.uk
Map: click here

Thursday 17th April
Eucharist & Stripping Of The Altar
We will join the congregation of St Mary's Episcopal Cathedral for their Maundy Thursday services.
@ 7.30pm - 8.45pm (then vigil till midnight/ optional)
St Mary’s Cathedral, 300 Great Western Rd, Glasgow G4 9JB.
http://thecathedral.org.uk

Map: click here

Friday 18th April
Walking Towards The Cross

A Good Friday urban pilgrimage, led by Kathy Galloway, Alison Swinfen and Wendy Young. Beginning, mid-morning in the West End, in front of Kelvingrove Art Gallery on Dumbarton Road, ending up at Kelvinside Hillhead Church for the start of the Good Friday Vigil from noon.
@ 10.15 to gather; then 10.30am - 12.00 noon
Map: click here

Good Friday Vigil
We will join the congregation of Kelvinside Hillhead Church of Scotland for their Good Friday liturgy … preaching, poetry, prayer, music & silence. Come and go at any time on the hour and half hour.
@ 12.00 noon-3.00pm
Kelvinside Hillhead Parish Church of Scotland, Observatory Road, Glasgow G12 9AR.
www.kelvinside-hillhead.org.uk
www.facebook.com/KelvinsideHillheadParishChurch
Map: click here

Saturday 19th April
Holy Saturday Vigil
We will join the congregation of St Aloysius Roman Catholic Church for their evening vigil.
@ 9.00 - 11.00pm
St Aloysius Church, 25 Rose St, Glasgow G3 6RE.
www.staloysius.rcglasgow.org.uk
Map: click here

Sunday 20th April
The Emmaus Road Ceilidh
An Easter evening elebratory reflection, followed by a ceilidh of music and stories and refreshments.
@ 7.30 - 9.30pm
Colston Milton Parish Church, Egilsay Crescent, Colston Milton, Glasgow G22 7PF.
Map: click here


For further information
E: [email protected]
T: 0141 332 6343.
Wild Goose Resource Group/ Holy City, Iona Community, 4th Floor, Savoy Centre,
140 Sauchiehall St, Glasgow G2 3DH. www.wgrg.co.uk
Facebook: Holy City Glasgow page
Twitter:
HolyCityGlasgow


If you want to be kept up to date with future events sign-up for our mailing list, on the right hand column.

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TARTAN JESUS? - 'Faith'

Sunday 4th May 2014

The fifth and final instalment of Holy City's 2014 programme, 'Tartan Jesus?... weaving the distinctive fabric of a nation’. On 'Faith'... imagination, plans and visions, hopes and fears, making friends with doubt and the living with the certainty of uncertainty. How do and might these work out in the lives of people and nations... and not least those of us here in Scotland in 2014... and beyond?


WORKSHOPS

‘Who's In Charge Here? Trust, Collaboration and Cultural Imagination’

A playful, physical and musical exploration of trust, doubt, risk and collaboration, and how they might impact on our cultural thinking around possible imagined futures for Scotland.

This workshop is led by singer-songwriter KARINE POLWART who is known for her probing and poignant lyricism and willingness to tackle unsettling themes in her songs. With a working background in children's rights and philosophical inquiry, she is also passionate about meaningful engagement with the ideas that can shape how we live alongside one another. www.karinepolwart.com


‘What I Have Learned About God From A Career Studying Religion’

LINDA WOODHEAD has been studying religion of many kinds for more than quarter of a century – from India to the Philippines to Europe. During this time, she has always tried to be a sympathetic observer and participant in the communities she’s been fortunate enough to engage with. And, as someone who is very open to religion and spirituality, she has always been interested in people’s God/ gods/ goddesses, and what they hold sacred. Inevitably, this has challenged her own beliefs about God. In this workshop, she will be reflecting on her personal journey and what it has taught her, and to hearing about other views. Linda is particularly interested in how our ideas of God in the UK have been changing, and she has done some recent survey research on this, which she will also refer to.

Linda Woodhead MBE DD is Professor of Sociology of Religion at Lancaster University, UK. She studies religious change in modern societies, and is especially interested in how religion has changed worldwide since the late 1980s. Between 2007 and 2013 she was been Director of the “Religion and Society” research programme in Britain, which involved 240 academics from 29 different disciplines working on 75 different project. She is founder of the Westminster Faith Debates with the Rt Hon Charles Clarke. Her books include ‘Everyday Lived Islam in Europe’ (2013), ‘A Sociology of Religious Emotions’ (2011), ‘Religions in the Modern World’ (2009), ‘The Spiritual Revolution’ (2005) and ‘A Very Short Introduction to Christianity’ (2004). She is a regular commentator and broadcaster on religion and society. http://www.lancaster.ac.uk/fass/ppr/profiles/linda-woodhead


‘Imagining Scotland’s Future: What Is Your Vision?’

What do churches and communities across Scotland think about what Scotland’s future might be like – regardless of the outcome of the referendum. How can the Church add a different voice into the referendum debate which instead of asking ‘what’s in it for me?’ asks ‘what’s in this for my neighbour’. In this workshop DAVID BRADWELL let’s us hear about the Church of Scotland’s Imagining Scotland’s Future consultations. Come and share your ideas about what the Churches could or should be doing in the final months of the campaign – and what happens next.

David is the Scottish Churches Parliamentary Officer. David has nine years’ experience working with Churches on public issues and political affairs. He’s a Methodist, has his roots in the Derbyshire Peak District and currently lives in Edinburgh. http://www.churchofscotland.org.uk/speak_out/politics_and_government/articles/imagining_scotlands_future


LITURGY

‘F-F-F-Faith...’ Walking on water and the focusing our eyes. Or ayes? Or naws? Participative liturgy in sound, silence, song and symbolic action.


@ 6.30-9.30pm
in
Renfield St Stephen’s Centre, 260 Bath Street, Glasgow.


Facebook:
'Tartan Jesus? - Faith' event page
Holy City Glasgow page

Twitter:
HolyCityGlasgow


If you want to be kept up to date with future events sign-up for our mailing list, on the right hand column.





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Holy City 2012-13: 'PROMISING LANDS' -

Rough guides to contemporary faith... in a small nation and a wee world


In HOLY CITY's 2012-13 theme, Promising Lands, we check-out on a pilgrimage to find out where we’re going, as individuals, communities, nations and the planet.Which roads and turnings do we need to take on the journey to desirable social, political, ecological, economical and spiritual destinations?

7 Oct/ 4 Nov/ 2 Dec/ 6 Jan/ 3 Feb/ 3 Mar/ 7 Apr/ 5 May
Renfield St Stephen’s, 260 Bath Street, Glasgow @ 6.30-9.30pm



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Sunday 7th October 2012: JOURNEY PLANNER

Tonight we check out on our ‘Promising Lands’ pilgrimage to find out where we’re going, as
individuals, communities, nations and the planet. The economic crisis continues to grip the globe, in the next couple of years Scotland has to work out – pre-referendum – what kind of place it wants to be; and with a summer in which the polar ice-caps have receded to a greater extent than predicted, the challenge to our western lifestyles crystallised by climate change remains urgent. And these are only some of the issues of today. Which roads and turnings do we need to take on the journey to desirable
social, political, ecological, economical and spiritual destinations?


FIRST HALF
: Tonight we spend time ‘preparing’ for these and our Holy City 2012-13 journey, in both light-hearted and more serious modes. For both halves of the evening we’ll be together in plenary and in liturgy.

So all in all, whether you want to use your head, your hands, step up the pace or slow down it down, we hope you’ll find something that matches your inclination.

LITURGY: 'Preparing For The Journey'; words for the journey, reflections on what to leave behind, what to take and roadmaps. Participative liturgy in word, song, silence, and symbol.


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Sunday 4th November 2012: DEPARTURE LOUNGE

In keeping with our 2012-13 'Promising Lands' theme, and following last month's 'preparing and planning' theme, this month's journey stage is... setting-out, embarking or departing. On offer, a range of workshops and participative liturgy...


WORKSHOPS

Beyond Thistles & Flowers: A workshop with PHIL WHITE which takes a participative look at the symbols and sounds that attempt to define what a nation and nationality are - and in particular Scotland and what being Scottish is. A new national symbol or a new national anthem might well be produced!

An Art Critic's Pilgrimage to Santiago: Brian Sewell, art critic & historian made a second pilgrimage to Santiago in his 70's, and caught it on camera. We'll look at some of the footage and critique why such a journey can be both moving and challenging, with a wee bit about architecture for free. HIL WOOD lets us have a peek at some DVD episodes recording Sewell's pilgrim progress and leads subsequent discussion.

The Glasgow Girls: Scotland 2005. Seven teenagers with a cause. A protest that captured the imagination of a country…. A family is ripped from their home in a high rise flat in Scotstoun, Glasgow and driven away in the middle of the night to be deported. Driven by a fierce sense of injustice, a group of seven teenage girls in a high school in Drumchapel fight for the life of their friend and for the rights of children of asylum-seekers in Scotland. They take on the Scottish Government and the Home Office and succeed where adults and politicians failed. EMMA, AMAL, ROZA, AGNESA and JENNIFER are five of the aforementioned and wonderful 'Glasgow Girls'. They will share their experience as young women in Drumchapel campaigning against state-sponsored dawn raids on their school friends. Their amazing story has now been made into the musical - 'Glasgow Girls' - which is currently showing at the Citizen's Theatre (until to 17 Nov; citz.co.uk/whatson/info/glasgow_girls). JEAN CAMERON will facilitate a Q&A session.

Out Into The World: Challenges For Concerned Christians
There is a reformation afoot in Christianity – a re-visioning of the traditional understandings of Jesus, the virgin birth, substitutionary atonement, and the Christian life as a whole. Long held ideas of divinity and of faith are changing and evolving to reflect 21st century thought and spirituality. Inspired by these fresh insights, thoughtful Christians can claim a distinctive voice by being in solidarity with poor, countering the idolatry of wealth, practicing nonviolence, and by seeking justice and inclusivity in a culture dominated by fear. In this workshop via a series of DVD excerpts & group discussion, JANE BENTLEY & GRAHAM MAULE lead us in exploring this territory.

LITURGY: 'Ones who left; ones left behind' - participative liturgy in word, song, silence, and symbol.


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Sunday 2nd December 2012: PASSING PLACES

The third Holy City event of the session is a time for stopping... passing places, those points of pause, hesitation, momentary slowing-down, suspended animation where we step aside and let the traffic and travellers pass by in the opposite direction... before setting off again, with renewed momentum. Advent is a time that resembles such a side-step and way-station - a time to reflect on the importance of the overlooked places, people and purposes that are described in the Nativity stories. Of course, rather than be such an antidote to the over-paced, hectic surge of 'normal' life, as we all know, Advent itself has been hijacked by consumerist forces. Tonight, we attempt a temporary remedy.


WORKSHOPS

No room in the Stable: Jesus wasn't born in a stable and there was plenty of welcomes at the inn. This seminar with PÁDRAIG Ó TUAMA will reflect on some of the stories of Christmas and reflect on them as stories of hospitality and an invitation to grow (the hell) up. There'll be poems, there'll be stories about Pádraig's mammy, there'll be scripture, and there may even be lowing and bleating. Pádraig is a poet, theologian and group worker from Cork on the south coast of Ireland. Following a nomadic decade, he settled in Belfast where, for the past nine years he has used elements of faith, poetry, hope and truth-telling for the purpose of helping individuals tell some of their experiences of living through the Irish conflict in a way that builds curiosity and connections through simple story.

What price Christmas?: On this first Sunday of Advent, this reflective ALTERnativity workshop with LEANNE CLELLAND will help you to start thinking about how you spend your money before that Christmas list takes over your life.

The 'B' Voyage: A time and place for meditation with music that focuses on evoking a real journey in the past and in the present.

LITURGY: The first Christmas didn't happen on a screen or inside a proscenium arch, so that the spectators could see and note and weight every detail for its deep meaning. No, for those who witnessed it (and that would have only been extremely partial) it would have beenmuch more chaotic and fragmentary, as if they were a passer-by moving past and glimpsing or missing a detail here or there... A liturgy that will seek to recreate a sense of the first, fugitive Nativity.


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Sunday 6th January 2013: DIRECTIONAL CHANGE

WORKSHOPS

The Three Wise Men Revisited: JOHN L. BELL guides us in a biblical exploration of the from where, where to, whys and whatabouteries of the Magi, those folk from the east (whether they were male or female and whether there were one, two, three or more).

Beats change: A chance to get your groove on and explore the concept of change through the medium of rhythm. Or basically - a thinly disguised drumming workshop... with JANE BENTLEY.

The Story Of Stuff & Change: CAROLINE BRETT leads us in this exploration of the materiality of stuff and the material stuff of change.

LITURGY: Epiphany... the revelation of Christ to the Gentiles, but also a foreshadowing for the 'chosen' that their Messiah was for everyone. A celebration of our gifts and the generosity to which we're called, in word, silence, symbol and song.


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Sunday 3rd February 2013: CATCHING CONNECTIONS

Tonight we try to link up some loose ends on communities, culture, connections and roots, beliefs, belongings, identities, the ways these intersect and diverge and are experienced, as stages on an incarnational journey.

WORKSHOPS

Aimlessly Adrift or Artfully Letting Go?: NICK THORPE is an author and travel writer of compellingly tangential insight. In his recent books ('Adrift in Caledonia: Boat-hitching for the Unenlightened' and 'Urban Worrier: Adventures in the Lost Art of Letting Go') he explores wanderlust both spiritual and physical, journeying through modern Scotland and beyond. Tonight he'll be sharing traveller's tales and asking: how do we best keep ourselves open to life, to connections around us, in an often fearful and over-stressed world? Nick is an award-winning writer, journalist and speaker based in Edinburgh. His recent TEDx talk is online at www.nickthorpe.co.uk

Catching Connections Across Traditions: Mutual Enrichment Through Interfaith Encounter : Can we learn from the teachings, practices, and experiences of fellow pilgrims in other religious traditions as we journey together? Focussing on the encounter with Buddhism, in this workshop we’ll explore the potential spiritual benefits of engaging with other religions and consider how, as Christians, we might best share the riches of our own tradition. Dr ROSE DREW is Project Manager of ‘Interfaith Glasgow’ (a new project based at Interfaith Scotland) and former Lecturer in Buddhism and Interfaith Studies at the University of Glasgow. www.interfaithscotland.org

The Poetics of Identity: There is a profound intersection between the storytelling process and the shaping of our self identity. In the end, our stories do become us. A workshop to facilitate a framework for self-discovery using the poetic process. JOEL McKERROW is a published writer, performance poet, educator and the founder of, The Centre for Poetics and Justice, in Melbourne, Australia (www.cpj.org.au), a not-for-profit, community arts organisation focused on using poetics as a form of literary education, self-expression and social engagement for marginalised teenagers. www.joelmckerrow.com

Community Plus: KATIE KELLY share insight into her work with East Ayrshire Council across council services in developing the principles of co-production and asset-based communities - a more democratic, collaborative relationship between 'experts' and 'users' - which aims for transformation in services and society.

LITURGY: Word, song, silence & symbol of the body, being embodied, with some body (or is that bawdy'?) humour...?


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Sunday 3rd March 2013: BOUNDARY CROSSING

This month's event falls in the middle of Lent, so making us aware that like that of Jesus', some journeys cross the line, from safety to danger, from the known to the unknown, from comfort to confrontation...

WORKSHOPS

Music Works: JANE BENTLEY shares some of her work on making music with people with dementia. Our response to sound and music is one of the first things we experience as humans, and one of the last to leave us. More than simply something pleasant to listen to, music may be the foundation of our human communication and connectedness. This workshop is an exploration of the way music can act as a 'boundary crosser' - from our first infant connections to another, through to the way music can act as a vital 'key' to reaching with people with dementia. Jane has been doing this kind of thing for over 10 years, in settings ranging from the community to the maximum-security ward, the incubator, the homeless shelter and the hospice, and has been part of seeding the movement towards dementia-friendly singing groups.

The Camino: Walking the Borderline: In 2008 and 2012 PETER GARDNER joined the hundred thousand other pilgrims who were walking the Camino de Santiago. In this workshop we’ll be thinking about pilgrimage, about crossing thresholds, leaving home for the ends of the earth, and walking a path that traces the borderlands between earth and heaven, body and soul, the physical and the spiritual. Peter is minister of Renfield St Stephen’s and a visual artist.

Crossing Boundaries With Jesus: STEPHEN SMYTHE leads us in a conversation with scripture and one another - using the CBS / Contextual Bible Study approach - by exploring one incident where Jesus confronts the challenge of traversing boundaries.

Promising iLands iPods OR Desert Island Discs: FIONA EVANS in conversation with a notable mystery guest, via their taste of music and musing.

LITURGY: Word, silence, movement and symbol on boundaries that bound... and those to be bounded over.


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Sunday 7th April 2013: DEAD END

Tonight, on the Sunday after Easter Day, we'll be pondering the creative tensions and potentials inherent in the Resurrection - dead end or new life? - and looking for similar signs in some of today's situations and challenges.

WORKSHOPS

‘Coming soon to your town…? Anti-human trafficking‘: Hear facts and individual stories of Human Trafficking in Scotland and explore responses of the churches & ACTS (Action of Churches Together in Scotland ) and others with particular reference to preparations for the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games. Led by HAZEL WATSON & STEPHEN SMYTH. Hazel is the representative of the Church of Scotland’s Church & Society Council on ACTS Anti-Human Trafficking Working Group. Stephen is General Secretary of ACTS.

‘Of walls & welcomes’: HENRY BELL recently spent time living with Palestinians. He shares stories of his experience and the insights gained into the day-to-day realities for one of the most oppressed people in the world.

‘Promising iLand iPods’: It was only in her teens that EILDON DYER was able to listen to more than the two approved records of her childhood. Gently interrogated by FIONA EVANS, she’ll share her story through a desert-island choice of discs, making links between her varied engagement with Glasgow’s longest-extant basic Christian community (as one of the founders), initiatives in local empowerment, a major development organisation and a pioneering project to liberate Christmas from the diktat of commercial consumption.

LITURGY: Unlike the experience of the female disciples, who understood Easter as one of new beginnings, the converse experience of the men was of stalled confusion, depression and loss. The liturgy will draw out four of these stories and allow us to find echoes of our situation and place... in sound, silence, song and symbol.


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Sunday 5th May 2013: ARRIVAL

In tonight's event we'll be looking at 'arriving', which - if we are to consider T.S.Elliot's words, 'We shall not cease from exploration and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time' - could be an end, a mid-point, a beginning or all three. And in a particularly compelling choice of workshops, we feature some remarkable folk at various points of arrival in their journeys…

WORKSHOPS

‘Writing your way into silence’: It has been recognised for centuries that freely-chosen silence and solitude nourish and enhance creative work and spiritual growth. Nonetheless (for obvious reasons) it is very difficult to write about silence. Renowned and award winning novelist, SARA MAITLAND, has been working on this for some years now and will share her thoughts and experience in a writing workshop; this will include written exercises so please bring pen and paper! (20 maximum) http://www.saramaitland.com

‘Beyond Crucifixion: a journey in prayer from despair to hope’
: In her book of the same name (subtitled, ‘Meditations on Surviving Sexual Abuse’), which explored the struggles with self, relationships and God in the aftermath of sexual abuse, BETH CRISP articulates the realisation that the only way of moving on and overcoming a crippling sense of desolation was not to run from God, but to embrace that relationship. In this workshop, Beth talks about this hard road. Beth, a former member of the Holy City planning group, is a professor of social work at Deakin University in Australia who is internationally recognised for her writing about the impact of sexual abuse on spirituality. Her book, Beyond Crucifixion (Darton, Longman & Todd, 2010) contains prayers, which range from the profound to the humorous and touch on the five essential ‘food groups’ of the human soul — love, grace, humour, friendship and forgiveness. http://www.dltbooks.com/books/9780232528435/Beyond-Crucifixion

‘Promising iLand iPods’/ aka. Desert Island Discs
: FIONA EVAN’s guest in this month’s Pii is GRAEME DUFFIN, published songwriter, professional musician and internationally known guitar player and producer with 30 years experience in the music industry, not least with Clydebank’s finest aka Wet, Wet. Wet. Graeme is also a director of the studio, Foundry Music Lab’ (which opened in January 2006 in Motherwell) and a coach / instructor for the McGuire Programme which helps people with a stammer. http://graemeduffin.eu/

‘Caledonian Dreaming'
: In this workshop, CHRIS LONG and BEN RAW, youth workers with the Iona Community, engage young and older folk, asking what kind of Scotland do we want to arrive in after a certain vote on independence that is scheduled for September 2014.

LITURGY: An embodied, participative time and place exploring the welcome, hospitality and inclusion that can make arrival in either strange or familiar places a profound form of homecoming. In sound, silence, song and symbol.


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Friday 23rd - Mon 26th August 2013: Holy City @ Greenbelt Festival


The Wild Goose Resource Group and the Holy City team were at Greenbelt 13, 'Life Begins' at Cheltenham Racecourse.

We were collaborating in the wonderful Northern Lights Tent (along with fellow northern leeries and lichties, Fischy Music, Iona Community, Corrymeela Community, Church Action On Poverty - and incognito guest stars, Spill The Beans). Much music, workshopping, stalls and inspiration happened therein.

In addition, we enlisted a couple of thousand voices in the inimitable Big Sing... oor very ain Long John Bell, delivered several talks and contributions to whet the appetite and stir the theological mix for the multitudes... AND... having been responsible for designing the Sunday morning Communion, we lead that very same excellent and celebratory event on the Sunday morning, on this, the occasion of Greenbelt's 40th anniversary! And to much acclaim:

"Greenbelt, it seems, has broken with at least one tradition - the suc­cession of earnest but confusing communion services on Sunday morning. For the second year run­ning, this was in the assured hands of John Bell and the Iona Com­munity. It was varied, but never chaotic.

The 40th-birthday theme was prominent. It began with vintage worship songs from Greenbelt's first years (most of which, of course, are still thought of as new in many churches): "Give me oil in my lamp" given the Caribbean treatment, and "Our God Reigns" to a fetching banjo accompaniment.

There followed a set of responses split between the under-40s and the 40-and-overs - which divided the 15,000-strong congregation about 50:50. The next part of the service was split into three sections, each comparing life in 1974 and now, in the areas of female equality, a global perspective, and ecology.

The same pattern was followed in each: a short introduction to remind the congregation of how people talked about these themes 40 years ago, a list of people and movements that have made a difference (this was how Germaine Greer got a mention in a religious service), a biblical reading, a one-minute "talk to your neighbour about" session on an inspiring woman/favourite fair­trade product/creative bit of re­­cycling, and a two-to-three-minute related talk, these in place of a conventional sermon.

Thus Mary Grey spoke about the barriers in her journey towards becoming a theology professor; MacDuff Phiri touched on the plight of the Congo, suggesting that, like illegal diamonds, electronic devices be relabelled "Blood Black­berries" or "Blood iPods"; and Barbara Brown Taylor described the steady progress being made by the organic-food movement in the United States.

Then, after the collection (taken, as usual in the champagne buckets of which the Cheltenham Race Course has far too many), some more songs, including a swoopy 1980s-style version of "The Servant King", all with electric piano and saxophone.

The bread and wine were dis­tributed, once again, in small groups of about 12, and the members of these then held hands and celebrated the peace: the service booklet suggested 40 differ­ent languages:vaka'equ,tsum­u­ki­kiatu,uxolo,soksang, and so on.

A 2013 song followed: 
"You could have honoured better singers than children shouting in the street.  You could have chosen safer diners than those with whom you chose to eat."

Finally, a pantomime blessing, with the alternative responses "Oh, yes he did!" and "Oh, no he didn't!" Thus: "Jesus said, if a man slaps you on the right cheek, kick him in the goolies." "Oh, yes he did!" Scrip­tural accuracy sometimes takes second place to adolescent devil­ment.

John Bell gave the final blessing: "Go and be good, or stay and dance." Both options seemed more possible after such a service."

(as reported in the Church Times, 3/9/13)

www.greenbelt.org.uk




Holy City is most generously hosted by the congregation and minister (Peter Gardner) of Renfield St Stephen's Centre in their Centre. We are deeply grateful for their long-standing support and hospitality. Nor should we forget those other stars and starlettes from RSS, our seductively lovely Tea Team: Sheila, Helen, Graham, Fiona & Alec.
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