If you like real, naturally and hand-made, flavoursome, quality beer... then our friends who have a micro-brewery in North Wales. make some of the best there is... and they have a new web-site... it seems you can order on-line from a retailer, but I'm not sure how far they will deliver??? I'd thoroughly recommend trying it...
bread - body
we are one – made of many pieces
we are one – uncomfortably joined
we are one – dangerously naked
we are one – egos on the table
we are one – a patchwork people
we are one – chaos in community
we are one – awkward yet aware of each other
we are one – strengthened by our combination
we are one – kneaded together into potential
we are one – with the dead and the not yet living
we are one – because we share in one bread
we are one – broken for love
[breaking and sharing bread]
(conversation - what does it mean for us to be community?)
2 – jeremiah 29v7, matthew 5v9, romans 12v1
wine - blood
a sacrifice – learning to love the un-loveable
a sacrifice – holding the tension
a sacrifice – discarding prejudices
a sacrifice – risking religion
a sacrifice – becoming powerless
a sacrifice – feeling the hurts
a sacrifice – breaking our hearts
a sacrifice – generous beyond beliefs
a sacrifice – guileless and stripped
a sacrifice – free from guilt yet giving anyway
a sacrifice – dying for “them”
a sacrifice – poured out for love
[pouring and sharing wine]
(conversation - what does it mean to be a living sacrifice here?)
3 – isaiah 32v16-17, isaiah 40v31, john 15v1-4
grapes - fruit
ever growing – roots in all goodness
ever growing – expecting rich fruit
ever growing – knowing our history
ever growing – hoping and trusting
ever growing – yearning and reaching
ever growing – prepared to stand back
ever growing – relaying the story
ever growing – adding to the chapters
ever growing – seeking justice for all
ever growing – being merciful to all
ever growing – risking for all
ever growing – relying on god
[passing round a bowl of grapes]
today i purpose to live
my life will shine
as the morning sings
i walk in liberty
bound in true dreams
chase my forward motion
a covered path before us
the fruits of my hoping
the fruits of my living
today i purpose to love my love will speak with the sound of grace merciful within mercy the works of my faith smiles of overflowing inspire my giving abundance of joy as rain the fruits of my living
Tonight was the first community meal made from the box of Organic and local food we are getting delivered each week from Boxfresh. Their policy is...
Local (85% of the veg we deliver is grown within 60 miles of Shrewsbury.) Organic (They are registered with the Soil Association as an organic retailer and all produce is registered organic.) Fresh (Most of the fresh produce comes to you within 48 hours of picking on the farm.) - which effectively means that the produce reflects the season.
The reason we have done it as a community is that we want to be as ethical as possible; reducing over farming and chemical use, reducing food milage, supporting small businesses... we want to try to be more seasonal; seeing what it might mean to reflect the seasons and their produce, the rhythms of creation, there is something that just seems right about eating food in it's season... rather than eating tasteless strawberries in December lets enjoy them at their best in the summer... and we hope to enjoy the surprise and diversity of making meals from what arrives rather than simply going to the Supermarket and buying the same old things... so tonight we had Sweet and Spicy Broth made from caramelised onions, sweet potatoes, potatoes, carrots, cauliflower, sweetcorn and cherry tomatoes (with Paprika, ground Black Pepper and Tabasco) with home-made bread... perfect for a cold windy evening!
... the last pour from my bottle of Lagavulin... Oh well, at least I have a dozen or so other single Malts on top of the Freezer... but I can't go for long without the reassurance of a bottle, of what is IMHO the best all round single Malt, within easy reach! Its not a question of quantity here, I only ever have a couple of drams a week... but one of savouring absolute quality!
Ministry cannot be about maintenance, but it is about gathering, about embrace, about welcoming home all sorts of and conditions of people; home is a place for mother tongue, of basic soul food, of old stories told and treasured, of being at ease, known by name, belonging without qualifying for membership.
I came across this quote on the web site of "St Benedicts Table" a community in Winnipeg... they say...
At the dawn of the first dark ages, Benedict arose with a vision for community. He did it almost by accident; or is that by providence? Disillusioned by the world of academia in what was looking to be an increasingly threatened and decayed Roman society, Benedict dropped out of school and left town. He went into the wilderness, found himself a quiet cave, and prepared to spend a life simply listening in prayerful silence for the voice of God. The thing is, they wouldn’t leave him alone. First by the ones and twos, and eventually by the hundreds, other young men went out to that wilderness place to sit with Benedict and to seek God in the silence. So many, in fact, that he had to give some structure to their common life, eventually producing the “Rule of St Benedict” that governed community life in a rhythm of prayer, work, hospitality, learning, feasting and fasting. Balance. Boundaries. Safety. Accountability. The communities which continued to be formed around this Rule long after his death kept alive a model – an alternative model – for human life in very, very dark times. He seems a good mentor for us in these changing times, doesn’t he?
And the table? Our life is formed around the communion table, and nurtured over various tables of hospitality and conversation. Most obviously there is the coffee table at the back of our worship space, but there are also all those tables in cafes and pubs and restaurants and homes where community is built, faith shared, questions asked.
It never ceases to amaze and encourage me that communities all over the globe seeking to exist and engage in a changing/post-christian culture find a resonance in common themes... in spiritual even monastic rhythms, in eating together, in hospitality, in creativity, in history, in connections, but these communities do not seem to desire separation from the world, far from it these "rules and rhythms" have arisen out of a desire to be incarnate in the world.
incidentally our Thursday gathering has become known as "The Table"...
We have just ordered a Chalice and Paten to use for our community meal... Richard from Canterbury designs has kindly agreed to make us a set of his fantastic hand made pottery and to replace the Canterbury Cross that he normally uses with a St. Brendan's Cross... and all for the amazing price of £26.50 for the set! I'll let you know how they turn out, but judging by his normal standard they will be great!
Last night a bunch of us met up in the Devonshire Cat in Sheffield (for Beer selection undoubtedly one of the best Pubs in England!) for a few beers... after sampling some pretty good Real Ale... Andrew (the skinny) Jones, Andrew Dowsett and I decided to do the Celtic thing and try a bottle of this...
Grozet lagered Celtic ale... 5% abv. This beers name comes from the Gaellic ‘Grozeid’ or gooseberry. Monks in Scotland added fruit to beer as early as the 16th century. A famous historical gooseberry beer was Tibbie Shiels green Grozet enjoyed by Walter Scott and Robert Burns. The beer is brewed with lager yeast, Bog Myrtle, Meadowsweet, gooseberries, Wheat Barley Malt and hopsmaking it a distinct and unusual drink. It is a dry fruity wheat beer refreshing and light.
Serves 4 with modest appetite - double up for gannets like me!
500g of good quality mince (or acceptable vegetarian substitute)
1 onion (chopped)
1 tin of chopped tomatoes
1 tin of red kidney beans
200g of tomato puree
1 chili mix (Sharwoods is my favourite)
Big bag of tortilla chips
Decent cheese (I go for Cheddar at the "old socks" end of the spectrum)
Brown the mince and onions together in a large pan. Throw in the tomatoes, puree, beans and chili mix. You might throw in a splash of red wine here too if there's some lying around. Simmer for 30 mins. Transfer to an oven dish. Empty the packet of tortillas on the top and grate cheese over the top. Put in a hot oven for 15 mins or under the grill for5 mins. Serve garlic bread, fresh salad, guacamole and some salsa. Red wine goes well with it. Beaking bread together beforehand provides the perfect setting and a slightly used bottle of red wine that needs finishing!