October 6, 2010
We’ve never really gotten into the whole projector thing at Transmission – largely, I think, because we’re in a different place every single week and that limits our ability to spend a lot of time setting up. (I think the paper-lantern labyrinth was the most involved set up we’ve had recently.)
Some other fresh expressions of church get a lot of use out of projectors, sometimes for better and sometimes for worse. In my experience, projections are best when they are a substitute for stained glass – they enhance the mystical ambiance of a room, they provide a visual backdrop for sacred activity, and they convey emotional information to the gathered community.
Projectors are at their worst, however, when they’re used as a substitute for bulletins – we’ve all seen lyrics and liturgy projected on a screen against stock photos of pristine mountain landscapes, and we all know it sucks. I’m not a big fan of bulletins, in general, but they are very good at what they do – much better than PowerPoint, in fact.
I got to thinking about this due to a short little pamphlet by Seth Godin on really bad PowerPoint and how to avoid it. Maybe I’ll set myself a goal of doing a ritual that really makes creative
use of space and ambiance, and which uses projection in non-obvious ways…
August 5, 2010
Augsburg Fortress is releasing a new Bible Study plan, and they’re accompanied by videos like this one:
I found it surprisingly beautiful
and for more interesting than what I’m used to seeing in Sunday School curricula. Way to go, Lutherans.
January 12, 2008
Illustrations originally presented as slides
projected during a live reading
at Easter at Avalon
April 8, 2007
There was not long ago or far away
A town where children played and sang all day
And once their folks had tucked them in at night
The kids hid under covers in their fright
Except one little lady, strong and feral
A wild, precocious child by name of Carol
Who‚Äôd lie in silence, with her eyes tight closed
And wait till all the town serenely dozed
Then up she‚Äôd jump and loudly she‚Äôd declare
‚ÄúIt takes more than the dark to get me scared!‚Äù
Outside her window, an old Oak-tree grew
Perhaps this tree‚Äôs who she was speaking to
Regardless, she continued ‚ÄúOh well sure
I‚Äôm frightened when the morning traffic roars
The hairs on my young neck do stand on ender
When mom throws fresh tomatoes in the blender
And last week on a class trip to the zoo
The tongue of a giraffe, it scared me too
There‚Äôs causes for concern both far and near
But one thing that I‚Äôll never, ever fear‚Ä¶‚Äù
‚ÄúIs England! Yeah, they once were some great power
But now are ‚Äòbout as fearful as a flower
Their royal navy bullied the whole world
Now they can‚Äôt frighten this six year old girl!
I fear the toxic waste dumped in the sea
I fear the slash and burn of every tree
I fear the monsters underneath my bed
I fear the spirits mumbling in my head
I fear the pit-bull readying to pounce
But I do not fear England ‚Äì not one ounce‚Äù
December 7, 2007
Practically speaking, I love how appropriate it is to the season of the year. A festival of light and dark in a time of death and expectation. A pregnant time of awaiting the birth and coming of Christ as the days dwindle and another year draws to an end.
What do we know of the baby-boy Jesus, the ‚Äúreason for the season‚Äù? That he was humbly born in occupied Israel two thousand years ago. That he is with us still today and that each year we yearn anew for his return and reign of love and peace.
O come, thou Dayspring from on high, and cheers us by they drawing nigh; disperse the gloomy clouds of night, and death‚Äôs dark shadow put to flight. Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel!
This is also a time of going out into the world, of reaching out to loved ones and going visiting! I have spoken to family members this week on the phone, visited sick friends, and had my house church community over for dinner.
This week‚Äôs Transmission ritual that involved lots of arts and crafts. I‚Äôve included two of our Advent calendars here. Other people made wreaths of fresh cut branches and crocheted string, chain-link calendars, and other inspired works with their hands.
Best of all, we gathered once again into a community, as we do week after week, year after year, believing that when two or three of us gather in your name, you are there. Jesus, our Christ, we are glad to travel with you through the year and to prepare for your return.
November 18, 2007
‚ÄúIt‚Äôs nice to be important, but more important to be nice.‚Äù ‚Äì Rev. Ike
This was one of the quotes in the foyer of the United Palace Theater ,where more than one hundred New York City school kids danced tonight to the Igor Stravinsky’s “Rite of Spring.”
The Rev. Ike restored the art-deco ‚ÄúWonder Theater‚Äù, where tonight’s great gathering happened, and uses it as the ‚Äúcathedral‚Äù for his Christ United Church. But tonight, the palace was the scene of ‚ÄúBerlin in Lights,‚Äù and, as Sir Clive Gillinson said, these kids were dancing with the best ‚Äúpit bands‚Äù possible, the Berliner Philharmoniker.
Stravinsky‚Äôs revolutionary orchestral composition, written between 1911 and 1913, was vibrant, alive, and masterfully played. The energy on the stage was electric. The kids captured my full attention and heart in the first moments of their dance.
If you are free tomorrow at 3pm, spend the $15 and travel up to Broadway and 175th Street.
Right in the heart of Washington Heights, there‚Äôs music and magic to be seen and heard.
August 14, 2007
It‚Äôs the middle of August, so we‚Äôre keeping it low-key and simple. Come join us on the funky benches behind Grant‚Äôs Tomb for a bag dinner picnic and Bible Study.
Since August 15th just happens to be the Feast of Saint Mary, Mother of Jesus for Anglicans and Lutherans, the Assumption for Roman Catholics, and the Dormition of the Theotokos for the Eastern Orthodox, so we‚Äôll be celebrating Jesus‚Äô Ma Protestant-style, with a Bible Study! (No previous knowledge about Madonna necessary!)
GRANT‚ÄôS TOMB is at 122nd and Riverside Drive. The 1 train stops at 116th on Broadway. Walk 6 blocks north, and 2 blocks west. Call 646 245-7346 if you can‚Äôt find us.
FOOD To keep this mid-August meeting simple, we‚Äôre asking people to bring food for themselves, plus a little extra to share (e.g. some chips, cookies, drinks, salad, small dish, an extra sandwich). Hopefully, there will be enough extra for those of you who don‚Äôt have time or extra cash to pick something up.
If you can, please bring a MARY piece to share ‚Äì
A cappella or acoustic versions of the Magnificat welcome!
A visual representation of Mary (e.g. image, statue, jewelry) for ‚Äúshow & tell‚Äù
If you speak another language, bring a translation of Luke 1:39-56 to read to the group
July 27, 2007
To the Foot from its Child
by Pablo Neruda; translated by Alastair Reid
The child‚Äôs foot is not yet aware it‚Äôs a foot,
and would like to be a butterfly or an apple.
But in time, stones and bits of glass,
and the paths in the rough earth
go on teaching the foot that it cannot fly,
cannot be a fruit bulging on the branch.
Then, the child‚Äôs foot
is defeated, falls
in the battle,
is a prisoner
condemned to live in a shoe.
Bit by bit, in that dark,
it grows to know the world in its own way,
out of touch with its fellow, enclosed,
feeling out life like a blind man.
These soft nails
of quartz, bunched together,
grow hard, and change themselves
into opaque substance, hard as horn,
and the tiny, petalled toes of the child
grow bunched and out of trim,
take on the form of eyeless reptiles
with triangular heads, like worms.
Later, they grow calloused
and are covered
with the faint volcanoes of death,
a coarsening hard to accept.
But this blind thing walks
without respite, never stopping
for hour after hour,
the one foot, the other,
now the man‚Äôs,
now the woman‚Äôs,
through fields, mines,
markets and ministries,
far afield, inward,
this foot toils in its shoe,
scarcely taking time
to bare itself in love or sleep;
it walks, they walk,
until the whole man chooses to stop.
And then it descended
for there, everything, everything was dark.
It never knew it had ceased to be a foot
or if they were burying it so that it could fly
or so that it could become
* One of my favorite poems in high school, from a volume I had (with Spanish on one side and English on the other) called A New Decade (Poems 1958-1967)
July 9, 2007
If a ritual is performed more than once, it becomes ‚Äúofficial,‚Äù or there is a greater sense of permanency, just as the more stitches you use to fasten a button to a shirt, the more tightly it will stay attached.
May we, a little band of love,
We sinners, saved by grace,
From glory unto glory changed,
Behold thee face to face.
Her project in the hotel lobby consists of the screening of two video‚Äôs and a ‚Äòsewing circle‚Äô. The public will be invited to join the making of semi high fashion items for which all materials will be provided. The sewing circle blurs the boundary between public and private space. Historically a very private, exclusively female ritual, the sewing circle as ‚Äòperformance‚Äô in a public space addresses an entirely new set of questions and interpersonal connections. Tracey Prehay thus contributes to a complex debate on cultural encounters, the market place and the notion of mimicry.
July 5, 2007
Bring yourself and something that needs mending, sewing, knitting, eating or, drinking.
We’ll be hanging out and practicing the slow art of conversation…
Topics for the evening are Pride and Prejudice
last week, for the 4th of July, we discussed Patriotism and Pacifism – so I thought this week we’d continue with the double-Ps and take inspiration from Jane Austen – herself a priest’s kid
Snacks and drinks welcome!
July 18th at 7pm
rsvp firstname.lastname@example.org for directions
stitching assistance will be available
June 4, 2007
John, who is planning the ritual says, “At the half-way point of 2007, this Wednesday’s ritual will involve resolutions – whether adjusting the ones we made on New Year’s Eve (pesky reality, always getting in the way of our best intentions!) or making new ones. We’ll also be contemplating affiliations with some comical stories about over-zealous monks, and an original song by Everett & Snodgrass celebrating Saint Francis’ ‘Canticle to Brother Sun and Sister Moon.’”
We‚Äôll be back at Bowie‚Äôs place after a long hiatus (please email if you need directions). There will be yummy food and some celebration for John (5/28), Isaac (6/4), and Bowie‚Äôs (6/6) birthdays. Please let us know if you are a gemini too!
Plus, Ian Mobsby, who hosted Bowie and Isaac at Greenbelt last year, will be coming from the airport to join us on Wednesday night – so get ready for a double-header because the next night‚Ä¶
THUR, June 7th
Hear an amazing and long-time Emerging leader in the UK, Ian Mobsby, talk about ‚ÄúTrinitarian Mysticism and Mission‚Äù at Trinity Wall Street. Just how can Rublev‚Äôs Icon and a Trinitarian ecclesiology enable us to be emerging, experimental, and do mission?
Ian is a founding member of Moot, an emerging church community in London, UK and has been doing emerging church stuff in the UK for the last 14 years, is sweet, and totally rad. Also, here‚Äôs an interview between Johnny Baker and Ian about his new book.
Refreshments and fellowship begin at 6:30 pm; the workshop begins at 7 pm ‚Äì FREE ‚Äì To sign up, please email us, Ali Lutz at email@example.com or call 212-602-0800.