Continuing the journey conference is an open temporary community, creatively exploring continuity and tension between the world and church, nature and grace, psychology and theology.
It hardly seems possible that conference has been and gone once again and that as you read this autumn will be fast approaching. I’m pleased to say that the speakers’ talks are now available online, so if you weren’t able to join us this time, you can glimpse part of what conference offered. The dates for 2020 are also available, do pencil us into your diaries.
At conference this year there was a lot about vulnerability, having permission to be your authentic self, being able to weave the darker moments of life into our experience and at the same time being able to capture a renewed sense of joy and wonder as we seek to live from a place of self-care and balance. Once again reading people’s feedback I’m struck by the importance of community, of having safe places to share, explore and be refreshed. As our journeys move on we hope that you will use our facebook page to continue to share resources.
17 new people came to conference this time, 16 of them heard by word of mouth, this affirms what we already know, which is that WE NEED YOU to tell others about CTJ.
In this newsletter: Rachel Michael will share something of her experience of being a first timer at conference; Mogs tells us about the Holy Weaver poem and why that became significant in her willow weaving worship and for conference more generally; and for those who weren’t with us this time there’s the opportunity to see a few photos and hear people’s feedback.
Kim Gooding, Chair of Planning Group
Did anyone spot the Water Aven's at Swanick around the back of the lake?
My First CTJ Conference 2018
The thought that immediately came to mind when asked to write something about my experience of this year’s conference was just, “It was fabulous!”. I wasn’t sure what to expect but was attracted by the themes of play and transfiguration. I’m also a Pooh fan and recognised the stairs poem. The opportunity to listen to a theologian who specialises in Temple Theology was also of interest to me. As a dancer and therapist teaching body awareness and movement in prayer I am keen to discover how our understanding of the physical temple in Jerusalem and the worship associated with it might shed light on St Paul’s analogy of the body being a temple of the Holy Spirit. In addition I identify quite
strongly with operating on the edge of a number of overlapping disciplines, including the faith and psychology, so in general I thought it sounded like my kind of event.
I wasn’t disappointed! From the first evening’s session I was struck by the thoughtful presentation and sensitive leading of worship, and found myself engaged with the opportunities for discussion and reflection. I also appreciated the multi-sensory approach used in the installations and displays. The worship times were beautifully prepared, and there is something spiritually nourishing about that in and of itself. I still have the printed orders of service for each day, and recently based a prayer meeting on one of them. In
terms of the content there was much food for thought and the different speakers complemented each other really well. I was glad to be introduced to Margaret Barker’s teaching and although I was not able to process all the material at the time I intend to follow up on some aspects and explore them further.
As other’s have also observed, something really special emerges through the commitment and time spent by the planning team as they meet, reflect and share ideas and skills over a two year period. I had the feeling that something of “the breadth and length and height and depth” of God’s love and wisdom can be reflected when working in this way. Long may it continue! Many thanks again to all who made it possible. I can’t wait to find out what the next conference theme will be and hope to be able to attend another time.
Mogs Bazely shares some photos and a poem from her weaving workshop....
I love the hymn 'Holy Weaver' by Brian Wren . I have been wanting to share it at CTJ for years but the tune Brian wrote is not singable for a congregation...too many unexpected changes of metre, sharps and flats. Perhaps that in itself says something about how life can be!
Although the words may apply better to the idea of the tapestry of our lives than to willow weaving, we became aware in our conference workshops that it is best to 'let the willow have its way' rather than try to bend it to our own will, to let the material guide our choices. When we then discovered from Margaret Barker that ' the Holy Weaver ' in the Godhead is identified with the Divine Feminine a whole new and unexpected perspective emerged...