Liturgy of Remembrance

Here is a beautiful Liturgy of Remembrance that I just came across on Brad Culver’s blog.  It is a great liturgy to use for All Hallow’s Eve.

You who spoke the universe into being, whose eye is on the sparrow
Come among us Blessed Three in One, meet us here

You who is present in the poor and the broken, who comforts the mournful and stands by the forsaken
Come among us Sacred Three in One, meet us here

You who dances in silence and shines in darkness
Come among us Blessed Three in One, meet us here

Read the entire liturgy here

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Sine Meanderings – The Netherlands in Review

I have finally downloaded all my photos and had time to catch my breath from our trip, though Tom is still on the move and I just drove him to the airport for a trip to Pittsburgh and a Youth Specialties event.

It was great to be able to take this trip together.  Tom’s three week trip to Britain was the longest we have been separated since we were married and neither of us like travelling overseas on our own.

Enjoying our trip

Enjoying our trip

I think that more than anything on our trip to the Netherlands I enjoyed the people we met and the new friendships we made.  We asked to stay with people rather than in hotels and this provided a wonderful foundation for getting to know some of the organizers of the various events.  The first few days were spent in Utrecht with Frank and Marika Mulder.  Frank heads up Time To Turn which is a part of an international network of organizations that campaign for justice.  Frank was also one of the translators for The New Conspirators into Dutch.

Frank Marika and their son

Frank Marika and their son

One evening we crammed 20 people into their small apartment to discuss what it means to live in community.  11 of them are about to move into a series of 5 small apartments (at least by American or Australian standards) in Utrecht in order to be involved in intentional community together.  Frank and his able assistant Wanda kept us busy during our 2 weeks away speaking to emerging church groups, the Evangelical Alliance and several church congregations as well as the Time to Turn Festival in delft this last weekend.  The emerging church is really only just beginning to grow in the Netherlands but there are some very creative new church plants that I think we will hear a great deal about in the near future.

Time To Turn - enjoying a meal together

Time To Turn - enjoying a meal together

On Saturday afternoon participants engaged in a protest outside the Nokia headquarters, highlighting the fact that many of the cell phone components are made by slave labour in the Congo. Everwhere we spoke we found that people were craving a deeper understanding of the kingdom of God and how to live out our Christian values in today’s worlds.  Young people in all the groups we met with were looking for an authentic whole life faith that could impact every aspect of their lives.

Frank ready to protest

Frank ready to protest

One of the highlights of the trip for me was the opportunity to get together with a good friend from Australia who just happened to be in Europe while we were there.  Louise and I went to medical school together and have remained friends ever since.  It was wonderful to wander through the old city of Delft together on a glorious afternoon.

With Louise in Delft

With Louise in Delft

I was really challenged by the young people we met who take their faith seriously and as a consequence have committed not just to social activism but also to simplicity and community.  Most of them don’t own cars – of course in a bicycle culture like Holland this is a little easier than it would be in most parts of the world.  But they have also taken some very deliberate steps to live in the poorer parts of their cities and work to enable those at the margins to have a better life.  May God continue to bless their efforts for his kingdom.

Catching Up

Ever returned from a trip to find a mountain of work waiting and feeling as though you have just been on a visit to another planet.  Certainly how I feel at the moment. While we were gone it seems as though the whole world has been turned upside down and inside out.  The economic crisis goes from bad to worse, the mail is overflowing across the dining room table and my inbox has hundreds of messages I am not sure I want to look at.  As for Google reader – I don’t even want to think about the thousands of blog posts I have been out of touch with.

So I am just going to wipe the slate clean and start afresh from today.  Noticed on Brother Maynard’s blog that Emergent Village is reimagining itself more as a network than as a typical charitable organization.  The report from the Board of Friends of Emergent Village is well worth reading.  This is of great interest to me as that is the same way that MSA is heading and it looks as though they too used a discernment process like we are working on. Everywhere we go people are talking about the need for connectedness, for community and networking.  I think that the spirit of God is definitely doing something new and it will be exciting to see what develops – maybe we are entering a new age of Christian unity and cooperation – but then again maybe that is just wishful thinking.

Emergent village also mentioned that Stevee Collins has started to post links to alternative worship in the UK.  Here is a great link to a worship service at Grace with Jonny Baker one of the more creative worship leaders we know.

Home At last

Canals and Windmills - this must be Holland

Canals and Windmills - this must be Holland

Tom and I returned from Holland on Tuesday evening – still trying to get our clocks turned around but it is great to be home.  I will share more on our experiences in the next couple of days as I have time to sort photos and reflect on experiences.  One thing is obvious however – for me travel and blogging do not go well together.  By the time I have done email and prepared for speaking events all I want to do is spend time with my new found friends.

Actually I find that I am less inclined to travel than ever and for someone who has spent all her life in the air, on the sea or somewhere in between that is amazing.  The more that our Mustard Seed House community develops the less I want to be away which raises the question for me –

Is society becoming more mobile because we lack community or do we lack community because we are more mobile?

Maybe it sounds a little like the question of which came first the chicken or the egg but I really am wondering – we tend to think that our lack of community is a result of our increasingly mobile society but I wonder if in fact it is more the cause of it.  Place and relationships both matter.  When we feel secure and comfortable where we are none of us want to be on the move.  It is only when we feel alone, insecure or dissatisfied with life that we want to get up and go somewhere else

What do you think?




Is this Where Capitalism Began?

Tom and I are struggling to get our clocks turned around while getting ready for our first speaking event later this afternoon.  Actually I should say I am struggling with getting up when my body tells me it is time to go to sleep, he is full of energy and do most of the preparation.

I just learned that The Netherlands was the first country in the world where banks charged interest on loans and where company stocks and shares were first sold.  Evidently Catholics and Lutherans really struggled with this but for the Calvinists it was no problem.

We are particularly enjoying learning about Time to Turn, a small organization (one of God’s mustard Seeds) that seeks to raise awareness of issues of injustice toward the poor.  Last year they published a copy of the new Testament with all those difficult sayings of Jesus about money removed.  After all as they pointed out Jesus did not really understand the modern world and free market economic policy.

Of course this was very tongue in cheek but some of their readers actually believed it was for real and that this was a good idea.  No wonder our world economy is in trouble!

Heading to Holland

Tomorrow Tom & I leave early for a flight to Amsterdam and a 2 week tour of the Netherlands.  We are mainly working with an organization called Time To Turn

However we have several other speaking engagements and are particularly looking forward to the opportunity to catch up with friends we have not seen for many years.  To me catching up with friends like this is a foretaste of heaven.  It reminds me of a line from one of the Narnia books “There is nothing like a joke that has been forgotten for 400 years. ”  Now it may not be 400 years since we saw most of our Dutch friends but it is still wonderful to reminisce and share fellowship together.  Much to my delight an Australian friend that I went to medical school with will be in Europe too and she will come and spend a day with us in Delft.

We would appreciate your prayers as we travel

Here is our complete itinerary. If you are interested in attending one of these events please contact Wanda Schuurman Time to Turn, Faustdreef 183, 3561 LG Utrecht
tel: 030-2621969: wanda@timetoturn.nl

The New Conspirators Tour

with Tom and Christine Sine

morning afternoon evening
Wed 15 Oct 07.00 arrival / free time / / free time /
Thu 16 Oct 10.00Interview with Maarten Vermeulen for Nederlands Dagblad) 15.00Interview with Frank Mulder for magazine CV Koers / free time /
Fri  17 Oct 15.00-20.00 Symposium Evangelical Alliance + book launch (continued)
Sat  18 Oct 14.00-17.00Emerging Network Utrecht

Utrecht

Sun 19 Oct 11.30 and 14.00Dutch Reformed Church Houten

2 services

(continued) Meeting in Utrecht Overvecht
Mon 20 Oct Gerard Kelly lunch or coffee 20.00Workshop Imagine That Amsterdam
Tue 21 Oct Rik Zutphen Gouda
Wed 22 Oct 10.00Emerging Church Foremen

Utrecht

20.00 Meeting with protestant Christians in Best
Thu 23 Oct 10.00-16.00 Youth for Christ, training for youth workers (continued) 19.30-22.00 Dutch Reformed Church Utrecht
Fri 24 Oct Jeff Fountain 19.00Time to Turn festival, Delft
Sat 25 Oct Time to Turn festival workshop Time to Turn festivalfree time Time to Turn festivalservice
Sun 26 Oct 10.00Christ Church Amsterdam

service

(continued) Leadership meeting Christ Church Amsterdam (optional)
Mon 27 Oct 09.55 departure

Becoming God’s Compasisonate Response in Times of Economic Crisis

I have just been reading up on what others are saying in the Christian world about the financial crisis.  Some have me fuming as they suggest that this is God’s punishment for our greed.  Consequences for greed and corrunption yes but God’s punishment definitely not.  I do not believe that our loving caring God would ever deal out vengeful punishment that has more impact on the poor and the marginalized than it does on those who are responsible for much of the current situation.

Others are encouraging our compassionate response which I think is the greatest witness that followers of Christ can give at this time.

As you know MSA’s latest ezine addresses this issue and we want to continue to share with you creative examples of how we can respond:

In his lead article Recession Is Looming: How Can We Prepare? my husband Tom Sine explained

On September 7th, weeks before the US and numbers of other nations began to slide into this serious global recession, Mustard Seed Associates hosted our first ever Recession Preparedness Brainstorming Session in Seattle. We asked almost fifty friends to imagine creative ways we could more fully be the compassion of God in our communities during a possible worsening economic situation.  Read the entire article here

Here is how some other organizations are responding.

The Mennonite Weekly Review has a great article entitled Models of Courage in Economic Crisis

Sojourners is going to take up that challenge. In his excellant article A pastoral Strategy for Economic Crisis Jimm Wallis explains:

We want to turn the God’s Politics blog, SojoMail, and our sojo.net Web site into Christian forums for a wide-ranging discussion and collective discernment of the issues of this economic crisis. We are already planning cover stories and articles for Sojourners magazine and a new Sojourners study guide on all of the above issues. We will be doing wider media messaging, interviews in television and radio, and op-eds in newspapers, while also making the economic crisis a focus of my own writing and speaking.

We too would like to post ideas of how we can continue to be God’s compasisonate response.  And we would love to hear from you.  What are you doing to reach out to others during this difficult time?