Thursday 1 October 2020

We Are. A poetic reflection from the closing session of the #Cofereimagining conference 2020

The following piece was created during the Cofereimagining conference 2020 by collating lots of phrases from the conference and adding others that summed up conference themes. The final piece was completed while ++Justin was speaking.

We Are (On Pilgrimage with Sanjee Perera, Archbishop Justin Welby and many others)

During her talk Dr Sanjee Perera stated “we are”. She went on to describe Christ’s followers in this way, “we are rebellious prodigals redeemed by grace”

The assertion that “we are” struck a chord. Elsewhere Dr Sanjee described followers of Jesus as, ‘A new tribe baptized and liberated by a new covenant.’

I think this piece would have become a call and response, a litany, had we been together in person, but instead, “we are” becomes the refrain


The people round here, the people round there


We are…


The people together, the people apart


We are…


You, me, we, - there’s no such thing as “us” and “them”


We are…


Rebellious prodigals redeemed by grace


We are…


The called and the sent


We are…


This new tribe baptized and liberated


We are…


Followers of Jesus Christ


We are…


The Church, the body, the bride


We are…

Those who listen


We are…


Hungry for compassion


We are…


Filled with sighs of longing and the laughter of hope


We are…


Companions of the just shepherd


We are…


Those who call for the walls of our hearts to come down


We are…


Those who call for the frontiers of our minds to be opened


We are…


Friends of disruption


We are …


Not locked in our buildings


We are…


The Hilda’s who will scare the snakes away


We are…


Those with holy intentionality


We are…


Consumed by creative questions


We are …


Working through the gaps between what we think and feel and do


We are…


Wading through the quagmire of Christendom saturation


We are …


Fools for hope chiming softly across the land


We are…


Seeking after the Spirit wherever she is found and celebrated


We are…


The people asking after the heart of our neighbour’s week


We are…


Wanderers of wonder in a world wearied by worry


We are…


Those called further out into the world


We are…


Proclaimers of the Good News of the Kingdom


We are…


Willing to walk the wilderness roads


We are…


Those with soft hearts and hard and holy feet


We are…


Those who reimagine what it means to join in with God


We are…


Servants of our communities


We are…


The people who hang luggage tags of hope and prayer from the branches of trees


We are…


Those who carry the cross


We are…


Those who speak up for the despised


We are…


Those with eyes open to the Spirit


We are…


People with a willingness to go and act and listen and speak


We are…


Bearers of the light, speakers of life


We are…


Witnesses to tiny sparks of possibility


We are…


Those who are willing to go


We are…


Those liberated on the road


We are.

Closing Benediction from #cofereimagining

 Closing Benediction

Send us out from this time together
Send us out from Whova and Zoom
Send us out from the rooms in which we’re each sat
Send us out with a hunger to seek after your Spirit
Send us out with renewed imaginations
Send us out beyond the lychgate – to the new normal that awaits us

Send us out to those who are struggling
Send us out to those who are seeking
Send us out to those who are still on the journey
Send us out in the name
And with the blessing
Of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.

In These Days (closing worship #cofereimagining )


In These Days ( A poem – many of the phrases in the poem are taken from talks we’ve heard – a collation and elaboration)


In these days of Covid chaos

Collective confusion

And separation

We need a transfiguration without tabernacles

There’s no space for distraction by tasks


In these days we must be willing to be distracted by people

Their needs, the gospel, enacted through

Serving hands and wondering words


In these days of change

From one day to the next

With the ups and downs of laws and legislation

Advice and statistics and guidance

We need to support each other

To be cloisters of Christian hospitality and care


In these days when words whirl and widen

We recognise the absence and lack of silence

Heads and hearts filled with fear and trepidation

Tiredness, frustration and expectations

We need more curious questions

And renewed imaginations


In these days we need to be humble

To hold space for lament and self-care

And have a willingness to pause

To pause

To pause

To pause and stand with the confused and grieving


In these days we know and are aware

That we need to be leaner

Unencumbered by the cumbersome

To be agile

To move out beyond the lychgate

Re-imagining the way we

See our situation

And our part in any solutions

Because we’re part of the many

We’re not the whole

Shaped by openness and humility

Receptivity and vulnerability


In these days of top-down voices

We need to be aware of our own cadences

And to seek new Caedmons to sing new songs

Songs of the voiceless

Songs of the silenced

Songs grappling with cognitive dissonance

Songs freeing captives from violence

Songs in regional tongues

Songs sung from Spirit-filled lungs


In these days

We long for a church that

Re-fires the Spirit

A church that watches for the little sparks

And lights the beacons

A church filled with Aidans holding their torches aloft


In these days we long for

A new Pentecost – not the domain of the few but the many

A Pentecost of online groups and innovation

A Pentecost of preaching in the quietness of 8:30 Communion

A Pentecost among the people of peace of our places

A Pentecost of the local, rooted in the soil

A Pentecost of flame that can’t be tamed


One that won’t be held back by bricks and mortar

One that will flow and spread like living water

Like a baptism of water, fire and Spirit breath

A baptism of hope in what is left

And what is still to come.

A baptism of Father, Spirit, Son

A baptism of God, the three in one.