At New Inclusive Church Birmingham, we’ve been dreaming about the ways we can develop spiritual and theological depth as a community and also get to know one another better and build friendships (in a more laid-back setting).
These two dreams have led us to trial a new monthly meet-up in Birmingham City Centre … A Book & Podcast Discussion Club! It’s open to all (even if you have never been to NIC and haven’t read/ listened to the podcast or book)! We’d love you to come along.
On our first meet-up we will be discussing some of the themes from ‘People, Places & Post-Evangelicals’ from the Nomad Podcast featuring Sally Mann and Shane Claiborne – start from 12:15 (to miss the pre-amble) but do listen through to the end as the hosts reflect on their interview with Sally and Shane (what they liked and what made them uncomfortable). The interview itself is only 3/4 hour long.
SOME QUESTIONS TO CONSIDER AS YOU LISTEN …
1. How important is it to you to be part of a church/faith community?
2. Have you any stories of churches acting in surprising ways (in a good way) in their community?
3. Have you any stories of individual people of faith (including yourself) acting in positive ways that might surprise others?
4. What would you like to see NIC doing that you would be excited to be personally involved in?
David and Julia will be leading our discussion and selected this podcast for us. Julia explains the context:
Both Sally and Shane would call themselves “evangelicals” in the sense that they believe that it is their mission to bring good news to the people, but they are also at odds with some of the ideas and ideals of some other evangelicals we may have heard of. Both believe in the importance of doing social justice.
Sally Mann is a British Baptist minister in a deprived area of East London, where she has lived and worked most of her life. Shane Claiborne is an American, who was the co-founder of the Red Letter Christians together with Tony Compolo. (Sally Mann is one of the founding trustees of Red Letter Christians UK.)
They tell stories of how they have tried to combat injustice (sometimes on the verge of acting semi-illegally) and how they do or don’t challenge those they feel are adding to the oppression of others.
Some of the issues they discuss the differences in British and American Christianity, politics and faith, the growth of individualism in the west, the importance of community, and the difference between orthodoxy (beliefs) and orthopraxis (actions).
At the end of the interview there is a discussion about what was said by Sally and Shane particularly around areas which caused some discomfort, such as the need to be in a church, in which some different views were aired by the panel.
SO, HOW DOES THIS BOOK & PODCAST CLUB WORK, IN GENERAL?
We’ll select a book or podcast on Christian spirituality and let you know what it is about a few weeks in advance . Then, if you fancy the subject, join us for coffee and a discussion of the key themes … (It will be the kind of chat you can still be included in EVEN if you didn’t manage to read or listen! No guilt or faking it required!)
From Nomad Podcast to This Cultural Moment to Richard Rohr to The Bible for Normal People, there are so many exciting thinkers and theologians from varying Christian perspectives available to us at the push of a button!
WHERE WILL WE MEET?
For this meet-up, we’ll meet at 3 Threes is in Martineau Place (city centre) not from Moor Street and New Street Stations. We’ll order a big pot of coffee and nibbles to share, so you only need to buy a drink if you’d like something special. (We’ll see how many come to this first meet-up and may meet elsewhere next time.)