Tuesday, May 22, 2007

A final reflection on cafe church

Still picking over the scab of Sunday evening's gathering... I think, on mature reflection, that the major problem with it was that the Bible material wasn't clearly enough linked to the Paul Simon material.

So for future reference, I think if I do anything like this again, I will tie the album and the bible material much more closely together, possibly inviting the congregation in groups around the table to critique the selection of songs we're using with the text of scripture and vice versa.

I think I'd also have a quiz. I almost did a 'ten things you won't know about this album' quiz but decided not to because the service was already looking long enough. Quizzes are a great way of generating conversation around and between tables at cafe church and an excellent means of imparting information without giving a lecture.

The format has worked well with serious moral/ethical issues - stem cell research, international debt - and pop culture topics - the Da Vinci Code. A mixture of questions, some lighter than others, gets people thinking and talking together and generates an interest in knowing what the answer is when people discover they don't know. It's fairly important to pitch the quiz just above your audience's known ignorance level - it would be a disaster if one table romped home to an easy victory, leaving everyone else in their wake!

Loving the new Bjork album - challenging and beautiful as ever. I've also just finished C J Sansom's third Matthew Shardlake novel, Sovereign - it's the best yet, a deep, dark, intricate web of a mystery every bit as dazzling as the Name of the Rose. The characterisation of a bloated, paranoid Henry VIII, touring the North of England amid plots and doubts about the succession is superb. Shardlake is an extraordinary creation. I hope another one's in the pipeline.


Liz said...

I missed this cafe church which was a shame so yes I hope you do another one is a similar vein (U2's still on the back burner I hope - no pressure of course!)

I agree that any quizzes are always great conversation starters but tricky to get right with the added issue of time as well - but there are lots of different ways of approaching them and don't you just love a challenge!!!

simon said...

yeah, U2 in the autumn - possibly when they have a new album out. We can build it around Bono's call to action on behalf of the world's poor - 'this is not a burden, it's an adventure'.

Anonymous said...

What's wrong with a team wining hands down? SA 58 - England 10; All Blacks 106 - Japan 3 [or whatever it was] England 570-7 and West Indies follow on. I don't hear anybody saying that England should have gone easier.

Some will enter the kingdom by the skin of their teeth, others will reap rich rewards. Will we begrudge them their "winnings?"