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.