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May 06, 2012


Patrick Gillan

Well speaking as a Baptist I was staggered that the Assembly did not discuss the hot topics in our Day. I guess their philosophy is bury your head in the sand and it will all go away. After reading your blog I am glad I did not bother to make the effort to attend.

Chris Duffett

Andy, thanks for the reflections; like you I found Tony's talk somewhat recycled.

You did miss a treat with the futures session- this for me is what assembly is all about: listening to one another, sometimes quite painful stories and heart-felt pleas. We just have to act on what we have heard, especially from the young and black and ethnic minority baptists.

Overall, I would say that assembly did work, but only now if we do what we've heard: we need MORE VISION!

Stephen Henwood

I thought it was a good assembly. Recylcled only if you have heard it before but even so might need to be preached until responses are made. Patrick sounds like a good Baptist not bothered. What hot topics were you looking for? Listening to the Futures was painful but necessary. Nothing buried, very hot and if acted positive possibilities for the future. We must be aware that for some change will mean finding new jobs.

Rev dr malcolm patten

I liked it. Bit of a cheap shot to dig at participants fees me thinks. Glad you liked the north americans doing indian music. I liked them too.. Just as well they didn't try to bring real indians over eh? More intellectual reflection? Why not. But please less of the intellectual snobbery.


Re: bookshop.

Two thoughts.

Firstly, you don't know how good that bookshop actually was compared with what is offered in another context I attend. It's relative, trust me. Or maybe you'd like almost exclusively 'Banner of Truth'.... ;-)

Secondly, do the planning people ever ASK the book shop people to bring any Baptist stuff? This may sound a stupid question, but when I've arranged bookstall type stuff before, the shops have asked me if there was anything I specifically wanted (or not wanted). I wouldn't want Assembly to degenerate into a publicity stunt for the latest Baptist authors, but we could ask for stuff to be offered. Also commentaries on Hebrews might have a good option - had more of the speakers actually used the passages to any extent. I suspect we need to be more proactive.

Jon Stannard

Andy, I agreed with much of what you've written. I think it's important to feed it back to the Assembly Project Team.

Alan Boorman

Tweeting: http://www.newmediacentreofexcellence.org.uk/node/80 provides an alternative perspective

only malcolm patten!

ok, further to my comments above and just to save misunderstanding...
The music: I think its interesting that we had a black guy doing white western music and white guys doing indian music - is that what multiculturalism in the 21st century looks like? We are on 'The Journey' and that means not just considering the music but who is playing it, where does it come from, what does that reveal about us? I enjoyed it all, and it was all offered sincerely by passionate worshipping hearts and I don't think we should knock one and enjoy the other. I do think we can broaden the scope and given the enthusiasm for BMS/BU collaboration is this one way BMS could bring more to the assembly?? (btw I loved the integration of the sending out ceremony - must keep that!)
Re: Campolo! Leave the guy alone! No-one expected anything less on Saturday night than a rehash of our favourite stories - like watching replays of Fawlty Towers - you know what's coming and its still just as funny the 99th time you hear it. But he is the only one who says something (whether you agree with him or not) about the hot potatoes (albeit briefly) - women, gay marriage, money. He filled the place and I guess that was one of the reasons why he was there. (I was told there was some straw poll at some point in past and Jeff Lucas came out top and Campolo second - don't know if that is true but it is very baptist thing to do!) But he also helps us laugh at ourselves and challenge our flakiness.
Intellectual snobbery - ok it was meant to be a bit tongue in cheek (hence the Revd Dr) but apologies for offence caused. I wonder sometimes whether we are too quick to despise what doesn't suit us. Assembly seems to be pulled 2 ways - church-meeting-writ-large and baptist-spring-harvest. Perhaps a third - academic reflection? I think as well that there is an increasing disparity between the city churches and the rural churches. Its a hard job to reconcile those things. Maybe the struggle to do so is where the clues lie revealing what we really value about being a baptist people - but its what we already know - being inclusive, prophetic, worshipping, etc.
Anyway, having been too brief I am now going on too long... but thanks Andy for stimulating the conversation.

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