Sunday, 6 October 2013

Early Days

When I clicked to edit this as-yet-unpublished blog post, the first sentence began, "We are now into our second week of community life..."

Scrub that. We are about to enter week 6. But the title, "Early days" still feels apt.

Admittedly, in some ways, August already feels a long time ago. In some ways, Birmingham City Centre already very much feels like home. In some ways, framing each day with morning and evening prayer already feels like a very established routine. But mostly, it still feels like early days.

Early enough, certainly, to share something of what we are trying to do because I don't really think I've done that on here yet. Perhaps my blog has been somewhat neglected while I have learned how to put a real website together ... and learned just how time consuming that can be ...

Up to now, preparing and planning the prayers has been a fairly major part of our work. As time goes on of course, and more and more is already established, (and when more people join and share in that preparation,) this will become a less onerous task.

I do think though, it is time and effort well-spent, and I am very pleased that the first thing we have established is the routine of prayer. I really believe that if we get that right, everything else will probably be more-or-less ok.

A commitment to 7.30am morning prayer makes for a commitment to an early start every day, but, (whether or not I always feel exactly like this when the alarm sounds!), it is a very good way to start the day. A commitment to 7pm evening prayer ties us to the city, which both limits and opens possibilities. It has been a joy to sometimes share those times with others, and, so far, a joy to commit to the routine even when it is only us. Overall, framing the day with prayer, is a routine which gives life.

Hospitality, a core value of the community, is already beginning to provide opportunities for sharing food and conversations; and my voluntary projects in the city, worthy of separate posts in their own right, are already proving to be a source of joy and life.

There is lots more to be done. Discerning our place and our possibilities will be an ongoing process. Among the most pressing challenges ahead, we need to find more people attracted to this way of life, in order to make this sustainable. After all, it was community that we were seeking in moving here, and as yet, that's still very much a work in progress.

But overall, so far, the Carrs Lane Lived Community, or the very humble beginnings of it, is, for me, a place of life. Long may it be so.

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