This has been quite a year following on from last year with a continuing pandemic exacerbating the frayed edges of our society. The picture above is kinda how I’m feeling 😂. Half-way through 2019 I made the decision to stop supporting existing churches and serving as a missional coach encouraging institutional expression of the church tied to ‘the doing church paradigm’. This enabled me to complete my Masters in Theology (Spirituality) and raised the question of what on earth to do instead. This decision resulted in a tremendous amount of anxiety as I needed to consider what the expression of my calling is to be when leaving all the institutional opportunities.
In 2020 I started the podcast of the urban mystic (link) with two episodes and was quickly joined by Steve Carter. Over 2020 and 2021 we’ve published four seasons with a total of fifty-five episodes together. The first season featured just the two and this followed into three seasons featuring a fantastic lineup of local and international guests. We’ve arrived at a place where our experience of and desire for the immediacy of God’s presence is evidently at odds with the way we do church. This leaves us with questions related to what we’re experiencing and expecting, how to define and cultivate ‘intimacy with God’ and the ‘practice of the presence of God’, and what this means for individuals and communities. Each episode of the podcast touches on the question of the immediacy of God’s presence, voice, and activity, yet in so doing evidences that this is not central in the practice of Christianity. Neither our practice of spirituality or of church prioritises and rests on immediate relational engagement with God.
During Season Four we also launched our Patreon page (and celebrate two Patreon supporters). We’re both tremendously grateful for individuals who support us. The Patreon is the beginning of a new and shared journey of raising support together for Urban Mystic and sharing. We’re both committed to serving others transaction free, which means never charging for our services and activities. Yet this is coupled with daily expenses and monthly bills tied to supporting ourselves and our families. We’re not quite sure how to do this without getting into the marketing and fundraising machinery. Yet we hold to, the perhaps naive, goal of not commodifying anything. I trust this will inspire others to support us as we continue the work of the urban mystic.
During 2021 both of us also made significant life changes. Steve and Inez moved to the Netherlands with their three kids. Yikes! They’re brave. I went through the painful process of a divorce and moved cities, which is healthy for me even though I’m missing my kids tremendously. These life changes somewhat derailed both of us as we’ve been settling into our new lives and homes. We’re looking to be back on track for 2022 with what’s brewing in our hearts and minds:
- We’re both committed to entering deeper into living and loving in relation to ourselves, each other, the cosmos, and God. We’ll be launching a series focusing on our 7 key relationships series which also encourages the practice of the presence of God. More on this soon!
- We’ll launch Season 5 of the podcast early next year and dive deeply into the practice of the presence of God for individuals and communities. We’re tackling the question of what ‘intimacy with God’ means and what the ‘practice of the presence of God’ can be for individuals and communities. Expect several deep and vulnerable conversations as well wrestle with this.
- We’re going to be publishing on YouTube! This is an exciting addition to the work of the urban mystic.
- We’ll continue with our one-on-one Zoom meetings and sessions with individuals wanting to speak with us about their journeys as they wrestle with the absence and presence of God.