I belong to an alternative worship community called Grace in Ealing, West London. On Saturday night we reflected on the theme of the new heavens and the new earth, setting up an Occupy London style camp inside the church. Members of the community created a station or installation inside a tent, exploring a specific theme, inviting people to think about what's wrong with the world and what it might look like when it's redeemed. The church was full of tents creating a rich and thought-provoking environment engaging with lots of different issues, and enabling people to imagine a different world.
Perhaps predictably, I focused on the issue of relationships between women and men, tying the outside of my tent up in rope and attaching words like alienation, mysogyny, sex trafficking, misandry and domestic violence to represent brokenness. Inside there was a slideshow mixing words from the creation story with clips from the film Pina showing men and women dancing together with beauty, strength, joy and creativity. People were invited to consider how the world might be different if women and men lived, worked and loved in equality and partnership as God had intended and to write their ideas on small flags attached to strings. This is what people wrote: leadership would just be better; it would be fun and fab; girls in some countries would not be killed or sold just because they are a girl; women and men running the country together; men would live longer.
People could tweet their ideas of what a redeemed world would look like using the hashtag gracelondon and these appeared on the screen at the front. I tweeted on the @sophianetwork account as I don't have a personal one. The wonderful thing was that people started retweeting what I wrote and their tweets appeared on the screen too; you contributed to our worship without realising. It was a litany of voices praying for equality and restoration between men and women - a huge thank you to those of you who joined in.