Last Sunday’s Playlist: Clean Sparkling White Melbourne

Last Sunday’s Playlist @ Newmarket Baptist 

2nd September 2012, Ordinary Time 22B: Colour: Green


At this stage Sunday’s 10am gathering is central to our Rhythm of Prayer at Newmarket Baptist.  As we can’t each be present every Sunday we like to share highlights from our ‘playlist’ in the hope that it may re-source you to better follow Jesus in your world…

PoC (Prayer of Confession):

Clean Project by Nic Lowe of 2006.

With the closing ceremony of the London Olympics and Paralympics in progress this years lectionary coincided with a similar theme from 2006 when I was working at Urban Seed:church and the Commonwealth Games were in Melbourne.

“This evening Urban Seed: church was competing with the Closing Ceremony of the Commonwealth Games so I went with it.  For our Call to Worship we listened to the African drum rythyms of the Late Late Service’s  “All the Earth is the Lords” (LLS4) and then quietened it down by singing “He is Lord” accapella. Every knee bowing and every tounge confessing that Jesus is Lord.   I contrasted the once called Empire Games with that of the Roman Empire and bunting that appears all over Melbourne.

For our own bunting I used the wallpaper of the CLEAN exhibition that was part of the Next Wave festival that had run concurrently with the Commonwealth Games.

For the exhibition they wallpapered a big section of Hosier Lane, the Melbourne City laneway famous for its street art and now the home of Living Room, the medical service for homeless people that was first located at Urban Seed.  Urban Seed’s Kate Allen was down Hosier Lane with Nick where a street artist was complaining about the wallpaper that had covered the graffiti during the Commonwealth Games.   Nick told him to look more closely….the CLEAN wallpaper consists of athletes and cleaning products covering over lots of the “unclean” images of the city.

It’s a broader statement about what we lose or is covered over when we seek to “clean up” the city.  For example the same week the State Govenment spend $60,000 to house homeless people in hotels during the Games they also spent $160,000 on flowers to line the streets.

Beyond the visuals the exhibition involved an “audio ambush” where speakers were ingeniously hidden in rubbish and the voices of homeless people etc. were contrasted with triumphant sounds of sporting success. The sounds were triggered as people walked up the alley way. Nic did some of recording at Urban Seed’s Credo Café of homeless people sharing a meal during the Games.

I juxtaposed CLEAN with the banner of the movie Dirty Filthy Love, a movie that takes a serious look at obsessive compulsive disorder in a light hearted way.  There is a scene in the movie where the therapy group of pathological clean freaks wallow around in a field of mud as a cathartic act of liberation. (You can scroll to 32.45-35.30 on the video embedded below)  I had always thought this scene would make a good basis for some kind of confessional prayer and the idea of sitting it alongside the themes and images of CLEAN was too hard to pass up.

MoW (Ministry of the Word)

Mark 7:1-8,14-15,21-23

“It’s not that clean and unclean does not exist and is not important in any culture.  It’s just that Jesus redefines purity in terms of what comes out of a person in the qualities we demonstrate in relationships.”  

– Sarah Dylan Bruer

The other idea we explored is that the idea of purity as demonstrated by Jesus as being something fragile that is easily contaminated, is on the contrary contagious, the we can pass on in the way we live and bless others.





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