The Human centrality of Art

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"Go into the arts. I'm not kidding.
The arts are not a way to make a living.
They are a very human way of making life more bearable.
Practicing an art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow.
For heaven's sake. Sing in the shower. Dance to the radio. Tell stories. Write a poem to a friend, even a lousy poem.
Do it as well as you possibly can.
You will get an enormous reward.
You will have created something."

--Kurt Vonnegut

Making me smile

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You'd need to have seen the advert that Volvo Trucks filmed with Van Damme for this to make any sense, but it made me smile:

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Greenbelt

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Heading out to Greenbelt Festival later today for the new site briefing and then for the Canopy Stage (nee Performance Cafe) team meeting. After such a long time in Cheltenham this is going to be a big change, but the layout looks great ... and it's a beautiful venue.

If you are there then please come and say Hi, I'll be on duty at the Canopy Stage for half of the time, or will be camping in Charlie van Bus in the Caravan/Camper section. Failing that you'll find me at the Comedy stuff, 'The Jesus Arms' or 'Tiny Tea Tent' .... or listening to folk like Brian Mclaren.

(BTW, Mobile signal is apparently better than first mooted)

Living the Difference Cafe

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The Living the Difference Cafe is coming together well and I'm really excited about being part of the team that hosts and delivers this as part of the Grand Day Out.

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Come and be part of this, it'd be great to see you there

See you in September

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The blog (and me) are taking August as some time out. We both look forward to your company again in September. You can bump into me in the non-virtual world at Soul Survivor on 18th August, or at Greenbelt over the Bank Holiday weekend (I'm on team at the Canopy stage (formerly known as the Performance Cafe). Every blessing

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Yellow Braces

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Next years Diocesan camp is July 10th - 12th at Hill End. I bumped into a group that are already counting down the days! Six team members have signed up already.
Some momentum I think! Fab

French

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We're doing a Eurocamp in France so I've temporarily abandoned my 25 year expedition through the optimistically named "German in Three Months" and am plunging into French.

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It's surprising how much French I've somehow retained from school but this tends to be random bits, so I am listening to Michel Thomas in the car and joining in with the lessons. Frustratingly though Disc 2 is missing! I have no idea what was on disc 2 and therefore don't know what I don't know *laughing!* I've also picked up some great vocabulary from Eddie Izzard, should anyone wish to know where the Monkey is or the plot of 'Speed.'

My mission is to speak French without defaulting to German or Makaton sign language.

Of every thirty

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The comprehensive 'Class of 2011 Yearbook' report by Relate3 revealed an interesting portrait of the average sixteen year old growing up in the UK today. Of every thirty
sixteen year olds:

• ten will have witnessed their parents separate
• three will have suffered from mental health problems
• eight will have experienced severe physical violence
• three will be living in a step family
• one will have experienced the death of a parent
• and seven will report having been bullied

Life moves pretty fast

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I was chatting to a fourteen year old this week who listed "Ferris Buellers Day off" as one of her favourite films! Great to be exchanging favourite lines from the film ..... and to know that the 80's are still alive :-)

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Cameron: Ferris, my father loves this car more than life itself.
Ferris: A man with priorities so far out of whack doesn't deserve such a fine automobile.
[Ferris caresses the car in admiration]

Sexting

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"Sexting is not an IT issue, it's a relationships issue"

- Sue Berkowitz, Deputy Children's Commissioner for England

ht to the wonderful folk at Romance Academy

For the churches in Oxfordshire, Viva would love your help in getting a fuller picture of engagement with vulnerable families, children and young people. You can help them with this here. This research will also be a part of a conference in Oxford on 27th September called 'Doorsteps'

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More details are downloadable here: Doorsteps Conference Research.pdf

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Luke: What is it?

Ben: 'Informal Education'. [He hands a copy of "Jeffs and Smith" definitive work on the subject to Luke, who begins to leaf through it while Ben continues.] This is the weapon of a JNC Knight. Not as clumsy or random as 'School' or 'Needs based referrals.' An elegant tool, for a more civilized age. For over fifty years, the JNC Knights were guardians of community, and facilitators of opportunity for young people .... in the United Kingdom, and beyond. Before the dark times. Before the austerity wars.

Luke: [Closes book] How did Youth work die?

Ben: An entire political agenda that protected the rich but demanded cuts for the poor. Youth work was betrayed and murdered by; massive funding cuts, removal of funding for training, and a limited hub based approach more akin to targeted social work. A systematic failure to recognize the needs and aspirations of young people, a failure to see the importance of working in community, and not understanding the role played by the JNC Knights. These all contributed to 'informal education' being virtually purged from the galaxy. We were betrayed!

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