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!

How well do you know your area?

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This is a great web site that asks you seven census type questions about your local area .... and then reveals the answers. Useful for all sorts of things from fun quiz through to community or mission thinking. You'll find it here

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digital re-engagement

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Laptop is fixed and I am once again connected to the world. 'Normal' service is resumed

Major computer Problems

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A Java update has seriously messed up my computer. The computer is running in geological time, and any attempt to use the internet seems to spark all manner of pop-ups, new pages and other gumpf. The previous post took a ridiculous time to compile and I still haven't managed to pursue some links. AAAArrrghghghghhghgh

Household of Faith

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Last week there was a three day conference entitled "Household of Faith" which:

"aims to focus on issues of nurturing faith within the home and Church community and we are bringing together many speakers and organizations engaging in this important ministry area"

I could only make it to one day but I wanted to be part of the discussions .... and to hear John Westerhof speaking on Nurture and discipleship. I was not disappointed and thoroughly benefited from my day at the University of Sussex. I understand the recordings will be available, I'll post a link when I find 'where' they will be.

I had such an encouraging day: In terms of wisdom gleaned and discussions had, but also being in the company of fellow practitioners for whom I have a deep affection. It was a long day BUT a spare hour presented a chance for five of us to see Brighton beach and briefly immerse ourselves in the British seaside experience.


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