Back in September

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The blog is in stasis until September as it's the holiday season.
August is a mixture of work and holiday for me.

Two places I'd love to bump into you:
I'll be in the 'Clean as Possible Comedy Show' (briefly) in Edinburgh on 17th and 18th of August ..... and I'll be at Soul Survivor for the day on the 23rd August.

Have a blessed time
Catch up with you soon

Youthworker of the Year Award 2015

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Various catergories, have a look. Great opportunity to bless and say Thank you to someone who is making a difference to Young People

All the info is HERE

Here's a challenge for youth groups that could be fun: 'Dress up your youth leader as a superhero and post the image on Facebook or Twitter. There will be a prize for the winner, but will also get the word out about the Awards and how we want to celebrate the superheroes of youth work'

New Diocesan Church House

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This is the new Diocesan Church House and where my desk will be from Next year (probably around March). There is not enough space for meetings and for training in our current building, or in fact even to properly fit everyone. This new building offers a much greater opportunity for hospitality to visitors, for more creative working ... and for hosting more conversation and training. All very exciting.

Mission will be up on the third floor, so same height BUT no longer in a kind of converted loft. There is in fact a huge loft space above us at the new building with possible room for a Table Tennis table for a lunch time league. (This is my idea and has not been discussed or sanctioned ... YET!)

So we set sail to this new land hoping to acquire a Bishop and a Director of Mission along the way.

TED talk on Addiction

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Youth Groups and the Tuck Shop

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This look at what is happening in your body when you have a can of coke is REALLY interesting Scary. Have a read if you dare.

We no longer sell fizzy drinks or sweets at the camps I run and tend to run with drinks of water/squash and homemade snacks and cakes. It had such a positive effect on the experience of hospitality, and on having a much more level and engaged group of young people with out the hyperactivity then sugar crash.

(BTW The trendy thick milkshake bottles have even more sugar in than coke!)

Generosity

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Tear Fund have produced a devotional series on Generosity that you could use individually or as a group. Details here

Yellow Braces 2016

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I can confirm that Yellow Braces 2016 will be on July 8th - 10th at Oakwood Youth Challenge in the South of the Diocese.

Sadly Hill End where we have been for 13 years have become so much busier and didn't hold our slot as they have in the past ... we also explored the new A+ Adventure Base as a possibility but it is still very early days for the site yet and we couldn't find a plan that could work. Oakwood is FANTASTIC though, I just mention the other stuff as I realize that for some groups it is much more of a journey.

YB 2016: New Location, same Kingdom values ... always a wonderful team. See you there

Discipleship

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I had an interesting experience recently listening to a Discipleship strategy running across a large group of churches being presented. There was some good and interesting joined-up thinking but at no point was there an agreed understanding or framework of what 'discipleship' is.

The challenge is that without a wrestle with the question, the model tends to be informational not formational, flowing from a theology over-dominated by cultural influences of Rationality and Chistendom. Teaching and knowledge acquisition being the assumed drivers, with more about programme than process.

I'm interested to see where approaches are being fostered that include experience, practice and collective learning ... for individual churches, and groups/denominations etc


Disciplekit

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CPAS have put together a web page called Disciplekit which is a database/guide to all of the Discipleship resources available.

Letting Go and Letting Be

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"Meister Eckhart taught the simple power of letting go and letting be. To let go is no easy task. But in any loving relationship, as we see in the Trinity, it is the source of true joy. Matthew Fox writes that "laughter may well be the ultimate act of letting go and letting be: the music of the divine cosmos"

Open Doors

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It is sixty years since Brother Andrew started smuggling Bibles into Eastern Bloc countries and supporting persecuted Christians. That gave birth to 'Open Doors'
This video explores Brother Andrews story as well as the lives of Christians in the Middle East today. Powerful stuff:

The Budget and Young People

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National Children's Bureau on the Impact of the Budget on Young People
PDF report: 150708 Summer Budget 2015.pdf

"The decision to abolish the automatic entitlement to housing benefits risks pulling the rug from under young people as they struggle to move into independence. It is vital that care leavers and other vulnerable groups are exempted from these cuts otherwise those who are in most need of help will be unfairly penalised"

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