Understanding the Bible

UNDERSTANDING THE BIBLE
A two day course designed for Children’s and Youth Workers
Speaker: Rev. Bruce Gillingham, Pastoral Tutor at Wycliffe Hall
Wednesday 3rd May:  Engaging with the Old Testament
Wednesday 14th June:  Engaging with the New Testament
9.45- 4pm
Cost:  £35 per day or £65 for both days
Refreshments provided.  Bring lunch / use our cafeteria
Venue:  Oxford CYM, CMS, Watlington Road, Oxford. OX4 6BZ
Contact:  Lynda Gerrard: 01865 787455/ [email protected]

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Laughter

I continue to be fascinated by the benefits of laughter, and am discovering more all the time about the link between laughter, spirituality and well-being.
It’s also been enlightening to dig into some research that shows how much smiling and laughing lead to happiness (or Joy as I’d be looking at it theologically) RATHER than the usual way round that our culture assumes: happiness leads to smiling and laughter.

There is something incredibly powerful that happens when we laugh that opens up healing, health, vulnerability, connection and joy. As a result of this I am not only still pursuing the comedy, but also going on some training to deliver ‘Laughter Yoga’ (Yup!). Oh and I’ve also been in touch with livability about their ‘happiness course

PS The last Ethos Comedy was extraordinary, I am incredibly proud of the evening that it was, and the joyous laughter that it produced.  Am thinking about October for the next one?!

 

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Discipleship

I’ve had several tries at trying to write up some of my discipleship experience and learning but it has proved difficult to articulate. Not as in not being able to write it, but because of the reaction it often provokes.  Trying to help groups explore that we have an unconscious theology built too heavily on the ‘brain bit’ of us, rather than a more whole ‘body, mind, soul, spirit’ self, has produced a very defensive response.  A critique of the approach that assumes that lived discipleship flows from the acquisition of ‘correct’ knowledge has been perceived as an attack on truth, and a lean towards relativism, no matter how carefully I ‘lay out the stall’ and even define what I am not saying.  (Am still bruised by one recent attempt at a learning conversation with a group of church leaders)

I have been very encouraged though by reading “You are what you love” by James K.A Smith” who in the first chapter brilliantly (and with great wisdom) explores the degree to which the church is influenced by an intellectualism, a ‘thinking thingism’ as he refers to it …. that does not have the ability, for the most part, to equip and enable Christian activity.

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Discipleship

Up until now I have resisted writing too much of my discipleship work up on the blog as it needs dialogue and conversation.  (Given that even in conversation there has been an anxious reaction at times to the questioning and exploring of certain assumptions – especially around the churches primary modality for ‘discipleship,’ that of cerebral, intellectual teaching.) I’m aware that in attempting to write stuff down where it lacks tonality, body language, and questioning, it is much harder to convey. It also at times provokes reactions along the lines of ‘The question you are asking mean you are saying ‘X’ and that means you are attacking or rejecting ‘Y’ (Even more frustrating given that you are not in fact saying ‘X’ or attacking or rejecting ‘Y’). Dualism lives large.

Realizing all ready that this may be a bad idea. However I am going to try and explore what I am learning in my faith journey, in my spiritual practice, in my studies …. and the interplay between them.

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Mental health, teenagers and schools

Interesting article in the Guardian

Should schools be better equipped to understand and help teenagers is the thrust of the article. The young people however are asking for better access to professionals:

“according to the new survey, what most teenagers want is easy access to mental health professionals rather than being “patched up” by teachers with little training.”

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