TED talk by Sarah-Jayne Blakemore
"Why do teenagers seem so much more impulsive, so much less self-aware than grown-ups? Cognitive neuroscientist Sarah-Jayne Blakemore compares the prefrontal cortex in adolescents to that of adults, to show us how typically "teenage" behavior is caused by the growing and developing brain"
oh, and you'll find it here (ht to the rather Brilliant Miz)
Radio 4 interview with Sarah-Jayne Blakemore
Just loading up the transport for a youth weekend away. It is a VERY much nicer bus than I was expecting. The regular white bog standard minibus was not available so I have a Six gear luxury Ford with uber nice seats and every gadget under the sun (and then some).
It's like driving a rather impressive Lounge being propelled by some sort of nuclear power station. The contrast with Charlie van is extreme with the small luxuries of power, quiet, comfort and electronics really standing out. (Still prefer Charlie Bus though).
Brilliant article from Andy Kind with some great insight around comedy and around the relationship between church and the arts.
Have a read
Flagging this up as it's a useful site and I will be using it with my discipleship work:
"Renovaré is a community of Christians seeking continual spiritual renewal in Christ. Founded in 1988 by Celebration of Discipline author Richard J. Foster, Renovaré (a Latin word meaning "to renew") promotes personal and spiritual renewal. We are convinced that all people can enjoy a closer walk with Jesus, leading to a more vibrant and ful?lling Christlike life"
There will be no 'Youthwork the Conference' in 2016
There is also no Soulnet retreat ... and no Youth Work Summit that I can find
(Just got word that Youthwork the Conference is likely to re-appear in 2017)
Anyone point to conferences, events for 2016 that would be useful to flag up?
"I think the Twelve Steps are inspired by the Holy Spirit and that they are the most successful programmatic teaching of the true Gospel. Bill Wilson and the other founders of Alcoholics Anonymous rediscovered the spirituality of imperfection and powerlessness, which was relegated to a subtext once Christianity aligned with imperial thinking, beginning in 313 A.D. Once we looked out at society from the top instead of the bottom, the Church focused its moral program on a path of ascent instead of descent.
When you are aligned with Empire, you are forced to prefer a spirituality of achievement, performance, worthiness, and willpower, and surely not any talk of "all people have sinned" and "fallen short of the glory" (Romans 5:12, 3:23). There is no longer room "for the last to be first and the first to be last" (Mark 10:31). Conformity to cultural virtue becomes much more important than love of littleness itself or love of any outsider (read "sinner").
It's as if Christianity has been saying, "We have the perfect medicine for what ails you: grace and mercy. But the only requirement for receiving it is never to need it!" Jesus called himself a physician and made his case clearly: "Those who are well do not need a physician, but the sick do. I did not come to call the righteous but sinners" (Mark 2:17). Bill Wilson recognized this truth and understood that the only way to give everyone equal and universal access to God is to base salvation/enlightenment on woundedness instead of self-created trophies. If we are honest, this utterly levels the playing field. Julian of Norwich, my favorite English mystic, understood the great turn around and said proudly: "Our wounds are our very trophies!" They are the "holes in the soul" where the Light and the Life can break through. Exactly as Leonard Cohen's Anthem puts it: "Forget your perfect offering / There is a crack in everything / That's how the light gets in."
The way of the Twelve Steps is remarkably similar to Jesus' Way of the Cross, St. Francis' Way of Poverty, and St. Thérèse of Lisieux's Little Way. These and many other saints and mystics teach the power of powerlessness either directly or indirectly. It was never totally lost in mainstream Christianity, although it was a minority insight.  Many did recognize that it is the imperial ego that has to go, and only powerlessness can do the job correctly. If we try to change our ego with the help of our ego, we only have a better-disguised ego.
Until you bottom out and come to the limits of your own fuel supply, there is no reason for you to switch to a higher octane of fuel. Why would you? You will not learn to actively draw upon a Larger Source until your usual resources are depleted and revealed as inadequate to the task. In fact, you will not even know there is a Larger Source until your own sources and resources utterly fail you.
None of us go to the place of powerlessness on our own accord. We have to be taken there. Sad to say it, but it is largely sin, humiliation, failure, and various forms of addiction that do the job. Sometimes, having ruined your marriage, your children, your job, or your sterling self-image, you have to say, "My way isn't working."  Maybe there is another way, maybe I really do need to change. That is very often when you are finally ready to begin a sincere spiritual journey. At that point your religion morphs into a living spirituality"
I loved my visit to Youthwork the Conference on Saturday. Great to see the energy and community of the event being residential again (did I ever tell you *Grandfather voice in evidence* about Bream Sands back in 1992), Liddington was a great venue.
It was good to catch up with so many people from this great calling of ministry among young people.
Was there any word as to whether there will be a YC16, and whether it will be at liddington again? I'm trying to put together a leaflet on Spiritual and Professional development opportunities 2016 and there is no YW Summit or Soulnet to be able to point to.
(I do know that YC16 can't be at Liddington on the corresponding weekend in 2016 as I am booked to do entertainment on the 18th/19th November 2016 for a large Baptist Church weekend away at Liddington.)
N: Non-discriminatory Practice
Equal treatment, equal opportunity BUT more than that noticing and dismantling the barriers that are discriminatory
The importance of this is that it is an intentional and active process. Just believing that our approach is inclusive is not enough. There is very easily a gap between our rhetoric and our practice, between our espoused theology and our operant theology.
We need to ask ourselves difficult questions, and to ensure that we are hearing the difficult questions.
Latest figures on families and households from the Office for National Statistics.
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