Tweenagers Training

Quick plug (and apologies to readers outside of the Oxford Diocese) that due to the popularity of the training on “Working with Tweenagers” we are repeating it! April 14th, Church House, Oxford. Send me an e-mail for more details or booking information!
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A “Hell” of a ride at Holyland

Rant Warning!
I talked before about flawed ecclesiologies and the “Field of Dreams” theology around, “If you build it they will come!” Well, there was an article in Mondays Times on a vision for a Holy Land theme park as a way of encouraging Biblical Knowledge in the 16-24 year old age bracket. Andrea Webster who is heading up this UK £144 million project says,
coaster.jpg “I want the park to encompass the magic of the Bible and present it in a way that will be exciting and relevant.”
and also says
“I believe it’s a vision from God,” she said. “We need different ways to reach the youth of this country and it came to me in a flash that a biblical theme park would give people a fun day out but also teach them about the Bible in the process.”
I normally steer well away from being negative about stuff on the blog but I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry over this quest for “relevance!”
I think I settled on laughing then crying and momentarily despairing!
Or am over-reacting? Will a trip to a sanctified Alton Towers be high on the youth group agenda in order for a Post Christian generation to discover God’s revelation of himself?

It’s just a little crush

I wrote a while back how surprised I was at how many people remember little about their adolescence, how they remember the facts of where they were etc but not the whole complicated extremes of being and becoming the person they are, the hormonal, emotional, roller-coaster of teenagerdom withs it’s HIGH’s and really LOW’s! (I wondered if this is why society is so intolerant of teenagers, “YOU LOOK LIKE an adult (aside from the dress sense), BEHAVE LIKE ONE!”) I was thinking though surely everyone remembers their first major crush, some may still even have scraps of the nail-bittingly bad poetry that it gave rise to. I guess girls, maturing quicker as they do, may handle the whole thing with some dignity intact! My blokey experience however is listening to achingly painful music and generally being pathetic in my doe eyed affections and wasting vast amounts of time just randomly walking near Welcombe Grove in the hope of “bumping into” the object of my doting devotion.
So fess up then? What do you remember?
And for bonus points, how can your experience be a useful reflection for youth work?
The band Chegal Guevara produced a great track that had the chorus,
“Oh I still know your number by heart
I don’t know if it’s love or if I’m smart
but I still know your number by heart”

(I still remember her phone number 22 years on)

Multiple media

taggerzx211.jpg I’m enjoying this time off lark even if I don’t feel 100% I have definitely caught up on some media today. Watched “Holes” which I thought was great, definitely some youth work stuff to draw from this film. I’ve had RSA on (German Radio station that plays mainly English 80’s stuff, go figure), done some reading and taken in a fantastic animated series on 1 extra, it’s called “Taggerz” and is a series of animated 10 minute programmes about a crew of Graffiti artists ….. you should have a look (Press release) I wish there was a way to record them and show them off-line as they’d make great discussion starters.
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Only media downer is for once I wish we had a TV to see the first of the new Dr Who series on Saturday!

Theological Church to the Church

Only got to page 25 of “Practicing Passion” but have some time off now so hopefully more reading space. This was the quote that struck me today:
“The theological challenge youth pose to the church is blunt: Are we who we say we are? Do we practice passion, transformed by a Love who never disappoints, and live by a faith so convincing that we stake our lives on it? Or are we just another sagging social convention, like Dracula, that needs young blood to survive?” Dean

Maundy Wednesday and Good Thursday

In Easter week I always wonder about Matthew 12:40 when Jesus says he will be “three days and three nights in the heart of the earth” which doesn’t fit at all with our current Easter chronology. (I’ve heard preachers fudge this one on the basis of the timings of Hebrew days but it doesn’t have any bearing on Jesus’ distinct reference to three days and three nights).
In John’s account however, he reports that the day after Jesus death was to be a “special sabbath” [19:31]! Could this “special sabbath” mean an additional day of sabbath akin to our idea of a bank holiday? I heard someone exploring this as an idea once and it fascinated me because where it led was: If there were two Sabbath days that week in light of the Passover then it would mean that Jesus was crucified on the Thursday and that Matthew 12:40 holds together, Just a thought!