January 2007 Archives

Spring Clean

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baseball hitter.gif I know it's not Spring, but 'Winter clean' just didn't work as a title.

It's time to tidy up the side bar of the blog a bit and hence have an annual cull of bloggers who fail to actually post anything. All very humane of course, I'll just creep up and hit the html very hard with the delete button (you shouldn't feel a thing). But under Standardised European blogging rules I have to give you 5 working days notice of your potential deletion .....

Have a nice day

Somebody Save me

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I found this brilliant 'paper' by kenda Creasy Dean entitled, Somebody Save me: Passion, Salvation, and the Smallville effect .... It's along the lines of the talks she gave in the UK last year but if you didn't see her then I highly recommend this reflection on Smallville, Thirteen and the ensuing theological reflection on the search for a saviour. Awesome!

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BTW, I still haven't managed to see the film, Thirteen! Should I?

Sounds like a job for super squirrel

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Splurgtastic Manic Monday

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So it's just another Manic Monday! (did I ever tell you I had a big time CRUSH on Susanna Hoffs of the Bangles at one time?) But Monday's are good and probably less Manic than the weekend for many of us, here's the splurge to make sure your Monday is a well informed one .........

The Church attendance figures are available and despite an overall decline there are some encouragements to be found such as in work with young people. I'm not sure that the figures for the number of "fresh expressions" is accurate as responses from Churches that I encountered recently could mainly be classified as (and this is still good) innovative outreach.

Social Networking sites will be sweating A LOT and also re-looking at access and security as MySpace have several law suits against them in the U.S of A.

Tax Issues for Youth Ministers may become a BIG issue in the next few months. Up until now the tax office have (largely) allowed Youth Ministers to be provided accommodation without it being a taxable benefit. This has been allowed on the basis as it's for the 'better performance of duty' and in keeping with similar appointments (i.e vicars).
I have recently heard of a challenge made to this by a tax office on the basis that the Youth minister was neither a qualified youthworker or an ordained minister and hence not eligible for this type of housing provision. This could potentially affect a lot of workers and jobs. (If you've picked anything up on this let me know).

Some dates:

* Soul Survivor are taking the road to big up the HOPE 2008 initiative.
* Pete Rollins speaking at Bristol CYM on march 15th (I think I'll be going). Download file
* Walk of Witness are organising a BIG march in London on March 24th to celebrate the end of slavery

And finally ....

I've just upgraded to an i-pad and am delighted at how intuitive the user interface is

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Youthgroup activity?

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This has cropped up quite a bit around the blogosphere in the last few days but its too mind blowingly scary to pass up. I defy you not to take a sharp intake of breath when you see how far they stretch the bungee and a second one when you see how fast the girl accelerates on release. Mad! weird! cool?

Don't try this at home folks! Pulling several G while hooked to a rubber band between two washing line posts has death written all over it! All credit to the lass involved though for getting a years worth of adrenaelin kicks in less than a second!

The world is a strange place!

Someone has just shown me their customised Google desk top, admittedly it was great and readily presented updated relevent data/stories that were useful (and amusing) to the person involved. The weird thing is that one of the reasons Google took the net by storm is that the existing browsers (Yahoo et al) were so cluttered and full of 'useful' stuff that they were messy and inefficient, not to mention slow. So Google now allow you to customise your desk top to reproduce the kind of browsers they replaced in order to conquer the market! Weird!

I've also had a conversation with someone who was worn out after playing on a Wii. This also amused me in that gaming was now a cardio-vascular exercise and not just a cerebral one. This is great but does this revolution mean that if Gyms are going to last they are going to have to change their approach and deliver entertainment that makes no physical demands.
(BTW, here's the data from someone who's lost weight via Nintendo!)

I'm not saying either of these developments aren't great, they just amused me!

Mr Bruce Cockburn

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bc.jpg Last night saw me venturing into the federal republic of Milton Keynes to catch a great concert by Mr Bruce Cockburn at the Stables (a great venue). Top top night, Bruce was on good form delivering a powerful combo of breathtakingly brilliant guitar and lyrics that stir the soul, whack the conscience and inspire the heart. Fab!

Cockburn's lyrics have a deep spirituality to them, exploring themes of life, justice, wonder and exquisitely observed snapshots of different cultures and places. Someone once said that Cockburn was too radical for the christians and too christian for the radicals, this is a great description of the artistic path he walks. Last nights gig was a fine example of his ability to address issues and struggles with his work. Songs such as If a tree falls (the environment), This is Baghdad (self explanatory), Beautiful creatures (extinction) and Indian wars (the oppression of indigenous peoples) were poignant and powerful. He also played some great sing-along crowd pleasers like Wondering where the lions are and nothingbutaburninglight.gif All the Diamonds as well as elegantly show casing his newer work including a sublime rendition of Mystery off the new Album

Cockburn's music and especially his lyrics have had a great deal of influence on me, and his music contributes massively to the soundtrack of my life. This may account for this blisteringly positive review OR it may just be that he is a truly remarkable musician and lyricist! (You'll have to listen to him and decide, eh!)

There's a great Cockburn page here

Gospel of reconcilliation

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bible_light_above_md_wht.gif "By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another."
John 13:35

Thought this quote from John Perkins was a great spiritual 'kick up the backside' that applies equally to us in the UK.

"The only purpose of the gospel is to reconcile people to God and to each other. A gospel that doesn’t reconcile is not a Christian gospel at all. But in America, it seems as if we don’t believe that. We don’t really believe that the proof of our discipleship is that we love one another (see John 13:35). No, we think the proof is in numbers…. Even if our “converts” continue to hate each other, even if they will not worship with their brothers and sisters in Christ, we point to their “conversation” as evidence of the gospel’s success. We have substituted a gospel of church growth for a gospel of reconciliation"

John Perkins From “With Justice for All" Sojourners Mailing

Let it snow

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Woke up this morning to find the world blanketted with snow. Beautiful!
Snow is good for the soul :-)

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Appropriate liturgy here

Why men hate going to Church 2

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When I flagged up this book a couple of weeks ago it sparked quite a bit of debate. My review is now published in The Door so I can post the full piece. Here it is ...

(the published piece had to be trimmed for space reasons so this is the rare Directors Cut, lol)

One of the services, at a Church I attend, closes with everyone being encouraged to hold hands as the Grace is said. This ritual puts me so far out of my comfort zone that I would rather be anywhere else at this point (and as a result, quite often am). Is it me? I mean, just me? Or is this something that any average bloke would be uncomfortable with?
This feels like an important question, you see I’m a Bible believing, Christ following Christian who feels called to a Ministry through the Church and I’m a man. So should my faith over-ride my masculine discomfort at holding hands with other blokes, or is Church inappropriately subjugating my masculinity? This issue obviously goes wider than one particular example and it interests me to look at whether church is a place that men are comfortable with and welcomed into.

The Times (Sept 2004) published statistics for the Church in the UK which reckoned a 45%-55% Male Female Split 10 years previously had by then become a 37% to 63% split. It would be difficult to argue, either from statistics or from observation, that Church is not more popular with women than men (even when hand holding is not mandatory!)

I therefore jumped at the chance to read and review, “Why men hate going to Church” by David Murrow

David introduces the book with the quote from W.Edwards Deming, "Your system is perfectly designed for the results you're getting" and develops this into a look at the church being less attended by men and what he sees as the feminisation that it has undergone. He contrasts Masculine and Feminine attributes and builds a picture of a Church that doesn’t meet men’s needs and then, in the gifts that it needs, doesn’t need men.
It seemed to me that the American culture (as described) has a much great gender division and more distinct gender stereotyping than the UK but the observations and questions raised, remain valid and important.

The thrust of the book is that it’s not so much that men have turned away from the church but that church has turned away from men. Murrow argues very much for Church to be balanced in the involvement of both men and women but argues what has happened is an over-feminisation of the church, the result is a place that makes men uncomfortable.
He gives examples of aspects of church with which a lot of men are not comfortable. For example, singing, being singled out, experiencing passivity rather than risk taking, processing a torrent of words, touch-feely community and ministers who adopt a ‘preaching voice!’ (to name a few). It’s not an easy book to review as doesn’t follow a neat line of argument, Murrow just continues to explore his central argument. What it does do well though, is explore masculinity and explore church practice, holding the two along side each other. There are some important insights about the sociological needs of men and women that bring some of these issues into sharp focus. You will not necessarily agree with all of the comparisons or conclusions but they do open up a vital area of debate, posing questions to us about the way we ‘do’ church and what the implications might be.

This is a very easy book to read, it’s written for anyone rather than just clergy. It does suffer a little from over use of metaphor, but it’s written with humour and passion. It is critiquing a North American model but is well worth reading nevertheless if you long to see men engaged with church and living a risk-taking radical faith.

Youth Spirituality analysis

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I'm on the scrounge! Anyone got any of the data/research/conclusions from "Making sense of Gen Y" or "Buried Spirituality" typed or powerpointed up? I'm doing some stuff building from this next week and I'd be more grateful than a grateful person who's very grateful if someone can 'lend' me some pre-inputted input! Ta muchly :-)

I'm especially trying to find a good summary rather than a review of all the books below ....

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That's my girl!

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I hesitated before this post as it strays dangerously close to sappy proud parent territory but as it made me laugh I decided you might forgive me!

qbox.jpgWe'd just got back from Church on Sunday and I was chatting to my 9 year old daughter about how her group had been. She said it'd been good and then said, "Oh, they've got a question box!"
I said that maybe I should give her a really difficult question to put in there for fun and I mentally ran through a couple of real theological toughies. Reigning my train of thought back in though I asked her if she'd submitted a question.
"Yes," she said, "there was something I wanted to know!"
"What was it?" I enquired
"I asked, "she replied, "Whether Jesus was the son of God or was God in human form!"

It made me laugh that she'd actually, out of her own interest, submitted a fiendishly complex theological conundrum and worded it so clearly. That's my girl!

Ten Commandments of Youth Work

10cm.jpg I had the privilige of listening to Bishop Roger Sainsbury last week and he presented his 10 Commandments of Youth Work, and here they are ..........

LISTEN TO THE VOICES OF YOUNG PEOPLE

HAVE A SPECIAL CONCERN FOR THE SOCIALLY EXCLUDED AND DISADVANTAGED

WORK CO-OPERATIVELY WITH OTHER AGENCIES, PARTICULARLY SCHOOLS

GIVE SPIRITUAL DEVELOPMENT A PRIORITY

DEMONSTRATE TOUGH LOVE

OFFER EMOTIONAL AND SPIRITUAL SECURITY

ORGANISE ACTIVITIES THAT HELP YOUNG PEOPLE FEEL VALUED AND SIGNIFICANT

CHALLENGE THE DEMONISATION OF YOUNG PEOPLE AND OFFER RESPECT

HELP BUILD COMMUNITY COHESION BY YOUTH WORK THAT EDUCATES YOUNG PEOPLE TO VALUE OUR COMMON HUMANITY AND SHARED CITIZENSHIP NOT SECTARIAN HATE

BE ACTIVE POLITICALLY TO SEEK LONG TERM FUNDING FOR YOUTH WORK FROM NATIONAL AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT

*The picture is illustrative of the 10 Commandments theme and not meant to bear any resembelance to Bishop Roger. Whether it actually looks like Moses is another debate entirely

Preparation City

At the moment I am big time in Preparation City, the view is nothing but mind maps, data, books and scribblings. I'm quite enjoying myself but I always struggle when 'gigs' that require prep' are really close together as I end up drifting between them rather than completing one and then moving on, hey ho! On the plus side I am working from home so: Music on, check. Coffee and hot cross buns available, check. Chances of being interrupted, nil :-( Chances of me procrastinating, high (very high).

In case anyone has any relevant stuff they want to share (or interest) here's the gigs:

27th Jan in Sandhurst: Training. "Enagaging with young people and developing youth ministry"
29th Jan in Oxford: Lecture at Ruskin: "Relative Social Exclusion"
30th Jan in Clanfield: Day for Youth workers/ministers on "The Spirituality of young people"

Oh, the spirituality one: I wanted those coming to ask a couple of questions to their young people. If anyone else wanted to do this it would be brilliant and I'd love to hear some stories ....

1. What experiences have you had in your life that you felt were spiritual? (Please encourage them to be thinking in the widest possible range of contexts i.e not just 'Church')

2. If those Spiritual experiences felt like an encounter with God, did your experience differ in anyway to what you have been taught about God through Church or youth group?

(Actually You can probably phrase these better than I have! What I'm looking for are stories of Spiritual moments and any variance between God as taught and God as experienced. )

Digging to find the underground church

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I am trying to track down any 'Fresh Expression' Churches, Youth congregations and other experiments in creating Church in new ways in the Oxford Diocese. Examples like HOME or mayBE are very much on the radar but are there others I should know about? (The Diocese covers all of Bucks, Berks and Oxfordshire as well as the Republic of Milton Keynes)

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image from straphanger.blogspot.com


National Occupational Standards for youth Work

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targetsmall.jpgAt the Connect conference we had chance to be in dialogue with LLUK about the new Occupational Standards for Youth Work. As the group represented a BIG proportion of the training organisations in the UK it was a good chance to discuss a faith perspective on the DRAFT standards as presented.

The standards themselves have grown in number but become more flexible. The idea is that they are no longer aimed at a specific level but are the competencies that need to be evidenced at the level the learner is working at. It's encouraging that they continue to be based on a Social Pedagogic approach to Youth work rather than becoming a welfare or 'Youth as a problem' type model.

We made a number of suggestions that included:

> Spiritual development should be present
>The importance of helping young people to engage with their communities needed to be explicit
> Fun and Well being should be more prominent

> We also asked for young people to be included in the consultation process

As part of the draft there is a (slightly) changed definition of youth work. This is only a working definition and open to Change. So what do you think? Remember this definition must cover the full gamut of youthwork ........

“The purpose of youth work is to facilitate and support young people’s growth through dependence to interdependence, by encouraging their personal and social development and enabling them to have a voice and place in their communities and society”

Christian residential centres

I have just returned from a Christian conference centre which shall remain nameless! Looking at the menu I was very excited to see that this was clearly a centre that served experimental cuisine and was not afraid to explore taste combinations in a unique way.

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It turned out to be a typo though and my dessert was 'fruit and cream' rather than the more daring fruit and freshwater fish combo that the menu had alluded to

A bit of a Splurge

Welcome again to the ... *drum roll* .... WORLD of YOUTH MINISTRY!
All that's hot and lots that not as I peer out from Blogdonia.

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Importantly, it's just come to my attention that Dr Rowan Williams came third in the annual Beard of the Year award, this is a great recognition of the growing street cred of the Anglican Church *Yay* ;-)

* The KIRCHENTAG (literally 'church day' and in fact held over several days) is happening again in 2007, with an international youth camp leading up to it. The event which is an ecumenical Christian gathering on a mahoosive scale is held from June 6-10th in Germany.
* Oasis Frontline teams are looking exciting and they are recruiting 18-25's ready for September.
* Ultimate events want me to plug Alton Towers 07. May 5th, Loud, scary and fun :-)
* Romance Academy have a training day in London on 10th Feb.

In the Oxford Diocese:
Next Network meeting for employed youthworker is Jan 30th. Vertigo is Feb 3rd. Training on "dealing with difficult behaviour" in Oxford, April 21st. Yellow Braces is July 6th-8th.
(I'm sending out a Diocesan mailing in early Feb if anyone wants an event plugged)

In other news: You may remember how complicated it proved to order stuff from Gopak, well I've now had a red unpaid invoice from them, Grrrrr. As they split the order into two different departments it meant two orders and they forgot to apply my credit card to both and NOW moan I haven't paid! Circumstances are turning me into Victor Meldrew!

And finally: The mime group play basketball ....

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Want to run a media project?

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If you've got some 13-19 year olds who would LOVE to do a media project but you are thinking, "We just don't have the money!"
Then click here then leap around the room ecstatically before inviting your young people to a creative meeting at McDonalds* and seeing if this lights their fire!

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*Or the vegetarian alternative!

Who's the Daddy?

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This reflection is not well formed yet but it's a thunk in progress. Having reflected on parenting and recently spent some talking to parents and watching families in 'action' I got to wondering about the Church body as 'Parent' to the upcoming generations.

tall window.jpgWho’s the Daddy?

When/If you become a parent your life changes somewhat (note heavy use of understatement here). It’s a wonderful upheaval of everything that went before and an entirely new (and different) adventure. Some of these changes are immediate, some gradual. One of the gradual ones is a realisation that your needs become less important the children’s needs. (I’m not talking about buying I-pods, Wii’s and the like here). There needs to be a sacrifice of time, priorities and money. From simple things like, Right now I’d really like to sit in the armchair for a bit BUT the children really need to have some fun time with me/us, to I’d really like a bit of a sportier car but the kids bikes wouldn’t fit in the back or, I'd like a lie-in but promised I'd take the children swimming, it’d be wonderful to have a holiday but the children need shoes/ an important school trip/ university fees etc ad-infinitum.
Now I have NO problem with this, I love it. For me that sacrifice for the next generation, that total commitment to discipling, raising, encouraging your children (at the expenses of your own desires and dreams) is what it takes, is love, is the responsibility and privilege (not that it's always easy).

It had me reflecting on the Church and its attitude to the new generations growing up. While I think that Parents can’t abdicate responsibility to the Church for the nurturing and discipling in the faith, I do believe that the Church has a huge PARENTAL role to play. My reflections on parenting made me wonder what we as the church have to learn about giving up our preferences in order that the next generation encounter and contribute to church in a way that is meaningful to them?

Using this Church as Parents metaphor starkly. Are we as the Church being the kind of parents who pack their children off to Boarding school so they don’t get in the way of the way we like to do things!

The saga continues

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Challenges that currently appear more inviting than writing a book
Number 7341

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VERTIGO 5

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Vertigo 5 is all systems go for Feb 3rd and looking GOOD! As ever I am the Cafe-meister and therefore need a team. If you have an NVQ in Hot Chocolate*, a serving type persona, are up for a laugh OH and aren't intimidated by 500 teenagers then PLEASE be in touch! Thanks muchly! Did I mention that I really need some help!!!! and there is a Dish washer!

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*In fact even if you don't know what hot chocolate is, you are still welcome!

I Like you

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A couple of insights into the Youthblog household:

“Where are you going today Daddy?”
I’m going to London, I have a meeting
“Are you going on the train?”
Yes, then cycling to my meeting. In fact I’ve got to cycle past Buckingham Palace,
What shall I Say if the Queen comes out and I get to speak to her?

*Thoughtful pause*
“Hello Queen!”

Oh and my daughter loves this animated card and does a very good impression of the dialogue, she said I should put it on the blog. So here it is, dedicated to all my friends and especially the ones that are having a tough time at the moment.

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Why men hate going to Church?

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why men h8 chrch.jpgI've just handed in my review of "Why men hate going to church" for publication in the next edition of the Diocesan Newspaper (you see I can do deadlines sometimes). David Murrow's thesis is that church culture and practice has been feminised and that it's meant that Church is a place that has become uncomfortable for blokes (guys for U.S readers). I'll post the full review once the paper is out but it's a book that raises important questions and valid critiques of our ecclesiology. (I should add that the author is in no way attaching this to the ordination of women, merely to the attributes that Church seems to have embraced)

Straw poll though:

If you are a guy, are there bits of Church that you find difficult/awkward by nature of being male (and all that that means).
As a woman, are there attributes of Church that you can see that you love BUT would be alienating to men?

(I realise there's a whole bunch of stuff where Male leadership has been a barrier to women but we'll do that debate seperately)

It's kind of what we do

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"I like deadlines
I love the wooshing sound they make as they whizz past"

I'm quoting from memory there so it may not be the exact wording BUT the sentiments are right. Just heard that I need to hand in my half of the 'Tweenagers' manuscript on Thursday (gulp). I did consider growing a beard and attempting to leave the country, but then I remembered I have a beard plus GROVE would probably hunt me down whichever country I was in. My life mantra now is "Writing a blog is good, writing a (even half of a) book is BAD"

I spent some time today at the ROOT 66 training day which was a good Biblical reminder of some underlining principles of Youthwork in/through the Church. As ever I enjoyed the lunch time networking/nattering, especially as it was quite a good turn out considering how late the publicity was. If you are going to the Sheffield incarnation of the day tomorrow, hope you have a valuable time.
Next week I'm at the CONNECT conference where all sorts of bods who deliver Youth Work Training get together, please let me know if there's issues or thoughts you'd like discussed in that forum!

stormbreaker.jpgI watched "Stormbreaker" at the weekend with my eldest boy. It was terrible and brilliant simultaneously, I liked it :-) Favourite lines had to be when Bill Nighy (playing Alan Blunt, the head of MI6) says,

"We don't trust him!"
"Why?" asks Alex Rider
"Well, we don't trust anyone ..... it's kind of what we do!"

All of which reinforces a chat I had with a youth worker over lunch today, it's very difficult to watch a film without mentally noting clips that would make good illustrations or discussion starters!

Christine Evans rocks!

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It’s not often a music promoter gets in touch with me, actually come to think of it, this is a first!
Electric Artists in New York asked if I’d listen to and review the album, ‘PUSH’ by Christine Evans. This is not the usual Youthblog fodder (if the word ‘usual’ can be linked to Youthblog posts) but as Christine is only 16, it definitely sits well with the blog being an advocate for young people and recognizing their achievements.

PUSH by Christine Evans
Warner Music, Canada

evans.gifI love this album. Musically it’s pop with an evocative edge, Christine writes her own songs and the lyrics are thoughtful and well crafted exploring themes such as relationships, hope, self and pain. The songs have a great awareness to them and pull off the difficult trick of exploring existential angst but always maintaining strength and hope within the song. Maybe this flows from Christine’s faith? It’s not a Christian album in the narrow sense, it definitely has a spirituality though, and in my mind a redemptive and prayerful quality that underpins and flows through the tracks.

"Are you out there?
or is it only me?
In the darkness
Oh, I long to see
Seeking courage to voice what I believe
I am learning my imperfections are part of me
So turn on the light so all can see
'cause we all know pain and we all know grief

So show me the way ....."

Christine has a great voice and I really like her delivery, sound wise she’s kind of Alanis Morissette but more ethereal, perhaps a small sprinkling of Avril Lavigne but all with her own distinctive edge. There's a wonderful energy in her singing and a depth too, It's great to listen to.

I’ve listened to this album about a dozen times now and really like it. If she ever gets to Greenbelt I’ll definitely be queuing for a chance to see her play a live set.

I’ve embedded a video below or check out the web site. Oh and as I’ve got a spare copy of the CD, leave a comment naming the last song that you listened to on radio, MP3 or CD (cos’ I’m nosey) and I’ll randomly send ‘PUSH’ to one UK commenter.


Hear ye, hear ye

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Happy New Year!
usb slippers.jpg Its time to post the plethora of stuff that has landed on my desk before it utilises it's one way ticket to bin city. So sit comfortably, plug in your USB Slippers (no really) and peruse the splurge below ........

Training

The Root 66 event is in Oxford on Monday (8th) & Sheffield (9th)
Shaping the dreams of this generation One day conference by Crusaders Hitchin 27th Jan
Crucial - the Bible centred youth worker Conference 22-25 Jan
For theirs is the Kingdom Training day in St Albans Diocese 10th March
Young Leaders Conference organised by St Andrews Chorley Wood 15/17 Feb or 22/24 Feb

Events

VERTIGO "Mission in MInd" at OCC Oxford 3rd Feb
24hr Famine weekend 9-11th Feb

Residentials and Holidays

Soul Survivor 2007 "Into his likeness" 13-17/18-22 Aug
Walsingham Youth Pilgrimage "Open to the Power of the Spirit" 6-10 Aug
CYFA, SU and Crusader (I mean Urban Saints) holiday brochures are available

And finally .....

If you are concerned that the your petrol strimmer (weed wacker) is seizing up over the winter through lack of use, here's a handy way to give it a work out (and prevent your local ER department being closed through lack of use)

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Being a Diocesan Youth Advisor

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Totally half-inched this Dummies generator from Marko, a thousand thanks :-)

Miscellaneous Musical Musings

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My friend Stu P the Wasserbefestigungenmeister has been thoroughly assimilated into the I-pod collective and so I had fun listening to some of his 4739 stored tracks. This gave me the chance to catch "The Best of Wendy Craig" which is in fact a superb (and rare) album from the Goffle band, Fat and Frantic. I also heard a Divine Comedy album that I've not heard before, namely, "The Divine Comedy regeneration" which is fab. I was muchly struck by the lyrics to 'Eye of the Needle' ....

They say that you'll hear him if you're really listening
And pray for that feeling of grace
But that's what I'm doing, why doesn't he answer?
I've prayed 'til I'm blue in the face

The cars in the churchyard are shiny and German
Distinctly at odds with the theme of the sermon

And during communion I study the people
Threading themselves through the eye of the needle
I know that it's wrong for the faithful to seek it
But sometimes I long for a sign, anything
Something to wake up the whole congregation
And finally make up my mind

The cars in the churchyard are shiny and German
Completely at odds with the theme of the sermon
And all through communion I stare at the people
Squeezing themselves through the eye of the needle

push_album_tn.gifI thought the 'cars in the churchyard' line was brilliant!

I've also got a new Album for FREE (bargain) as the promoter has sent me an Album called PUSH by Christine Evans to review! I really like it but will be writing something fuller on the subject soon!

Good afternoon bishop

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Normally I have a casual approach to what I wear for work! I'm usually outfitted in a hoody and jeans combo which I think is fairly authentic for a Youth Adviser. I have pointed out to my boss that there is no 'dress code' in the Church House staff handbook but in fact, apart from me, only one of the dwellers in the I.T cave also does 'Skateboard casual' as work apparel. Today however I wore my black suit and a rather sharp black shirt, mainly because all my jeans were in the wash it's fair to say, but I did look smart.
What a great day then to bump into the new Bishop in the hall way and enjoy a great chat! Synchronisity or what? Although it will cause some confusion when in discussions he refers to the Youth Adviser, "you know, that smartly dressed fellow!"
"WHO?"

2007 begineth

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hapnewye.jpgHere's wishing you a very happy New Year, a 2007 that's a faith fuelled adventure where we live deeply from the centre of our lives; open to God, the people we encounter and the situtations and opportunities that arrive. Bring it on!

Last year I flagged up a Smorgasbord of New Year challenges for Youth Ministers and reckon they are worth lisiting again to challenge myself and anyone else that might find them useful (Hey the BBC run repeats and you have to pay for that service!!!!). The check list of intentional action in two colours (ooh) is below (drum roll)

I will start organizing the Residential earlier
I will stop and ask why?
I will put aside time to pray for the young people
I will stop eating the tuck when setting up for youth group
I will spend some time with the teenager whose behaviour has been winding me up
I will ask for a proper budget
I will review
I will plan how I can involve young people in leadership
I will seek opportunities to learn
I will listen more
I will tell the church warden it was me that broke the window
 
 
I will build in some professional development this year
Time with God will become a priority and a neccessity
I will invest in relationships with parents and members of the congregation
I will develop an actual admin system (catch glimpses of the surface of my desk)
I will try and eat less 'Big Macs'
I will look at the calender for the year and book some time off in advance
I will make a point of meeting up with a less experienced youth minister
I will make a point of meeting up with a more experienced youth minister
I will read some of the books I keep buying but don't actually read
I will not skateboard in Church when anybody else is around

In addition, I was really impressed with this resolute list from Brian Proffit!

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London

About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from January 2007 listed from newest to oldest.

December 2006 is the previous archive.

February 2007 is the next archive.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.

Currently Reading

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