Full Timers Network Meeting

STOP PRESS: Next Network Meeting. June 5th, Oakwood centre near Bracknell. We’ll be doing the usual catch up, prayer, eating and encouragement AS WELL as seeing what the centre could offer to groups we work with. OH AND we’ll be doing a high ropes and low ropes course πŸ™‚
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CYM training and Church based Ministry

Claire of Hereford has been invited to speak to gazillions of bods from across CYM about her reflections on the CYM degree and how well it equipped her for her role. She’s asking other alumni now in Church based roles for their thoughts and reflections ….. go share your experience.

A confusing world

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Another weird thing about McDonalds that affects me is this. Nearly all of them have BT openzone wireless internet, so I can drop in grab a coffee and pick up my e-mails when I’m out and about being Diocesan Youth Adviser bloke. But the McDonalds branches are made with so much glass it’s more like being in a greenhouse and hence virtually impossible to see the laptop screen! I can get the e-mails, I just can’t actually read them. So if you ever in McDonalds and wondering who the weird bloke is who has built some sort of shield like thing around the screen out of a rucksack, a menu and a tray, ……. it’s me πŸ™‚
(Full Monday Splurge to follow later)

The Authentic

auth.jpg I’m running a session at a group tonight and I’m going to be exploring, “What is authentic?”
With so much ‘stuff’ being more about image than substance I thought we could have some fun with that and then be looking at what Authentic Christianity is?
I’m trying to come up with some contrasts in terms of bands, fashion, TV etc where there’s an example of the authentic (really is what it claims to be) and the inauthentic (no substance or reality to match the claim or image), any ideas?
I’m going to use Dasani as one example (The mineral water that Coke launched in the UK that turned out to be just tap water and contained a potential carcinogen)
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The Bosworth Googly

bible 5.jpgChatting with a friend yesterday we were discussing experiences of belonging to Bible Study groups. Although the vast majority of our stories were really positive we had both experienced the type of Bible study where there are set questions that are designed to lead to the ‘correct’ answer. You know the kind of thing, where people all respond until someone comes up with the set answer and everyone beams securely in this affirmation of faith and life certainty.
My friend had inadvertently discovered how to tell if you were in this kind of scenario. If, she discovered, you asked a searching question or gave an off the wall answer, there would immediately be a gasp and a collective leap to head off the potential ‘danger.’
For example, if you were to enquire say, “Do people go straight to heaven?”
You’d hope that the response might be, “why do you ask that?” and/or “Lets have a look together at what the Bible says” and/or “That’s something that quite a few people have wrestled with.”
While the closed Bible study might look frightened and leap in with, “Yes of course they do!”
We decided that bowling in a tricky question or an off-the-wall answer could be an important thing to do in order to ascertain whether the group you were part of were open to grappling with the Bible or merely wanted to live in the black and white safety of pre-prescribed answers. In honour of my friend I’m going to name this testing process as the Bosworth Googly!
Your job is to throw in a Bosworth googly at your next Bible study to test this in non laboratory conditions! Have fun πŸ™‚
It’s also worth noting that if you are leading discussion with teenagers then there will always be Bosworth Googlies! How you handle these will very much dictate whether trust is established and whether real discussion will take place. Sometimes they are genuine questions that may sound off-the-wall to you, BUT often too there will be deliberate absurdity; either way though how you handle the googly will dictate whether the discussion that follows flys or crashes and burns!

Greetings Earthlings

morph waving.0.gifGreetings Earthlings!
Hope all is tickety boo with your good selves. Here’s the usual splurge of stuff that I hope may possibly vaguely be of some use to you:
The CRE (the Marmite of Christian resourcing i.e you either love it or hate) is on from May 15th – 18th at Sandown. (Urban Saints are looking for some help on their stand if you know the organization and have some time free).
If you into Parachute games with any of the groups you work with then you may like to know that the Oxford Army Surplus shop has some stock of pukka military silk parachutes (infinitely better than the ‘play chutes’ you can buy). Costing from about £60 – £100.
June 23rd is next Vertigo. Cafe team anyone? (More fun that zero gravity, more rewarding than premium bonds and harder work than PCC meetings).
The uber funky St Laurence in Reading are after a youth worker. Details on their web site.
The Get Real Camp, Scripture Union 14-20th August for 14-16 year olds has some places left they’d love to fill. More details from: Claire Jones
If you’ve ever wondered what the shoes from Ephesians 6 look like, I assume this is the answer. (although maybe they’d be more dynamic at getting out there with the good news if they were heelies?)
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Oh and a personal PS. Has anyone got an old Vodafone or O2 phone in a drawer they are willing to sell? My eldest boy managed to drop his into the sink!!! Because of his cerebral palsy it needs to be a relatively straight forward one that isn’t too fidly ……. hence the quest for a slightly outdated one.