The input at the mission conference is being provided by Professor Paul Weston who is both cool and learnéd in equally copious amounts. He’s using the work/writings of Bishop Leslie Newbiggin to frame our musing and learning, and an apt basis it is too.
The last time I went to a conference anything like this was when I took myself off to the Evangelists conference in 1996 despite having neither a marquee, a soapbox or a megaphone. I went solely to hear Leslie Newbiggin and will be forever grateful that I did.
Bishop Leslie, having returned from years in India, had a different cultural perspective (as well as practice at cross-cultural mission and contextual theology) to unpack both the culture of England (particularly Post modernity) and the culture of the church.
He opened my eyes to cross cultural understanding, changes in our own culture regarding Post-modernity … and why I found it so hard to ‘fit’ within Christianity as it was being taught and understood in evangelicalism at that time. He introduced me to the idea of worldview, ministry in a pluralistic context …. and that theology was a journey not a fixed entity. All of which began to change and shape the way I saw Youth ministry and in fact myself as a Christian.
Paul Weston refers to people who have been an important part of the conversation on the way to who and where we are, Leslie Newbiggin would be one of the key ‘conversations’ for me.
Anyway, Paul layed out his stall this morning and we will be exploring three strands of Newbiggins work to allow us to explore and reflect on our context, these being:
1. Reading Culture
3. Local congregation as the hermeneutic of the gospel
We’ve had session 1. but I need more time to condense the session into something bloggable.
If I am to survive my time in France I need some urgent advice about crossing roads! I strolled into town after lunch for un cafe at le cafe but experienced some difficulty in getting from one pavement to the other.
There are zebra crossings or whatever the French might call them (passage du noir et le cheval blanc?). However standing hopefully and purposefully at one side looking very much like one would wish to cross has no effect at all on the flow of traffic. Thus it would seem that the only option is to step purposefully out as an indicator that the traffic should stop. It’s a good theory BUT it doesn’t necessarily mean that the traffic coming immediately towards you will in fact stop … and even if it does this seems to pretty much guarantee that the traffic coming the other way won’t. As you reach the middle the traffic that has (if indeed it has) stopped, sets off once more and you find yourself perilously trapped in the middle. Even this would be ok-ish if the middle was a definite concept on French roads but it appears not to be, the French viewing any available space as a legitimate way forward!
There is a charming redeeming feature though in that if you nearly get run over, or if as a pedestrian you cross inappropriately , it all seems to just elicit a cheery wave and a kind of c’est la vie … or as it more accurately feels, … c’est la mort.
The spirit of Asterix and the Gauls is very much alive me-thinks.
If you are within the gravitational pull of Oxford then flick your ‘diary’* forward to September and look at the 1st and 2nd. CMS are hosting two “Digging Deeper” days, one with Dave Andrews (the 1st) and one with Mark Yaconelli (the 2nd).
Dave will be exploring Growing Radical, Rooted, Distinctive Community work, whilst Mark will be tackling, Wonder, Fear, and Longing: Tending the Adolescent Soul.
You’ll find the flyer here and you do need to book!
* I’m using ‘diary’ here as a catch-all and mean whatever your personal experience, expression or belief regarding chronological recording is, be that literal or figurative, traditional or of a newer age.
**Bizarrely I gleaned this info from Johnny Bakers blog this morning even though he is in fact sitting a few feet away.
I’m on my way to France, to a place at Merville, to the ‘Missioners Conference’ which I’m really really looking forward to.
I can’t believe I’m actually going as I was so ill over the weekend and Monday but the doctor has prescribed some window-sill mould and although I am still not feeling 100%, I’m considerably better than the 1.63% I was. Frustratingly though La folding velo is still in Oxford so cyclisme is une big fat non!
The conference is asking the question (and exploring implications and opportunities) of
‘Church? Domestic Chaplaincy or Missional Launch Pad’ I understand that Le internet is available via what the French call Wiffy so I will endeavour to share some of the discourse.
Despite the national disappointment it ‘s good to hear that humour abounds as a kind of cathartic reaction. Two favourites so far:
Why did the chicken cross the road?
well, according to FIFA … it didn’t
… and breaking news, the flight the English team are on is being diverted to Glasgow where they will receive a heroes welcome!
Captains log supplemental:Arrived via e mail
Oxo are launching a new range of cubes this week – white with red crosses on them.
They will be called laughing stock
I’m doing an ‘all age’ talk at a Church on Sunday to celebrate their Patronal festival. The readings being Acts 13:14-26 and Luke 1:57-66 & v80. I’m playing around with the idea of signposting and thus John pointing to Jesus BUT am open to some international Blog creativity if you are up for a collaborative sermonette here.
Amusing me is that I am preaching in an Anglican church about it’s patron saint, John the Baptist and I’m hoping we’ll say the creed indicating a belief in the catholic and apostolic church. I thought this is a GOOD pointer to unity and the Kingdom.
Youth Ministry-esque Job! May be of interest (Si, HOPE you are reading this)
Job opportunity at Tearfund:
Can you use digital communications to mobilise a young generation? Are you passionate about equipping young disciples for lifestyles that challenge poverty and injustice? Are you creative, innovative, and committed?
Tearfund’s Youth & Emerging Generation team are looking for a Digital Communications Developer. You will have in-depth knowledge of the latest digital trends and proven experience of mobilising people through digital communications. You’ll be full of initiative and be able to demonstrate your creativity and innovation.
If you’re passionate about Jesus, passionate about justice, passionate about digital communication and social media, and passionate about equipping an emerging generation with lifestyle actions, then please apply.
Details, salary, contacts etc here and here
Interviews will be held on 23 July
Youth & Emerging Generation Team
Loving this stealth art in the Style of Mr Banksy but sculpting in builders sand instead, fab!
Am posting a job advert as per a request ….
Northwich & Winsford Circuit requires a part time qualified Christian Youth Worker to develop and initiate community outreach.
Salary: Point 8 JNC Youth & Community Support Scale
16 hours per week equating to £7,832 p.a.
Working with the Circuit Team the main aims are to provide outreach opportunities to churched and non churched young people (11-25) to provide activities and to help them explore and develop their Christian Faith.
Closing date for applications is 5th July
Contact: Miss A Rowlands. Telephone 01606 550791. Email: email@example.com
Mark Yaconelli will be in Birmingham
1st Sept 2010
‘Tending the Adolescent Soul’