Hearing some great things about the Christian Vision for Men weekend although it did have its share of Glastonbury mud. I particularly liked the humour of the weekend being declared a ‘Fruit free zone’ with a uniformed squad from the army policing this prohibition.
“in an age of information overload …. The last thing any of us needs is more information about God. We need the practice of incarnation, by which God saves th lives of those whose intellectual assent has turned them dry as dust, who have run frighteningly low on the bread of life, who are dying to know more of God in their bodies. Not more about God. More God.”
Barbara Taylor Brown
I loved having some time to chat and share stories with some of the Soulscape team today. They are such a vibrant and innovative Christian schools work charity working with their aim of “creating space to explore life” which they do through a number of projects run in schools in the area.
I was really impressed with, ‘Object.’ This is a drama and then workshops around Pornography. It came out of conversations with young people and the dramatic piece is entirely actual made up of actual conversations, questions and thoughts from young people.
I also love ‘Pause’ which is an interactive prayer space, which they describe better than I can. So in their words:
“PAUSE is Soulscape’s interactive prayer space for young people at school. Carving out space during the busy school day for personal reflection and prayer, it invites young people of all faiths and none to think about what and who is important in their lives. There are opportunities to remember people loved and lost, opportunities to explore hopes and dreams and opportunities to recognise and let go of regrets. PAUSE is primarily a space for personal exploration, time to ‘be’, an opportunity to stop looking at the clock”
Soulscape Web Pages
I had the most extraordinary gig on Friday night in Primrose Hill in London, wonderful joyous laughter and applause from a clever, fun and warm audience. The evening was well organised and expertly MC’d but the more I muse the more I think there was something else going on too. I think the gathered community needed to laugh together that night, all of us; community, guests, and comedians. At the end of a day of unfolding madness, the humanizing absurdity of laughter was the only possible healing.
Waking up to an entirely different world to the one imagined had been a strange experience. Britain was heading out of the EU, the vote had not gone the way that many had expected. Uncertainty, confusion, and bewilderment abounded … perhaps even more so in London that as a vibrant multi-cultural internationally connected city had not envisaged that ‘out’ was in any way a sensical or entertainable notion.
This environment I think gave the comedy an additional sparkle and edge, laughter was not only a great tonic to be collectively enjoyed, it was much needed.
I think I was already in some kind of imaginary GK Chesterton novel on the walk from Camden to Primrose Hill in the strange bustling atmosphere where everything and nothing had changed on Brexit day. The glorious evening of comedy where the laughter had created a refuge of sanity temporarily separate from the unfolding craziness of a self-destructive ill-informed protest vote … only reinforced this notion.
So this morning over a coffee I decided a re-read of “The Napoleon of Notting Hill” was in order. Sadly neither Primrose Hill or Camden Town featured but I found a quote that emphasized why it is that laughter matters:
“Madmen are always serious; they go mad from lack of humour”
I wonder if a few key leaders should spend a little more time in Comedy Clubs, and whether the reinstating of Court Jesters might be the wisest decision made in the next few weeks.
I believe in comedy, not just because it is a joyous art but because it is a serious one. Laughter is not just a laughing matter, it is a place of deep connection, humanity, vulnerability, and oddly …. of sanity.
Stories of tears, frustration and anger at the Brexit vote from young people today. Space needed for listening and conversation.
Laughter and tears today at the Memorial Service for Youth Work inspiration and legend Peter Ball. I love this picture of him and me in conversation a few years ago. Blessed to have known him.
Peter Ball: A Godly, gentle, and great man. You will be missed
Letter in the FT as I understand it, apt summary I thought
Young people today are more clean-living than any generation since before the 1960s, BBC article:
“Every generation has enjoyed bemoaning the excesses and irresponsibility of the young. But for today’s late adolescents and twenty-somethings, hedonism has given way to hard work – wherever you look, Britain’s young people are breaking records for good behaviour and social restraint. You could even call them the best-behaved generation since the rebellions of the 1960s”
Made me smile (especially as I am just having to re-write my Job Description)