Well-Being Laughter Workshop

I’ve been asked to run a ‘laughter workshop’ in November. This is the blurb I have written for it:

‘Life is serious all the time, but living cannot be. You may have all the solemnity you wish in your neckties [or Dog Collars], but in anything important (such as sex, death, and religion), you must have mirth or you will have madness.’ GK Chesterton

Drawing on The Livability, ‘Happiness Course,’ techniques from ‘Laughter Yoga,’ and his experience as a Stand-Up Comedian, Ian Macdonald invites you to enjoy and to participate in play, laughter, and absurdity.  We’ll also explore what laughter reveals, and what it enables … and how to laugh more.

‘Your body cannot heal without play. Your mind cannot heal without laughter. Your soul cannot heal without joy.’

 

Rediscovering Narnia

Loving this article by John Kuhrt:

“In his book on Narnia, the former Archbishop, Rowan Williams asks the question ‘What is the point of Narnia?’  His answer is:

‘Lewis is trying to re-create for the reader what it is like to encounter and believe in God…The point of Narnia is to help us rinse out what is stale in our thinking about Christianity – which is almost everything…the essential thing is this invitation to hear the story as if we have never heard it before.’

This is what it did for me. Alongside the summer camps, Narnia was a key way that my vision and imagination about what being a Christian was fed and nurtured – it rinsed out what had become stale in my understandings of the Christian faith”

 

 

Post Easter

I thoroughly enjoyed the two weeks of annual leave I took at Easter,  it was a refreshing time of musing, shenanigans and conversation.  I love waking up to days that are a blank canvas of possibilities … and then seeing what that days ‘picture’ will turn out to be.

I continued to read, and wonder about discipleship and about laughter, and the places where they overlap; vulnerability, being more than our anxious brains, joy – that kind of thing.  Over the holiday I received invitations to lead future Ministerial Development Days, one on discipleship, and one on Joy and Laughter. (Both of these will end up referencing the other!)

Woke up this morning thinking about Yoga (Tuesdays is my Yoga class) and how much Yoga sounded like “Yoda!” This has resulted in me re-rendering a series of Yoga instructions so that they are delivered with Yoda voice and syntax …… If you catch me giggling today it is probably because one of these lines is happening in my head.

Great too to get the Kayak on the water for the first time this year

 

Understanding the Bible

UNDERSTANDING THE BIBLE
A two day course designed for Children’s and Youth Workers
Speaker: Rev. Bruce Gillingham, Pastoral Tutor at Wycliffe Hall
Wednesday 3rd May:  Engaging with the Old Testament
Wednesday 14th June:  Engaging with the New Testament
9.45- 4pm
Cost:  £35 per day or £65 for both days
Refreshments provided.  Bring lunch / use our cafeteria
Venue:  Oxford CYM, CMS, Watlington Road, Oxford. OX4 6BZ
Contact:  Lynda Gerrard: 01865 787455/ [email protected]

Laughter

I continue to be fascinated by the benefits of laughter, and am discovering more all the time about the link between laughter, spirituality and well-being.
It’s also been enlightening to dig into some research that shows how much smiling and laughing lead to happiness (or Joy as I’d be looking at it theologically) RATHER than the usual way round that our culture assumes: happiness leads to smiling and laughter.

There is something incredibly powerful that happens when we laugh that opens up healing, health, vulnerability, connection and joy. As a result of this I am not only still pursuing the comedy, but also going on some training to deliver ‘Laughter Yoga’ (Yup!). Oh and I’ve also been in touch with livability about their ‘happiness course

PS The last Ethos Comedy was extraordinary, I am incredibly proud of the evening that it was, and the joyous laughter that it produced.  Am thinking about October for the next one?!

 

Discipleship

I’ve had several tries at trying to write up some of my discipleship experience and learning but it has proved difficult to articulate. Not as in not being able to write it, but because of the reaction it often provokes.  Trying to help groups explore that we have an unconscious theology built too heavily on the ‘brain bit’ of us, rather than a more whole ‘body, mind, soul, spirit’ self, has produced a very defensive response.  A critique of the approach that assumes that lived discipleship flows from the acquisition of ‘correct’ knowledge has been perceived as an attack on truth, and a lean towards relativism, no matter how carefully I ‘lay out the stall’ and even define what I am not saying.  (Am still bruised by one recent attempt at a learning conversation with a group of church leaders)

I have been very encouraged though by reading “You are what you love” by James K.A Smith” who in the first chapter brilliantly (and with great wisdom) explores the degree to which the church is influenced by an intellectualism, a ‘thinking thingism’ as he refers to it …. that does not have the ability, for the most part, to equip and enable Christian activity.