Christian Comedy

Most amused to find that Wikipedia has an entry on ‘Christian Comedy’ (a term that I dislike) that looks like this:
wikipedcc.jpg
In an idle moment I played with what I might submit as the entry:
Christian Comedy – Wikipedia
a more difficult form of comedy whereby the comedian is required to be just as funny but within a very narrow bandwidth of acceptability deemed non-offensive by people who like to get offended. The art form has one particular anomaly in that negative heckling is normally in the form of strongly worded letter sometime after the event.
Note Christian Comedy is bizarrely not related at all to the ‘sermon Joke’ (see Recycling) which differs from comedy in its predictability, and not, being in any way funny.

Circularity

In March 2014 I set up the Comedy evening for the Clergy Conference and had my first comedy stage time as I shared a couple of quips, and then welcomed Paul Kerenza to the stage. It was this experience that led me to book my first actual gig shortly after.
In March 2017 I am booked as the comedian to perform at that same Conference Centre in Derbyshire (albeit a much smaller event I should add). Not only am I performing in my own right three years on, BUT it looks like it will be my 100th gig* (a major target I have been doggedly pursuing). Circularity eh?
Ian Macdonald Live Comedy at Ethos.jpg
* 100 gigs is considered in comedic wisdom the point at which you can START learning the craft. This feels about right, I am beginning to grasp the skills I do not have, and see the dimensions I need to do a lot of work on

Setting God’s People Free

This is a truly significant document from the Archbishops Council exploring whole life discipleship in and through the church; nothing short of an entire culture change.
“This report identifies the need for two shifts in culture and practice that we see as critical to the flourishing of the Church and the evangelisation of the nation.
1. Until, together, ordained and lay, we form and equip lay people to follow Jesus
confidently in every sphere of life in ways that demonstrate the Gospel we will
never set God’s people free to evangelise the nation.
2. Until laity and clergy are convinced, based on their baptismal mutuality, that they
are equal in worth and status, complementary in gifting and vocation, mutually
accountable in discipleship, and equal partners in mission, we will never form
Christian communities that can evangelise the nation.”

The whole report ‘GS2056’ is here

Growing Young

Just reading Growing Young by Fuller, looking at how Churches grow younger. The six commitments they list are:
1. Unlock keychain leadership.
Instead of centralizing authority,
empower others–especially young people.
2. Empathize with today’s young people.
Instead of judging or
criticizing, step into the shoes of this generation.
3. Take Jesus’ message seriously.
Instead of asserting formulaic
gospel claims, welcome young people into a Jesus centered
way of life.
4. Fuel a warm community.
Instead of focusing on cool worship
or programs, aim for warm peer and intergenerational
friendships.
5. Prioritize young people (and families) everywhere.
Instead of giving lip service to how much young people matter,
look for creative ways to tangibly support, resource, and
involve them in all facets of your congregation.
6. Be the best neighbors.
Instead of condemning the world
outside your walls, enable young people to neighbor well
locally and globally

Laughter and the Human Condition

I have just put together this ‘pitch’ for a piece of Continuing Ministerial Development’ that I have been asked to deliver (I’m looking forward to preparing this one)
“Laughter and the Human Condition:
Was Jesus a comedian? Laughter is a key component of being human. It can connect us to others, it can reveal truth … and it can at times conceal or mask something deeper. What is our theology of laughter? Where do we use it, where do we misuse it? Thinking too about the whole arena of discipleship and spiritual growth. What does humour reveal about vulnerability rather than defendedness; humility rather than pride; and the True Self rather than the False self. A shared conversation around how humour works, what makes us laugh, and the healing power of laughter.”

Graduate

I had the most amazing day yesterday at my graduation from Kings.
Back in the Autumn I had pretty much decided that it was a pointless and showy-off sort of a thing and I wouldn’t be going. However I asked the question on Facebook about whether graduations were worth going to, and if people ever regretted not going. There were such a lot of great stories, and so many prompts that I really should … that I booked in (helped too by the fact that my Sister wanted to come, as well as my lovely wife, Jo).
megraduating2017280.jpg
Anyway, so glad I did go. (That’s me graduating in the Picture above!). I found the day hugely emotional and I think finally realized the journey and challenge it had been. My mind and my feelings were all over the place; musing about my Dad who had left school at 14, about the negative comments of my school teachers back in the day, about my children. There were tears in my eyes as I was waiting for my name to be called, then as I walked onto the stage. the most amazing thrill that I had ACTUALLY achieved an M.A from Kings College.
So glad I went.
A humbling and uplifting day.