I am passionate about Mentoring as a tool that makes a phenomenal difference to young people. There seems to be a lot of energy going into mentoring as an 'inhouse' Discipleship tool at the moment, which is great BUT for me the biggest opportunity to be good news for young people is in the mentoring of marginalized young people. I have seen the difference this has made to the life chances of young people.
EU fuel consumption figures have to be taken with a pinch of salt given the way that motor manufacturers can prep a car specifically to max on the test. As a dedicated 'hyper-miler' though I do pride myself on getting within spitting distance of the the headline figures.
Haddons Toyota Yaris Hybrid is a bit disappointing in this respect. The brochure figure gives both the combined and the extra Urban at 76.1mpg. With careful driving we are averaging around 54mpg. That's still pretty good for an Automatic but 22.1 mpg lower than that claimed. (An independent test available online averaged only 51mpg)
I'm sure Toyota would say that this is down to driving style. This may be true but the Skoda (manual gearbox) claims an extra Urban mpg of 70mpg whereas I drove the 30 miles home tonight at 74.1mpg!
Musing on when a figure can be claimed only to be a guideline and when it becomes misleading?
Skoda though emerge with their credibility and trustworthiness more than re-enforced in this arena.
I'm currently away at the annual gathering of Diocesan Youth Advisers and am part of the organizing group for the conference. We've put the event together around a conversation entitled
"The death of Youth Ministry?"
We're taking the opportunity to step back and look at the church and models of youth ministry, what was, what is ... and what could be. Yesterday we had some great input from the Childrens Society looking at issues around the well being of adolescents (and trends their research is pointing to). We also spent some time with Patrick Regan of XLP hearing more about their engagement in the communities they serve.
Today we have the company of Dr Graeme Codrington who'll be doing some generational understanding with us and exploring trends that he believes will have an influence on how we frame youth ministry.
Back to coffee, reflecting, futuring and well, just plain chatting :-)
In an idle moment at Cuddesdon I was amused to spot this cupboard!
Unsure as to whether:
This is an indication that cleaning at 'Holy Hogwarts' has a deeply spiritual dimension and is more than a task, it's an engagement with a transformation narrative?
That the operator is encouraged to hoover questioningly eg, "I wonder where this mess has come from?" or "How would the story be different if I used a dust pan instead?"
It is a practical and specific piece of equipment for clearing up whenever one of the 'Godly Play' desert stories have been explored, a liturgical demarcation of cleaning equipment?
I had a great day yesterday at Holy Hogwarts (aka the Cuddesdon Vicar factory) doing a day for the ordinands on "Working with Young People!"
Good questions, much humour and a productive dialogue .... oh and a sumptuous lunch, Roast Beef with the trimmings followed by treacle sponge!! What's not to love?
If you are calling in to harvest the slides then you'll find them below. (The recruiting volunteers and engaging with team presentation was the one I did for the Birmingham Cathloic Youth Service and you'll find that here). The only thing that you won't find via the slides is Harts Ladder of participation, hence the link.
The Youth Adviser is now Skoda powered!! This is the three year old shiny loveliness of my Fabia Estate that replaces my much loved Camping Gaz powered Astra. It's s slightly smaller and funkier than the Vauxhall I think, and is powered by a 3 cylinder 1.4 turbo diesel that sips on it's diet of heavy oil in a pleasingly frugal way.
It is VERY red methinks!
Sunday saw the Abbey at Dorchester-on-Thames putting on some great events for young people; A Ska Mass and two bands. The discouragement comes from the fact that the turnout/support from other churches was woeful.
I'm asking myself some tough questions about where I could have done more but I also know that I had e-mailed, spoke about it, waved bits of paper, talked to individuals, blogged, send it out ... and included in other information that was heading out of the Diocese.
The Ska mass was fantastic (and so cool in the Abbey setting) and I thoroughly enjoyed/appreciated the experience, enhanced further by a wonderfully vibrant bunch of young people from Slough. I couldn't stay for the bands but looked like a great line up.
The Bank Holiday will have ruled some out and I know there will be good reasons why other groups couldn't come, and there'll be others that simply didn't see/connect with the information. I know there are things that with the benefit of hindsight I wish I'd done BUT even given these provisos .... it still leaves other churches/groups that could have come (and both benefited and been a blessing) and I am a bit discouraged.
Want to know more about Prayer Spaces in Schools (Primary and Secondary) then this is a useful site. Have a look