2005 has been and gone

Woosh, that was 2005! How scary! I feel like years have taken a cue from Chocolate manufacturers i.e if you can’t put the price up then make the product smaller or shorter!
In my ironic tribute to TV (even though I don’t actually have one) I will attempt to do a ‘best of 2005’ thing here!
It’s been a good blogging year with some more youth ministry/youth work blogs appearing. My favourite new blog in this arena was from Marko, it’s provided some profound thought and laugh out loud moments! All the blogs on the blogroll have contributed to Youth work/Church/ministry debate though and it’s been a blast …. I’m also really chuffed that the number of people who comment has grown, I love the dialogue that develops. Thanks ๐Ÿ™‚
Most profound blogging occurance was being in TSK’s seminar at Greenbelt on The Spirituality of Blogging which was incredibly useful, wise AND a chance to meet bloggers who I only knew by their tags. Cool! TSKs bloggers prayer is genius AND an important challenge!
One of the reasons that I blog is so that there’s actually a record of stuff I’ve come across. Before the blog I used to find stuff and think, “Oh I must remember that!” and then promptly forget it. I still forget stuff but at least I can find it again now ๐Ÿ™‚
I’ve had a trawl through Youthblog 2005 and here’s my fav’ bits!
1. Someone asked, “How do you know you are called to youth ministry?” which I thought was a great question. The thinking and discussion happened here.
2. The biggest source of hits on youthblog for a while was around names for youth groups? This entry and the resulting comments/entries still gets dug up loads.
3. Calvin and Hobbes are regular “contributors” to the blog and this fusion of Calvinism and Calvin’s love of snow made me laugh!
4. The whole “Emerging shed” silliness was great fun and it made me laugh hugely that progress on the shed I was building was being watched via the web. Even funnier though was that I emerged number 1 on google if you wanted to know about Creosote substitute! True! (although I’ve now slipped to number 2!)
5. 2005 was the year when branding young people as “hoodies” really seemed to take hold. It’s been good to see various stuff challenging this unhelpful stigmatising and condemming of young people. Articles here and here. Final word to FYT who are doing the most to challenge media attitudes to young people!

Have a Cool Yule

Welcome to my Christmas [blog], I’d like to thank you for the year. So I’m sending you this Christmas card to say it’s nice to have you here” (Your starter for 10, what song did I lift this quote from?)
Well I’m signing off for Christmas. This will be the last entry until New Years eve when I’ll put up my ironic tribute to TV Scheduling, ie THE ‘BEST’ of YOUTHBLOG 2005! *Laughing*
I’m looking forward to the break enormously. Spending time with my family, Catching up with friends, Carols at Church, Cycling, Watching “Muppets Christmas Carol”. Nice!
Thanks for being part of Youthblog this year, I wish you a great Christmas filled with hope, peace, friendship and snow! May your Cracker jokes be funny, your wonder be kindled and your Joy contagious as you celebrate the pivotal moment of all history, Merry Christmas!
christmas_tree_presents_lg_clr.gif “How silently, how silently,
The wondrous gift is given!
So God imparts to human hearts
The blessings of his heaven.
No ear may hear his coming,
But in this world of sin,
Where meek souls will receive him, still
The dear Christ enters in”


While Shepherds washed their socks

When I was 9 I had a near encyclopaedic knowledge of alternative (I mean silly) words for Christmas carols! To my horror I seem to have forgotten nearly the whole repetoire! My daughter is now at an age where these are perfect for her sense of humour but sadly, beyond “While shepherds washed” and [Good king Wenceslas] “got a snow ball in the snout, made it all uneven” I am struggling with sufficient content for this important aural tradition to be passed on to the next generation.
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Contributions gratefully recieved! Thank you ๐Ÿ™‚
(on a related issue I was listening to “The Holly and Ivy” last night … is it me or is that a really strange carol?)

Christmas makes me nervous

I am being challenged by this piece written by Charles Moore (via Pip Wilson)
“Christmas makes me nervous. The Infinite who came in a feeding trough is not the kind of God I want. He is too powerless for my liking. Such a God is an embarrassment, not just to the Herods of this world, but to all who are enamored with themselves and their own potency. I donโ€™t want this God. I have an inn to offer, decorated for Christmas, not a stinking stall.
God exists in weakness and comes to those who reach up to him with empty hands. He is neither useful nor helpful. He came and still comes, not to solve our problems or answer our questions or fulfill our needs or bless our endeavors, but to expose our problems, to question our answers, to be our need, and to point us to his kingdom. In Christ, God enters time and space to turn our world upside down and inside out. โ€œValleys are made high, mountains are laid low.โ€ We are left bewildered, undone”

The last splurge of the year!

I reckon you’ll be too busy on Boxing day to read another Youthblog splurge (you may be too busy today!) but here begineth the Splurge for this Monday.
I took my 11 year old quad-biking for his Birthday. Thankfully he managed to control the throttle and sometimes the brake (he has cerebral palsy) and he loved it. Unrestricted by concepts such as fear or consequences he razzed about the place with an epic grin on his face. Very proud of him!
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Anyway, what’s what? The twelve days of Kitchmass is back thanks to those groovy people at Ship of Fools. Look and recoil!
I’m delighted that the JCB song by Nizlopi has made it to number 1 in the UK, if you’ve not seen the video then check it out. I really like the title of their album, Half these songs are about you. I want to get this CD.
Richard found the Savage Chickens web site which I love. Doug kindly gave me permission to post this cartoon from the site, WELL WORTH a visit!
Other Stuff: The Buncefield Oil refinery fire affected the local community more than I realised, find out how and ways to help via Peats weblog.
I will be blogging sporadically over the next few days, so do pop in if you are virtually passing!
And finally: I still love the snowball fight game but having completed the bonus level after level 9 I have to retire from the sport.

Byker Grove Youth Club

byker club.JPG The Hutchinson unearthed this virtual youth club game! As a model for youth work it is somewhat flawed as it works totally on the entertainment approach and unsusprisingly the teens get bored quickly! Great fun though and it’s wonderfully easy to run revenue generating events, I ended up with more money than I could spend. Very dissapointed therefore not to even make the high score board? I also liked the fact I could put a trampoline on the balcony!!!! next to the swimming Pool!!! Risk assesment anyone, LOL!
Thinky bit: I guess it does raise a question of what people think youth work is actually about. If the perception is that it’s just about orgnaising lots of entertainment then we’ve got some ‘informal’ educating to do eh?
But check it out for a little escapist fun and you don’t even need to acredit any outcomes! Click here and then select Byker Grove. Nice!

King Kong is monster

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King Kong is awesome! What a film. It’s an epic (in the old fashioned sense) on an enormous scale. King Kong himself is utterly convincing (I think at a subconscious level I accepted they’d managed to find a RADA trained 30ft Gorilla). The scenes from the Empire State building are vertigo inducing!
It has a great feel too and somehow manages to be a historical (1920’s) movie that’s up to date in it’s quality but has an aged, slightly cliched (in a good way) stylee! At three hours it’s long … very long but I guess having Directed LOTR then Peter Jackson is going to struggle to do 107 minutes films EVER again. You should see this film at the cinema with the youth group! It’s monster!
Those of you who know me understand that I like films with happy endings (I’m an incurable romantic) This film manages to have a sad ending but the guy and the girl do get together. As it’s such an awesome film I’m going to accept this sad/happy compromise ๐Ÿ™‚
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There’s themes of greed, loyalty, love and dishonesty in the film but at the moment I’ve not thought of obvious clips that would be so useful for sessions.
Usability for teaching and discussion
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Watchability for a youth weekend
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