Saved.jpg I loved this film! I’ve spent ages trying to write a synopsis but have given up and give you instead Yahoo’s take on the film:
“Good girl” Mary (Jena Malone) and her popular, influential best friend, Hilary Faye (Mandy Moore), are starting their senior year at the top of the social structure at American Christian High School. But when Mary finds out she’s pregnant, Hilary Faye and her devoted “disciples” turn against Mary and the school labels her an outcast. It’s as an outsider, however, that Mary finds true friends – other students the school doesn’t quite know what to do with. In this sweetly subversive comedy, a group of strangers band together to navigate the treacherous halls of high school and make it to graduation, ultimately learning more about themselves and finding out what it truly means to be Saved!”
Here’s my thoughts on it: The film has “ouch” in abundance holding a mirror up to christian culture, it has lots of laughs, it has joy and hope, it explores redemption rather than the narrow idea of “Saved” that is the pre-occupation of Hilary Faye, the baddy (goody) of the film. It might wind you up, it might make you smile, it might odly inspire you, it might do all of these.
Check out the trailer here!
For anyone who has had to unlearn some of the stuff that christian culture has taught them, for those whom following Christ is a messy wonderful adventure where there are more greys than black ‘n whites, watch this movie!

Youth Workers cars

Indebted to Sudders for linking to the results of the “Hideous cars owned by youth workers” competition! Made me laugh!
When I was first a volunteer youth leader I had an Austin Allegro Estate but I did have a Public Address system build in to it, being able to talk to passers by, crowds etc I thought was fab! (The car also had stick-on bullet holes for reasons I forget). Up until 2 years ago though my car was an old 1988 VW Polo that I was given by one of the youth leaders. Due to a leaky passenger door though I had to tape it shut. Clearly this is not acceptable if giving lifts to young people so my mental risk assessment neccessitated un-taping the door for youth work then taping it back up afterwards!
Fiat Panda.jpg
Most distinctive youth work car I know of at the moment is Deep Thought’s Fiat Panda. Nearly every other example of this late 80’s shoebox have rusted away but this one gets welded back together every year and it just keeps on going ….. just!
I’d love a really cool minibus, that would be excellent! What would your ultimate youthworker-mobile be?
Just had an e-mail from Ian (Oxford Vineyard), he’s found this minibus for £695 on Autotrader. All it needs is a re-spray in black and the Youthblog logo adding.

Typo generator

I blogged a few days ago about amaztype as a great way of producing unsual titles for powerpoint and the like. Along similarish lines here’s typo generator which mixes your phrase and puts background and image with it. I really like some of the stuff it produces, thanks to Robert for the link.
I reckon this will be great to produce some backgrounds for worship. You can also retain the pattern & images but change the text, enabling you to produce a similar group of slides.

Blogito ergo sum

soap box.jpg Huzzah, I’ve completed a years worth of blogging but three months ahead of schedule! This is the 366th post since I started Youthblog in August ….. and there was me wandering if I would be able to think of anything to say! I love being part of the blogosphere and it’s become part of my life, I blog therefore I am (Blogito ergo sum)!
In the car I was trying to work out who the regular readers are. These are who I think you are: Nick J, Dr Sarah, Kristofer, Mark B, Stu P, KTvS, Tessa, Sudders, Pete M, Acting Phil, Diana, Nick L, Kathryn, Abigail, Johnny B, Graham, Gavin, Paul, Richard P, Nigel, Tony, Stu, Pete L, Roy, Peter, Dave W, Richard, Barrie, Dave, Ben, Simon, Rob, Ken, Tony, Andy, Dan, Kevin, Robert, Alice, Katie, Mike, Robert, Grant, Lewis, Crispin, Ian, Mark M, Andrew G, Giles and ….
Have I missed you out? Let me know and I’ll add you in.
THANKS to all readers, known and unknown, commenters and musers, challengers and agreers, volunteers and full timers!

Random Stuff, Youth ministry jobs & a Shed

Too much of my mind wandering time on the drive to work is being occupied with the shed I’m building (designing it I should add, not just being preoccupied with the shedness of it). As a result I have no coherent blog to present this morning, sorry! However I have a stash of contextless randomness to offer:
New (to me) Youth Ministry blogs to check out: Holy Phil, Stu’s Rants and Ministry via Mistakes! Events: CPAS are putting on some training called “Liquid Worship and the All-Age Church” in Warwick on July 2nd. Jobs: Schools work job in Oxford Download file, DYO job in Coventry Download file.
Apologies for randomness of entry AND if anyone is interested here’s a picture of my emerging shed, how sheddy is that!
shed smaller for blog.JPG
(You’ll notice I’ve already put in a window, smart huh? I can now see what I’m doing)

Young People in 2004 Survey

Interesting (and disturbing) survey in the Times relating to the “Young People in 2004” survey. I’ve been unable to find the report but the article can be found here.
“More than a third of girls aged 10 and 11 admitted that they were sometimes afraid of going to primary school because of bullying. A quarter of primary pupils said that they had been bullied often or daily in the past month.
Nearly 60 per cent of girls aged 14 and 15 were unhappy with their weight, as were more than half of 12 and 13-year-olds. Between a quarter and a third of boys said that they wanted to be slimmer”

Tony Halpin, The Times

Friday night is youth group time

Mad time on Friday night! I was at a Church in the Diocese who run a group for 9-12 year olds. Friday night was apparently a “quieter” night but still had 83 young people! Got thoroughly beaten in a grass fight but mainly just chatted and observed, it was fun!
Great bunch of leaders and really committed! I wonder though if a group this size becomes a victim of it’s own success? The bigger a group gets the less opportunity there is for building relationship and community, for being a distinctively chrisian group.
Interesting chat about “wrist bands” with some of the young people who didn’t neccessarily relate to ANY of the campaigns, it was instead cool to have the most!

Baby still got Book

vinylkid_red_logo.jpg I blogged before about “Baby got Book” which I think is hilarious! If you haven’t seen it yet, you SO should! My 10 year old this morning added a new dimension to it however! I followed the sound of laughter and found him watching it at double speed, he was right, “Twice as Funny!”