Creature Comforts

creature comforts.jpg I’ve been watching a couple of the Aaardman “Creature Comforts” DVDs and they have made me laugh BIG TIME! If you’re not familiar with them they are basically voices of “the great British public” but the words are instead delivered by some exsquisitely animated animals. For example there’s one chapter where people have been asked about their experience of flying, the dialogue is then voiced by an assortment of birds. The thoughts then take on a whole new life.
Thses two DVDS are fantastic as late night entertainment on residentials, discusssion starters, fillers and a sideways look at the human condition. Fantastic stuff!

Subversive blog and the gagging order

Just had a meeting with the communication department and have discovered that my blog is potentially politically dangerous (today, the Diocese *maniacal laughter* tomorrow the world).
There are Synodical elections coming up and no Diocesan publication (turns out that Youthblog is one) can allow free comment and access which could allow promotion of individual candidates. Even though the chances of a Synodical delegate/wannabe reading youthblog are akin to finding Elvis is alive and an Anglican minister in Lower Slaughter, the embago stands. Thus from July 11th to September the 30th all comments to Youthblog must be moderated. Obviously I’ll be voting for _______________ ! Hehe
So apologies but that’s the way the cookie crumbles, comments will appear automatically til then. After that there will be a deelllaaayy before they appear.

Get Connected

YFC are running a training day at Newbury Baptist Church on July 19th
In their words,
“The Training day has a particular focus on YFC’s exciting resource – ‘The Art of Connecting’. This is a resource which encourages young people to overcome their inhibitions about sharing their faith, connect deeper with God and see their relationships changed forever! We are hoping the day will encourage you, inspire you and be helpful to you where you are at in your current Youth Work”
e-mail Nicola for details [email protected]

Batman Begins

batman begins cover.jpg Went to the cinema last night to see Batman Begins. What a film, fantastic stuff, it’s huge, it’s cool, it rocks! It’s a comic book surf ride but somehow on the waves of credibility.
The film has some really interesting themes which I think will become Matrixesque type sermon and Youth talk fodder for some time to come. It’s about redemption, it’s about the question of when are things too bad to be saved, it’s about the danger of revenge and it tackles justice, courage and fear.
You should see this film at the cinema, small screen will just not be a big enough canvas.
On the drive back the teenager that I took to see it just kept saying, “woooa that was awesome!”

Getting Perspectives

persp2.gif Huzzah, the latest edition of Perspectives is out. I love this journal and its great to have a publication that aims to reflect on Christian youth work. Being a subscriber is fun too, it’s like joining a secret society. The mag comes out X number of times a year (where X is a number somewhere between 1 and 4) and appears each Y (Where Y is a random unpredicatable date) and is published in understated monachrome. No criticism intended though as the content is FIRST CLASS and its a great bunch of people who put it together voluntarily.
This edition is around the oft discussed Christian youth work / youth ministry / Mission etc debate and is well worth a read. Good pieces from Richard (Taff) Davies, Maxine Green, Steve Griffiths and Paul Hopkins!
(Maxine once interviewed me for a job but was not impressed with my lack of formal qualification, the feedback she gave me was “You’ve done very well to get this far on enthusiasm alone!”).
Oh and there is also a reflection on having a retreat in a city from Doctor H!
You can read previous articles on their web site which they’ve generously made available. Then subscribe, it’s worth it … fab value and you’ll NEVER know when it might pop through the letter box 🙂

Cuisine a la Slough

Visitied a funky youth group last night in Slough. It was a volunteer led group for 13-17 year olds and met in a kind of a Church hall as it has done for about 3 years. Really good crew and the group clearly enjoy being together.
Anyway the group worked (mostly) together on cooking a three course meal which we eventually sat down to. During the meal (very tasty!) there was a great debate on Young peoples rights and whether smoking should be illegal! The debate(s) were high energy affairs but only the person holding the “talk stick” could speak, some really good debate and some interesting points from all.
Cool group though! The cookery formed part of some healthy eating work they’ve been doing (this was working well as there was lots of salad, veg and fruit consumed), the debating was a real engagement with issues as well as giving young people chance to explore what they thought and giving the confindence to talk about it. All this plus the normal relational stuff and a lot of fun.

How may I direct your call

phone mic.jpg I get lots of phone calls here at the DYO hot desk in a kind of RAC for youth work sort of a way. I really enjoy this aspect of my job especially when I can help. (Big frustration at the mo’ is having very little to offer the crisis, “Help we need a/several minibus(es) for the summer cry, hey ho)
One of today’s calls was, help, I need a primary school assembly on Saints! Cool request hey.
Oh, if you are looking for some primary assembly ideas then have a look at the Collective Worship pages at Culham!
AND the most obscure question of the week was,
What can you tell me about the current generation of young people?”

Postcards from the Edge

You will I think have heard about the Postcards site where people can send in anonymous confessions. The site itself is a fascinating insight but Phil has linked to a flash presentation that uses these and fuses them with Psalm 139. I think it’s brilliant but as Phil warns it will not be suitable for all churches.

Taming the Tiger

taming the tiger.jpg
I’ve just finished reading “Taming the Tiger” which is the story of how former world Kung fu champion Tony Anthony came to faith.
I’m not normally a great reader of Christian paperbacks but as Tony is coming to Newbury to speak in July I thought I’d have a look. Anyway the book is fantastic, I was humbled, challenged and inspired by his story! If you are in Berkshire (sorry rest of the world) then I reckon it will be well worth going along on the 1st July and taking the older youth group with you, especially the blokes. If you’re not in Berkshire, have a look at the book.

Professional Arm Model

I have a varied job! One of my recent roles was to be the arm model for a piece on wristbands for the Diocesan Newspaper, “The Door” I reckon this could be a useful sideline and I’m available as a professional arm model! Either uppper limb can also be booked for arm double work.
arm door 2.jpg
Here’s a picture from my portfolio of a specialised forearm modelling project in Oxford!