Book Tag

Grant has tagged me as part of some sort of interbloggernational book thing so it only seems right to answer the questions!
> How many books do I own?
I reckon about 1000 in round terms which includes fiction and my reference library (made a bit redundent by the internet but I still love it). I have a really good collection of CS Lewis and GK Chesterton and I own 2 complete sets of the encyclopedia Britannica (1995 and 1955) and 27 Britannica year books! I also have some books that I just love the titles of such as “German in three months” (yeah, right!) and Vol 5 of a different encyclopedia which has on the spine “Fun 2 Hug”
> What was the last book you bought?
Fighter Boys by Patrick Bishop
> What was the last book you read?
Long Way Down by Nick Hornby
> What are FIVE books that have meant a lot to you?
woooa, only 5!
1. Hitcher Hikers Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
2. The Club of Queer Trades by GK Chesterton
3. Whats so amazing about Grace by Philip Yancey
4. The Bible (technically a library I know)
5. Calvin and Hobbes The Lazy Sunday Book by Bill Watterson
(aarrrghhh wanted to include Yaconelli, Pip Wilson, Campolo and CS Lewis)
> Tag 4 more people
If you are a regular reader of Youthblog, consider yourself tagged!

Youth workers and their wheels

I’ve blogged before about youthworker’s cars. I’m of the opinion the ideal car is one that is a bit unusual, not over ostentacious or expensive and with plenty of room and character! I stumbled across this …. in the absense of me ever getting a tricked up mini-bus this is the car I want!
double decker.jpg

Stoke Fleming

There is a beautiful camp site used by various groups at Stoke Fleming (not far from Dartmouth) that I’ve been too lots of times. Fabulous Place! Anyway I’ve just heard that the Crusader camp running there on the 6th – 13th August has suddenly lost a couple of leaders. If you have the week after next free and can be part of a kitchen team or help lead worship then send me an e-mail. Long shot I know but I thought I’d mention it as its a great opportunity to be making a difference to young people AND be in a stunningly beautiful place!

Matrix Conference 2007

The great news is that Matrix 2007 conference for employed youth workers is all systems go! Huzzah! The slightly scary thing is I’ve been invited to a planning meeting in September and therefore the surreal mind of Youthblog may have a bearing on the conference!
So if you are a Matrixite and have an opinion on what colour it should be, who should speak and I guess who shouldn’t, whether laptops should be banned and whether we should develop a secret handshake ….. comment below, let me know how deep you want the rabbit hole to go!
Ideas so far
Putting the “party” back into PArish SuppoRTed Youth work
Networking, theology and a bar
Journey to the soft centre of the Youthwork Rolo
Funkier than you thought possible at a Christian Conference centre
Going to lie down now!

Check into survey city

I’m suddenly becoming a bit overwhelmed by surveys about youth work! JBB is doing some work on employment of Youth workers across the denominations. The National Youth Office for the Anglican Church are looking into employment practice (practice is actually a really good word for this) and I’ve sent this out to the crew across Oxford Diocese.
Youthwork magazine have just begun a big survey of “Why we do what we do?” and I’m happy to say this is about volunteers and employed. If you want to add your three penny worth then click here!
And before ALL OF THESE I had asked for info about youth work in all the 620 Parishes that form my world.
So apologies if you are feeling overly questionairred (new word) but hopefully we’ll know a lot more as a result!
Oh and can I ask a question?
How do you respond to surveys?:
1. You are really pleased to be asked about your opinions and experiences
2. You don’t mind filling it in if its not too long or complicated
3. You think that maybe they are sort of a good thing sometimes and will think this each time it rises to the surface of your In-tray
4. You file them neatly under “B” for bin
5. You see what I’ve done here, you’ve answered “4” but in doing so have become a “1” aarrrrghgghh

Jesus Junk

Thanks (I think) to Agent K for discovering this web site. Here’s an example of their stock in case you’ve ever thought, “I’d like the mints I suck to reflect my faith!”
Cross mints.gif
I believe Christianity is a dynamic life changing encounter with God, a purpose, a challenge, a radical, freeing, counter cultural lifestyle of service love and grace!
I believe we manage to communicate a pro-consumeristic twee nicety that is about as radical as warm milk or slippers.
This item filed under “despair”

re Cycling and Youth work

Managed to get in a 30 mile ride this morning which was cool, and a cracking pace too (averaged 20mph for 7 of those miles) even though I was on the tourer rather than on the racer.
I wish I could use the cycling a bit more in my youth work. The Brompton (really cool folding bike) and the racer (absolute weapon of a bike) do provoke some good conversations with young people and have provided some openings on the estate where I am currently a volunteer. Sadly though I know of very few youth groups who still go for cycle rides as they’re deemed far too risky. Even when I fix bikes for young people these days I’m a little nervous that they might end up pranging them as they are not used to the brakes working AND I might be deemed responsible.
(On the funny side though I taught the kids in my road here how to use a chain rivet remover and they are now all sporting genuine bike chain braclets!)
I am a qualified “Mountain Bike Leader” but there’s very little opportunity to use this qualification sadly.
Just realised that this blog post is going nowhere in particular, hey ho!

Update on all things bloggy

Am on annual leave which is great! Went to a party on Friday night, a kind of a church affair, had an awesome time. Good food, good conversation and lots of malarky. Coolest bit though was the time I spent with the teenagers just chatting, some of them had been in the younger group when I was the youthworker, it was great to chill, chat and catch up with them! I always end up talking to the teenagers, not because I can’t talk to adults just because thats always what happens, Cool but weird™ (but cool)
Blogwise: There’s now a piece of coding somewhere in the matrix that stops you from commneting on any post over 2 weeks old. Sad move to have to make but the evil dwellers of planet Spam made it a neccessity.
Bit of a dilema with the the blogroll: It expanded wildly a couple of months ago BUT since then there’s a whole lot of de-facto bloggers on there rather than the kind that actually blog! Taking a lead from the harsh world of buiness and commerce I intend to cull any that have not posted since June! You have 12 hours to make ammends, the clock is ticking! *James Bond villian type laughter*
Anyway I’m off cycling now! Download file.
For anyone (anyone?) who is interested here’s my bike. A “Giant OCR 3” upgraded to Tigra groupset and with some sweet rolling Fortezza Tricomp 23mm’s running at 110psi! Awesome!

The scariest thing about teenagers

The scariest thing about kids today is how adults feel about them” San Francisco Examiner
Good post from Mike and the comments are worth reading too! I guess this is an area that the U.S and the U.K have in common culturally. How did we get into the kind of mess that allows us to demonise and/or disregard the upcoming generation?
“Oh England,
sick in head and sick in heart
and yet though art the sicker still
for thinking that thou art not ill”

(quoting from memory, source and date completely forgotten … wording at least approximately correct)