Hoody Hord in Easter church yard incident

spooky graveyard.jpgFrom one of our own correspondents …..
Its dusk, the shadows are long and threatening, somewhere an owl hoots… a large group of dodgy looking teenagers are seen running and shouting in St Mary’s beautiful church yard. A concerned citizen calls the police and says there is criminal damage taking place this very instant and the police jump into battle (they were very quick to the scene of the crime – very impressive) only to be met by the Rector’s youngest son with a cheery “evening officer” and discover it’s the Church youth group! The amused officer radios back to base “no criminal damage Guv, it’s an Easter egg hunt”
I hope the police had a good laugh because we most certainly did

Filed under classified (to protect the innocent)
Thanks Max 🙂

I can do random

I’m sitting at my desk listening to German Radio (as you do), actually it’s really cool as Antenne Bayern plays nearly all English rock and 80’s and in between songs I get to improve my German, (not always usefully I admit e.g the traffic report for Munich is hard to work into conversation). Anyway I need to do something with all the info that’s cluttering up my desk SO I’m lobbing it into the blogosphere ………….. over to you!

Christian Aid week
is 14th-20th May. If you want to get young people involved then here’s some ideas. Download file. Also the lastest MPower has some useful resources in.

Christian Resources Exhibition:
9-12th May at Esher. On the Thursday CHP are launching three books: Making sense of Generation Y, Mission-Shaped children and Youth emmaus 2! Details here.
Funding in Oxfordshire: If you are in Oxfordshire then there is a pot of money called the Chill-out fund that can be used to buy equipment or leisure opportunities for youth groups. If you’d like to know more, send me an e-mail.

Local Networking
. A reminder that hooking up with your local Council for voluntary youth services is a top idea.
Oxford, Buckinghamshire and Berkshire is slightly different because it’s a jigsaw of unitary authorities so check into Berkshire association of clubs for young people.
Oh and how’s this for a great conversation? I bumped into one of the teens who used to be in my youth group. We’d worked for a long time with this guy and he’d been quite a handful (although we were aware of the reasons why) and lived through so many ups and downs with him. He was really welcome at stuff we ran but he’d nearly always remain on the fringes. Anyway he said to me,

‘Ian, you’ll never guess where I’m going this summer? …………. I’m going to Soul Survivor!’

I asked him, how come and he told me,
‘I’ve drifted so far away from everything to do with christianity but when we went to Soul Survivor I experienced something there and I want to know if it’s still real!’

Announcing the arrival

As youthblog is very firmly (ok, loosely) wedded to Youth Ministry I don’t get to write about cycling as much as I would like to. I would therefore like to announce the arrival of Pedalling my thoughts which was born over the Easter holiday weighing in (currently) at 5 posts and doing well. If your not interested in cycling then avoid it at all costs, if you are then please take a peek (visiting hours are very casual).

Piloting my desk once again

I’m back! Not that I’ve been anywhere but I had a few days off from ‘youthblog’ after wrestling with the philosophical question,
If a tree falls in the forest and there is no one there, does the tree still blog about it?
fall tree.jpg
Basically I noticed that both the readers were away and decided I’d instead invest my creative energy in cycling and inventing mad games with my kids. It was a mellow Easter weekend with family and great friends. I have an injured knee but at least this time I hit a car while cycling rather than the more painful scenario of a car hitting me!
So now I’m back what shall I blog about? I’ve got a couple of youthwork happenings to post but that can wait, I’ll probably do a splurge of info later when I’ve caught up with my mail. In the meantime I thought I’d flag up the most bizarre line I’ve read in a newspaper this weekend. Thorpe Park have a new Roller Coaster and the Guardian report on it flagged up this detail,
‘The drop – the fourth steepest in the world – is vertical’
How can you have steeper than vertical? Youthblog readers and PhD Physicists please comment?

Matrix 2007

The Matrix conference in 2007 for employed youth worker/ministers in something I’ve been plugging for a while now (did I mention putting 5-7th March in your diary?) and am looking forward to. As other Matrixites know, my usual plan is to go to all the Keynote and worship BUT skive off the workshop programme to get the most out of a chance to chill and more importantly learn loads from the spontaneous discussions that evolve in the cafe area.
pooh-think.jpg However there is a plot afoot to make me attend at least one seminar ………. Dark (I mean light) forces have conspired and asked me to lead a workshop. Aaaarrgh! Have provisionally said yes despite the blot this will put on my impressive non-attendance record 🙁
I have a cunning plan: maybe i could change my seminar title to,
“Obtaining the maximum from the conference programme”
and run a non workshop!

I’m listening

consultation.jpg Spent some time in the last fews days listening to young people ………
On Friday I hosted a bunch of teens’ at Church House to gain their perspective on what the new Bish’ of Oxford should be like. Really great bunch of young people and I loved the discussion we had, fab. We then trouped in to see the Archbishops advisor armed with my cheesy picture of a Bish AND most importantly the combined thoughts of the teenagers on ‘stick it’ notes around the pic.
On Saturday I was involved in interviewing some youth workers for a job. The young people had a session with the candidates and their feedback was really perceptive. Top job!
One of the leaders from the ‘Pick a Bishop’ session e-mailed me this conversation:
On the way home, I asked X and Y what they thought, and X said ‘It was fun’. When I asked him what was fun about it, he said, ‘It was fun that someone asked us what we thought.’

Spring is in the air

stags.jpg I was at the park with my offspring yesterday and enjoying the spring vibe. There was a large bunch of teenagers on the grassy area by the playground larking about. The lads (and this is no exageration) were ALL in black hoodies and the larking about took the form of a series of mock fights. At any one time there were three of four groups of blokes pushing each other over or bundling into each other and the like. It was so funny, like some sort of Spring ritual. The energy and fun was making me smile, I half expected to hear a David Attenborough commentary in the background.
I wondered if any of the folk in the park were finding this behaviour alarming (having been brainwashed by the Daily Mail into believing ALL young people are automatically a problem) and how many were just enjoying the fact that young people were having so much fun.
I hope it was the latter.
As a loosely related aside: Does anyone else find this verse from the Bible a tad bizzare?
‘In the spring, at the time when kings go off to war …… ‘
2 Sam 11:1

Now that’s what I call Alternative Worship

I’d like to coin a new genre within alternative worship, I’m calling it ‘Spontaneous Alt Worship!’ (you read it here first!) This is all about something quite trad’ randomly crossing over into a more creative expression of praise, reflection and connection with God. Not to be taken too seriously BUT this is the true story …..
This morning the kids had all jumped into bed with Jo and I. As it was Palm Sunday and we were going to miss the morning sevice as we were travelling to see relatives, we decided to start the day in Worship where we were.
We started off with a rousing rendition of ‘Lord I lift your name on high’ (a favourite of the kids) and then read the account of the triumphant entry into Jerusalem from Matthew. We discussed what this meant and why it was important. I then suggested we prayed. My eldest boy (with cerebral palsy and speech difficulty) IMMEDIATELY launched into the Lords Prayer. He did this by saying the first word of each line loudly and doing the rest with sign language while we completed the words. Very cool.
The service was going so well that my youngest boy (aged 5) thought that more celebration was needed and spontaneaously began signing ‘Ba ba black sheep’ which we duly joined in with. My daughter then wanted us to complete morning worship by singing ‘O little town of Bethlehem!‘ which we did.
Wasn’t sure of which Blessing should follow this?
Now if this isn’t Spontaneous Alt worship (Ok, there were no candles) then I don’t know what is 🙂 As Jonny, Mark B et al always write up their stuff for others to use, I thought I’d do the same.
Congregation should be seated on Matresses holding mugs of coffee
(Note that dress code is very informal)
Lord I lift your name on high
Reading: Matthew 21
Discussion and Application of Bible Passage
The Lords Prayer (signed and said)
Ba Ba Black sheep (traditional version, sung)
O little town of Bethlehem

Filed under ‘Random Family Experiences’ and tagged, ‘Why I’m never asked to lead worship’

You will Oscar, you will

I love quotations, the ability for a pithy line to make you think, laugh or give words to something you have experienced. I have a small notebook I’ve been scribbling in since 1991 which is the home to my collection, I also have various volumes of quotes scattered around my shelves.
“Christianity is like knitting: basically good but responsible for alot of bad things”
Milton Jones
Quotation sites on the web though tend to all re-hash the same well kmown stuff. However there are a couple of blog approaches that unearth some quotes/poems that are less familiar. My Small Boat gets updated daily. Miss quotation is a more recently started quote blog but I love it. Check them out!
“In science one tries to tell people, in such a way as to be understood by everyone, something that no one ever knew before. But in poetry, it’s the exact opposite”
Paul Dira