Youth Ministry Professional Development

Grow, develop, learn and drink coffee with like minded bods.
The Spirituality of Generation Y: A day for youth workers at the London Institute for Contemporary Christianity. Weds 27th September 10 for 10.30am start, finish 4pm
FOUNDATIONS: Excellent one week (full time course) in Youth and
Community work run by FUSION. Highly recommended. Oct 15th—Oct 21st [email protected]
More than Survival: 10th-11th Oct, Conference for Women in Youth
Ministry. Venue: Windmill Farm near Cheltenham, details CPAS 01926 458458

And for those peeps who minister within the Diocese of Oxford
The Next NETWORK day will be on the 11th October at the Eton Dorney
Centre near Slough. This is where as many employed youth workers/ministers from the diocese, as can make it, get together. We’ll meet from 11am until 3.30pm and will include lunch. The theme will be “Contemplative Youth Ministry”. To book in please talk to Valerie Hooley (01865 208 257 [email protected]), the cost will be £8 (cheques payable to ODBF).

More Greenbelt

songs of freedom.jpg I have been using Technorati to track the blogged reactions to Greenbelt, the reviews have been hugely positive. I particularly enjoyed two pieces by Jules about Greenbelt who writes much more eloquently than I do and sums up the festival SO well. I can’t comment to her site though as I’m not a blogger user so I’ll record my thanks here instead 🙂

And so I’m back from Outer Space

I’m back by the way! I know I was supposed to take August off but ‘blogito ergo sum’ is the Youthblog moto and hence typing once more … AND a couple of days early.
The break was great and I was able to get some serious cycling in, although not serious enough it seems as the big bad cyclo-sportive event I had entered knocked the stuffing out of me and I failed to complete the thing 🙁
3rdshed.jpg I managed to use some of the time to pioneer some more emerging shed ministry and built this new expression from scratch. Although much smaller than previous models I think it makes a worthwhile contribution. (I have also now eclipsed even “Arthur ‘2 sheds’ Jackson” with this third structure).
I had a great time with the family including very funky day trip to the Isle of Wight. I had fun at a residential, dropped into Soul Survivor, caught up on some work and had an absolute blast at Greenbelt. It was good to have the space over the summer to pray and to think.
Having more time also allows you to notice the stuff that’s happening around you. I never fail to be amazed at how our culture trivialises the serious and makes serious the trivial!
Currently amusing me, This packet of Toilet cleaning wipes that is a “LIMITED EDITION!” Should we be using them or holding on to this rare highly collectable example of household cleansing?

Making me laugh

Chortling muchly ……
This version of Footprints in the Sand is fantastic! Managing to make me laugh and actually be more authentically inspiring than the cheesy original (like the example to the right), top top stuff!
From The Gaffney Journal
via YSMarko
I’ve always kicked against the cheesy triteness that some seem to represent Christianity as. Re-visiting ‘Footprints’ put me in mind of a fantastic song by All Star United, called La La Land that they played at Greenbelt.
“The question isn’t whether it’s true
The question- “Is it working for you?”
Marshmellow Skies
And custardy pies
And nothing’s too hard to do
They’re five happy verses or so
They told me all I needed to know
Ignore all the rest
Trials and tests
And threats to my comfort zone
Well I’ve got no time to find out what’s real
I stick with what I happen to feel
It feels grand
When you’re livin’ in lala land
You can name a blessing yourself
Stake a claim on power and wealth
And strong healthy teeth
A spot at the beach
……… ”

Greenbelt 2006

GB banner.jpg
I’m wandering around today with a muggy post Greenbelt exhausted air BUT with the smile of one who has had an awesome time AND is overjoyed to have re-encountered a shower and a bed. A long weekend of walking, talking, smiling and laughing is really tiring, but in a good way.
It was a GREAT festival! Faith, Life, Justice, Art, Fun, Music, Humour, Converstion ………… I don’t know how to describe (or even list) all the elements that make it such a great place to be, but they all combine to attract 20,000 people to Cheltenham Racecourse for the Celebration that is GREENBELT. Awesome!
greenbelt book.jpg
Erm …. Highlights? Music-wise my favourite gigs were All Star United, Nizlopi and The Ukelele Orchestra of Great Britian. Humour-wise? Rev Gerald Ambulance. Speaker-wise? Jim Wallis and Jude Simpson. My favourite venues were the Tiny tea Tent, the Organic Beer Tent (Hymns n Beer was one of the coolest events at the festival) and the YMCA 24hr cafe where there was always a welcome and a cheap cup of coffee (Thanks).
As ever though the best of all was just being part of the Greenbelt community, connecting with it’s heartbeat of faith, love, creativity and justice AND feeling part of the home or even church that it is to so many people.
beer tent small.jpg
It felt like there were HUGE numbers on site, it was never a problem apart from in the Camping area where the loo queues could be leg-crossingly long. There seemed to be a massive rise in the number of teenagers at the festival which is great to see, there also seemed to be lots more families than previous years.
I also welcome the increased use of sheds (The poetry shed and an installation by the Jonny Baker crew being good examples), great to see the emerging shed movement gaining ground at the Festival.
poetry shed.jpg
The most surreal aspect of this year’s festival was the weather, specifically the amount and continual changedness thereof. One moment you’d find yourself feeling a bit chilly and pulling on a jacket, moments later the sun would appear and generate amounts of heat inconsistant with a 93 million mile protective gap. Then just as you were finding somewhere to lose the jacket and begin the process of applying sun tan cream, it would start raining.
These elements would then be repeated BUT NOT (and this is key) in the previous order, then all over again.
I know that you’ll think this meterological account is a piece of exagerated humour BUT if you were there PLEASE use the comments to verify how weird the climatic randomness was.
(Oh and a huge thanks to The Wibbers who made me very welcome at the Wibsite-campsite and I enjoyed the conviviality muchly. Sadly I cannot thank them in person as I am sworn to protect their secret wib-identities BUT you know who you are!)

August Ian of Trippo

wahoo favourite trip of the year is nigh. Off to Greenbelt on Friday! I might blog from there as they have wi-fi on the site plus I’m there in a press role so get to hang out with the hacks in the press room, cool eh? I’m greatly chufffed to be going and it’s going to be a sublime time, especially knowing how many peeps are going.
And the down side …. It’s Greenbelt loo time 🙁
Anyway it’d be great to catch up with youth ministry sisterin and bretherin so I hope to see you there. My walkie-talkie will, as ever, be set to 4.12 or e-mail me for my mobile number.

August Ian of Kippo

shedblogsun.jpg Hope it’s OK but I’m having a blog break for the month of August. I’m on two weeks leave at the moment and getting some sleep, spending time with the family, cycling and fettling ‘n fixing stuff in the shed. After that I’ve got appointments and preaching gigs at various places as well as dropping into Soul Survivor (B) before my annual pilgrimage to Greenbelt, huzzah.
Hence the break and hopefully chance to re-charge the blogging creativity and inspiration.
So this is the very chilled ‘August Ian of Kippo’ signing out and I look forward to your company in September