Custodial response

In the UK news this morning was the fact that youth custodial and secure accomodation places are full to capacity. I was very impressed with the person who commented in the radio interview (I missed their name, doh!) but said,
“Locking up more young people is the penal equivalent of building more coal fired power stations to tackle global warming”

Is Britain too fearful of its young?

So asks the BBC! I shall watch this debate with interest.
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The independent has a great article today exploring, “Teenagers the Shocking Truth!” I like the way they’ve used a Daily mail shock heading but present a vary positive and balanced view. Well worth a read
“Watch out! – I am from the evil and hated generation. Believe it or not, not every single teenager around my age goes around beating up people and smashing up cars. Can you seriously claim that today’s youth are that much worse than the mods and rockers of the former generation? My generation never gets a positive thing said about them – GCSEs for example – we do better than the past generation and the courses must be getting easier – obviously. Is it really any wonder then certain youths rebel?”
A teen from Bristol

Benign Whateverism

“Most religious communities’ central problem is not teen rebellion, but teenagers’ benign ‘whateverism’ ”
Christian Smith
I was just reviewing the notes from Kenda Creasy Deans visit to the UK, I was struck again by the above quote from an American study in 2005. More importantly though were the andedotes as Kenda perceived them, these were the foundations she highlighted that young people need in order to have/live a faith of consequence.
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* A creed to believe
* A community to belong to
* A call to live out
* A hope to hold onto
Amen to these! I think this is a very cool piece of reflection on what Discipleship is based on, which is in turn forming some of my thinking on Confirmation.

The Nativity

Holy Phil managed to unearth that there’s a film called THE NATIVITY coming out this christmas? I didn’t know anything about this, did anyone else? Have a look at the trailer, it looks pretty cool 🙂
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“The Nativity Story is directed by Catherine Hardwicke from a screenplay by Mike Rich (Finding Forrester, The Rookie). It is scheduled for a December 2006 release. Filmmakers are bringing an unprecedented level of commitment to ensure the authenticity not only of the Nativity story itself, but of the film’s look as well. “We are looking for epic intimacy,” says director Catherine Hardwicke. “We want this journey to be big and beautiful, but we want to feel what these people felt. I hope audiences can relate to the film on a personal level and find some inspiration to get through their own challenges and difficulties.” Producer Wyck Godfrey adds, “We chose Catherine because she cuts against the grain of the picture-book version of the movie that could have been made. She has had great success at really capturing the lives of young people in particular, and the conflict, crisis, and pain of growing up. The idea of bringing her point of view to Biblical times is very interesting.” She, writer Mike Rich, and production designer Stefano Ortolani spent countless hours researching the era to ensure every detail looked and felt authentic. Because the actual locations of Bethlehem and Nazareth have become fairly modernized over the years, the production decided to shoot in the village of Matera, Italy, which has been virtually unchanged for centuries (and was previously used as a location for The Passion of the Christ)”

The booking reading continuum

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A parcel arrived this morning with a couple of books that I’d ordered, the revised version of The Art of Youth Work and a copy of Don’t shoot! I’m a detached Youth Worker. The initial wahoo of anticipation is soon run over by the bus of reality as I try and work out if/when/how I’m going to read them.
This got me thinking about a continuum on which all books must be placed. The continuum runs from ‘I’m not EVER going to read that‘ (eg a Rosamund Pilcher) right up to ‘Put everything on hold until I have finished reading this book‘ ( e.g Bill Bryson). It also strikes me that this continuum is at an angle running downhill from the Bryson end, it is therefore possible for a book to settle briefly on the line at “I need to read this soon” but to slide through “Going to read when I’ve got chance” before living happily ever after in the LARGE pile defined as “Books I’ve read some of and in an ideal world will finish before I die
I wonder if I should re-order my books on the shelves in keeping with these classifications?
I wonder if I should ask Amazon to be a banned URL until I’ve finished reading the books I have?
So little time, so many books!
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Good start to the day

hongkong2.jpgI have the office all to myself for a while so have Antenne Bayern on LOUD (Favourite German radio station) AND arriving in the car park this morning I pulled off a beaut of a handbrake turn to be able to drive straight into my parking slot 🙂 Nice!
I now intend to single handedly take on my ‘In Tray’ aided only by a coffee (or three)

I can’t tell the free world from a living hell

Listening to Chris Evans (as I usually do) on the way back from work I heard this song, “How Come“. I’d not heard of Ray Lamontagne before but am going to check out more off his stuff. Thought this song could be a good discussion starter!
albumraylaman.jpg People on the street now
Faces long and grim
Souls are feeling heavy
And faith is growing thin
Fears are getting stronger
You can Feel them on the rise
Hopelessness got some by the throat you can see it in their eyes
I said how come
How come
Everybody on a shoestring
Everybody in a hole
Everybody crossing their fingers and toes
Government man spin his politics till he got you pinned
Everybody trying to reach out to each other
But they don’t know where to begin
I said how come
I can’t tell
the free world
from living hell
I said how come
How come
all I see
is a child of god
in misery
I said how come the pistol now as profit
The bullet some kind of lord and king
But pain is the only promise that this so called savior is going to bring
Love can be a liar
And justice can be a thief
And freedom can be an empty cup from which everybody want to drink
I said how come
I can’t tell
the free world
from living hell
I said how come
How come
all i see
is a child of god
in misery
I said how come
Its just man killing man
Killing man
Killing man
Killing man
Killing man
I don’t understand
Its just man killing man

Sunday funky Sunday

Sunday was a fabulous day of Churches for me! It’s not often I get to write that being the post modern that I am who struggles with mainstream church services (even though I passionately believe in Church). But a good day it was!
If you’d like to know why then pour yourself a coffee and I will tell all …….
In the Morning I headed up to St Matz in Oxford as they were experimenting with a different patern for their mornimg worship and I really wanted to see how it worked and how the young people connected in with it. (I took my eldest with me which meant I also got to give St Matz a thumbs up on wheel chair access). Anyway, St Matz is a trad’ Anglican shape on the outside but bright, warm and welcoming on the inside. The pews are moveable so they’d be re-arranged to focus in on the middle of the church, with the worship group off to one side. stmatz2.jpg The service started off conventionally enough but after the reading and Talk (which had focused on the theme of Worship) people were encouraged to go and engage with “Worship” at the various zones around the church (all of which were on the planner in the service sheet). My 11 year old immediately wanted to go off to the silent zone in the vestry which was set up for reflective prayer, we then went to the writing zone where there were some questions about us and worship to respond to. I then checked out the cafe zone and spoke to some of the young people who were discussing Bibles on the sofas and lastly caught up with a bit of the stuff around worship and emerging church via a DVD in one of the discussion areas. For the record the service concluded with communion with some wonderful choral singing from the worship group and then a belter of a hymn accompanied by the organ, violin and trumpet.
I came out of church delighted to have had the chance for silent prayer, having participated in the worship and having benefitted from the space to explore and to move. Thumbs up!
stlaunc.jpg In the evening I headed off to St Laurence in Reading, a church that has a VERY strong focus on mission to young people. I arrived a bit late and all the teens/young adults were on the sofas and there was some Bible discussion happening. From there we moved into the chancel where people stood, danced or hid in the choir pews while the worship was led by guitar, voice, beat box and some awesome MC-ing rap. It was incredibly powerful and had a great level of particpation, spontaneity and engagement. LOVED IT! We then all moved into the darkened chapel for a simple eucharist. We stood in a circle around the altar where there was a simple candle and cross as the focus as well as the smell of incense. Came away feeling excited in my heart and spirit. FAB!
Sunday Funky Sunday 🙂