Youth Spirituality analysis

I’m on the scrounge! Anyone got any of the data/research/conclusions from “Making sense of Gen Y” or “Buried Spirituality” typed or powerpointed up? I’m doing some stuff building from this next week and I’d be more grateful than a grateful person who’s very grateful if someone can ‘lend’ me some pre-inputted input! Ta muchly 🙂
I’m especially trying to find a good summary rather than a review of all the books below ….
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That’s my girl!

I hesitated before this post as it strays dangerously close to sappy proud parent territory but as it made me laugh I decided you might forgive me!
qbox.jpgWe’d just got back from Church on Sunday and I was chatting to my 9 year old daughter about how her group had been. She said it’d been good and then said, “Oh, they’ve got a question box!”
I said that maybe I should give her a really difficult question to put in there for fun and I mentally ran through a couple of real theological toughies. Reigning my train of thought back in though I asked her if she’d submitted a question.
“Yes,” she said, “there was something I wanted to know!”
“What was it?” I enquired
“I asked, “she replied, “Whether Jesus was the son of God or was God in human form!”
It made me laugh that she’d actually, out of her own interest, submitted a fiendishly complex theological conundrum and worded it so clearly. That’s my girl!

Ten Commandments of Youth Work

10cm.jpg I had the privilige of listening to Bishop Roger Sainsbury last week and he presented his 10 Commandments of Youth Work, and here they are ……….
LISTEN TO THE VOICES OF YOUNG PEOPLE
HAVE A SPECIAL CONCERN FOR THE SOCIALLY EXCLUDED AND DISADVANTAGED
WORK CO-OPERATIVELY WITH OTHER AGENCIES, PARTICULARLY SCHOOLS
GIVE SPIRITUAL DEVELOPMENT A PRIORITY
DEMONSTRATE TOUGH LOVE
OFFER EMOTIONAL AND SPIRITUAL SECURITY
ORGANISE ACTIVITIES THAT HELP YOUNG PEOPLE FEEL VALUED AND SIGNIFICANT
CHALLENGE THE DEMONISATION OF YOUNG PEOPLE AND OFFER RESPECT
HELP BUILD COMMUNITY COHESION BY YOUTH WORK THAT EDUCATES YOUNG PEOPLE TO VALUE OUR COMMON HUMANITY AND SHARED CITIZENSHIP NOT SECTARIAN HATE
BE ACTIVE POLITICALLY TO SEEK LONG TERM FUNDING FOR YOUTH WORK FROM NATIONAL AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT
*The picture is illustrative of the 10 Commandments theme and not meant to bear any resembelance to Bishop Roger. Whether it actually looks like Moses is another debate entirely

Preparation City

At the moment I am big time in Preparation City, the view is nothing but mind maps, data, books and scribblings. I’m quite enjoying myself but I always struggle when ‘gigs’ that require prep’ are really close together as I end up drifting between them rather than completing one and then moving on, hey ho! On the plus side I am working from home so: Music on, check. Coffee and hot cross buns available, check. Chances of being interrupted, nil 🙁 Chances of me procrastinating, high (very high).
In case anyone has any relevant stuff they want to share (or interest) here’s the gigs:
27th Jan in Sandhurst: Training. “Enagaging with young people and developing youth ministry”
29th Jan in Oxford: Lecture at Ruskin: “Relative Social Exclusion”
30th Jan in Clanfield: Day for Youth workers/ministers on “The Spirituality of young people”

Oh, the spirituality one: I wanted those coming to ask a couple of questions to their young people. If anyone else wanted to do this it would be brilliant and I’d love to hear some stories ….
1. What experiences have you had in your life that you felt were spiritual? (Please encourage them to be thinking in the widest possible range of contexts i.e not just ‘Church’)
2. If those Spiritual experiences felt like an encounter with God, did your experience differ in anyway to what you have been taught about God through Church or youth group?
(Actually You can probably phrase these better than I have! What I’m looking for are stories of Spiritual moments and any variance between God as taught and God as experienced. )

Digging to find the underground church

I am trying to track down any ‘Fresh Expression’ Churches, Youth congregations and other experiments in creating Church in new ways in the Oxford Diocese. Examples like HOME or mayBE are very much on the radar but are there others I should know about? (The Diocese covers all of Bucks, Berks and Oxfordshire as well as the Republic of Milton Keynes)
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image from straphanger.blogspot.com

National Occupational Standards for youth Work

targetsmall.jpgAt the Connect conference we had chance to be in dialogue with LLUK about the new Occupational Standards for Youth Work. As the group represented a BIG proportion of the training organisations in the UK it was a good chance to discuss a faith perspective on the DRAFT standards as presented.
The standards themselves have grown in number but become more flexible. The idea is that they are no longer aimed at a specific level but are the competencies that need to be evidenced at the level the learner is working at. It’s encouraging that they continue to be based on a Social Pedagogic approach to Youth work rather than becoming a welfare or ‘Youth as a problem’ type model.
We made a number of suggestions that included:
> Spiritual development should be present
>The importance of helping young people to engage with their communities needed to be explicit
> Fun and Well being should be more prominent
> We also asked for young people to be included in the consultation process

As part of the draft there is a (slightly) changed definition of youth work. This is only a working definition and open to Change. So what do you think? Remember this definition must cover the full gamut of youthwork ……..
“The purpose of youth work is to facilitate and support young people’s growth through dependence to interdependence, by encouraging their personal and social development and enabling them to have a voice and place in their communities and society”

Christian residential centres

I have just returned from a Christian conference centre which shall remain nameless! Looking at the menu I was very excited to see that this was clearly a centre that served experimental cuisine and was not afraid to explore taste combinations in a unique way.
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It turned out to be a typo though and my dessert was ‘fruit and cream’ rather than the more daring fruit and freshwater fish combo that the menu had alluded to

A bit of a Splurge

Welcome again to the … *drum roll* …. WORLD of YOUTH MINISTRY!
All that’s hot and lots that not as I peer out from Blogdonia.
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Importantly, it’s just come to my attention that Dr Rowan Williams came third in the annual Beard of the Year award, this is a great recognition of the growing street cred of the Anglican Church *Yay* 😉
* The KIRCHENTAG (literally ‘church day’ and in fact held over several days) is happening again in 2007, with an international youth camp leading up to it. The event which is an ecumenical Christian gathering on a mahoosive scale is held from June 6-10th in Germany.
* Oasis Frontline teams are looking exciting and they are recruiting 18-25’s ready for September.
* Ultimate events want me to plug Alton Towers 07. May 5th, Loud, scary and fun 🙂
* Romance Academy have a training day in London on 10th Feb.

In the Oxford Diocese:
Next Network meeting for employed youthworker is Jan 30th. Vertigo is Feb 3rd. Training on “dealing with difficult behaviour” in Oxford, April 21st. Yellow Braces is July 6th-8th.
(I’m sending out a Diocesan mailing in early Feb if anyone wants an event plugged)
In other news: You may remember how complicated it proved to order stuff from Gopak, well I’ve now had a red unpaid invoice from them, Grrrrr. As they split the order into two different departments it meant two orders and they forgot to apply my credit card to both and NOW moan I haven’t paid! Circumstances are turning me into Victor Meldrew!
And finally: The mime group play basketball ….
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Want to run a media project?

If you’ve got some 13-19 year olds who would LOVE to do a media project but you are thinking, “We just don’t have the money!”
Then click here then leap around the room ecstatically before inviting your young people to a creative meeting at McDonalds* and seeing if this lights their fire!
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*Or the vegetarian alternative!

Who’s the Daddy?

This reflection is not well formed yet but it’s a thunk in progress. Having reflected on parenting and recently spent some talking to parents and watching families in ‘action’ I got to wondering about the Church body as ‘Parent’ to the upcoming generations.
tall window.jpgWho’s the Daddy?
When/If you become a parent your life changes somewhat (note heavy use of understatement here). It’s a wonderful upheaval of everything that went before and an entirely new (and different) adventure. Some of these changes are immediate, some gradual. One of the gradual ones is a realisation that your needs become less important the children’s needs. (I’m not talking about buying I-pods, Wii’s and the like here). There needs to be a sacrifice of time, priorities and money. From simple things like, Right now I’d really like to sit in the armchair for a bit BUT the children really need to have some fun time with me/us, to I’d really like a bit of a sportier car but the kids bikes wouldn’t fit in the back or, I’d like a lie-in but promised I’d take the children swimming, it’d be wonderful to have a holiday but the children need shoes/ an important school trip/ university fees etc ad-infinitum.
Now I have NO problem with this, I love it. For me that sacrifice for the next generation, that total commitment to discipling, raising, encouraging your children (at the expenses of your own desires and dreams) is what it takes, is love, is the responsibility and privilege (not that it’s always easy).
It had me reflecting on the Church and its attitude to the new generations growing up. While I think that Parents can’t abdicate responsibility to the Church for the nurturing and discipling in the faith, I do believe that the Church has a huge PARENTAL role to play. My reflections on parenting made me wonder what we as the church have to learn about giving up our preferences in order that the next generation encounter and contribute to church in a way that is meaningful to them?
Using this Church as Parents metaphor starkly. Are we as the Church being the kind of parents who pack their children off to Boarding school so they don’t get in the way of the way we like to do things!