The big climate callout

climate callout.jpg
“Do you know any young people who are passionate about taking action on climate change? If they are aged 14-17 and based in the UK, this could be their opportunity to get involved and speak out on the issue in front of a global audience.
This December, UNICEF and the city of Copenhagen will host a Children’s Climate Forum. The forum will bring together young people from all over the world who will share their views on how we should face up to the threat of climate change.
And world leaders will listen. Following the children’s forum, there will be a high-level meeting of decision makers representing every country in the world, which could potentially lead to an historic agreement on how to tackle climate change.
Four young people from the UK will travel to Copenhagen for the forum. To secure a place on the team, entrants must submit a short video or written piece via our YouTube channel. The piece should answer these three questions:

  • Why is climate change an important issue to you?
  • What can young people do about climate change – and how would you encourage them to take action if you were to go to Copenhagen?
  • What do you think the world leaders should decide at their meeting in Copenhagen?

The deadline for uploading entries is 12 noon on Wednesday 15 July 2009″
More details here

Improvised games equipment

I was at a youth group the other night and came across an improvised ‘Heath Robinson’ Go-Pak Table Tennis table! How cool is this …… and it also allows for some very weird trick shots:
go pak table tennis.JPG
I’d be up for photos of any other improvised games equipment you’ve encountered or developed!

Shed of the year

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I’ve not mentioned Sheds for a while, well at least not on the blog 🙂 but I couldn’t let the Shed of the Year awards go by without a mention ……….. so, have a look and have a vote BUT importantly be inspired about your own shed or the possibility thereof.
I’m still gathering materials for my uber shed project (one shed to rule them all) but that’s a way off yet and my next project is some major decking work. I had done loads of digging into the hillside to extend the patio but discovered that the water table is a major problem. I got a landscaper in to quote but he was clear that what I need was not going to be solved by landscaping, it was in fact a a civil-engineering problem. Hence I’m going to deck it, thus bypassing the need for retaining walls, drainage, pinning and the like. So, I shall be being ‘Tool Time Tim’ again tackling 3 x 6m of decking.

I’m afraid that’s knot unifom

Apparantly 10 schools a week are making a change to their uniform, specifically moving from conventional ties to clip-on ones. According to the BBC this is happening partly from a safety point of view and partly to create a more, well ….. uniform uniform. I guess this will gradually mark the end of the two tribes (and variations between), the FAT knots and the skinny ties.
the end of an era perhaps, but teenagers being as creative as they are I’m sure new ways of subverting the uniform will emerge 🙂
Catherine tate tie.jpg

All-age preach

I was in the congregation yesterday for a service that was a complex fusion of elements leading to what I considered the most challenging environment for the ‘all-age’ talk EVER.
It was a CIVIC service for the new Mayor that was merged with the informal family congregation that normally worship at that time. Not only was there a fantastical range of robes, uniforms, ages, expectations and traditions …. the service also had a multifaith attendence and dimension.
So, a Christian inter-faith all-age talk for a combined CIVIC formal service and family informal gathering. (BTW The minister taking the service handled it brilliantly)
Anyone had a tougher call?

(I was talking about this with someome yesterday and they pointed out the technically it was Rogationtide so it could have been a civic, informal, formal, all-age, interfaith, christian Rogationtide talk 🙂

Veteran Youth worker bins archive shock

Space in our communal office here at Church House is a little bit short and we were on our regular hunt for things that weren’t bolted down or breathing, that could thus be jetisoned. My secretary spotted my collection of Youthwork magazine and suggested that this could free up some useful room! She was unarguably right but I am struggling with pangs of nostalgia and loss as seventeen years of Youth work magazine head towards pulping and recycling!
Sadly although the mag’ is made from sustainable sources it doesn’t use recycled pulp so I can’t entertain the idea of say my lovely Oct/Nov 1992 copy being reincarnated as, say the October 2009 edition. Hey Ho
In case you wondered, back in the day it was a black and white publication, but the mag’ gained a colour cover in 1995, benefitted from some colour content in 1999 and finally went full colour in 2002! Originally too there were only 6 copies a year!! (And you tell youth workers that today *adopts Yorkshire accent* …… and they don’t believe you!)
But here is the ‘then and now’ official commemorative photo for posterity:
yoofwurk archive.jpg

Eddington & Einstein

Last night I watched a BBC drama entitled “Einstein and Eddington” I don’t know enough scientific history to know how accurate the story was but it was utterly engaging … and a fascinating portrayal of engaging with a paradigm shift (that has some interesting and useful parallels).
eddington and einstein300.jpg
Eddington is a brilliant young mathematician who is asked to look at the work of a certain Albert Einstein. Sir Oliver Lodge who comissions this report is a thorough believer in Newtonian physics and sees the future of science, in the area of gravity, merely as a measuring excercise but wants to know why Germany is so interested in him.
Eddington initially reports that Einstein offers no experimental proof for his thesis about the speed of light not being a constant, and as such there is no validity in his challenge to the Newtonian construct of the universe. Eddington however glimpses that although Einsteins work is only theoretical (and from a Newtonian point of view, absurd), there is something in it. Thus begins a correspondence between Eddington and Einstein in which Eddington is able to find a way of testing Einstein’s theory and thus finding the theoretical framework valid.
Eddington then designs an experiment in which he will photograph a cluster of stars during an eclipse. Eddingtons experiment will then overlay these new photo’s with the existing pictures of the cluster. If the stars correspond exactly then Newton is correct, but if there is a shift, then it is a pointer to the fact that light can be bent and Einstein is indeed right.
The actual overlaying of the photographic plates happens at the Royal Society and proves that Einstein’s theory of relativity is correct. Sir Oliver Lodge cannot and will not accept that Netwonian certainty no longer exists and walks out of the room.
The rest of the gathered scientist are left to ponder what this new world looks like now that their whole construct for the way the universe works is no longer valid.
I was left feeling like this was a huge parable for us as the church (Discuss)

Cycling in three dimensions

When the rain stopped last night I went out for a ‘play’ on my bike, just messing around for the fun of it and finding quirky places on our estate and in the woods to ride. Great fun!
A few years ago I worked with a group of teenagers who were all into Freeriding and I loved the way they could loft the bikes over stuff as well as balance the bike on either wheel before springing onto the next obstacle. Sadly I never got the hang of this, but having seen this video on Chris’s site last night I was reminded how far above and beyond play cycling this is. Very very cool!

Lets move into a time of notices:

Put yourself in the way of some learning:

11th June: Blah day “Mission in a consumer culture” CMS Oxford (I’ll be there)
4th July: FYT LIVE Training day run by Frontier Youth Trust in Birmingham
28th August: Greenbelt festival. Great line up including Rob Bell. (I’m going, see you there)

Please let me know other stuff, especially conferences relevent to Youth Ministers