Exposure to sexualised images

home office.jpgThe media today have been responding to a Home Office report which rightly raises concern about young people’s exposure to sexual images from an early age.
The BBC pick up on this with a piece entitled “Why can’t I look like that?
This is the press briefing and you’ll find more discussion here from the Guardian.
This would be a great topic to be exploring with young people in a piece of group work.

Talking Stick

You have probably come across the idea of ‘talking sticks‘ or the equivalent before (an item that is held by the speaker, identifying them as the person to be speaking at that time, and calling on everyone else to really listen; which is then passed to the next person who wishes to speak and be heard).
talking stick.jpg
I was at a families fun-day drumming workshop last week and we made talking sticks, based on a native american tradition, in a way that I think would work brilliantly for a small youth group (and especially on a residential)
There was a pile of wool of various colours and textures. Each family had a stick and members of the family were encouraged to pick out bits of wool that they (for whatever reason) linked to something important about their family … or an important memory or event. They then told the story whilst wrapping the wool around the stick. Eventually there was a vibrantly coloured stick to be used in future as the family ‘talking stick’ whereby everyone could be assured of being listened to.
For a small youth group this could be a great activity; making the stick and telling stories about the group and its key memories and values. It could then serve really well in discussions and debates, creating greater listening and participation.

Transformational Youth Ministry

yp from chucknorris.jpg“Youth ministry doesn’t have to spend a fortune or put on a rock concert to be effective in reaching junior high and high schoolers for Christ. Personal relationships, adult mentors, honest conversation, and opportunities to help others create an atmosphere where students feel they belong, and eventually are able to believe”
Trawling the web this morning I came across this article about transformational youth ministry It usefully reduces and demystifies faith based work with teens to five key points. Article is here, thanks to Chuck Warnock.

40 days of YES

I’m loving 40 days of Yes, the CMS lenten blog that carries the tag line: Day by day during Lent – reflect on your call in mission.
I particularly enjoyed Day 1. Setting Out that included this reflective piece:
by Dom Helder Camara
when your ship,
long moored in harbour, gives the illusion
of being a house;
when your ship
begins to put down roots
in the stagnant water by the quay: put out to sea!
save your boat’s journeying soul and your own pilgrim soul,
cost what it may.

Christian Cottage

Popping onto Face Book yesterday in order to engage in a little word to word combat via the Scrabble board, I was amused to find one of the adverts (presumably tailored to my interests) was for some Christian Cottages in France!
christin cottages2.jpg
This immediately set me off wondering how one could have a Christian cottage without spiritualiising and anthropomorphizing a set of bricks and mortar. The obvious answer was that it was probably the same as a secular cottage but with walls displaying cheesy posters incorporating out of context bible verses.
Further reflection though led me to the conclusion that it must be a converted (praise God!) Farmhouse built on a sure foundation! *groan*
And be called whatever the French for ‘maranatha’ is

Taize in Oxford

Taize will be in Oxford ahead of Oxford being in Taize!
taize 400.jpg
I’ve already flagged up the Diocesan Trip heading out on July 24th BUT I’m also pleased to announce that Brother Paolo is in Oxford on March 18th, and we’ll be running a couple of events together.
Network Meeting: March 18th 1pm – 4:30pm at the Mish. Employed Youth/Childrens workers and School Chaplains invited for lunch followed by a chance to listen to Taize’s experience of working with young people particularly in the area of reconciliation and worship.
Taize taster: An evening (7:30 to 9) for youth leaders, young people and in fact anyone keen to hear more about a week in Taize, and to experience Taize worship. This will be at St Clements Church in Oxford.
More details from me or in fact the Taize web site!