United in Mission

The Rev David Gamble, president of the Methodist Conference, told General Synod, the Church of England’s governing body on Thursday:
“We are prepared to go out of existence not because we are declining or failing in mission, but for the sake of mission. In other words, we are prepared to be changed and even to cease having a separate existence as a Church if that will serve the needs of the Kingdom.
As a Methodist Local Preacher and as an Anglican Youth Minister I find this really exciting … as when churches can put denominational preoccupations aside to focus on mission in the world, Kingdom stuff happens!!

Celebration and Loss

The scribbling here on Youthblog has always been a mix of Youth Ministry and a personal blog (with a huge overlap given that youth work/ministry is the lens through which I often observe my life) and I sometime wonder about what the balance should be. So far it seems to have lurched along retaining some sort of coherence, at least this is my conclusion given that some readers are friends who are not connected with youth work, some readers connect only in the arena of youth work and some people are either both (or have come to be). Furthermore, all of these groups and sub groups seem to happily continue to read the blog from time to time via a Feed or ‘actually’ visiting
That was a bit of a pre-amble, I was thinking aloud about the fact this is a purely personal entry and the place of this.
It’s been my birthday in the last few days and the same day saw my dad dying. (The same day in fact that Dad’s mum (my Nan) died many years ago on my 18th Birthday). I now find myself to be 43 and a newly become orphan. As well as mourning my dad I am also feeling that loss of connection to the past quite profoundly.
Charles Macdonald
1931 – 2010
The man I was proud to call Dad

For my birthday each year during the life of the blog I’ve added to a kind of semi-random autobiographical ‘snap-shots of life’ list . It feels a little self-indulgent but hey there are bigger blog-offenders out there. You’ll find ’43’ in the extended entry if you wish to look.

Continue reading “Celebration and Loss”


What is this life if full of slog
We have no time to stop and blog.
No time to post, and pose the how?
Or why, or if …. or just the now.
No time to blog the thoughts that pass
Or comment when a reader asks.
No time to see if someone’s right,
When pointing out our oversights.
No time to click and gently glance,
At other bloggers’ circumstance.
A poor life this, if full of slog
With no time left to stop and blog.

I’ve already posted this re-write of Willam Henry Davies that I penned BUT it’s so apt I’m going to fling it into the blogosphere once more and hope you’ll merely blink and ascribe it to de ja vu rather the lazy re-posting.
Life is somewhat brisk at the moment with my dad still extremely ill in hospital in Birmingham and the frequent journeys that involves, as well as the usual melee of work (and there seems to be a lot happening at the moment), family and random other stuff.
In order to retain some balance (something I’m passionate about) some things have had to take a back-burner; blogging, cycling and deadlines being the main casualties.
I have managed to complete Youthwork update, the Yellow Braces info, oh … and the Taize flyer. If any of these are of interest to you then please click and download:
Update Feb 2010finalpress.pdf
booklet 2010completedfinal.pdf
Yellow Braces main flyer 2010.pdf
Off to run a day for Clergy on ‘Confirmation Preparation’ now so I’ll catch up with you later.

Breeding ignorance and feeding radiation

I have a new favourite game! It involves walking through our shopping centre and being accosted by the salesman for “Sky,” whose opening gambit is always,
“hello sir, have YOU got Sky?” *(satellite TV company)
to which I reply, “er … no!”
He immediately launches into a pitch extolling the virtues of the whole Sky package and I innocently ask a very relevant question?
“Will this work given that I don’t have a TV?”
… and here’s the fun bit, watching someone trying to comprehend someone not having a TV and struggling (but failing) to imagine that this is possible.
Last night I happened to catch a few minutes of TV at someone’s house and was painfully reminded that the “drug of the nation” is still not for me and I remain in agreement with John Stott (“TV makes people: physically lazy, intellectually uncritical, emotionally insensitive, psychologically confused and morally disordered”)
Ok, maybe that’s over stating the case a little as there are some great programmes, BUT the self important, sound-bite driven, speculation fuelled, posturing and blatant judgemental voyeurism of TV does annoy me ….. more than a little!
So, I REALLY enjoyed Charlie Brookers’ dissection of the mechanics of a news report!

Furthermore I’d like “24 Hour News” to be made to entitle themselves more accurately as “Endless speculation!”

A McDonalds for everyone

The radio was on in the Barbers shop this morning while I was in for a trim and I heard the end of an advert from a well know fast food chain that claimed,
“There’s a McDonalds for everyone!”
I’ve clearly misunderstood something but a business model that involves have 63 million branches of said store seems all ill conceived strategy, but could, I admit … dramatically impact unemployment.

Self correcting phenomena

book_future.gifI was listening to an outstandingly brilliant talks yesterday by Business Guru Gary Hamel
(recorded at Willow Creek) and in which he was exploring leadership that can innovate and adapt. The whole talk/analysis was phenomenal* (may have to blog more of it) but there was one line that leapt out:
“You have to remember that success is a self-correcting phenomena!”
This was musing that the methodologies that brought success become trapping, and an organisation often continues on the same tack even though the culture/world has changed rendering the previous method increasingly ineffective.

* use of superlatives deliberate and accurate


Just about to head off to Douai Abbey where my colleague, Yvonne and I are leading a retreat for Youth and/or Children’s workers.
As part of the framework for the retreat we’ve bought everyone the Pearls of Life resource (kind of a protestant rosary) as a prayer framework and something that could be used with young people. Anyone tired using this with children or teens?
Douai abbey has patchy phone coverage so I’ll not be on t’internet, but I look forward to catching up with YOU on my return.