My colleague and I are laughing about a great e-mail from one of the workers in the Diocese who mused that her invitation to teens to informally pray in pairs at the end of a meeting could have been misconstrued.
She found herself saying:
“Pray with whoever you fancy!”
Spiritual speed-dating anyone 🙂

The bridge of the Starship village

At the weekend I was visiting a Youth group in a village not a million miles from Oxford. The group meet in the village hall, a really great village hall that’s BIG, nicely decorated and is obviously really well used. (We followed the bowls club celebration tea). On this particular visit I got to go into a room behind the stage area that I’d not encountered before. It’s clearly a room for committee meetings and the like and I was gobsmacked by just how cool it was. It’s the first village hall where the meeting room was SO well appointed (and possibly by a designer who was a Trekkie), how cool is this?
enterprise village hall.jpg
I’m actually on a couple of days off at the moment and thoroughly enjoying the mixture of coffee, music, decorating the hallway and longer to muse over scrabble turns with my various nemesi. On of my regular lexicographical fellow warriors has just returned from the states where FB scrabble is not licensed and therefore unplayable. I was pleased quodding.jpgwith this particular ‘welcome back’ turn of mine that produced 230 points in one turn. (But pride comes before a fall I know so will expect a crushing riposte before too long.)
I’m also taking the opportunity to listen to lots of radio while I’m off (something that’s tricky to do in a communal office). This morning there was thread asking people to reminisce about unjust punishments and telling offs at school. Wow did it ever open a vein of injustices, absues of power, victimisation, failure to listen and plain random pettiness. I nearly texted in about the time I was banned from the classroom for a week for being put in the dustbin but they had clearly received more than enough material. I often think that the person who coined the phrase that ‘school is the happiest days of your life‘ must have had a spectacularly miserable adulthood for this maxim to be true.

Room for Everyone

The Diocese held an event at the weekend called “Room for Everyone,” and event to encourage and promote new forms of church in our changing culture. It was a fantastic day with over 200 people coming and there was a real energy and buzz about living faith and ‘being church’ in the communities of the Diocese.
I had the chance to host a seminar entitled, Working with young people: re-imagining and re-engaging.
Not one of my best as there was so much that needed to be covered I struggled to distil the seminar into a really coherent piece. As promised though, here’s the Powerpoint if anyone wanted to re-visit it:
Microsoft PowerPoint – room for everyone youth.pdf
My offer also stands to come out and visit any of the Parishes top discuss this further

Blue Like Jazz

blue like jazz.jpgI’ve been pretty lax at writing up books I’ve read …. and that have an influence on, or resonance with, Youth Ministry, so (in response to advice that frequently appeared on my school reports) I will try harder.
Blue like Jazz by Donald Miller is a book that was good for my post modern soul. A journey of faith that is alive with story, encounter and reality. This semi-autobiographical series of essays manages to critique and yet still celebrate something of Christianity in the form it is often encountered, but at the same time explore and find a richer, deeper and messier Christian spirituality that I completely relate to.
If you want to know why people in their 20’s and 30’s are so often missing from church, this is a Couplandesque guide to the failings and assumptions of the previous culture/theology and the landscape, possibilities and language of the new.
a quote:
“My most recent faith struggle is not one of intellect. I don’t really do that anymore. Sooner or later you just figure out there are some guys who don’t believe in God and they can prove He doesn’t exist, and some other guys who do believe in God and they can prove He does exist, and the argument stopped being about God a long time ago and now it’s about who is smarter, and honestly I don’t care.”

On the blue stuff

With quite a bit of weekend and evening work on at the moment I carved out another mid-week escape today.
Myself and the kayak were on the road by 8:30 this morning (in the car I should add to pre-empt any mocking comments) and heading south towards Bournemouth, Poole, the Chain-Ferry and beyond. The weather was unbelievably good and I even had to dig some suntan cream out before raiding the cafe for a bacon butty and launching onto Studland bay.
bay view.jpg
I had a great couple of hours kayaking, venturing out to Old Harry Rocks and a leisurely paddle back across the bay. Had a tense moment near the rocks, enjoyed much mellowness, practised rolling (close but unsuccessful) and practised (as a result) self rescue, draining and getting back in boat in open water (successful).
I really really want to be a proficient sea kayaker but am still a bumbling amateur (didn’t dare venture round Old Harry Rocks where the sea was doing some interestingly bumpy and tidal stuff). Smiled when I spotted the Lifeboat out in the bay and wondered if someone had warned them I was on the water.
Great day though and learnt a bit more!

White Knuckles – Ok Go

I know I ALWAYS post OK GO videos on here but hey I consider it a service to Youthworkerdom as its difficult not to feel at least 47% more smiley after watching their bizarre imaginations at play. This is great! My thanks to The Marine Biology demograph of Youthblog readership for the link.

Faith through a lens

Faith through a lens.jpg
This looks like a brilliant opportunity either for your group as a whole or for young photographers in your group. This competition, Faith through a lens, aims to get people out in their local community to photograph the positive impact of faith.
The competition is being judged by world renowned photographer Don McCullin, Rvd David Cornick of Churches together in England and Paresh Solenski of Inter-faith network and will be followed by an event at a London gallery for the winners.
Pretty cool huh?

Lifecall event

Blog release from CPAS as follows:
lifecall stepping stones.jpg“A new CPAS event, lifecall will help young people aged 16-25 explore God’s call on their lives and help them work out their ‘next steps’.
You may have already identified young people in your church who have the potential for a future in ordained ministry or leadership of some other kind. If so, please suggest this event to them – or even come along to the event with them.
Alternatively, you may just want to come along yourself and find out what the event is all about. Hopefully, we’ll then persuade you to invite somebody else to a future event”
20th October, details: lifecall invitation 1.pdf

Charlie and Goliath

A friend of mine was relaying how annoying she found mobile homes and I felt the need to jump to the defence of Charlie who is VERY much a camper van and not a mobile home.
I had to explain that the Vdub fits in a normal car parking space and has yet to encounter a height barrier that prevented access. (I wish I had taken a photo of the dimunitive underground garage in Paris that we managed to get in AND out of).
Anyway it was late at night so I decided to do a little contrast and compare googling and ended up at the best know manufacturer of American motorhomes.
Consider a piccy of my T4:
interior 400.jpg
Then imagine glancing over your shoulder as you drive this top of the range Class A wagon and the sight you would encounter. (They clearly take the ‘home’ part of mobile home as to where the stress should be put in the phrase):
interior winneb home.jpg
You can’t even see the bedroom fully, lol. Just think how popular you’d be piloting this around the Lake District.