For the older worshipper

At the meeting I was at today we were talking about the average age of UK Church goers..
A 2008 report puts the average Anglican as 61 against a UK average age of around 40. (It’s not just the church that has an ageing demograph though with the average age of a Harley Davidson customer being 49. (I’m guessing too that there are a depressingly minimal number of Harley riding Anglicans, lol)
This evening I had to log onto the Scripture Union website to sign up for a holiday … and in doing so, enter my birth year. Amusingly given the above discourse, SU clearly cater for a wide wide demograph, with my choices for birth year beginning at 1753 (some 27 years before the birth of William Wordsworth and less than a hundred years after the publishing of the King James Bible). Bizarre
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It’s a question of metaphor

A goodly number of readers of this blog (Hi both) know my son H and therefore enjoy stories of his adventures in Go-Karting, Church and Life. Anyway, I thought I’d add a tendency he has into the stories that make up the blog.
Whether it’s because of his disability or not I’m not sure, but he doesn’t grasp metaphor or simile at all. With his love of worship music this makes for some lengthy and complex discussions as he tries to make sense of the lyrics therein. In a similar vein, he doesn’t ‘get’ rhetorical questions. Yesterday in what was a great preach, Sarah (our minister) used a rhetorical question in a key moment of the sermon. The profound pause that was left after the question was posed was filled with H answering it, loudly and confidently.
One of the things that I love about our church is that he is such an accepted part of the community that Sarah thanked him and carried on, thus rather than crashing the sermon, H’s contribution was absorbed in.

Woolhope Cockshoot

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The Woolhope Cockshoot website is about to go live, but in order to complete it I need a couple of quotes that I can add to the front page. So please leave some pithy and apposite commendation via the comments.
The above applies to those who have been. If however you haven’t (Really?) then I’m organising a visit with a Youth worker one week day in Early March, wanna come?

Team, volunteers and vision

A number of youth workers have commented that they haven’t built team in their setting because of a lack of committed volunteers.
My reflection though is that it is difficult to have committed volunteers if there isn’t team.
I know this sounds a bit like, “what is the sound of one hand clapping?” but I really think it’s true. Waiting until you have committed leaders to try and form and develop team will not work, it is unlikely you will have that level of commitment from people just turning up for task. (In the early days of being a Parish based worker I nearly lost one really gifted volunteer because I asked to little of them and hadn’t put enough energy into team so am reflecting from painful experience).
I wrote a piece on recruitment a while back and team is part of that Matrix. It is hard I know to recruit volunteers BUT when inviting people into a vision …and a team that is working with that vision, it becomes significantly more achievable.
As one of the commenter’s on the Rota entry said, belonging to a series of rotas is not very rewarding.
We need to build the Fun, trust and Vision that makes for team as this is a great way to work, it is a place that fosters commitment AND it’s a way of modelling and living out Kingdom among young people in a way that one Youth worker simply cannot. (The other thing that happens with team is that the creativity abounds in a way that one person alone cannot hope to achieve)
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Bit of a ramble but it’s related to conversations with Youth Workers …. and has cropped in several times with Churches reviewing projects, where they have been delighted with their Youth workers ability to build rapport with young people but have been saddened that the worker had not managed to build and develop team.
Not easy I know ……. but needs to be a more significant intention than being on the, “Things I need to get round to at some point” list.

A possible Starbucks sub ‘tall’ serving

I received this e-mail today …. if anyone is going near a Starbucks can you test it out and confirm if it’s true:
“If you have ever found yourself with no alternative to a Starbucks on offer as a coffee shop and wondered why there smallest coffee size is “Tall” and is frankly larger and more expensive that you really wanted. Well the answer is that your musings would be based on an untrue premise. “Tall” is not the smallest measure of coffee officially on offer at Starbucks. If you ask for a “Short” Cappuccino, Latte or Americano etc the staff will look knowingly at each other and serve you a smaller drink and charge you a more modest price. It is an official measure available in their shops and they have a price list for it; it is just that they don’t advertise it.
I understand that it being a little bit secret makes it taste very slightly better….”

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New definition of frustration

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My beloved Camping Gaz powered Vauxhall Astra has broken down and has been out of commission for a week whilst two different Garages have tried to diagnose where the problem is. The main dealer failed, but the brilliant independent Vauxhall Garage at Bicester have tracked the fault down to the number one LPG injector.
Good news: A diagnosis
Bad news: Injectors cannot be bough individually so I have to buy the full set meaning a total repair bill of £1042
Good News: I thankfully renew and pay for the warranty every year with ‘Recall Direct’
REALLY bad news: Recall Direct say that they don’t cover Injectors!
I’ve had a conversation with them and they say it is not listed as a covered part therefore no claim. I have tried to point out that if they had bought Buildings insurance which left out a room and certain walls and your claim was invalidated because the problem occured in that room, you’d feel quite cheated. My logic is without effect though and I either scrap the car or pay the repair. AAAAArrrghghghgh
My new definition of frustrating!