Mend the Gap

The pivotal point* of the youth strategy, the “Mend the Gap” day on June 18th is coming together well. Bookings are open and the day for ANY and EVERY church whether they are working with young people or not, is coming together.
mtg logo.jpg
Mark Griffiths is the key note speaker, whilst in the afternoon I am delighted that Graeme Codrington is going to be presenting on ‘generational change’
It looks like being quite a day. My hope and my prayer is that it brings all sizes and locations of church together to understand ‘the gap’ and to explore how churches can be good news for young people.
* The day is the Pivot as ahead of that I am researching and finding and translating successful models of work to translate into ‘how to’ steps. Then following the day we have a series of training opportunities to help churches in their work or new work amongst children and teenagers
Booking form: Mend the Gap – Booking Form.pdf

RIP Electoral reform

Hello to the continuation of two party politics where we lurch from one side to another. A cycle based on punishing one side whilst believing the undeliverable rhetoric of the other, before swinging back the other way 4/8 years after.
Meaningfully embracing the difficulties and challenges of the future just got a whole lot harder.
(filed under personal opinion)

Rowan Williams Letter to a 6 year old

This hit the blogosphere big time whilst I was on leave …. I’m flagging it up here just in case you missed it and so I can find it again.
The Telegraph article reads:
There’s a charming article in today’s Times by Alex Renton, a non-believer who sends his six-year-old daughter Lulu to a Scottish church primary school. Her teachers asked her to write the following letter: “To God, How did you get invented?” The Rentons were taken aback: “We had no idea that a state primary affiliated with a church would do quite so much God,” says her father. He could have told Lulu that, in his opinion, there was no God; or he could have pretended that he was a believer. He chose to do neither, instead emailing her letter to the Scottish Episcopal Church (no reply), the Presbyterians (ditto) and the Scottish Catholics (a nice but theologically complex answer). For good measure, he also sent it to “the head of theology of the Anglican Communion, based at Lambeth Palace” – and this was the response:
“Dear Lulu,
Your dad has sent on your letter and asked if I have any answers. It’s a difficult one! But I think God might reply a bit like this –
‘Dear Lulu – Nobody invented me – but lots of people discovered me and were quite surprised. They discovered me when they looked round at the world and thought it was really beautiful or really mysterious and wondered where it came from. They discovered me when they were very very quiet on their own and felt a sort of peace and love they hadn’t expected.
Then they invented ideas about me – some of them sensible and some of them not very sensible. From time to time I sent them some hints – specially in the life of Jesus – to help them get closer to what I’m really like.
But there was nothing and nobody around before me to invent me. Rather like somebody who writes a story in a book, I started making up the story of the world and eventually invented human beings like you who could ask me awkward questions!’
And then he’d send you lots of love and sign off.
I know he doesn’t usually write letters, so I have to do the best I can on his behalf. Lors of love from me too.
+Archbishop Rowan”

It really excites my spirit that our Archbishop can engage theologians at the highest level and more importantly communicate theology so beautifully with a six year old.

Unbearable lightness of being

I thought I’d share my daughters’ greeting to me this morning:
“Of all your diet fads dad, that is the weirdest!”
Admittedly I was drinking a glass of warm water with a quarter of tea spoon of cayenne pepper mixed in, but hey it’s worth a try. And … as a fringe benefit, it wakes you up even faster than coffee.
‘Tis a good day and glorious to be driving to work with blue sky as far as the eye can see. Further enhanced by Meatloaf playing on the stereo (the only niggle being that the song “I’d do anything for love (but I won’t do that!)”, should really be rendered, given the narrative of the song, “I’d do anything for love (and I won’t do that!)”
Anyway in order to share the conviviality created by pepper, blue sky and Rock I offer you the following feel-good link.
Put the sound on, click on the link, sit back ….. watch the whole thing and I defy you not to be chuckling merrily.
Ready, ok …. Click HERE! Enjoy
Hope you smiled, chuckled, laughed … perhaps even a guffaw or three
(ht to Woy Woy vicar and Ozzy)

Yes to AV

I’m going to be voting for AV on Thursday as given only two choices I believe it to be a better system than the ‘first past the post’ arrangement we currently have.
I had a surreal moment whilst wandering through Newbury Market last week. I found myself talking to the Conservative MP and discussing AV (he instigated the discussion not me). I held firmly to being a ‘yes’ voter and he argued the ‘NO’ position. We agreed to differ. Bizarrely I was then grabbed by the Guardian newspaper for an interview and then the ‘Newbury Weekly News’ Hilarious.
It is a source of frustration that the ‘No’ campaign seem to be winning with a very weak (and at times fatuous) argument … and by exploiting people’s confusion. This also serves to hide the real issue that ‘FPTP’ favours and rewards large party politics and limits a breadth of voice.
So, to anyone who doesn’t understand what is at stake, I will take the unusual approach of allowing some cats to explain it. Please watch this (it will make you smile but it will help)