Hyper snooze stasis

Whatever the blogging equivalent of Outlook’s “Out of Office” is, this is it!
As I’m involved with a whole bunch of stuff over the summer (and let’s face it, you’ll have better things to do than reading blogs) I’m putting the blog into a state of suspended animation until September. Whilst it is in ‘stasis,’ the ability to comment will be ‘OFF’ meaning that not even spammers (oh and especially not Alien distress calls) can rouse the blog from hyper-snooze.
I’ll be at Taize, I’m speaking at an ‘Adventure Plus’ camp, I’ll be a day visitor at ‘Soul Survivor’ (Aug 16th) and will probably be at Greenbelt on the Sunday. Apart from that I’m planning a night on the tiles (finally, that is, finishing the flooring in the hallway) and taking a bit of time off but not particularly going anywhere (apologies to blog-trawling burglars). I am also in the office at various times piloting the desk and advising anyone who feels the need to be advised. I hope therefore to be bumping into people, across these travels in the real world.
In the virtual world I’ll still be FB dwelling, as well as trying to work out what on earth “Google +” has got that FB hasn’t (oh apart from privacy and circles)!
Every blessing for the summer
‘Normal’ service resumed in September! (In the meantime, ‘no comment)

You, faith and engaging with teens

Just putting together a rough outline/content for the training day of the above name!
Given one day to explore Youth Ministry with a range of participants, in a way that helps them to look at what they bring to the role AND what the role might look like, what would you include? How would you put the day together? What would process look like?
Need Input my dear reflective youth work friends

Some blogging advice

Much needed writing tips that I’m recording here, “How to Write good!”
(ht to Si)

  1. Avoid alliteration. Always.
  2. Prepositions are not words to end sentences with.
  3. Avoid cliches like the plague. (They’re old hat.)
  4. Employ the vernacular.
  5. Eschew ampersands & abbreviations, etc.
  6. Parenthetical remarks (however relevant) are unnecessary.
  7. It is wrong to ever split an infinitive.
  8. Contractions aren’t necessary.
  9. Foreign words and phrases are not apropos.
  10. One should never generalize.
  11. Eliminate quotations. As Ralph Waldo Emerson once said: “I hate quotations. Tell me what you know.”
  12. Comparisons are as bad as cliches.
  13. Don’t be redundant; don’t use more words than necessary; it’s highly superfluous.
  14. Profanity sucks.
  15. Be more or less specific.
  16. Understatement is always best.
  17. Exaggeration is a billion times worse than understatement.
  18. One-word sentences? Eliminate.
  19. Analogies in writing are like feathers on a snake.
  20. The passive voice is to be avoided.
  21. Go around the barn at high noon to avoid colloquialisms.
  22. Even if a mixed metaphor sings, it should be derailed.
  23. Who needs rhetorical questions?

High Ropes

Cracking evening last night! We had a leaving ‘do’ for a colleague, and responding to her request, it was an evening at High Ropes Oxford.
There were a whole mix of us from the Department of Mission and our families. I was not going to be participating as I’d planned to keep ‘H’ company whilst my wife, Jo and other son and daughter had a bash. There turned out to be a spare space though and plenty of people for H to chat to so I joined in (This was quite comical as I had not dressed with climbing in mind, thus I was clad in smart shoes, nice shirt, best trousers and braces).
I was very impressed with the relaxed but professional approach of the centre, and of the great set up ropes wise. The equipment was ‘top notch’ and allowed you the freedom to move safely and at your own pace through the challenges. There were three separate zones (plus the training area) and even within those zones there were choices of difficulty and route at different points. It was also a great mix of challenge and of fun; the zip wire back down from each of the zones was a blast … but don’t wear your best shirt (lol) and also wear something that tucks in well as the bark chippings: a) scratch b) get everywhere 🙂
It would make an excellent youth group outing, and be a talking point for a long time afterwards. (If you do take a group note that it takes longer than you think (we were there for 3.5 hours … and there are no catering arrangements so flasks of hot chocolate and snacks would be well worth packing)

Taize bound

Very excited that Saturday sees myself and a small group from the Diocese heading out to Taize to live an international spiritual adventure in community, rhythm of life, and worship.
Taize ian sign.jpg
I’m also taking H (my eldest with me) which will be a challenge but a good one, he’s nervous but very excited to be going. I need to get into the workshop and see if I can fettle a way of being able to attach a tray to his wheelchair for meal times.
Let me know if you know of any other groups going this weekend.

On the wane

I’m down three places to number 12 in this years Youth Ministry blogs of influence.
Though in reality I’m actually incredibly chuffed to be in the list at all alongside such a host of Youth Ministry gurus … and I need to re-do my blog-roll to include all of the 20 methinks.
Many thanks though to the readers who have been here through wane and shine!