Harvest Talk

For reasons I am now struggling to recall I said yes to doing the All Age Harvest Talk this coming Sunday.
Last year our Youth Worker did this one and used a liturgical T shirt of his own construction … the “R Vest”
This year I want to talk about our societal loss of wonder. Then use a re look at the wonder of harvest to make the connection to thanks, praise and grattitude.
I am trying to re-write “We Plough the Fields and Scatter” as a kind of ‘laugh at ourselves’ hymn that starts “We buy our food in Sainsburys!”
Would love any visual ideas that people can think of or anything creative around these ideas.
Filed under: Help!

Volunteer Youth Ministry support

cym rrr.jpg
CYM Oxford and I have been having some useful reflective chats over the last few months about upping the support, training and recognition for the volunteers who work with young people in and through churches. There is a real need it seems to be developing the support and development for people who have this vital Ministry (that seems to rarely be spoken of as a ministry).
I’m delighted that Oxford CYM are going to be running these evenings of support, fellowship and learning. I commend the idea to the house!

Floored by the task ahead

charliebus ban.jpg
I bought a lovely piece of new vinyl flooring for the mid section of “Charlie” bus to replaced the age’d carpet.
The plan to only do the mid section of just the top layer of actual floor covering has backfired though. There is a certain inevitably with any DIY that the task will escalate, and so it has … big time. (Why does this ALWAYS happen?)
floor rot.jpg
Removing the carpet revealed extensive deterioration of the plywood and polystyrene insulation. Peeling back of this has revealed some rusting to the floor (nothing serious as V-dubs manage to equip the metal with rust hating tenacity). So a simple ‘replace a bit of carpet’ type job has necessitated the stripping out of all fixtures and fittings right back to bare floor. I now have a very expensive delivery van with windows.
Huge relief though that Charlie is only 20 years old and in relatively good nick. Some buyers of T2 vans start peeling stuff back and have the unfortunate experience of finding the whole thing is held together by habit, gaffa tape and filler.

So this weekend I need to:

Treat and paint the floor
Apply a new insulation layer to the floor
Shape a mahoosive piece of plywood, locating and drilling the 17 holes in exactly the right places.
Cut and fit new flooring
Place and bolt all fixtures back in and re connect wiring.
(Gives me a chance to run some speaker wiring to the back of the bus though)
Should keep me out of mischief methinks.

What to teach?

The latest Slant is up and the question posed was “How do we decide what to teach?”
slant grab.jpg
My slant beginneth thus:
“This is the one Slant question I’ve not felt comfortable with. I wondered whether it is the right question, kind of like the classic piece of dialogue that leads to Inspector Clouseau getting bitten by a dog in the Pink Panther:
Clouseau: Does your dog bite?
Hotel Clerk: No.
Clouseau: [bowing down to pet the dog] Nice doggie.
[Dog barks and bites Clouseau on the hand]
Clouseau: I thought you said your dog did not bite!
Hotel Clerk: That is not my dog.
Asking the wrong question will still lead to an answer but possibly not the most useful answer and one that may come back to bite us (metaphorically).
What should we teach? is a question I get asked a lot in the UK context, but it is often the wrong question. What I mean by that is that it can flow from a theology that equates faith and spiritual growth with knowledge and further assumes that if we have taught something, people have learnt it. In other words, the question is limited by a particular theology and further weakened by an assumption ……. “

To read the rest and other perspectives on the question click here or just randomly in the middle of this sentence

Anglicanism is strong in this one?

If you watch Outnumbered you’ll be familiar with the anarchic but wonderfully imaginative Ben.
I couldn’t help thinking of him yesterday when the vicar told me that my eleven year old, although exchanging “The Peace” ahead of communion enthusiastically around the church, had blessed everyone with the alternative greeting, “May the Force be with you”

You, faith and engaging with teens

It was the first of our post “Mend the Gap” follow up sessions on Saturday with Sam Richards (CYM) and myself hosted the above titled day. It was a wonderfully enthusiastic group of leaders who came … and for the first of a series of ‘experiments’ it went well.
(If you were there, thank you for engaging so wonderfully and for your contribution to shaping future sessions)
As promised: I’m uploading the powerpoint slides.
Microsoft PowerPoint – Mend the Gap teenage follow up day.pdf
I also wanted to flag up some of the key links. This is a really useful rendering of the Frank Lake Acceptance Cycle. The two key books we were referring to were Contemplative Youth Ministry and Practicing Passion.
If there is other stuff you are after, the chances are that you can type the subject into the search (top of the right hand column) and I’ll have scribbled something …. or just ask.
The three R’s sessions that CYM will now be running … “Refresh Review Receive” … to support and enable volunteer ministry can be found here
One of the themes that emerged was the need to help the whole church understand and embrace young people. Musing on how to help this process in our Parishes.

Lots of carrots

Had the pleasure of being at a Taize style service at Dorchester Abbey last night which was a great blessing (and a beautiful setting). We sang, amongst others, ‘Ube Caritas’ which always makes me smile. The reason being, it reminds me of this particular Taize meal which in the mix up and ab-use various languages dialect of Taize …. became affectionately known as Uber Carrotes:
Taize meal.jpg

downside up

Tonight sees be back in the pool and in a kayak and yet more attempts at persuading my upside down kayak to return to downside – up. I can readily create the immersion and inversion (surely half the task) but still cannot hold my head up as an upright member of the kayaking fraternity. (puns intentional).
diagramitcself rescue.jpg
But I have found this diagram which I shall laminate and stick to the front of my kayak, it’s got to help to have a bit more of a formula for the experience surely. Joking aside though, the web site it is from is brilliant and hence I’m linking to it so I can find it again.