Not Happy

Plans afoot to lose National Children’s adviser role and National Youth Adviser role and combine into one post around the ‘Going for Growth’ strategy. Not good!
There is a need for us to champion, encourage and enable work with young people.
We need, as a church, to be advocates for young people
We musn’t lose our credibility as a body that puts a high priority on young people
We musn’t be short term
We need to not mirror provision and priority cutting, but to be a counter cultural body
Archbishop Rowan asked in his new years address, “What kind of society is it that lets down so many of its young people?”
#lobbyingtokeepstrongvoiceforyouthandyouthwork
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(On a related matter, Richard Passmore is adopting an Old Testament like protest about the inequality of cuts across the country marginalising the poor)

Sunday

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Saturday evening in our household is always a discussion and negotiation about Church the next day. Not a simple are we/aren’t we discussion, but a complex negotiation of who is going to where for what service with whom.
This weeks was slightly less fraught as I wasn’t driving off to somewhere else in the Diocese.
So my youngest, Sam, says he will only go to the 11am (the family service) so I say ‘right, we’ll got to the 11am). My wife, who is in charge of the coffee rotas, says that someone who was supposed to be doing coffee for the 9:15 service can’t make it, so she will have to go to the 09:15 and go early in order to set up. Meanwhile my daughter says that actually she wants to go to the evening service after youth group. (At this point my eldest, H says he is happy to go to the 11am and then later to youth group … but he needs to be at a different church after that as he is on ‘Powerpoint duty’ for a small local service).
So, Jo heads off to the 09:15
I sit down with a cup of coffee ahead of making some breakfast for H, in order for us to head down to the 11am later (except we’ll need to be there for 10:30 for Pathfinders for Sam!!)
All sorted.
Except that at 4 minutes to 09:00 my wife rings from church to say, “Get down here quick, we are reading this morning!”
So abandon coffee, dash down to church, digest reading … deliver the gospel reading, then sneak out and get home to breakfast rest of the family and get three of us back to church.
‘Taxi service’ in the evening to youth group and two different evening services was relatively simple 🙂
Net result = 5 people attending an average of 1.3 services (of the 4 services attended) at 2 different churches. It’s the simplicity of Sundays that I particularly enjoy!

Scum of the Earth Church

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Really excited to hear that Mike Sares of Scum of the Earth Church is coming to England in May. This is an early heads up as I have no venues yet, only that he is in the UK for about a week from 19th May onwards. I’m looking forward to hearing about their work and approach.
(I wonder if we do an anglican version it’ll have to be called “Saint Scum of the Earth”)
A bit about them here:
“WHY SCUM?
It doesn’t sound like a church name … on purpose. We really want to connect with people who have no interest in “church” by society’s definition. There are plenty of churches for “normal people” and we think we have a unique calling to reach out to our otherwise unreached friends. Our name is integral to that process. Whether outcast by society (e.g., punks, skaters, ravers, homeless people…) or by the church itself, many who come can identify with the name “Scum of the Earth” since they have been previously treated as such.
More important to us, however, the name implies that being people of faith does not mean we are better than anyone else. We know many non-Christians who think Christians are out to cast judgment on them. Our name makes it clear that we aren’t about that. We are just aware of our need for God, as Scum of the Earth. Fortunately, God never sees us like that! But the name is humble and we like that”

The Genesis of Church seating

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In the beginning man created the churches and the chapels. Now the Church was pewless and vast. Worshipers stood around the nave, and the legs of the faithful were much tested. (But the sermons had to be short and people saw that standing was good)
And then christian communities said, “Let there be pews,” and there was sitting. Vicars saw that the sermons could be longer and declared the advent of pews a fine day.
And then later, seats were introduced for to allow the provision of flexible seating and to separate the services from other possible community usages. The traditionalists were separated from their pews …. and there was mourning.
So man created individual seats,
in the like of Ikea he created them;
wood and plastic he created them.
And the church saw them stacked neatly, and it was very good. There was flexibility and creativity for services …. and it was a new day

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My intention was just to flag up a competition to design a new generation of church chairs but having started playing with Genesis, I couldn’t stop. But there genuinely is a chance to design the next chapter in the world of ecclesiastical furniture:
Don’t take a pew, have a look!
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