Not putting my foot in it

Just took my skis (the ones I borrowed) to a specialist shop to check they were ok and get my boots fitted to them. (The meeting I need to be at is 200yds from the shop, fab!)
I was hugely relieved to find out the skis and bindings are fine …. BUT the technician has said my boots are too dangerously worn to be safely used.
Had a pair of boots but not skis, now have a pair of skis but not boots *laughing* doh!

Greenhouses, Gardens and Fields

Thoroughly enjoyed the DEPTH retreat at Douai Abbey in the company of a wonderful gathering of Youth and/or Children’s Ministers. Laughter, prayer, worship, stillness, sharing and food (really lovely food).
We encouraged people to engage with Marks gospel whilst they were there and also gave everyone a copy of Shaun Lamberts book “A Book of Sparks” as a help to engaging with the book of Mark and with spiritual growth.
We also spent time corporately looking at our growth and spiritual life as ministers using greenhouses, gardens and fields as a metaphor for the different places we might struggle to grow and where we might flourish. This gave rise to some really helpful discussion around the church being a bit of a greenhouse environment with a pressure for things to look really good. Conversly the field (where we have to take ourselves out to) was untidier and messier but ultimately produced stronger roots.
Playing with this metaphor through the day culminated in “Gardners question time” An event where questions from the [studio] audience were put to our two guest ‘gardeners,’ a Director of Ordinands and a Spiritual Director.
Feel thoroughly blessed to have been part of the retreat.

Mind Blogging

My new blog VW Camperism has just had its first hit via a Google search. Well chuffed to have seen the new offspring take it’s first tentative step … and relatively quickly. (although It seems that more Vdubbers are Twitterers than bloggers hence also, @vwcamperism)
Hits to Youthblog seem to be up too (thanks for dropping in) but I’ll be off the radar for a couple of days as I’m on retreat at Douai Abbey.
Always glad of youth ministry stories, thoughts, questions and links. Comment (remember ‘preview’ and then ‘publish’) or e-mail. Ta Muchly

Organising a Residential or Event

a big Yay to the Methodist Church for not only writing two really great resources BUT also making them available to EVERYONE. Strongly suggest downloading them, printing them and using them …. oh, and then finding a Methodist to hug!
Residential Event Planning
Large Event Planning

Devolved Youthwork policy

Please see the open letter from a number of youth agencies responding to remarks by Michael Grove that suggested youth policy would be devolved to local authorities:
“Dear Secretary of State
As the leaders of a number of key youth charities in England we are writing to ask for urgent clarification of the remarks you made in your evidence to the Education Select Committee regarding Government’s intention to relinquish its responsibility for youth policy to local authorities. Not only does this seem a major reversal in policy one year after the publication of Positive for Youth which pledged cross-governmental support to young people, but it also raises huge concerns for us as organisations concerned for the well being of young people in our country …..”

Complete text is within this explanatory article

Christian Community, Being and Acting

The Anglican-Lutheran Society are putting on an afternoon looking at Christian Community, ‘being and acting’ on 9th March in London. I thought it may be of interest:

“In the United Kingdom and in many parts of the developed world, while mainstream churches seem to be less attractive to people seeking a spiritual centre to their lives, alternative forms of Christian community are springing up. Some last just a short period of time while others, like the Bruderhof and Offensive Junger Christen in Germany, TaizĂ© in France and the Iona Community in Scotland, have become firmly established with worldwide adherents. Dr Dunstan and Dr Klenk will help us examine a variety of these Communities to see what we in the Anglican and Lutheran traditions might learn from them”

Information is here: ALS Event Day Poster.docx

That was the weekend that was

Woosh went the weekend.
The weekend was a fantastic illustration of how fast the weather changes in the UK. On Saturday morning I was riding across a snowscape, albeit a melting one, on the common …. and did in fact take a big tumble on an icy section. The rest of the day though saw warmer temperatures and then rain and so on Sunday morning no snow anywhere other than the occasional remnant of only the previously large snowmen.
Great time with friends, church and family. Oh and I’ve been lent a pair of Skis for my trip. They are Super GS ones that are going to track and turn like a rocket on rails. (Picture if you will Harry Potter receiving the Thunderbolt stick to replace the Nimbus, awe and fear, that kind of thing!)
A weekend that wooshed by for all the right reasons. No youthwork as such but got the chance to chat to several teenagers over the two days, all children of friends, which was great.
And so to Monday ….. bring it on! Final preparations for leading the DEPTH retreat from tomorrow, staff meeting on Thursday and the first of our big Mission Departments events, “Good News for Young People” on Friday
But more importantly, how are you?