For Christian teens

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It was great to hear from these two teens, Luke and Sam, about the website they run called For Christian Teens. Well worth putting your youth group in contact with.
A very cool couple of teens who more than coped with speaking to 1200 people, they were funny, passionate and articulate. Impressive!

YWS 13

What a day the Youth Work Summit was!
Fantastic
Twelve hundred Youth ministers gathered together for a day of inspiration, information, fun, coffee and chat. A very slick day (in the best sense) with a wonderful array of people stretching our understanding, faith and imagination.
The ‘speakers’ each had around 10 minutes of TED style opportunity, and there were around 5 in each band before a break and chance to discuss. The format worked well and it meant that contributors had to really focus on what it was that needed to be shared, and how best to do that. Some awesome AV from some of the guests, and young people co-presenting too (as well as a whole stream just from young people).
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I was definitely inspired and challenged by so much that was shared. Some of the ‘talks’ were heartbreaking and inspiring in equal measure. I was especially struck by Camilla Batmanghelidjh of Kids Company talking about the long term effects of neglect, but the healing power of love, and by Captain Dave reflecting on the need for love and the need for Father figures in his community work in Toxteth.
All the info on YWS 14 is already up on the t’internet for May 17th in Manchester.

Mentoring

I am passionate about Mentoring as a tool that makes a phenomenal difference to young people. There seems to be a lot of energy going into mentoring as an ‘inhouse’ Discipleship tool at the moment, which is great BUT for me the biggest opportunity to be good news for young people is in the mentoring of marginalized young people. I have seen the difference this has made to the life chances of young people.
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I’m really excited then that XLP are making their experience/training/framework available for churches to use across the country. You can access the hdetails here

Fuel Consumption

EU fuel consumption figures have to be taken with a pinch of salt given the way that motor manufacturers can prep a car specifically to max on the test. As a dedicated ‘hyper-miler’ though I do pride myself on getting within spitting distance of the the headline figures.
Haddons Toyota Yaris Hybrid is a bit disappointing in this respect. The brochure figure gives both the combined and the extra Urban at 76.1mpg. With careful driving we are averaging around 54mpg. That’s still pretty good for an Automatic but 22.1 mpg lower than that claimed. (An independent test available online averaged only 51mpg)
I’m sure Toyota would say that this is down to driving style. This may be true but the Skoda (manual gearbox) claims an extra Urban mpg of 70mpg whereas I drove the 30 miles home tonight at 74.1mpg!
Musing on when a figure can be claimed only to be a guideline and when it becomes misleading?
Skoda though emerge with their credibility and trustworthiness more than re-enforced in this arena.
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Reflecting, Futuring and just plain Chatting

I’m currently away at the annual gathering of Diocesan Youth Advisers and am part of the organizing group for the conference. We’ve put the event together around a conversation entitled
“The death of Youth Ministry?”
We’re taking the opportunity to step back and look at the church and models of youth ministry, what was, what is … and what could be. Yesterday we had some great input from the Childrens Society looking at issues around the well being of adolescents (and trends their research is pointing to). We also spent some time with Patrick Regan of XLP hearing more about their engagement in the communities they serve.
Today we have the company of Dr Graeme Codrington who’ll be doing some generational understanding with us and exploring trends that he believes will have an influence on how we frame youth ministry.
Back to coffee, reflecting, futuring and well, just plain chatting 🙂

Godly Play hoover

In an idle moment at Cuddesdon I was amused to spot this cupboard!
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Unsure as to whether:
This is an indication that cleaning at ‘Holy Hogwarts’ has a deeply spiritual dimension and is more than a task, it’s an engagement with a transformation narrative?
That the operator is encouraged to hoover questioningly eg, “I wonder where this mess has come from?” or “How would the story be different if I used a dust pan instead?”
It is a practical and specific piece of equipment for clearing up whenever one of the ‘Godly Play’ desert stories have been explored, a liturgical demarcation of cleaning equipment?