My colleague Yvonne has just pointed out that it is ten years since Mike yaconelli died. He was a huge influence on me, and I’m grateful for the times I got to hear him speak.
We are both digging out some valued Yaconelli-isms:
“Accepting the reality of our broken, flawed lives is the beginning of spirituality not because the spiritual life will remove our flaws but because we let go of seeking perfection and, instead, seek God, the one who is present in the tangledness of our lives.”
“Speed damages our souls because living fast consumes every ounce of our energy. Speed has a deafening roar that drowns our the whispering voices of our souls and leaves Jesus as a diminishing speck in the rearview mirror.”
“Children live in a world of dreams and imagination, a world of aliveness… There is a voice of wonder and amazement inside all of us; but we grow to realize we can no longer hear it, and we live in silence. It isn’t that God stopped speaking; it is that our lives became louder.”
and quoting from memory from a seminar in the 80’s “I don’t care if your church is boring, but at least be passionate boring!”
A great refelction on the danger of isolating young people from the life of the church.
ht Bishop Alan
In the “Hitchikers Guide to the Galaxy” Douglas Adams explores the problems that time travel creates for finding the appropriate verb construction. For example the “Future Semiconditionally Modified Subinverted Subjunctive Intentional” to deal with the complexities created, such as “how to describe something that was about to happen to you in the past before you avoided it by time-jumping forward two days in order to avoid it. The event will be described differently according to whether you are talking about it from the standpoint of your own natural time, from a time in the further future, or a time in the further past”
I was musing on this as I was trying to explain my presence at a Kings College Webinar (an interactive seminar that happens on line) last night.
“I went to a webinar last night” Well, No, I didn’t go anywhere!
“I was at a webinar last night” er, no. I was in my kitchen
“A webinar came to me” again, no. It was hosted at Kings
Ok, got it: “I remotely particpated in an online webinar last night!”
By the way, some advice if you’ve never read the Hitchikers Guide to the Galaxy. Read it NOW All five parts of this deeply brilliant trilogy (as described by Adams) …. although stlightly controversially I don’t recognise #5 as canonical, more apocryphal.
“It is good to remember that a part of you has always loved God. There is a part of you that has always said yes. There is a part of you that is Love itself, and that is what we must fall into. It is already there. Once you move your identity to that level of deep inner contentment, you will realize you are drawing upon a Life that is much larger than your own and from a deeper abundance. Once you learn this, why would you ever again settle for scarcity in your life? “I’m not enough! This is not enough! I do not have enough!” I am afraid this is the way culture trains you to think. It is a kind of learned helplessness. The Gospel message is just the opposite–inherent power.
Thomas Merton said that the way we have structured our lives, we spend our whole life climbing up the ladder of supposed success, and when we get to the top of the ladder we realize it is leaning against the wrong wall–and there is nothing at the top anyway. To get back to the place of inherent abundance, you have to let go of all of the false agendas, unreal goals, and passing self-images. It is all about letting go. The spiritual life is more about unlearning than learning, because the deepest you already knows and already enjoys” Richard Rohr
Report from the NYA that looks at the benefits of schools working with youth workers, some really encouraging and validating stuff here. May be helpful too in articulating the benefits that an intentional informal educative approach can bring alongside the formalised targets and structures.
“We believe that youth work has a key role to play in helping promote young people’s personal and social development. We know this makes a difference to their formal education. Research and representations that we have received show that good youth work can help improve attendance and behaviour, promote achievement and improve home and community links. Youth work is a skilled profession which helps young people learn about themselves, others and society through non-formal educational activities. It is based on a clear set of values and underpinned by the voluntary nature of
the relationship between the young person and the youth worker. Youth workers understand how to build relationships and are effective in bridging the gap between formal and non-formal education.
During the course of our inquiry, the extent of collaboration between youth work and formal education came as a welcome surprise. This was particularly evident amongst forward-thinking academies, who recognise their role in the wider community and have developed partnerships to provide a much more holistic package of support for their pupils”
I managed to track down the sort of cycle I was after on Gumtree, am now the owner of a two year old ‘Ridgeway World Voyage.’ It’s a beauty of a touring bike which is comfortable and oh so so smooth; it more glides than rolls. The move from my skinny-tyred aluminium speed-freak to this broader-tyred Reynolds framed distance-eater, feels like moving from a Lotus to a Lexus, loving it. Can’t wait for the weekend when I can pedal forth into the Autumnal county laneage of Berkshire and Hampshire.
Twenty seven gears, all controllable from the brake levers, additional brake levers on the tops for a change of riding position when desired. Classic retro looking, double buttted Reynolds steel construction for an efficient but compliant frame. Feeling really blessed.
I am up in London on November 7th. I will have some time between ‘stuff,’ if any of my capital friends are up for coffee and musing around youth ministry, spirituality and discipleship (or any component thereof). E-mail me if this is a possibility
Some material here that would be useful to explore issues like cyberbullying, sexting and pornography with teenagers.