I’ve just come across this resource sheet from ‘Going for Growth’ and Tony Cook. It’s a really useful two-sider on the why, what and how of involving young people in the life of your church/organisation. It’s a great guide to genuine participation and includes an accessible form of “Harts Ladder of Participation” which is a brilliant tool of seeing where there is genuine co-involvement and where we just have (well meaning) tokenism.
Hear n Say Participation.pdf

Sometimes it takes more than gaffa tape

Charlie bus has just undergone major surgery! The wonderful crew at Speen Garage who take meticulous care of Charlie spotted that some of the underseal was coming away and examined the area more fully to find part of the undercarriage was in danger of collapse (eek). They have done the most brilliant job of cutting away the mess, fabricating new sections, and welding the sections with surgical neatness. Very pleased indeed with the results.
The bill was an ‘ouch’ I admit, but considering how much work it took, very reasonable. (Thankfully the Charlie account was in credit as he has not required anything major for quite a while)
VCarches complete4.jpg
Charlie bus survives (and thrives) into his 23rd Year and is running very smoothly indeed (Almost time to decorate him up for Christmas!)

Teenagers moving away from Facebook

The Guardian notes that teens are moving away from Facebook!I think I’m noticing a drop in the frequency of use across the board from individuals BUT an explosion in Christian groups setting up a page and wanting to be liked.
But what do I know as a Blogger …. ‘Old Skool’ retro or what?

Gold Hill Skiing

My friends at Gold Hill holidays are gearing up for the season (sadly without me this year, my choice not theirs I should add in case you thought I’d been sacked).
For an epic ski holiday where EVERYTHING is included then have a look at their epic trips that are a great mix of fellowship, adventure, community and fun, whilst handily leaving from Buckinghamshire.
I know some of the holidays are full but not all …… and there is definitely still space on the 20’s n 30’s trip, oh and the Youth trip (yrs 9-13). Details on the web site
20's 30's.jpg
Oh and ski a run for me, eh 🙂

Mysticism vs Moralism

“On a first level I see mystical moments as moments of enlargement. Suddenly we’re bigger. We don’t feel a need to condemn, exclude, divide or separate. Secondarily, mysticism is a deep experience of connectedness or union. Maybe that is why we feel larger? Unfortunately, most of us were sent on private paths of perfection which none of us could ever achieve. The path of union is different than the path of perfection. Perfection gives the impression that by effort or more knowing I can achieve wholeness separate from God, from anyone else, or from connection to the Whole. It appeals to our individualism and our ego. It’s amazing how much of Christian history sent us on a self-defeating course toward private perfection……”
“Mysticism does not defeat the soul; moralism always does. Mysticism invites humanity forward; moralism (read “perfectionism”) excludes and condemns itself and most others”

Richard Rohr

Fusion YAC

I had a great weekend being the ‘speaker’ for the FUSION YAC Uk conference. I really love these guys and the work they are doing enabling churches to engage with community. It was a blessing to spend time with this bunch of Godly Christian activists and to be in conversation around mission, spirituality and discipleship.
The weekend was also a celebration of their 10 years in England (Fusion YaC started in Australia) and so even more fun to be spending time with them at the conference as I met with them in the early days …… when I was very much a rookie Youth Adviser.
Since then they’ve worked in various places around the UK (most notably in the “More than Gold” Olympics projects) but have also been deeply committed to their work in Oxfordshire and I have been so impressed with what they have enabled.
If you’ve not come across their work then I highly recommend looking at “Open Crowd Festivals” and the like, AND especially how they see/enable team …. and the need to link approaches and activities together. Churches can fall into the mistake of just grabbing an event as a model because it has worked elsewhere …. these are not models to be grabbed, there are though, approaches, wisdom, learned experience and understanding that can bring churches together in practical mission, engagement and blessing.