Of the Soul

“Laughter is carbonated holiness” – Ann Lamott
“Laughing may just be the greatest spiritual resource available to us, occupying as it does the wetlands between despair and insanity. In our laughing we give voice to the entire tragedy and joy of human survival in the war-zone of life. Perhaps it is laughter which is the image of God within us.” – Mike Riddell
“Laughter is the sound of the soul dancing” – Jarod Kintz

The cuts

The Mirror writes of a Timebomb for young people and flags up an important report coming out from Unison tomorrow.
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“Britain is facing a “time bomb” of struggling youngsters whose lives have been seriously damaged by the Tory-led Coalition’s cuts, a shock report has warned.
In the last two years more than 2,000 youth workers have been axed and 350 youth centres have been shut, severing vital lifelines.
Massive cuts are depriving thousands of youngsters – many from poor backgrounds – of the help they need to get qualifications and find work, and of crucial advice on drug and drink abuse.
The most detailed study to date – by Britain’s biggest public sector union Unison – on the effect of the cuts warns of disaster for a generation of youngsters.
Titled The Damage and published tomorrow, it will expose an increase in crime and anti-social behaviour, higher rates of teenage pregnancy and sexually-transmitted infections, and rising rates of youth unemployment.
A staggering 41,000 youth service places have been lost while 35,000 hours of outreach work by youth workers have been axed.
Unison fears it could be the first public service to disappear entirely in some parts of the country.
One expert said: “We are seeing the unpicking of 60-70 years of history in three or four years, that is the scale of the devastation of the cuts.”

Do Not Tiptoe

The fantastic magazine for teens and adults, ‘Do Not Tiptoe’ from the Christian Aid Collective is a read/engagement that I MASSIVELY recommend. The latest edition is out and is all around Gender, dovetailing really well with Emma Watsons recent speech (coincidentally).
I love the mix of story, picture, art work, interview and thought, it’s really creative …. and really engaging.


“While the Eucharist has always been a consoling mystery with an ecstatic, mystical language surrounding it (such as “Happy are those who are called to the wedding feast of the lamb,” Revelation 19:7-9), it has also been clothed in the language of suffering, blood, and death. It makes clear the connection that the mystics always confirm: there is an inherent link between love and suffering. I think the tradition is correct in saying that somehow this mystery of the Eucharist is both festive meal and the inevitability of suffering for what we love. So this wedding table is not decorated with a cake but with a cross.
The Eucharist embraces both the great love and the great suffering that are the only things strong enough to take away our pretentiousness and our illusions. They are our avenues to the Real. Contact with reality is what redeems you, and Jesus is the Really Real. In the Eucharist, the Real is brought to a focus and to a moment. I believe we are transformed when we eat the Real, and every part of the Real: the good and the bad, the dark and the light, the suffering and the ecstasy both.
We say therefore, that the Eucharist is the ongoing celebration of the cross and the resurrection. Not the cross OR the resurrection, but precisely BOTH, and even the connection between the two. I am not sure which is harder. With Jesus, we find the power to hold the pain of life until it transforms us.”

Richard Rohr

Grand Day Out

On Saturday was our massive Diocesan Event, The ‘Grand day Out’ where folk from across the churches in the Diocese of Oxford gathered for prayer, worship, fun and ‘re-imaging faith’. This was a fairly major focus of my department, and like a black hole absorbed all passing matter, time and energy. I was involved in running the “Living the Difference” Cafe which I’ll write about separately, so I didn’t see anything else of the day at all. I hear encouraging things though, and I’ve seen some pictures.
This week feels like a lovely dose of normality! (Whatever normal is?)