One hundred miler

I spent a great deal of yesterday gripped onto theses handlebars as I piloted my bicycle through 100 miles of the Wiltshire countryside. All in all an epic eight hours through beautiful countryside on a superb ride organised by Bike Events. Am I feeling it today? oh yes!
A couple of my friends did 100 milers last year. I was amused to find that I was envious rather than grimacing on their behalf. A year on and I’m really pleased to have completed my own ride. I am not however rushing to repeat it *laughing*
Miles by Mile narrative:
0-10 Yay
10-20 Doing OK
20-30 eek, there is a long long way to go
30-40 Rolling well
40-50 Ouch, eek and slight nervousness
50-60 May have made a mistake?
60-70 Definitely made a mistake!!!!
70-80 just KEEP pedaling
80-90 second wind, I CAN do this
90-100 I’ve – just – got – to – keep – going

The Terry Dunnell Study Award

Up to £325 available to any student who is writing an Undergraduate or Master’s dissertation as part of a UK Christian-based youth work or ministry degree (for example, via: CYM, Oasis College, Cliff College, Moorlands College, Nazarene College) that will be
completed by Aug 2015 and is related to mission and young people at risk. DETAILS

Open Mic tonight

There’s an ‘Open Mic’ tonight but I can’t decide whether to do a routine or not! I’ve written some stuff … but its so hard no judge whether it’ll fly or die! (I guess that comes down to experience and this is only gig 4 for me)
If you are a singer you can gain experience by doing classic songs BUT using other peoples material as a comedian is a complete No No (and NO). I really like this but it does make gaining the stage craft tougher.
So, to gig or not to gig?
Captain’s Log Supplemental: Cracking evening at ACE SPACE but I decided the routine I had written was not quite me so I did a couple of Jeremy Lloyd poems because a) I knew they’d get a laugh, b) I thought people would enjoy them, and c) Get some stage and timing practice anyway. Next evening is October 3rd …. working up some material ready

Paradox and Tension in Pioneering Practice

The Table …. have a look. Here’s the first of their gatherings on Oct 13th:
“The Table is a space for pioneering youth and community workers to gather together for conversation, sustenance and learning. It’s being curated by CYM (Institute for Children, Youth and Mission), FYT (Frontier Youth Trust)’s StreetSpace community and CMS (Church Mission Society).
Using creative and participative processes, we want to learn from each other, dream new dreams and explore some of the specific issues related to working in pioneering contexts. We hope it will be a place where theory and practice collide, where ideas can be discussed openly and rooted back into the every day.
We’ll be running a series of events throughout the year, kicking off with ‘Tensions Around the Table’ on Monday 13th October, 10am – 4pm at Bristol CYM. Tickets are £15 (plus a small booking fee) which includes lunch, and are available to buy here.
Youth and community work has always been at the forefront of pioneer practice. Tensions Around the Table aims to facilitate conversations to keep pushing effective and inclusive pioneer practice and thinking forward”

Living the Difference Cafe

Although I can talk the hind legs of a donkey (and persuade it to go for a walk afterwards), it turns out that talking to a camera is a WHOLE different kettle of fish. My conversation with the camera did not flow smoothly …. but thanks to the wonderful editing skills of the Comms Squad, here is a promotional video for the cafe that at least makes some sense of what I was trying to say *laughing*

More Cafe details here. If you are bringing a Youth group to the Grand Day Out then I’m hoping the Cafe will be a key venue for you. (let me know if you are coming).
I’m liking the way my Tweed Jacket (sensational charity shop find) looks on camera though! (Or is it a bit too ‘Open University’?)

Engaging teens in a discussion

It’s a well known fact that what young people need …. is a jolly good listening to!
However getting a discussion started on a Sunday morning or say, a Tuesday evening is not always straightforward ….. the previously chatty young people are now shuffling awkwardly in their seats!
We need to remember that discussion doesn’t just happen because a question has been asked. The young people need to know it is safe, to be engaged with what is happening, not be under pressure to give the ‘right’ answer, and to know that what they have to say is genuinely of interest. So how can we help this process?
1. Think about the layout of the room. If you are sitting higher than the young people it does not feel like a mutual discussion. If it feels like a classroom then they will be in more of a school-like mode.
2. Use creative ways to enable discussion. There’s a whole bunch of ideas here to help.
3. Make sure your questions are ‘open’ (cannot just be answered by ‘yes’ or ‘no,’ that they are not being asked just to get the ‘right’ answer; and are not so simplistic that young people feel daft answering them, or so complex they are not sure what they are being asked.
4. Enjoy the questions, and the answers. If they are silly, respond gently with humour as it may well be a test to see if it is genuinely ok to express thought and opinion.
5. Believe that you too will be learning in this process
6. At the end of a session, if a discussion worked well, reflect on why, if it went badly, reflect on why.

Ten years on and the blog hits tin ….

The Youthblog site has now been up and running (well at least strolling) for 10 years now making this the blog’s Tin anniversary. I’m not sure where the decade has gone but am delighted that there are still folk who call in and engage with the theology, malarky and story that make up this Youth Ministry site and/or perspective.