The Great Spiritual Migration

I have now finished this extraordinary book. There is a lot in here that I had tried to convey in my dissertation BUT Mclaren achieves so much more clarity, insight and simplicity. This is such an important book!
Devastatingly insightful analysis of institutional informational Christianity , then wise and gracious ways that followers of Jesus might recover ‘The Way’ as practice and journey.

Laughter and Community

ian macdonald comedy mc at ethos comedy.jpg
I was really pleased with how the launch of Ethos Comedy went. It was an incredible evening of laughter and community. I had a LOT of fun MC-ing the evening, and hosting a fabulous line up of Comedians.
Laughter is an incredibly healing thing, and learning to laugh at ourselves a key part of growing in humility and empathy. I know I’m biased but I really believe in the importance of laughing together. Hosting a night where that happens is a glorious thing.
A few people have asked, what next for Ethos? I definitely hope to run the evening again in Newbury (maybe twice a year) but also to be able to offer the model to other places whereby I’d bring an Ethos evening to them, they gather the community together.

Ethos Comedy

It’s less than 24 hours until the launch of Ethos Comedy, a long held dream to run my own night that brings community together to laugh and play. There seems to be a great enthusiasm for the evening (phew) and there will be at least 100 there. I am feeling unusually tense …. actually I’m not sure exactly what I am feeling as it is difficult to separate out what is excitement, what is nerves, and what is anxiety. I don’t think I have been this ‘on the edge’ for quite a while (I don’t even need coffee).
I’m not a performer as such this time, I’m MC-ing the evening which is harder to plan for. My job is work with the audience to create the environment in which comedy and laughter lives. The stuff that I ‘do’ then needs to be in the moment and open to the spontaneous. (Not great for feeling fully prepared).
Still, this is gig 87 and a wonderful marker on my continuing learning journey around the wonderful art and science of comedy.

A to Z Youthwork ‘T’

Tuck (Shop)

Is there Youth Club without Tuck

Engagement with young people (and indeed any form of community) has long been around food. For the Youth Group a component of this was often Tuck. An essentially unhealthy collection of snacks in three groups: Fizzy Drinks, Sweets and Crisps.
We so often tend to replicate what went before and the tuck shop model survived or even survives longer than it should, given all that we know about the health dangers posed by junk (and the behaviour implications of too much sugar). What replaces it though is tricky …
Should it disappear entirely? Is Red Bull OK?* What alternatives work?
I saw a group that replaced everything with fruit (which didn’t have an energetic take up). It’s been good to see some groups experimenting with cooking together and then sharing a meal. We need to be creative in a post tuck era.
* answer = NO!

UK Families and Work

Useful snapshot of Family Life and Work
“Earlier this year, Working Families published their 3rd Modern Families Index – a snapshot of family life in the UK today. In particular, it focuses on how families combine work and family life and how successfully parents feel they are combining family and work in the way that they want to”
Report here