Oxford Fairtrade Event

I’m going to this:
“Greg Valerio is one of a kind. Acclaimed jeweller and brilliant campaigner (he won The Observer Ethical Awards Campaigner prize in 2011), he has helped lead a revolution in the jewellery industry, bringing human rights and social justice into the jewellery value chain. He was a major force in the launch of Fairtrade gold, and he continues to work so that small-scale and artisanal miners of gold and gems get a fair deal for their labour.
He’s a brilliant speaker, too. And he’s coming to an evening for Fairtrade supporters in our churches. It’s a fabulous opportunity to hear his story and ask a leading figure about Fairtrade, his work, and his faith.
And it being Shrove Tuesday, we’ll be partaking of pancakes … with a variety of Fairtrade toppings, of course!
28 February (Shrove Tuesday) 7:30 – 9:30 pm
John Wesley Room, Wesley Memorial Church, New Inn Hall St, Oxford”

Details and booking

Dissertation

Someone mentioned that they would ‘like’ to read my musing on:
“The necessity of understanding and re-imagining the practice of discipleship. Towards a 21st Century holistic model of transmission, nurture and maturing – lived experience of faith”
If that’s you, ’tis here: Dissertation Ian Macdonald 1356990 Re-imagining Discipleship FVA.pdf

Theos: Doing Good

Just reading the Theos report “Doing Good,” really like the introduction by Justin Welby and Vincent Nichols:
“Strange things are happening to Christianity in the United Kingdom
While critics prophesy its imminent demise – as critics have done for several hundred years -Christians across the country are doing what they, too, have done for many hundreds of years: worship, pray, witness, serve.
There is nothing, of course, strange about this. What is strange – or at least worthy of greater notice than it usually receives – is that the breadth, depth and intensity of this Christian service is deepening. From personal debt advice to marriage counselling, from foodbanks to street pastors, from rehabilitation to reconciliation, the Church and Christian charities across the country are rolling up their sleeves, struggling on behalf of human dignity, pursuing the common good – and doing it all in the name of Jesus Christ”

Report

Challenges Faced by young people

Connected to the “Young People Count” report in a blog entry below, this is an interesting article in the Guardian about the effect of Government policy on young people.
“Consider the findings of the Prince’s Trust in its annual Youth Index. The overall wellbeing of young people, it has announced, is lower now than at any point since it launched the index eight years ago. Over a quarter of young people report feeling a lack of control over their lives; over a third feel they will have a “worse standard of living than their parents”; 42% feel that “traditional goals” such as owning a home, or getting a steady job are “unrealistic”. The young will pay for political developments they overwhelmingly did not vote for: nearly six out of 10 say that recent political events and the current economic climate make them feel anxious for their future”

Continuing Comedic Capers

I’m continuing to have a lot of fun with comedy (as are my audiences, on the whole) and I am managing to gig most weeks. Reading many comedian’s autobiographies it seems that 5 years is the normal apprenticeship, there is also a view from some that you need to do 100 gigs before you begin to REALLY learn the craft. I’m encouraged therefore that last night in Dalston saw my 94th gig in what has been two and a half years of pursuing the art of Stand Up. There are encouragements and there are dismal bewilderments, successes and failures, highs and very real lows; but on the whole I feel like I am moving forward. The other plus is learning so much about humility, about myself, and about the human condition, it’s amazing how much the comedy and my work on discipleship interconnect.
Ian Macdonald Comedian comedy Stand Up sequence.jpg
Today is a good day as the gig in Dalston last night was lovely, I got some great laughs. Even sweeter as a friend unexpectedly turned up (huge relief not to die a stage death when you have friends in the audience). I’ve a gig in Stockwell next week (if you fancy coming to a London night) and then a slot on a great bill in Kettering on the Saturday.
PS If you are within travel distance of Newbury, note that 25th March will be the next Ethos Comedy (a community, clean-ish evening with a great line up and a top Headliner)

Pecha kucha

I am ‘speaking’ at a conference on Laughter and Spirituality. I (and other delegates) are being asked to present using the format of Peca Kucha, a style of presentation that requires one to be concise and visual. The format is that you present using 20 slides each of which is on the screen for only 20 seconds.
I love the way that this will require me to approach the session in an entirely different way. Let the musing begin.