Sunday, September 23, 2007

Selling Out
It's good to see one of my hero's back on TV.
But I fear he sold out to make some money.
I mean Paddington advertising Marmite? (video on YouTube here).
Somethings not right! The official site gives a good explanation.
But according to the Times, Michael Bond, Paddington's creator wasn't too pleased.

I know a diet solely of marmalade sandwiches might get a little dull, but there's really no excuse for Marmite!

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Friday, September 21, 2007

Talking Youth Ministry in London
Yesterday I was giving a paper at a gathering of the London Urban Theology Project. This is an interesting project set up by Steve Latham, a Baptist minister in London , where people present short papers for discussion reflecting on ministry issues in London.
Yesterday it was my turn to present, alongside a couple of others. The paper I did was called "Mind the Gap" and if you're really keen its here. Unashamedly some of the stuff is adapted from "Beyond the Youthgroup", but it also goes into the gap between outreach youthwork and work with church young people. Seemed to go down OK, although I was a little freaked when an urban youthwork veteran, Mike Eastman turned up (Mike co-authored a book with Steve on Urban Ministry a couple of years back). Anyway Mike's experience made an interesting discussion - he was telling youth work stories from way before my time (literally).

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Tuesday, September 18, 2007

He's Back!
The ASBO may have silenced the megaphone, but today outside Oxford Circus London's notorious street preacher was back! Not shouting or making much noise, but armed with a pile of tracts, the "sinner or winner" man Phil Howard was back in town. Wonder where he's been?

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Thursday, September 13, 2007

Youth Minstry and Fear
While here at Cliff I took the chance to look through some retro Youth Minstry books in the library.
Youth in the City by Peter Stow with Mike Fean was a late 80's look at "open" youth minstry and the inner cities. It's a telling book, as it seems in reality little has really changed in terms of churches really engaging with young people in our cities.
But it was this phrase the really struck me:

"A church's youth policy often exposes the fears of its members"

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Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Another stimulating intensive week at Cliff.
Here's a quote that struck me:
"If we don't contextualise the gospel for people they will contextualise a false one for themselves" (David Dunn-Wilson)

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Friday, September 07, 2007

Off to Cliff (again)
Start of the next module at Cliff College tomorrow.
"Mission and Evangelism in World Perspective". Sounds like a lot for one week!


Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Youth, Worship, Church
Just doing some thinking around young people, worship, church etc. I found a pile of papers I've collected or downloaded over the last few years around these issues. I found a phrase that was helpful "peparing young people for participation in worship" (I think it was from a Quaker site!). I like that, there seems to be a notion that we can't force or rush, we need to prepare.

One of the things I found is "The Last Waltz" by Steve Collins. It's a great piece on the church's failure around cultural change since the 60's. He suggests (and rightly I think) that youth ministry and a focus on "youth" is part of the problem, as youthwork became the only ground for the church's engagemnet with cultural change. He observes:
"But as those young people enter their 20s and move beyond this space they find their freedoms abruptly curtailed. It is not expected that innovations or new practices be brought forward with them into adult church"
"Graduation" (for want of a better word) from youth ministry into "adult" church is still a huge issue. And authentic expression of worship is a key part of it.

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