Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Signs of Ageing

Ok some signs of ageing recently...

  • Seeing a picture of my neice on my bruv's site and thinking (and saying) "Gosh she's got big!"
  • explaining to a young person (who looked STUNNED) that when I was a child I went to a cinema to see a film and there was a short film before the main feature (I remember this happening like once to be honest tho!)
  • Hearing the trailer for the John Humpreys and Rowan Williams interview and thinking "ooh I must listen to that later"
  • Looking forward to (and watching) the Secret Policeman's Ball as I thought nostaligcally of the earlier ones and wondered if it'd be as good.

Yet signs of youth too - hurrah!

  • Looking for posters at the SU poster sale for our chaplaincy room at the college and naughtily suggesting those that would ALSO be a VERY poor choice!!!
  • Trying to get some sweets out of Ian
  • Getting to borrow Ice Age 2:The Meltdown on DVD and being VERY excited
  • pulling a convincing mock tantrum as part of our confirmation class!

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Operation Christmas Child

Michael and I had a lovely morning this morning shopping for Christmas presents. Now normally I hate people doing Christmas shopping so early (before my birthday is officially too early, in case you didn't know!) but this was different.

We were shopping for a Boy aged 10-14 as part of Operation Christmas Child.

This really is a fabulous scheme and our Church is collecting boxes this Sunday. Seeing some already bored children on half term around the shops, I thought it could be a perfect activity to occupy them for a day (planning, shopping, wrapping the box, making a card to go inside, filling the box)

We purchased:
Hat, gloves & scarf - hopefully "cool" enough
a jacob's ladder
a slide whistle
a notepad
a pack of pens
a tin of drawing pencils
(... is it just me or i this like Kim's game or the Generation game... which reminds me)
a cuddly toy - dog (which Michael picked and which almost escaped and stayed with us cos it is so cute!)
A tennis ball
a car
Three bags of sweets
toothbrush and toothpaste.

(ed. Oh and as always I forgot one thing: a lizard which sticks out its tongue when you squeeze it!)
Thanks to God for Hawkin's Bazaar which is just FABULOUS for toys!

If you fancy having a go you can find your nearest collection point here.

Pic of our finished box once we've wrapped it!

Monday, October 23, 2006


Originally uploaded by Sarah Brush.
Chris prompted me with a comment to this pic to explain what's going on. I was invited to be one of the judges at our Scouts' Masterchef contest recently. Here are the other delectable dishes.

This pudding here was actually REALLY scrummy but it did look a bit unfortunate once the chocolate squirty cream wilted!

Originally uploaded by Sarah Brush.

Originally uploaded by Sarah Brush.

It was pretty impressive to see some Genuinely cultured cooking from Emily and her team.

Originally uploaded by Sarah Brush.

It has to be said though the chips won many points as did the banana splits ...

Originally uploaded by Sarah Brush.

and the chicken pasta with elegant bay leaves, eh?...

Originally uploaded by Sarah Brush.

However it was the stuffed mushroons followed by fried chiken pieces with chips and rice (no realy!) which won as they were STONKIN!

Saturday, October 21, 2006

i-priest's liturgical calendar

For all those of you not on paper based diaries but on one of those clever gizmos that talks to your pc (but doesn't know when Easter is!) Fr Simon Rundell has again put up a file to download and import to outlook or palm desktop. He even gives clear instructions to add and remove if you don't like it. What more could you ask?

Thanks again i-Priest!

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Myspace... their space... our space?

I've been musing over the whole myspace thing lately. Now that I'm not the only "crusty" old person with a myspace (Dave and Simo are both out there too!) I'm feeling a little less awkward but it is still a strange kind of a place and certainly a place for the young. On doing a local area search for people when bored the other night there were 17 pages of ppl aged 18-35 but only 7 pages of those aged 25-35. Far more young peopel than oldies. Is it actually THEIR SPACE?

I feel that my blog is probably my myspace really as it's the thing I really keep up to date and where I do a lot of my external thinking and musing. I have spent time tweaking it and making it prettier and have got my flickr link and all that but... BUT the young people are not really in to the blogosphere thing and they ARE into myspace.

(There was a great video presentation on a blog somewhere and I can't find it so imagine a link here! There was also some discussion about the myspace generation here)

Going along the whole lines of the "meeting them where they are thing" (and as usual playing catch-up with youth culture) I've had some ponderings and some ethical questions...

How much should we be out there with them?

Do we add them or wait for them to add us?

This is their space for free expression...
Do we comment on anything we think is ill-advised or inappropriate?

Should we leave myspace as their space or try to make it our space too?

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

On this blog in history...

So the challenge today is to blog about my day so it can go down in history along with hundreds (thousands?) of other bloggers.

Today at Morning Prayer and Eucharist we remembered Ignatius of Antioch who was an early martyr for the faith and wrote some powerful words to the Christians at Rome as he was being taken there to be executed for being a Christian(see below). We remembered in our prayers the people of China who are restricted still from acknowledging their Christian faith.

Later in the morning I had a meeting with Matt a fellow youthworker at the Baptist church up the road and we dreamed some big dreams of what we could do for the young people of the town including maybe a double decker bus to drive around the place and meet the young people where THEY meet across the area (at the local park, in the car parks where they hang out, etc) with a cafe and large screen tvs with all the works, mobile skate park that we can put up wherever we go and whatever else we fancy. Ok so I know from Simon's experience that there are ups and downs with bus projects so we also thought about opening a specific Christian youth cafe, maybe for the after school slot, and we thought about where we could do it. We also thought about an event which could be the same but travel around the area to different churches. It was a really energising conversation and I came away buzzing with ideas for our futures (and with a date to meet up again to carry it forward!)

Then later I met up with David the vicar for a catch up on a few things and spent the afternoon planning and praying through the confirmation session for the evening.

Before the session Michael, my husband and I had supper (bread, ham, cheese, betroot, some cold boiled potatoes, with a little chopped onion, cucumber and celery - apparently this might be interesting in a lot of years time!)

We watched a couple of Star Wars clips (Obi-Wan vs Darth Vader from A New Hope and Yoda training Luke from Empire Strikes Back) as part of exploring the Holy Spirit - using the way they describe the FORCE to explore the way the Holy Spirit has an impact on our lives. It was a really good session with lots of discussion and reflection too.

My favourite comedy moment has to be when we were discusing what our names mean and Tom W said, "My name means twin." "Hey so does mine!" says Tom F! maybe you did have to be there but it was funny!

So that was this day in history!

Ignatius' Epistle to the Romans
"Through prayer to God I have obtained the privilege of seeing your most worthy faces, and have even been granted more than I requested; for I hope as a prisoner in Christ Jesus to salute you...All the pleasures of the world, and all the kingdoms of this earth, shall profit me nothing. It is better for me to die in behalf of Jesus Christ, than to reign over all the ends of the earth. "For what shall a man be profited, if he gain the whole world, but lose his own soul? " Him I seek, who died for us: Him I desire, who rose again for our sake. This is the gain which is laid up for me. Pardon me, brethren: do not hinder me from living, do not wish to keep me in a state of death; and while I desire to belong to God, do not ye give me over to the world. Suffer me to obtain pure light: when I have gone thither, I shall indeed be a man of God. Permit me to be an imitator of the passion of my God. If any one has Him within himself, let him consider what I desire, and let him have sympathy with me, as knowing how I am straitened...I no longer wish to live after the manner of men, and my desire shall be fulfilled if ye consent. "I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet no longer I, since Christ liveth in me." I entreat you in this brief letter: do not refuse me; believe me that I love Jesus, who was delivered [to death] for my sake. "What shall I render to the Lord for all His benefits towards me? " Now God, even the Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ, shall reveal these things to you, [so that ye shall know] that I speak truly. And do ye pray along with me, that I may attain my aim in the Holy Spirit. I have not written to you according to the flesh, but according to the will of God."

Friday, October 13, 2006

Some serious blogging...

I've been feeling a bit guilty that some of the blogging has been less than serious latley, when in fact in life I've been having some pretty big discussions about life, youth minsitry etc.

Then tonight I discover that the Salvation Army has turned to my humble blog as an authority on youth work and youth ministry.

Phil don't know why they didn't go for yours as you do this whole debate more than I do but maybe this is telling me I should do some thinking then some blogging. There may be the notes from a couple of sermons this weekend. I've given up using the pc for my sermons as I don't write them out so it requires me to remember what I said - which is rarely identical to what I planned to say!

Thursday, October 12, 2006

HaRVey's Bar menu

So as promised the mocktails of delight from HaRVey's bar:

Six foot Rabbit
Vanilla milk with sugar strands


Orange juice, cranberry juice and dolly mixtures

Merry Berry
Raspberry and strawberry milkshake with a touch of cranberry

Winter Sun
Orange juice and pineapple juice with a red cherry

Box of Frogs
· Mix Lime squash with water
· Add an eyeball sweet

Band Substance
· Mix sparkling water with Strawberry cordial/squash
· Add a shoelace sweet

Six foot Monkey
· Mix milk with bananas
· Add a sprinkling of sugar strands

Melted Snowman
· In a jug mix sparkling water/lemonade with peppermint cordial
· Top with eyes and nose shaped jelly diamonds

· 1 Part citrus drink
· 1 Part Pineapple juice and coconut drink
· 1 water

Wibblethorpe's Wobbler
· In a jug Mix milk with banana milshake stuff
· Add 1 tsp of Cocodirect drinking chocolate
· Add 1 jelly baby

The Dance of the Raisins
· Mix orangeade with apple juice
· Add raisins
· Watch ’em dance!

Fair Dinkum
· Mix milk with coco direct drinking powder
· Froth in the shaking machine

Out of this World

· Mix lemonade with lime cordial
· Float a flying saucer on it

· Mix the runny jelly with lemonade
· Add one jelly dude (aka jelly baby!)

Harvey Headbanger
· Mix Sparkling water with lime coridal
· Add a dash of lemon juice

Gives you the Ooglywooglies
· Mix Lime squash with water and milk
· Add space dust?/ sherbert – if I have time to find some!!!!

Sianara Simspons
· Mix sparkling water with Strawberry cordial/squash
· Add a dash of orange juice

Fruit Xplosion!
· Mix together:
· 2 parts Orange Juice
· 1 Part Apple juice
· 1 Part Grapefruit juice
· 1 Sparkling water

Hopalong Abraham
§ Half fill a glass with OJ
§ Top up with lemonade
§ Top up with equal parts fruit twist and cherryade
§ Add a bursting bug sweet
§ Cut up ¼ peach for each jug

mix Fruitfling and cold chocolate milk
(honestly it's nice but weird)

Sweet Sensation
Equal parts of each:
Apple Juice
Orange Juice
Sparkling Water
And 1/3 tsp sugar
Bit of lime mix

Just juice Jazz
§ Equal parts Fair trade OJ and Fair trade mixed juice
§ Top up with water/honey

Vicar Ticklar
§ Equal parts banana and strawberry milkshake mix
§ Top up with milk
§ Whizz in blender
§ Pour into a glass and squirt on some cream

Just Juice Jazz 2
§ Equal parts Fair trade OJ and lemonade
· Serve in clear orange plastic cup
§ Top with some fruity bits

Fair Dinkum
· Mix milk with coco direct drinking powder
· Froth in the shaking machine
· Serve in clear colourless plastic cup

Curse of the Fair Rabbit
· Mix milk with bananas
· Froth in the shaking machine
· Serve in clear colourless plastic cup with gratings of chocolate on top

Orange Saturdays

§ Equal parts Fair trade OJ and water
§ Add slice of orange
§ Serve in orange stemmed wine glass

and for the pirate lovers out there....

Captain Jack

· Mix six parts Orange Juice with 1 part water and 1 part lime cordial

Berry’d @sea
· Place some fruits, milk and ice cream in the blender and mix

Eye! Eye! Captain

· Mix apple juice with lemonade
· Add an eye! sweet

Black Pearl Parlay
· Half fill a cup with coke
· Add a spoonful of ice-cream
· Top with a shake of chocolate strands

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Propping up the bar

I've just been thinking through our cocktails for HaRVey's Bar this Saturday at Pulse and trying to remember what was in a cocktail I had called a Virgin Mary (we've never done a tomato jucie cocktail so I thought it'd be fun) I discover LOADS of links to MOCKTAILS.

What was really reassuring was that our mocktails that we've been serving for a while now were actually really rather creative in comparison to some of those on the sites especially in their nomination.

When I'm in the office tomorrow I'll try to remember to upload some recipes for people but keep your eyes peeled for the wonders of:

The Wibblethorpe Wobbler (created in honour of Dave Walker, cartoon wonder, who visited us a couple of year ago)
Gives you the ooglywooglies
Sianara Simpsons
Hopalong Abraham (named after the limping pig at Woodcroft Christian centre where we had our youth holiday in 2004 - I guess you had to be there)
and my favourite...

Led by the Spirit

Jo did this test so I thought I'd have a go. Not sure quite what it says really:

Not sure I feel all that wise and the secondary gift of tongues seems to be based on me being good at languages - not sure that's the same thing really.

Jo wanted other people to have a go so pop on over and we'll see what results.

Ranking Gift Score
Primary Wisdom Score: 9
Secondary Leadership Score: 7
Secondary Tongues Score: 7
Secondary Giving Score: 7
Secondary Compassion Score: 6
Secondary Prophecy Score: 6
7 Administration Score: 6
8 Apostleship Score: 6
9 Servanthood Score: 5
10 Exhortation Score: 5
11 Interpretation Score: 4
12 Shepherding Score: 3
13 Evangelism Score: 3
14 Discernment Score: 3
15 Helping Score: 3
16 Knowledge Score: 2
17 Healing Score: 1
18 Teaching Score: 1
19 Faith Score: 0
20 Miracles Score: 0

Spiritual Gift Clusters (click on a cluster for more information)
Rank Cluster Score
1 Organizing 9
2 Nurturing 7
3 Outreaching 4
4 Witnessing 2

Contemplative Youth Ministers

Great day today with the Oxford Diocesan Network looking at Mark Yaconelli's book Contemplative Youth Ministry.

Great discussions and prayer time led by Yvonne and Ian. the silence was really powerful. More reflection in time.

Good too see a few blog lurkers there too!

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Art of slide

I heard about these on Radio Four but then I popped over to the Tate website to see the pictures. I know what _I_ want to do next time I'm in London!

Monday, October 09, 2006

Still a mystery?

I'm focussing on cooking (a chicken casserole, some scallops and a bolognese for the freezer!) and doing osme laundry and cleaning today so nothing too fancy from me blogwise today but you TOTALLY have to check ou this story on Ship of Fools which Dave has flagged up.

It is an unfortunate state of affairs if someone feels so insecure that they need to compliment themselves in the guise of pseudonyms.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Birth dath Shmirth date

Ok so it seems that there really ARE people who think the whole birth date determines who you are thing really works (so much for the nature/nurture debate!)

I know we all love it when we read a description that seems to flatter us and encapsulate all we've always really known about our deep-seated virtue but have never been brave enough to assert.

Well Star signs are one thing - they apply, allegedly to approximately 1/12th the population but these birth date things apply to approx 1/365th (Statisticians - I know I know it's not perfect but it's a rough estimate) so it's not much mroe plausible.

Just in case there was anyone out there thinking that these things MIGHT be TRUE I have a few arguments to counter it.

Firstly the whole Jesus saying I AM the way the truth and the life ...

Secondly and rather more forcibly this time compare the people who share MY birthday for 14th November - Me, Prince Charles, Claude Monet - yeah like we're ALL THE SAME!!

Thirdly, if I share a birthday with Prince Charles, that means someone shares a birth date with Adolf Hitler which is as follows:

Your Birthdate: April 20

You are a virtual roller coaster of emotions, and most people enjoy the ride.
Your mood tends to set the tone of the room, and when you're happy, this is a good thing.
When you get in a dark mood, watch out - it's very hard to get you out of it.
It's sometimes hard for you to cheer up, and your gloom can be contagious.

Your strength: Your warm heart

Your weakness: Trouble controlling your emotions

Your power color: Black

Your power symbol: Musical note

Your power month: February

Ok so that applies to 1/365th of the population EVER of this world apparently and that means that 1/365th of the population was like Adolf Hitler. Fortunately this is NOT true!

Finally everyone, can we realise that each one of us is a marvel of God's creation, an individual, distinct beloved child of God and much as we strive to be LIKE something IDEAL, that which we trully resemble is the one who created us and maybe we should focus on that more.

Friday, October 06, 2006


Here are some belated pictures of the rainbow that partially fuelled my musings for the Harvest service last weekend.

Originally uploaded by Sarah Brush.


Originally uploaded by Sarah Brush.
Here are the promised photos of Lily!

Originally uploaded by Sarah Brush.

Isn't she just adorable!?

Originally uploaded by Sarah Brush.

Here with proud mum and dad (Louise and Ian)

She has, so far, resisted Uncle Michael's attempts to corrupt her into pipe-smoking!

Originally uploaded by Sarah Brush.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Who am I?

Interesting discussion about "horoscopes" recently and whether it really describes personality acurately. Maddie was talking about her scepticism and how, like me, she becomes more sceptical when she listens to Steve Wright's horoscopes on a Monday - sceptical and amused in my case normally! Jo posted about personality and had the test below so I thought I'd post it as an example:

Your Birthdate: November 14

You work well with others. That is, you're good at getting them to do work for you.
It's true that you get by on your charm. But so what? You make people happy!
You're dynamic, clever, and funny. And people like to have you around.
But you're so restless, they better not expect you to stay around for long.

Your strength: Your superstar charisma

Your weakness: Commitment means nothing to you

Your power color: Fuchsia

Your power symbol: Diamond

Your power month: May

How does this compare in accuracy to a personality profile based on the Myers Briggs or Belbin type? (my MBTI type is ENFP and on Belbin a few years ago I was notably strong as Team worker and Resource Investigator and weak on Monitor-evaluator and Implementer)

One of our young people said she thought it was possible that being told your type/star sign displays certain characteristics might actually make that true because you "live up to" the hype.

What do we think?

By the way FUSCHIA??? FUSCHIA??!!!!! I think not.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Harvest sketch

Ok so this is the first churchy sketch I've written. We didn't do it totally as written but it seemed to go down kinda well and the young people enjoyed doing it to.

Feel free to use... a comment here if you do so would be appreciated.

(until James interrupts)
Good morning everyone and welcome to our service for Harvest Festival.

TOM – The young people of Crew were each asked to prepare something for Harvest. Oh here’s James…

(James enters in Dr Who gear)

Tom – er James what are you doing?
James – Well it’s Tardis Festival today, like Sarah said.

TOM – No it’s HARVEST FESTIVAL not Tardis Festival. You’ve made an idiot of yourself again. Well let’s hope the girls get it right

(Kate and Jemima enter awkwardly both wearing one vest)

Tom – O…K… So what are you two doing?

K/J – It’s OUR VEST festival so we’re celebrating together in our vest. Don’t you remember? Sarah Said..

Tom – HARVEST HAR..VEST Festival You know as in harvesting crops and everything.. Well let’s hope Lydia got it!

(Lydia Enters in wellies and festival gear)

Tom – Oh dear… So… What have you come as?

Lydia – Got your wellies then?

Tom – my wellies?

Lydia – Yeah for OUR BEST FESTIVAL. It’s gonna be the BEST.

Tom – It’s not THAT kind of Festival

Lydia – isn’t it?

Tom - well at least your close, I suppose.

It’s Harvest Festival which does really mean OUR BEST too really.

It means we celebrate all that God gives us and we give BACK to God
the best we can.

For some of us that might be our eagerness… if it is for Dr Who and the

It might be working together… though I don’t think we need to be wearing
the same vest to do that ALL the time!

It may not be a festival like Greenbelt or Glastonbury but it IS a celebration

Monday, October 02, 2006

Storks, gooseberry bushes, etc.

Well Michael and Dad and I went over to Oxford this afternoon to meet ELIZABETH (LILY) PAMELA HAMILTON born this morning at 00.59, weighing in at 6lbs 8 oz.

She is utterly adorable (and I'm not just saying thatbecause Ian, my bruv, was completely convinced she looked like me soon after she came out!)

We were too busy cooing to take pics but Ian has some beautiful ones.