Sunday, May 27, 2007


This is one of the videos of worship stations that the young people designed on the weekend away. Pop over th you tube to see some more!

Come to Jesus

This is the song that really got me listening to Chris Rice and made me buy the album. It just says it all and I think really speaks to those in all kinds of situations. I just can't press the top button if it comes on.

I know there are certainly a few people at the moment feeling kinda run down and stressed out - try this one!

Cartoons - Chris Rice

Saturday, May 26, 2007

the rest is silence...

So I've been away for a while. Sorry. It's been pretty hectic and then I was on leave. You may be pleased to know that there'll be some reflections coming up soon. Until then I'm searching for a video I've been meaning to post for a while. I was reminded of it because we were talking with the young people this evening about some of the stress they're going through over exams and other things. We talked about how we find comfort in our stress from all sorts of different sources; friends, family, teddy bear, music, food and... cartoons.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

History Matters

For those of you who look out for the odd bit of history cropping up on here...

I've recently signed up with wikipedia as I've noticed that the content on there now is actually getting pretty good. I think people with more knowledge have been contributing so the sum total of each of the "what I know is" has improved and increased. As it's now improved, I've contributed to some of the pages on the Merovingian saints I studied for my PhD and have also added links to a few of the translations I did which I've put online over at my Latinblog.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Revision exam survival...

It's that time of year again that young people begin to stress about revision and exams whether it's SATs as this week or GCSEs or end of year exams and of course the ever presnet modules for AS and A2s!

So I put together some revision survival kits for our house group. It's not difficult to put together but with a little thought you can make it a little deeper too. I made some of the contents significant of something and others help the young people structure their revision. Any former students of mine won't be surprised that I also combiend it with advice to SLEEP, EAT WELL (including fish and plenty of fruit and vegetables) and have some TIME OUT sometimes.

So here's what our packs contained:
A pen - pretty much a must
two pencils - the pencil is mightier than the pen!
a jewel shaped pencil sharpener - to remind them that they are a precious treasure to us and God
pot of playdoh - a stress reliever
small card with a Bible passage - reminding them of the need for faith (we got ours from the fabulous St Andrew's bookshop but of course you could make your own if you want to save cash)
a flier for a youth event at the end of June - reminding them of the hope of the future
a heart - reminding them that they are loved
an eraser - we all make mistakes
a highlighter - because meeting with them is one of the highlights of my week (awww!)
some index cards, post-its and page tags - as markers to show the way
a holographic spinner - as a treat for when they've revised one card
a bouncey ball - as a treat for when they've revised a whole topic
a set of jumping frogs - as a treat for when they've finished a day of revision

I accompanied this with a look at Ecclesiastes (partly because that's the book we'd been planning to look at anyway!) which worked reasonably well as it is written as the words of THE TEACHER and has a few passages about study and knowledge. The message of the book to me is also about doing the best that you can with your life but with the awareness that you won't be able to understand the vastness of God and God's creation.

Dying to know...

We've had two very sad events recently in High Wycombe, the death of a teenager from Meningitis from one school and the death of a boy from a heart condition at another school.

I've already covered the topic informally both with our Sunday morning group and teen house group and with individuals but we're planning to look at it as a whole group at Pulse (our years 6-9 group) on Saturday.

We're not dealing only with those directly affected but also with those that are feeling rather odd because they just don't feel too upset but they've been unnerved by the proximity of someone "like them" dying.

One of my leaders is looking out some stuff from the school she works at and I've got some books but I was wondering if anyone has got any great resources that they've used effectively with bereaved teens?

UPDATE: As Ian has pointed out there is the wonderful resource of the Child Bereavement Trust but I could still do with some reflections on stuff people have used successfully

Friday, May 04, 2007