Friday, November 28, 2008

Something for the weekend

Has your youth group done every outdoor activity there is? Stuck for some new ideas? I picked up information about a fabulous organisation called Treasure Trails. Not only does the pack offer you a walking guide to help you get them out in the open air but it also gives you a puzzle to solve - either a treasure hunt, murder mysery or James Bond style spy trail. There are trails in Worcestershire and Herefordshire (particularly handy of you're staying at Woolhope Cockshoot - there's one in Ledbury!) There are also trails for Devon, Somerset, Dorset, Gloucestershire, Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland. Enjoy!

Jesus Christ is waiting in the streets

I loved this nativity scene by our local street pastel artist. I have a better view of the pastel drawing itself but I just like the way the artist is in this one and so is CHRIST. Despite the lovely "Christmassy" Victorian Market in Worcester today, I have to say this was the moment that most reminded me of Christmas. I just hope he wasn't sent on and the picture washed away as it so often is.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Oranges are not the only Christingle

Having been described as "former blogger" just one too many times by a certain prolific and wise blog hero, I thought it really was time to get back here.

I was at a meeting last night with the planning group for a parish Sunday School. They were a fab group of dedicated and enthusiastic people full of love for all the members of their group, even those whom they have found challenging over the years.

Among other things we were discussing the construction of Christingles in preparation for their service. (ah memories of discussions on Dave Walker's site and his great alternative Christingles cartoon - to see it properly go to the church times archive or BUY THE BOOK or the other book - great Christmas presents for churcgoers) Not only did I get a chance to see the HUMAN CHRISTINGLE costume (which is a work of pure genius! I do have a pic but would hate to embarras the person who was demonstrating it at the time) they're going to be using but we also had a chat about what sweets would be used, what ribbon/red tape, what sweets/raisins do you use. I remember hours of agony with Dolly mixtures in a previous year. Not only are some dolly mixtures utterly impregnable but we had enthusiastic helpers putting four on each of the four sticks which meant we had to go to the pick and mix at Woolies (where would we go now?? So sad to hear of their demise!) and trawl through the pick and mix trying to pick out only the easily-spikeable-with-a-cocktail stick sweets.So our experiment last night was ... Can you spike a Haribo with a cocktail stick? Answer yes though it looks kinda cruel with the bears!!)

All this was great fun but I have to admit giggling FAR too much when we were esting if you could sellotape the ribbon to the fruit (rather than use pins which are a little un-child-friendly (never mind the fire, spikey cocktail sticks, potential nut/citrus/gluten/dairy allergy to sweets and the slip hazzards due to orange juice all over the floor!). The peopel hosting the meeting didn't have any oranges so we tested the sellotape theory on an apple. It got me thinking...

Why an orange? It represents the world... yes... why not an apple? a peach? I had great images of a Christingle pineapple (impressive but expensive!) and miniature Christingle grapes with hundreds and thousands for sweets (stuck to the sticks with icing!) Fellow youthworker Lizzie tells me she tried a melon Christingle one year.

So why an orange? Well, I like to do my research and apparently he story goes that it was an orange which Bishop John De Watteville used at the first Christingle in 1747. So that's why it's always been an orange before... but now... anyone doing alternative fruit Christingles PLEASE send me pics!!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Birthday Presence online

Ok so I thought my BEST birthday present was the curry book from Michael - source of some fabulous food already... well that was until I saw this video.

I may be a year older but I still appreciate a good slice of Monty Python. Aaaah ...fond memories of singing Eric the half a bee with the youth group on our last youth holiday (and surprising some of them by knowing the words!)
For the joys of the Silly Olympics, The Four Yorkshiremen and the Ministry of Silly Walks plus some classic clips from the films and some great songs (Sadly :( no Eric the Half a bee yet though!)

The launch video is beautifully subtle Python (So you won't be surprised when I say **CAUTION** there is some mild swearing).

Head on over there! Not suitable for all ages but genius nonetheless!

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Training and experience

I'm off to a deanery chapter meeting next week to talk about youth work. I've decided to help the clergy experience what youthwork is like as well as discuss it. So I've got some worship from The Book of Uncommon Prayer supported by the video below. I'm also getting them to do some activities from Frontier Youth Trust's Mission and Young people at Risk and maybe some games

I'm very pleased with the three part reflection from Psalm 126
  • What in your community makes you weep?
  • Where have you/might you sow seeds?
  • What have you/might you reap with joy?

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Parable of the sower

Saw this great claymation version of the parable of the sower. The sun has never seemed so evil!

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Breath of God

I'm listening online to the morning worship led by the young people from St Barnabas in Kidderminster who are part of mass@barnabas a service designed and mostly led by young people through the help and inspiration of their vicar Fiona. I was privileged to have them lead prayers at my licensing earlier this year and to be with them on Thursday when they recorded the service for BBC Hereford and Worcester. They are a fabulous group of young people and I am unbelievably proud of the wonderful service they have presented. It's rather different to what we often have on a Sunday. It focusses on the Breath of God in Genesis and in the upper room after the resurrection. The radio station also picked up on what I said about Youth Work week so introduced the service as part of that celebration of what we do with young people.

The recording on Thursday was a classic example of teen culture. I think the chap recording was worried they were going to muck around - indeed they were joking around about a few things before we started - sharing the memory of the liturgical dance actions for happy God, sad God and angry God which they devised for a non-existant service, for example. Despite the BBC chap's worries, as soon as they began recording, they became the professional, prayerful, capable group I've come to know and respect them for. I still like the dance actions too though!