This made me laugh!
Great to be visiting a teen' group on Sunday where they were using the Rhythms material by Tearfund. The group were exploring generosity and a useful session it was too. As part of that I really liked this video ......
'COE and Family' are a unique and well established business, with a branch in nearly every community. They serve peoples core needs, and indeed had done for as long as anyone can remember. There'd been many changes over the years, of course, but the heart of what they are remains unchanged, and significantly is just as important as ever.
Recent years though has seen a dogmatic clinging to past times (In fact some now jokingly referred to it as "COE and Ancestors") and it had perhaps lost a little confidence in what it was ... and what it had to offer, especially to younger customers. It invested heavily in the Branch Managers but despite this the average age of it's customers is on the rise, currently around sixty one years of age.
One of the regions though had an innovative department known as 'Yesterday no more' (affectionately known as YES) who developed training for the Branch Managers and their teams, helped 'COE' to understand and work in the new context they found themselves in, aided Branches in helping and serving the needs of young people, and ran events where young customers re-connected, and indeed found important all that was present in and through the branches. Many discovering through this work (or through the 'YES' enabled Branches) that 'COE and Family' had something life-changingly real to offer, despite it's fusty exterior, and it's many mistakes. In fact 'Yesterday no more' were an R&D department... and a training department ...and an innovation department like no other.
Sadly though the business is cutting costs, reserving funding chiefly for Branch Management functions. The 'Yesterday no more' team have been told they and their functions are deleted.
A number of commentators are (unsurprisingly) wondering where this fits with the Chairman's vision.
I thought this picture .... and the comment above it (on a picture/comment sharing website) was important. Someone has a good handle on what Christianity should be.
I'm reminded of what I seem to recall as a Keith Green Line expressing some frustration with a whole bunch of so called christian culture and judgment:
'It's a righteous disgrace, it's a sin and a shame
all of this garbage in Jesus name'
I couldn't decide last night whether I'd head out for an hour on foot, or on the mountain bike. In the event cycling won and I duly got togged up, and fitted vast amount of candle power to the handlebars for some night time off-roading.
Seven miles into the ride though, on a section of canal towpath, the rear tyre punctured and shed ALL it's air, doh! The quickest route home (as the crow stomps ... pushing a bicycle) was three miles, so I did in fact get my stroll too.
Stroll on cycle? Well, both
I've just come across this resource sheet from 'Going for Growth' and Tony Cook. It's a really useful two-sider on the why, what and how of involving young people in the life of your church/organisation. It's a great guide to genuine participation and includes an accessible form of "Harts Ladder of Participation" which is a brilliant tool of seeing where there is genuine co-involvement and where we just have (well meaning) tokenism.
Charlie bus has just undergone major surgery! The wonderful crew at Speen Garage who take meticulous care of Charlie spotted that some of the underseal was coming away and examined the area more fully to find part of the undercarriage was in danger of collapse (eek). They have done the most brilliant job of cutting away the mess, fabricating new sections, and welding the sections with surgical neatness. Very pleased indeed with the results.
The bill was an 'ouch' I admit, but considering how much work it took, very reasonable. (Thankfully the Charlie account was in credit as he has not required anything major for quite a while)
Charlie bus survives (and thrives) into his 23rd Year and is running very smoothly indeed (Almost time to decorate him up for Christmas!)
I'd not come across 'Busted Halo' before but I like this 2 minute guide to advent. I also like the look of their online surprise advent calender (I tried to preview it but it is date embargoed)
I'm going to a consultation on 'Discipleship' in London tomorrow, I'm looking forward to the discussion and shared wisdom. Should be interesting
The Guardian notes that teens are moving away from Facebook!I think I'm noticing a drop in the frequency of use across the board from individuals BUT an explosion in Christian groups setting up a page and wanting to be liked.
But what do I know as a Blogger .... 'Old Skool' retro or what?
My friends at Gold Hill holidays are gearing up for the season (sadly without me this year, my choice not theirs I should add in case you thought I'd been sacked).
For an epic ski holiday where EVERYTHING is included then have a look at their epic trips that are a great mix of fellowship, adventure, community and fun, whilst handily leaving from Buckinghamshire.
I know some of the holidays are full but not all ...... and there is definitely still space on the 20's n 30's trip, oh and the Youth trip (yrs 9-13). Details on the web site
Oh and ski a run for me, eh :-)
"On a first level I see mystical moments as moments of enlargement. Suddenly we're bigger. We don't feel a need to condemn, exclude, divide or separate. Secondarily, mysticism is a deep experience of connectedness or union. Maybe that is why we feel larger? Unfortunately, most of us were sent on private paths of perfection which none of us could ever achieve. The path of union is different than the path of perfection. Perfection gives the impression that by effort or more knowing I can achieve wholeness separate from God, from anyone else, or from connection to the Whole. It appeals to our individualism and our ego. It's amazing how much of Christian history sent us on a self-defeating course toward private perfection......"
"Mysticism does not defeat the soul; moralism always does. Mysticism invites humanity forward; moralism (read "perfectionism") excludes and condemns itself and most others"