Monday, November 29, 2004

christmas is coming

On the whole life is pretty good in Sheffield at the moment, apart from the fact that I'm just too busy. I'm starting to feel a bit stressed, which is hardly surprising with Christmas preparations, essays to write, meeting my potential new vicar/line manager.

This afternoon, while letting myself worry about things over which I have no control, I was reminded that God is in control. I got a phone call from a Mum of one of my young people. This young person had been the victim of a bit of an incident at church a good few weeks ago. The family had not been to church since, and I was getting a bit concerned.

I had decided I to pop round and see the family this evening. But then I got this phone call. The Mum was just ringing up to apologise for their absence over the last few weeks - life, general hecticness etc. Not only was she, and her children doing fine, they were also offering to help me out with some stuff I've got to do this weekend at our Christmas community outreach event (which is cunningly called Christmas is Coming). Two birds with one stone, and none of it was my doing.


Off to the next FEED event on Wednesday where Gordon Lynch will be talking about the role of popular culture within contemporary society. Is popular culture becoming a new religion in our society? What are some of the values, beliefs and ideas that form and inform popular culture?

FEED is hosted by b1 church and the Birmingham University Dept. of Theology and Religion.

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

and life goes on

Well I've been suitably busy of late. Suprisingly I am struggling to keep to my 16 hours a week that I am supposed to be working for church. Obviously we're looking forward to Christmas, and all the numerous services/fairs/social events which that enatails. But we're also now looking ahead to Easter, planning services for Holy Week.

While I am enjoying work, and I am quite excited about the Holy Week services (more about that in the future), I was reminded of an important fact today. The church calendar - love it or hate it - should me a tool we can use to pace our lives, giving us time to reflect on the different experiences we have at different times of the year.

Planning ahead is all well and good, and often quite necessary, but I know that I must make time to stop, and reflect on the things that are going on around me at the moment. Obviously this can be quite difficult when you are involved in running events, co-ordinating services etc. But somehow I must make sure that I am not simply blown along, always looking to the future without enjoying the present.

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

reflecting on progressisve orthodoxy

I enjoyed the evening with Dave Tomlinson. It was good to hear what he had to say, as well as to catch up with some old faces, and a couple of newer ones.

There were two things that I really remember from what Dave said. He talked about the importance of shared speech and shared symbols. This links to something I have had drummed into me as a youth worker - the importance of creating shared experiences. I can't get away from the fact that youth work/mission/living my life, is about walking alongside people, accompanying people, having relationships with people.

The second thing that Dave spoke about, which I found quite helpful, was the concept of 'perspectivism'. This was a new term for me, though it summed up the way I've been feeling about knowledge. Can we really know the truth, or do we each have our own 'perspective' of what truth is. The same truth, but looked at from different angles.

As ever, my limited attention span meant that remembering all that Dave said was always gonna be a struggle. I was therefore pretty glad when I found this. (This guy has obviously heard Dave talking about the same kind of stuff, but he took some notes)