God's Geek

Reflections and random thoughts of a geeky youth worker in North London...

Friday, February 24, 2006

Dreams for the Future

I have just booked my place on LCET's schoolswork conference 'Dreams for the future', hapepning in June this year. I am very interested in going as it is tackling some key questions, with regard to Christian schools workers, such as:
  • is it evangelism or should we call it something else?
  • How does it relate to church youth work ?
  • Do Christian youth workers sometimes hide their agendas from schools?

It follows on from an excellent article that Chris Curtis wrote last year for Youthwork magazine, entitled the Death of Schoolswork,examining issues related to these. I am looking forward to some honest discussion and a healthy way forward.

On another training note, I have heard that Kenda Creasy Dean is speaking at Oxford Youthworks in May. I would love to go but I am at Cliff College for another teaching week!


A mate a while ago told me about Pandora, a music website where you can put in an artist or band and the site creates a playlist for you of their music and other music it thinks you will like, It is v clever and worth checking out...

A Good Week at Cliff College

I had a great time at Cliff College last week. The module that was being taught was 'Issues Facing Adolescents', covering subjects such as mental health, future opportunities, drugs and alocohol. It was interesting stuff but it was also great to spend some time away with other youth workers. I was one of the last to bed every night and had great fun discussing and sharing experiences, a number of which invovled me embarassing myself in various forms. I have also been diagnosed as having LAMS - Look At Me Syndrome - which involves me having to make my presence felt every time I enter a room. I hope , on balance, it is more endearing than annoying...

I am looking forward to getting my teeth in to the next assignment; I am preparing a training session for youth leaders looking at post 18 options for young people. I think it is a really important that often gets neglected in youth work. I don't think anyone other than my husband really sat me down to explain what to expect when I began work, or to get me to think about the pressures of work, including faith issues. This is definitely something that youthwork - and work with students - should incorporate, not only helping them through the options available and helping them to reach their potential but encouraging young people to make God centred, ethical decisions about who they are prepared to work for and how they want to conduct themsleves in their working lives. It is a good opportunity to theologically reflect ont hese issues and think about practical ways to support the young people that I am in touch with.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Off to dinner

Must go now as I am off to dinner with my lovely husband to Loch Fyne, a gorgeous fish restaurant. I am at Cliff College for St Valentine's Day so we are making the most of there being no Yoof Klub over half term... I have even had my haor cut in a funky new style to mark the occasion!

Mmmmmm, I can almost taste the lobster bisque as I sit here...

Seals, Charity Shops and Fakenham!

Last weekend was great as it was the Disciple weekend away. Disciple is a mid week discussion/Bible study group for Yrs 7-9 and we took ourselves off to Norfolk for a weekend of fun, excellent input from Pete and Suse and remote control cars! We played some cool games courtesy of Spiky Headed such as remote pool (pool but with foam balls and remote control cars) and making towers out of balloons. We also had retro fun playing Catchphrase.

One of the highlights for quite a few of the young people was the charity shop game where they each had £5 to buy an outfit for Saturday night from the charity shops in Fakenham. Amongst the cross dressing, they came up with some great stuff and loads of them were amazed at how far their money could stretch and what good stuff they could get. And we saw seals at the beach! They rocked.

We were thinking about Jesus over the course of the weekend and Pete led some great sessions thinking about things Jesus said and did. Two of the group made a great vox bop video recorded on a mobile phone, inspired by a video of Pete's.

The best bit is that although a number were moved by a story that was read by Pete on Saturday night, as we have regular contact with the group, I know that there can be follow up outside of the weekend setting. It is really exciting to see God working in that group. And it is exciting to see the group continuing to grow numerically as well!

PTL and thanks to Pete and Susie,.. and my mum and sister who cooked for us.

Arts Sale AT Early Learning Centre

So... it is February and the ELC's annual arts and craft discount month. This means that there is 20% off all arts and craft. I have found their stuff to be good quality and a lot of it is washable, which in my experience is just as useful when working with 13 year olds or 3 year olds. Go and have a browse and restock the prayer room or arts cupboard. As Lewis knows, I am quite protective of my stationery and arts box and it is a good chance to tidy it up and replace old stuff. Couldn't see any glitter pens, though...

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

The essay is in... hallelujah!

Well, normal life resumes as my essay is in and I can do something other than work, research or typing. It is somewhat ironic that I told all my course mates about the wonders of blogging but since starting the course have blogged considerably less...

I have to be honest, work life at the moment is pretty hard, with lots of balls in the air that I am trying hard not to drop. One of the things that has been v exciting has been some training that I have been running at my church, with the aim of reviewing the youth work at the church. It is running over 3 weeks; the first week we looked at the world of the 21st century young person, this week we looked at faith development and ethics of evangelism and discipleship and next week we are thinking about the vision for the youth work and reviewing the current activities. It has been great as such a variety of people have been attending, including volunteers, a young person, parents, grand parents and interested others. Everyone has got really involved in discussions and it has been good to see people coming from a variety of perspectives. It has been great to have Pete involved with the training and get his input. I suppose the best bit for me has been growing more aware of those in the church that are fired up to reach out to young people, acknowledging that this may not always be easy and there may be challenges ahead. God is really working through this, I am sure and it has been a positive learnign experience to plan and facilitate.

And now for something completely different... thanks Sarah for pointing out this website of 'movie parodies in bun-o-vision.' Have a look. No really, it is genius.