Friday, March 30, 2007


Arise Sir Bono, U2 man knight


Photo: Paul Rovere

Irish rock star and anti-poverty campaigner Bono was made an honorary British knight at a ceremony in Dublin today, the British embassy said.Presenting the insignia on behalf of Queen Elizabeth II, ambassador David Reddaway said it was awarded in recognition of his services to the music industry and for his humanitarian work.

Bono - real name Paul Hewson - has become an honorary Knight Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (KBE). The award is conferred by the Queen on the advice of the British government."This honorary award recognises Bono's extraordinary and inspirational commitment to relieve global poverty and focus international attention on the plight of Africa; the AIDS pandemic; and the third world debt crisis," Reddaway said in a statement.

"He has played a key role in persuading governments and international institutions to wipe out much of the burden of international debt owed by third world governments."We in the UK particularly appreciated his work alongside our G8 and European Union presidencies in 2005, which we were determined would produce real benefits for Africa."Reddaway also paid tribute to the singer for his contribution to the music industry.

"U2 is not only one of the most successful bands of all time, but have been highly effective in raising support for justice related causes through benefit concerts and recordings."In accepting the insignia, U2 frontman Bono thanked the ambassador for "pinning this award on me in my hometown and the band for not bursting my balloon".

"What a great year for an Irishman to receive an award from Great Britain."The (Northern Irish) peace process has proceeded to a conclusion, debt cancellation - started in Great Britain - has put 20 million African children in school, The Happy Mondays and Shaun Ryder have reformed, England's rugby squad entered Croke Park to thunderous applause, silence for 'God Save The Queen', then the Irish hammered them."I couldn't be more proud," said Bono.

Honorary awards are conferred on citizens of countries of which Queen Elizabeth is not head of state but the KBE does not confer the title "Sir", as it does to British and Commonwealth recipients.Ireland has no awards system so Bono's acceptance of the award received clearance from the government of Prime Minister Bertie Ahern.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

Bloomsbury's publicity machine knows how to spin out the expectation and build to a release date as the cover/s of the 7th and final instalment is due in July 2007!!

Sunday, March 25, 2007

"Hope and Validation"

Made a 45min presentation to our 'Council of Synod' or state and territory wide policy making group about FOUR Challenges facing youth ministry in the future:
CONTEXT picking up Gen Y research and the missio dei
This last one was the focus of the time alongside context as a way to emphasise the need for skilled and gifted approaches.

As a part of the time we listened to "How to Save a Life" by The Fray as an example of young peoples explorations of identity and spirituality and where answers might be sought or trusted.

I also struck on "Hope and Validation" the Bernard Fanning song as a mood and lyric that described for me how I felt about our future and that we have perhaps seen enough false hope and dodgy plans to know that things are crook!!

The Assembly decisions in this regard help other synod/s sort out issues they have which we had largely tracked a path through or at least had the potential to be better at through administartive and support processes. BUT the real side of the discussion needing energy is what the church wants/needs and is willing to change to help the focus on youth and young adults happen!!

"Hope and Validation"
Plans and preparations are decided in vain
Think we've seen enough now
Hope and validation are united again

Higher than the buds that bloomed
I've seen it hanging in your face
you may need time to think it over

Set a new direction for the harvest ahead
think we've seen enough now
Built the resurrection of a bond nearly dead
Seen enough now

Higher than the windswept moon
I've seen it hanging in your face
You may need time to think it over

Plans and preparations are decided in vain
Hope and validation are united again
Set a new direction for the harvest ahead
Built the resurrection of a bond nearly dead

Think we've seen enough now
Think we've seen enough now
Think we've seen enough now
Think we've seen enough now
Bernard Fanning from 'Tea & Sympathy'

Essentially our next steps include some planning and responses to the challenges with further work being brought later on alongside funding and change proposals to help the situation!!

BUT for now I sit with the poignancy of this lyric as a closer for the day and a time of prayer and reflection!!

More New Music

I'll blog about this later in the week but John Butler Trio's "Grand National" sounds great so far... a little lighter and singing in higher registers but the same reflections on justice, world issues and relationships!! For some reason I even paid the $5 for the limited edition military styled cap and it actually fits!!

Saturday, March 17, 2007

New Music from Missy Higgins

You can hear and in two weeks see Missy Higgins new single "Steer" from her forthcoming album due in April and coinciding with various Festival and smaller gig dates!!

To me it sounds great... life affirming and the usual reflections on the song subjects story!!

Mitchell Froome who has worked with Crowded House and various other name bands is evident in the pop sensibilities of "Steer" without it being a complete shift for MH...

Listen and eventually look here at
And with the right software you might even be able to capture a copy early!!

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Pimp Our Ads

Innovative approach to getting young peoples perspective on road safety campaigns... this featured in the newspapers recently but I was reminded when local lad Lachlan submitted an entry in the competition....

Check out the creativity here at

Its an attempt to see what images and messages 'would' work with young people!!

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

"Bad" U2

When I get annoyed/tired/stressed/thoughtful I love to listen to some of my favourite songs.... before I head off to sleep!!
Sometimes I'm in a "Sometimes" Midnight Oil mood OR "Sound of White" Missy Higgins or like tonight U2's "Bad" BUT the Luka Bloom version.... confession/reflection/grief/letting go/and moving on...

Still my favourite U2 concert version is from the Boston "Elevation" concert moving from 'Bad' to 'Where the Streets Have No Name' lifting the audience and viewer... to a worshipful high!! A celebration of God hearing and understanding the tough stuff.

It's two years ago today that a mate and a colleague Dave Edwards was killed in a car accident and it's been a thought-filled and poignant time of quiet work and some fun unpacking a car full of sound gear and chuckling about having the brands and the size of speakers as recommended by Dave which usually only gets used on Volume level 2...

If you twist and turn away.
If you tear yourself in two again.
If I could, yes I would
If I could, I would let it go.
Surrender, dislocate.

If I could throw this lifeless life-line to the wind.
Leave this heart of clay, see you walk, walk away
Into the night, and through the rain
Into the half light and through the flame.

If I could, through myself, set your spirit free
I’d lead your heart away, see you break, break away
Into the light and to the day.

To let it go and so to find away.
To let it go and so find away.
I’m wide awake.
I’m wide awake, wide awake.
I’m not sleeping.

If you should ask, then maybe
They’d tell you what I would say
True colours fly in blue and black
Blue silken sky and burning flag.
Colours crash, collide in blood-shot eyes.

If I could, you know I would
If I could, I would let it go.

This desperation, dislocation
Separation, condemnation
Revelation, in temptation
Isolation, desolation
Let it go and so to find away
To let it go and so to find away
To let it go and so to find away

I’m wide awake, I’m wide awake, wide awake
I’m not sleeping
Oh no, no, no.