Monday, February 27, 2012

Mission Made Easy "Clean Up Australia" Day

   How could we as a church community engage in our world? How could we connect with the will and activity of God in our place? How could we work intergenerationally alongside our young people/person in this endeavour? It's all too hard... except Ian Keirnan has made it pretty simple for at least one day a year... that day is "Clean Up Australia Day."
   It offers the opportunity for you to join with so many others from your town or suburb, picking up a pair of gloves, a bag and lots of rubbish!! Sign up as a group and be part of the local focus area effort...
   Under no circumstances 'do your own in house thing' and just clean up the church grounds or the manse lawns... join in and learn something about the other folks in your place!! Sunday 4th March... if that's too soon... mark it down for next year!!

Movies... one of my Favourite Things

   Once again tonight I sit and watch the [delayed] telecast of the Academy Awards!! I didn't have time to tune to Foxtel today for the live version.... I'm a tragic I know, but the awards celebrate storytelling in a form I love and shows the craft of film making from a unique angle.
   The Oscars celebrate talented people [and overrated ones alike] and show actors being their vulnerable selves as well as the veneer they try to apply in some cases. Still tragic I know...
   There were some stunning movies this last year and it's great to be reminded!! You can check out the whole shebang here
   Or for another take on this years films check out the Annual Razzies here

Sunday, February 26, 2012

"Rev." DVD

Colleagues and friends alike would enjoy and be cajoled and inspired by this DVD, the TV Show of which is now also blessed with a second series. Tom Hollander has created a vehicle for exploring 21st c 'ministering' and mission with amazing depth in the small ensemble cast of characters and their lives.
The institutional church, today's battle with change and irrelevancy and the day to day challenges the Rev's vocation are well depicted. We have not seen the program on Oz TV but I've found it to be inspirational, earthy and important in my own journey and deliberations!!
Buy it here

Thursday, February 23, 2012

The Source for Youth Ministry

Lots of free resources and ideas here for working alongside and with young people

Sunday, February 19, 2012

KRudd F Bomb not the real story

Brilliant piece of political distraction and knifing as 'someone' releases the video outtakes form a KRudd PM video for the Chinese!!
So whose Office did that come out of?

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Easter "24" 7-8th April 2012

   The UCA Hunter Easter Camp takes it's second only single year off since 1978 and there's a "one off" event this Easter instead!! From 10am Saturday to 1pm Sunday at "The Willows" Uniting Church off Hillsborough Rd, Warners Bay. There are no certainties about 2013 and beyond... and that's a good thing...
   Year 7s to young adults and leaders will participate in a varied program and young people have the option to sleep in the halls onsite!! We will collaborate with "The Willows" through Dawn Service and Easter Sunday worship as we are able!!
   BUT what is also exercising my mind is the "what now/what next" of this latest development in the story that is regional and local  ministry and mission in the UCA Newcastle/Hunter region?
   The possibility of 'no Easter Camp' certainly caused a spark of interest and creative energy amongst adults who are parents and the desire to see their kids have the opportunity to enjoy the brilliant camp they did and various versions of that story. This was coupled with genuine interest and enthusiasm for the 'something' we might do in 2012 and perhaps even a realisation that to continue to provide energy and resource for the young people could be an ongoing 'something'...
   On the flipside the urgency of 'doing something' in 2012 keeps things busy but a shorter event might see people more ready to do some dreaming and planning in the weeks and months that follow.
   There's a really tricky balance involved around doing things with, for, alongside and/or almost regardless of how engaged the young people are...
   We've made a decision to 'put something on' and so 'implementing' that becomes a priority. It's important even in the "24" event to spend some time with the 'blank sheet' and wonder and talk about and make some plans... the plans the young people dream of... with space for God's spirit to act...
   Then adults might be able to discover the best way to support, energise, engage and be alongside the young people and their "new story"!! More reflections to follow...

Great Special Ideas for Youth Groups around here

They are the activities you can't do every week and some of them you can't do on a set weeknight BUT they are activities worth doing at some point with your youth ministry and/or missional program/group/initiative... especially around here [Newcastle/Hunter region NSW, Oz]

ONE: "Treetops" Adventure Park on the western edge of Newcastle is a ropes course with challenges for young and old [including under 10s] and you can check it out here
The Centre is built unobtrusively in state owned land [with no rubbish bins... take it with you] and the ropes for youth and adults lock you in so if you slip you will not fall. The course for under 10s borrows from the Sydney Harbour Bridge Climb static line so once locked in you navigate a safe circuit. Both circuits follow a suitable briefing, staff supervision and safe rules to have fun by!!

TWO: Ten Pin Bowling
At factory styled sheds, as part of the local large shopping centre etc...
Good old fashioned bowling with a party thrown in [birthdays are part of that]
Here and here are two options but don't forget the Olympic Bowl at Mayfield

THREE: Hunter Ice Skating Stadium
The ice skating venue at Warners Bay hosts the local team in the national ice hocky competition but is a haven for usual suspects and officionados alike... including again, birthday party rooms which groups could simply book for a special event. Check it here

FOUR: Speers Point Park
On the shores of the lake, the park has been home to community groups and celebrations for decades... The new multi use Park is brilliant. Admittedly much of it is focused on Primary aged kids but there's a picinc space, plenty of grass and the big slide and maze and water park go beyond just youngsters...

The new community Kiosk and toilet block make it a family, group and adult friendly space.
It's all explained here
It's not far to Speers Point Public Pool either... make a day of it!!

FIVE: Newcastle's world class beaches [so not Nobby's] but the others are great!!
Summer brings opportunities to connect over the break with bbq and other meal options.
The beaches have Council and Volunteer Lifeguards and Bar Beach is a brilliant place to see!!

These are 'special' activities to add variety and quality to an existing group program or good starter events to try something new...

They also offer weekend and day time options and are great for keeping in tocuh over the Oz Christmas/New Year period...

More to come soon including some rural options!!