Monday, July 30, 2012

Combined Worship at Wesley East Maitland 29.7.12

We took the opportunity of the normal 5th Sunday practice of a combined happening, to gather a small team of young people and leaders to plan worship as they envisaged it! We met with about 3-4 weeks space BUT started with a BLANK SHEET...

'Givens', venue, who we would expect to attend and what they were used to or could cope with were noted, then people were asked to share:
What is worship?
What would make that meaningful or significant for you?
What would you like to see happen?
What themes do you sense emerging?

Of those ideas what will we do?
A theme of "Imagination.God.Life" emerged and the challenge of including:
Lego, computer games, Harry Potter, contemporary music, imagination, and a U2 song
[which could have been teased out further to include how those would reflect the gathered group but some clear themes emerged.

We wanted to include a video vox pop around:
What books, movies, stories inspire?
What is it about them?
How might they teach/reflect the nature of God?

We took the risk of inviting some musicians to set up so the band included violins, piano and vocal with others who may join in future [that was the hope]

Using Macbook Keynote [a much better alternative to Powerpoint]here's roughly what we did:

Pre worship music
[1] A single slide with 30sec 'A Hopeful Transmission' Coldplay to catch attention
[2] Announcements & Concerns
[3] A Call to Worship for [3] Voices
[added soon]
[4] Communal Song "Dreams & Visions"
[5] Greeting/Welcome/Words
[6] LEGO Prayer with brief words:
LEGO was used as a symbol of 'building blocks' oflfe and belief' but participants were invited to collaborate and build a symbol of this through discussion together, then bring those to a front table... some brilliantly simple symbols resulted.
[7] Movie Clip Collage 2min 40

[8] Communal Song "Faith, Hope & Love"
[9] Scripture reworked Hebrews 11:1+ and Luke 13: 18-21
[10] Reflection on 'Imagination.God.Life'
[11] Communal Song "God Version 1.0" including Offering
[12] Prayers for the World choosing from 80+ photos stuck on the side walls
[13] Communal Song "Here I am Lord"
[14] Spoken Sending Out
Followed by opportunity for all planners/participants to shake hands at the door

In my role I'm available to work with other groups and places to develop capacity to put together linear experiences like this, alt.worship or other styles etc through workshopping, discussions and curating across the UCA in the Hunter!!!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

'Yurora' or NCYC 2014... the wheels are beginning to turn...

NCYC - Yurora 2014 Promo from UCA Assembly on Vimeo.

London Olympics Opening Ceremony Rumours

Daniel Craig, Sheep and Sir Paul McCartney may be locked in to Danny Boyle's extravaganza... but what else can we expect...

David Beckham
Mary Poppins
The Industrial Revolution
Armed Forces
The Rolling Stones
Not sure about a 7 months pregnant Adele
The Spice Girls
Red Buses
National Health Nurses
London Cabs
It seems Coldplay are in for the Paralympic Closing...

Who will light the cauldron? And where is it if as is claimed it's not part of the red art tower...
Steve Redgrave, Daly Thompson or Roger Bannister...???

Oh well, Saturday morning Oz time I guess!!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

'They Became What They Beheld'

Hat Tip: Tristan and Rah

This clip is a clear reminder and inspiration around creativity, theology and engagement that would be a great intro to a workshop about communicating faith, curating worship, discipleship, running youth Camps etc.... as well as a personal reminder about what I'm creating/doing and hoping not to 'sell'

Australian Olympic Uniforms 2012

   Who cares really, but in about 4 days I will be consumed by the endeavours of the athletes at the London Olympics... I love sport!!

   I will have chuckled at the naysayers and about the event being 4,000 security staff short, the rain etc. I will be exasperated by the Nine Network commentators and the aussie obsession with swimming. I will be driven crazy by the advertising and be grateful for t-box and Foxtel IQ so I can record and fast fwd footage...

   But with this many days to go it's time to talk Oz uniforms [although I know UK friends will be obsessing over beating Oz to the Top 5 in the medal tally and we will be sick of hearing about PBs]. Adidas and others have the gig... and this time athletes got a say...

   I like the official uniform and don't mind that they look like lawn bowlers... it's a classic old style with name lined faded green blazers and off white clothes... the Dunlop volleys are great!! the casual polos could have actually benefitted from the three greem stripes on the plain canary yellow shirts but otherwise the traditional colours are good!!
Now comes the Opening Ceremony but watch out for athletes 'on the juice' and 'The Spice Girls' et al in the Closing Ceremony!!

Qantas and Daniel Johns

   The weekend newspapers all featured the story of the roll out of QANTAS new music/Olympic advertising, put together by Daniel Johns and the Australian Chamber Orchestra, in search of a grand international sound.
   Daniel's creativity is boundless for a vegan hippy who could be bumped into outside Merewether's 'Prince of Wales Hotel', mid winter, barefoot and wearing a tea cosy, late evening, walking his small dog as we left various rugby victory parties on
a Saturday night. Oh yeah and of course onstage with 'Silverchair' for some stunning live shows!!

Monday, July 23, 2012

IDEAS only in Need of Collaborators

- Monthly Cafe Space Faith Community of Young Adults built around music/discussion
- Local version of 'Live at the Chapel' because we have plenty of talented musos
- U2 360 Live [in LA] on the big screen
[both raising funds for social justice action]
- Using a local UCA with no existing PM worship for a monthly regional worship
[day and time negotiable, maybe schedule 3 to see how it goes]
probably including a focus on 1. discipleship and 2. social justice action individually or in groups
Not sure which are 'pet' projects or must have collaborators to 'fly'...

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Tim Hart Solo Album "Milling the Wind"

  "Milling the Wind"is the solo album from Boy & Bear's Tim Hart [due out August 17th...]
The single "A Number of Us"sounds like an interesting 'story' and is also proving more accessible to me than Angus Stone's latest effort in search of a tune!!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Youth Group Programs: What do you want to do?

"What do you want to do?"
   As anyone knows, that's usually the completely wrong question to ask a group of High School kids who will answer anywhere from "dunno" to seeing the latest horror or MA15+ action flick to Laser Tag or  a raft of other expensive options none of them have the budget for... but the hope is to create 'ownership' of the program on their part and/or the opportunity to express affinities and connections.
   There is a simple alternative that might help [especially with groups of 10 - 50 punters] with groups of any size...
   Develop a series of categories or sub categories with options and set a number of activities from each with votes collated and a final draft program produced. This is a chance to set a limit on expensive choices but they re still choices, sports, craft, computers, team and group building, no or low equipment activity and a balance between 'in house' and away options etc... you can also have the group use the famous 'yes' voting to half each list plus one and a list of preferences will emerge.
   In the current context it's harder than ever to rely on loyalty and belonging as reasons everyone in the group will front up most nights... part time work, just not liking some choices and plenty of accessible alternative options create a 'culture of better offer' and render the RSVP a quaint historical artifact in most Youth Activities...

Examples: [not necessarily described this way on the whiteboard or voting sheets]

+$10 Laser Tag   Bowling   Movies   All U Can Eat   Live Concert
[Vote yes for up to three, 2 to be chosen]

Social Action   Fundraiser   Guest Speaker   Simulation game   Slave Auction   Exposure Visit
[Vote yes for up to three, 2 to be chosen]

In House   Board Games   Master Chef   Amazing Race   Team Games   Indoor Sport   'Build a' Night
DVD   Go Kart Build   Theatre Sports   Nintendo Wii    
[Vote yes for up to six, 5 to be chosen]

Leaves one Food Night, a worship planning or the actual planning night or one 'Life and Faith' Night where the whole night has a discipleship focus vs the struggle to do a 10min talk consistently... The 2, 2 and 5 most popular should easily emerge or be discussed from one 'yes' voting and then you can space them according to known calendar events, time of year, spreading the cost evenly etc...

   The same could be done with a list of themes, questions or issues for doing 'faith practices', discussions or input on with the group...
Peer Pressure, self esteem, who is Jesus? God Questions, Bullying, Sexuality, identity, design and hold a worship, plan for annual camp etc...

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

SoD 2012 Sleep, Reconciliation, Recreation and Great film clips!!

I went to the 'School of Discipleship' over the weekend despite having been unwell with a respiratory infection for the week... I knew it would restrict my experience but I would get more sleep than at home at the same time... It was good on the whole!!
I have not been before because it clashed with Winter Camp which has come to and end after nearly 20 years of Camp and it's precursor WAC!!
    I was disappointed not to spend enough time chatting with other Novocastrians but did resolve some things, get annoyed by some things, enjoyed the... space, affirmed some things and enjoyed seeing people empowered, challenged and stretched...
    I knew I was still underpower when I had no energy to muster an act for the 'Songfest/Vision/Storytelling' Night!! Not even the 'Frog' joke...
Some tweaking would refresh SoD and it's impact, including rewidening it's promotion next time.       There seemed to be a missing 'variety' of punters from recent past events and I wonder if networkers passed on details beyond their tertiary sphere. Sometimes families and a range of the various attenders can be 'busy' all in one year and back again the next year... who knows... It was a very anglo event too... to do otherwise begins with organisational colaborations and shared leadership.

    In the big picture it's another of those spaces that confirms what's possible if we reordered priority, resourcing and focus with those under 30!! For me that reinvention is not just about one cohort but recognises it's connections with younger people as well and shares a passion for context, mission and discipleship 'with' young people!! Bringing that about involves talking to those who can change things and being 'in' processes that bring it about...
    There's a myth that the main SoD crowd want 'heady academic Bible Study'... that's true for a core. For the most part I think SoDs greater strength is that they actually value it's affirmation of questioning, desire to mesh life and belief and to be able to think, not just be told... it's a subtle but significant difference!!
    Anyhow, I am reminded of who/what my ministry and mission point to... am affirmed by the use of liturgy, visuals and music so creatively and go back to my corner of the world without having to worry about those bigger questions except as I can join God's action where I am...

Tuesday, July 03, 2012


OK so it's about my 7th week of feeling less than 100% although for a change it's my first set of antibiotics!! A bit of travel in the last 2 weeks caught up and I'm resting at home but geez... it's time to feel better... weekend in jeopardy still at this stage!!
Little blogging break in order I feel!!