What Would Jesus Blog?

What Would Jesus Blog?


by on Mar.23, 2007, under What Would Jesus Blog?

You Are Pumpkin Pie

You’re the perfect combo of uniqueness and quality
Those who like you are looking for something (someone!) special
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by on Mar.15, 2007, under What Would Jesus Blog?

Ok, enough crying like a baby. I’m not dead yet!

Obligatory mileage check – MYE meeting (270 miles), total now 2840. Not bad going…

The next Breakout meeting is nearly upon us, so I guess it’s time to at least mention the last one. We spent a weekend away at The Hayes conference centre in Swanick, lovely place….not quite so lovely meeting. We spent the first half of the meeting talking about Team Focus, Filter Panels and everything that’s going on in the church at the moment, and how it impacted Breakout. The event, as an independant piece of work, apparently isn’t worth sustaining – the report says it’s too expensive, doesn’t reach enough people, doesn’t promote ecumenical working and doesn’t contribute to the Connexion. I want to be a drug dealer in London right now coz I would make a killing selling whatever that Filter Panel was smoking! It only costs £30k a year in total (£15k directly, £15k in resources), reaches up to 2000 young people, pulls in tons of other agencies and resources and inspires young people across the country. There’s more to it than that, but my rant’s over. The report’s written, the damage done….and we wait for the JSG’s recommendations to Council with baited breath.

The meeting got considerably more upbeat about 4pm on the Saturday…..as Mike put it, ‘God showed up’. We started talking about content, we starting playing with ideas….and we started to realise that this event was gonna be the best Breakout ever. We have no idea if it’ll be the last of the big MAYC weekends, or the start of a long line of new ones, but either way, we’ve got an awesome site, a creative team, and God on our side. If it’s the last, we’re going out with a bang. If it’s the first of some new ones…..heck, we like a challenge – and the 2010 planning team will have one. We’re talking about dividing the campsite up into ‘villages’ and delivering content corporately and in the villages, we’re talking about a radio station, video blogs, wireless internet, big bands, little bands, strange people, fun people……we’re talking about God’s diverse people having a awesome weekend with Him
Other highlights of the meeting….we were sharing the centre with 200 more senior ladies. Steve got asked to break into someone’s car, and was then accused of stealing someone’s credit cards……then got paid off in alcohol, so he was happy. Alan pulled. It wasn’t nice. Oh, and every single one of them wanted to touch my hair. Lovely.

And now….onto the fun stuff….last weekend’s review stuff meeting! All other MYE business was put aside to make way for the main event – the meeting which has now produced an action plan, a campaign and solid proposals to go to Council and Conference. The exec were joined by John Cooper, Rachel Howcroft, Steven Cooper, Ceri Howard (our lovely former chair), Paul Nixon (our awesome former Sec), and Jonathan Kerry/ (AKA JK – one of the top bods in the church)

The exec spent Friday night getting their heads round the issues at stake…..and I read about 60 pages of reports so I could back up my arguments with quotes. As a representative of the JSG, JK had a lot of answer for, and serious respect to the guy for turning up. He must have known what was coming…..I had a few comments to make about the Filter Panel reports and a few questions to ask, and he fielded them pretty well. He even admitted that there should have been young people involved in the process, instead of being as patronising as many leaders would have been.

Then we ate ice cream 😀

Saturday morning, the exec got everything ready for the arrival of the rest of the working group and worked through the final issues. When they arrived, we had a quick discussion setting the scene, giving some of the history and fielding some questions. I grilled JK for a bit, the exec wanted answers…..not the greatest start to a meeting but it cleared the air for sure.

Through Saturday afternoon we talked about the model, and how it affects various stakeholders in the church – a discussion that led quickly onto talking about how we can market effectively to them. I know that people out there are itching for detail in the model but it’s too early for that, and we don’t want to risk the whole thing falling over because someone got hung up on the maximum age or something like that. What we’re asking Council to note, and asking Conference to approve, is the bare bones of the model – Breakout/Mission Possible, the G8/G66 groups (although not their composition), Youth Assembly, the Participation Workers…..the essential framework.

The really exciting stuff though, is the campaign. We want to see our model get widely accepted across the whole Church, and that’s gonna take more than a good video to Conference. We need to get the message out there to everyone from District Chairs to youth groups that this model is to be discussed at Conference and that it’s what the Church needs. To that end, we’ve got tons planned….including a new website that’ll be launching soon, with blogs and a space to share videos, keywords on a mobile shortcode for pictures and text updates, promo material…..we’re reaching out to whoever’ll listen!

As for me, I’m knackered. I gave up on a good night’s sleep a long time ago…..caffeine is my friend. Work, uni and MYE are balancing themselves nicely, I know God’s got my back and that’s all I need. In the words of David…

1 The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want.

2 He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,

3 he restores my soul.
He guides me in paths of righteousness
for his name’s sake.

(and particularly appropriate for next time I’m in the JSG office….)

4 Even though I walk
through the valley of the shadow of death, [a]
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.

5 You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.

6 Surely goodness and love will follow me
all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the LORD


Take care y’all. Any questions about this, just drop us an email.


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Mileage Check

by on Mar.01, 2007, under What Would Jesus Blog?

Been to a Breakout meeting (so many stories to tell, I’ll bring y’all up to speed soon) and up to Edinburgh for an interview for Momentum, so I’m up to 2570 miles.

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by on Feb.21, 2007, under What Would Jesus Blog?

Mileage check – London (400 miles), York (140 miles) and Warrington (50 miles) = 590, so 1890 total. Doing well!

I’ve started a new job, so I’ll be cutting back my hours at Subway. Working from home, I now write descriptions for French hotels, with a company I worked for years and years ago. They were looking for someone to do this work, I’m looking for something more flexible than Subway, everyone’s a winner!

Myself and Brian had a meeting with MRDF last week about ways of co-operating in the future. It went well, and we’re working together on producing an easy-to-digest copy of the Stern report and some climate change materials for churches, and there’s a relationship starting up now that hopefully will see MRDF have an increasing presence in the hearts and minds of young people in Methodism.

My trip to NCH today though was an intense experience. In just 7 hours I was exposed to more NCH work than I’d ever seen in my life, and there is a lot of exciting work going on. Let me fill you in.

NCH provides care to children and young people who are most in need of it, often providing local authority services under contract and meeting the needs of young people where the law doesn’t do enough. They work with foster families, they act as an adoption agency, they work with kids in care, kids leaving care, kids who look after their disabled or sick parents (young carers), any child or young person who needs serious help, and their families.

I went to meet the people involved in a young carers project in Manchester, where NCH helps young people who have to look after their parents, not the other way round. It’s a role that can be debilitating to the child and can seriously harm them if they’re not supported well, and in many cases they aren’t coming forward until the situation hits crisis point and the kid’s about to break. NCH help to get appropriate care in place for the parents so that the child can get on with their education and their life.

I also had a chance to talk to some people about ways of getting the Methodist supporter base involved with NCH in new and interesting ways. Methodism accounts for a large part of NCH’s voluntary income, and the fundraising that we as a body do is essential to their work, but there are ways of getting people involved that use their time and talents rather than their money. Methodists are good at some things that money can’t really buy, or that are expensive to buy in – relationship building, for example, and getting stuck into practical projects. A pilot project will be starting soon, pairing up a local church with an NCH project, and working together to find practical ways in which that church can support that project. Examples might be the Tuesday Lunch Club making an extra five meals each week, meaning that five young carers can do homework instead of cooking that evening. Perhaps a group of DIYers might help a care leaver redecorate their sheltered accomodation. Maybe all that’s needed is a few wiser congregation members to help out with the life experience that kids in care just haven’t got – organising a budget or shopping responsibly. Whatever’s found will help both sides – the kids get what they need, and the church is making a positive statement that they actively helping people in need.

Back to the grindstone in nine hours. Better get some sleep. Night!

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Finished at last!

by on Feb.10, 2007, under What Would Jesus Blog?

Yes, I handed in my Java assignment today. 71 pages of code, UML, natural language descriptions, screenshots and documentation……it’s taken two months but it’s finished! On to Systems Integration in the morning….ah well. I love my SI group, they are the best people to work with on this kinda stuff.

So, I’ve not blogged for a while – not really done much recently to be honest. Went back to uni, realised just how much work my degree actually involves, realised that God’s got my back so I’ll be fine…..nothing too out of the ordinary. Went to see Mike Pilavachi speak at Breathe tonight, first time I’d ever seen him, and he was great. Funny, deep, generally sound theology, I can see myself liking this guy. I’m a big fan of his books, especially Wilderness – well worth a read and not too heavy.

I’ve got a busy week coming up though….going to London for a meeting on Tuesday, it’s my mum’s birthday on Wednesday so she’s coming to Manchester to see the place where I live, work and study, and I’ve got a nice amount of communication with the Connexion going on – plenty of people getting in touch to invite me to things, which is really really nice…..still need more though, I’ve still got spare time going….well….spare!

I’ve just started reading another book. It’s strange, I can’t read one book straight through, I seem to need to have two or three on the go at once. Right now I’ve got John Ortberg’s Everyone’s Normal Until You Get To Know Them, which seems a little odd but I’ve been assured it gets better, Methodist Theology Today, by half the Connexion it seems, and my latest acquisition, Time For Action…..it’s all about making the church a place that is safe to be if you haven’t been abused, and welcoming and caring if you have. More on those as they progress, I’m sure….

Anyway it’s 2:30 am, I’d like to keep some semblance of a sleep pattern, so night!

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Auntie Val!

by on Jan.29, 2007, under What Would Jesus Blog?

Auntie Val, aka Val Lovett, MAYC Office Guru & Rob’s Personal Lifesaver, is running the Flora London Marathon in a couple of months to raise money for MRDF – so go and give her your dosh at http://www.justgiving.com/valsmarathon . Then come back and read the rest of this blog post, with that glowing feeling of just having done a Good Thing. Trust me, you’ll need it :p

Quick mileage check. 540 at the beginning of the month, plus 140 for the Mayhem, 125 to York and down to Gainsborough this weekend, and 95 miles back, takes me to a total of 900 miles. I’ve got a day in MCH tomorrow, so that’s 400 miles round trip, taking me to 1300 in total.

This weekend was an interesting one – it started out as just a weekend in Gainsborough with Sarah and friends, and I ended up being asked to lead their cafe-style worship. Now, I had absolutely no idea what cafe style worship was, or how one went about it, so after a few emails I finally had an idea of what I was doing. It was weird and slightly scary…..and yet had an edge to it that made it accessible to a lot of people who wouldn’t ever come into a church normally. There was a good, mixed crowd there, a wide age span, and I enjoyed doing it! There were a few things that went wrong – as ever I could have planned my bits better, and I got the end time wrong, but other than that I think it worked well :)

Got a couple of meetings in MCH tomorrow. I finish work at 1am, and I’m on an 8:15 train out of Manchester in the morning. Oh the unbounded joy of meetings on 4 hours sleep.

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One down, two to go

by on Jan.28, 2007, under What Would Jesus Blog?

Well, the ball in York Minster has been and gone, and it was an awesome night. Photos are on Facebook, and I’ll stick some on here too when I get a chance – don’t hold your breath though. Lydia looked absolutely stunning, and being in the Minster that late at night, with that atmosphere was really something special.

So I’m now in Gainsborough – we went out last night, of course, so I got to meet a load of Sarah’s friends and relax a bit. Didn’t get much sleep though! We’re doing the service at Gainsborough Methodist Church tonight, a cafe worship style affair. Should be good!

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People are weird….

by on Jan.23, 2007, under What Would Jesus Blog?

Yup, it’s official. Last night I had a nice selection, from the guy who wanted to take a dump on the floor (he ended up getting thrown out. He was so drunk he fell over, then threatened to file assault charges. Then threatened to have me, my staff and my family followed home and killed. Such a nice man.) to the bus ride home with a Chinese Muslim who doesn’t know anything about her religion apart from not to eat pork, to that stoned guy reading Plato.
People complain about immigration but seriously, in the last year and a half I have met such a huge range of people it’s been unreal. I love it! I think it’s what keeps me going at work – we have quite a high staff turnover so we get through people quite fast, and for everyone that goes, someone new arrives…..with their own culture, background, religion, sexuality, life goals – it’s great!

I’ve just finished reading a book called Walk On – The Spiritual Journey of U2. If you like U2’s music, I’d heartily recommend it. It is just what it says on the box, a guided tour through U2’s career, looking at where they were at, spiritually, as a band when they recorded each album, what the motivations behind some of their songs were, and an insight into the beliefs and motivations of some of the band members.

Peace x

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by on Jan.19, 2007, under What Would Jesus Blog?

It finally feels like I’m actually being Youth President…..makes a nice change! I’ve been asked to do a service down in Gainsborough, so that’ll give me a chance to talk about discipleship and things that relate to it…..I’ve been invited to a youth group in Goosnargh, north (ish) Lancs in May for an evening, which I can’t wait for…..and I’ve got a meeting with NCH in Feb to talk about ways that we can explore working together over the next year. And there’s a few more things going but I wouldn’t wanna give away everything now would I?

I’ve still got loads of free weekends that need filling, so if your district/circuit/church/youth group/cell group/pub group/friendship group has anything going on or would just like an injection of national perspective give me a shout :)

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A Prayer….

by on Jan.12, 2007, under What Would Jesus Blog?

I found this whilst a’surfing – quoted verbatim from www.snopes.com.

When Minister Joe Wright was asked to open the new session of the Kansas Senate, everyone was expecting the usual generalities, but this is what they heard:”Heavenly Father, we come before you today to ask Your forgiveness and to seek Your direction and guidance. We know Your Word says ‘Woe to those who call evil good,’ but that is exactly what we have done. We have lost our spiritual equilibrium and reversed our values. We confess that.We have ridiculed the absolute truth of Your Word and called it Pluralism.

We have worshipped other gods and called it multiculturalism.

We have endorsed perversion and called it alternative lifestyle.

We have exploited the poor and called it the lottery.

We have rewarded laziness and called it welfare.

We have killed our unborn and called it choice.

We have shot abortionists and called it justifiable.

We have neglected to discipline our children and called it building self-esteem.

We have abused power and called it politics.

We have coveted our neighbor’s possessions and called it ambition.

We have polluted the air with profanity and pornography and called it freedom of expression.

We have ridiculed the time-honored values of our forefathers and called it enlightenment.

Search us, Oh, God, and know our hearts today; cleanse us from every sin and set us free. Guide and bless these men and women who have been sent to direct us to the center of Your will, to open ask it in the name of Your Son, the living Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen”

The response was immediate. A number of legislators walked out during the prayer in protest. In 6 short weeks, Central Christian Church, where Rev. Wright is pastor, logged more than 5,000 phone calls with only 47 of those calls responding negatively. The church is now receiving international requests for copies of this prayer from India, Africa, and Korea.

Commentator Paul Harvey aired this prayer on “The Rest of the Story” on the radio and received a larger response to this program than any other he has ever aired.

With the Lord’s help, may this prayer sweep over our nation and wholeheartedly become our desire so that we again can be called one nation under God.

At first glance, this seems to either be a very short-sighted, interolant prayer, condemning alternative lifestyles, abortion and the like. But if that were so, I wouldn’t have posted it here. No, this is a prayer for all the times when we have been guilty of those things, those times are of course different for everyone. Not everyone who is on benefits is being lazy, but a few are. This prayer is about the times when our systems encourage people to be lazy.

Take care, n keep praying. I need to write a post about that sometime….spiritual warfare n all that. I’ll get back to y’all. Shout out to John Cooper for a great description of the new Methodist Youth World Order over at his blog.

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