Tag: Forge Conference


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some thoughts form the third session of FORGE.

1 – is your vision big enough to start small?
yeah I think so. but my natural tendency to to operate on the small side with ones and twos rather than with groups of 10-20 young people.several people cannot see where that leads but in my head that makes complete sense and the way I naturally work!

2 – Is youthwork only a relational process, if so then discipleship/mentoring is the basic mode of operation?

3 – More with less… where we are, what we have and how we do it!

last year i proposed that this year should be called “More with less” we have had to cope with less resources, less people, less money, but conversely we appear to be doing more with less.
(More with less is also the title of a fine mennonite cook book which we have at home!)

Categories: events work

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FORGE 2 – Tranformation through struggle

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two things form the second session

Firstly – Transformation through struggle
The idea that if something is gonna happen that change has to be wrestled with, fought over, worked hard on. But it always looks like a losing battle. Out of manure roses grow. I suppose the only variable in that statement is that it depends how long it takes for the muck-spreading to happen!
I think this relates to our situation pretty well to our work situation. We struggle. We have been damaged and hurt by people some of whom cared for us, some of whom did not want us to be here. I think I can see the way out of it, but that depends on the actions of others unfortunately.

But there has been changes in people, resources and program. I am not sure I would call it transformation, but I would call it change.
And change can be good.

Secondly – the fallacy of the divide between the Secular world v. sacred world (there is no divide)
I work for a church but almost all my work happens in schools and community venues.
I am a youth worker employed by a church. I am not a Youth Minister or a Youth Pastor. I believe youthwork is a (possibly quasi) spiritual event/encounter which brings about transformation.

I cannot understand the idea of working for a church so as not to engage with those people around you. I understand the idea of Monasticism. I understand the idea of retreat. But I cannot understand the idea that “working for a church means you disengage with the rest of the world outwith the church”.

The church is the only institution that exists primarily for those who are not part of it.

Why would this even be considered a valid view? It puzzles me that people can believe that. It puzzles me that people who believe that are allowed to work on behalf of churches!

I also liked Neil Hudson’s thing of “the Biblical story in four movements”
– creation
– consumation
– resurrection
– re-creation , (giving a nice reminder of the eschatological nature of church and christian existance.)

Categories: events work

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FORGE 1 – In Your Face Jesus

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the first session was prdictabley predictable to the point of cliché

during the first soft rock worship slot while all arround me were singing and praising and worshipping, or summit. I became slightly distracted with the whole we are singing songs to jesus so I-need-to-rise-up-my-hands-into-the-air-as-i-sing-these words-in-order-to-show-i-am-truely-worshipping” of some of those around me.

Some seemed the think Jesus was far away so they needed to the stretch out and up for full effect. Some seemed to think that Jesus was closed by and had a kind of Spock “live long and prosper” thing with there hand only slightly about the waist. Some thought seemed to think Jesus was giving them things so were quite passive in the air but open palm outward to recieve things. Others seemed to be demanding Jesus atention by being quite active. One man I saw in this session had both hand up in the hair high and stretched. His hands were in and in a kinda fist shape with the index finger pointing out at (Jesus?). As the song got the soft ballady chorus, he accentuated every word with a kind of active poking movement in Jesus direction.

It seemed very aggressive in movement, and at that moment all I heard in my head was the voice of peter griffin from family guy saying “In Your Face Jesus.”
I dunno what that was about but i did laugh for the rest of the session. (Too myself but i did laugh.)

What is it all about the arms in the air thing.
At what point is it meaningful, when does it become not enough?
does raising you arm in the air lead to other worship practices, Interpretive dance, ribbons or flag waving?
answers on a postcard or on the back of sealed down envelope to the usual address please. a small prize is on offer for the correct definitive answer!

Categories: events work

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Forge – A new series of posts

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Last week I attended the FORGE conference run by ALOVE, the body who head up Youthwork for The Salvation Army UK wide. I am gonna blog about it or some topics which i thought about during the time away. some will be random. some excellent. some with no real point. but these are my reflections and thoughts. below is an introduction to what Forge is meant to be and what it was.

What is FORGE- (taken from ALOVE’s pre-event Publicity)
FORGE – ‘Shaping a Vision for Salvation Army Youthwork’
A new ALOVE UK staff conference for Salvation Army youth workers

What does the future of Salvation Army youth work look like? What are the needs of a new generation and how should we respond? How are we shaping a vision for Salvation Army Youth work? ALOVE UK invites you to respond to these questions and more at FORGE – a new staff conference for Salvation Army youth workers.

What was FORGE – (Taken from ALOVE’s website after the event)
108 people including youth workers, DYO’s and members of the ALOVE UK team gathered in Swanwick, Derbyshire for a Territorial Youth Worker training event. The three day conference was a fantastic opportunity to be able to meet up as a network of youth workers to form relationships, share ideas and develop ideas for the future.

We hope that FORGE has provided those who attended with good quality teaching and training, but also a chance to have a few days away from front line youth work to be able to refresh and renew so that they can return to their jobs with a new found energy.

Neil Hudson and Jason Gardner provided excellent teaching on discipleship as well as sessions being led by the ALOVE UK team. A highlight of the conference for many was hearing from youth workers as to what they are doing in their various parts of the country. The breadth of youth work that takes place throughout the Territory was impressive. As a group of youth workers there were people in the room that worked in so many different situations and settings and listening to the stories of others was both encouraging and inspiring.

Matt Leeder led worship that helped to focus the minds of the delegates and really helped in making FORGE not just a training event but an opportunity to worship too.

Categories: work

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White Noise 6 (later than ever before!)

nb. – White Noise is an attempt to provide a weekly update on my life.

Last week/this week:
last week seems so long ago
I traveled to London on Sunday, Easyjet’s plane was delayed by two hours but hey ho!
I enjoyed the Byzantium exhibition at the Royal Academy of Arts.
I forgot London shuts at 6pm on a Sunday.
I finished Volf’s book “Free of Charge: Giving and Forgiving in a Culture Stripped of Grace” (v good.)
I got the train from St Pancreas. nice station, (the euro star train look cool)
I walked round derby
I went to the first Salvation Army UK, youth work staff conference
got home on Wednesday night
I got to work on the Thursday, spent Friday working, Saturday planning for Third Sunday.

Sunday was bad. I felt ill, sore head, upset stomachs, hot and cold shivers. not good. I made church which was cool, then hot, then cool, then hot, then cool. Drugged up I did Third Sunday, it went very well to be honest. everyone was complimentary about our experimental new format.
yesterday I was kinda better but still 50 percent, Today was good.

next week
we have the staff coffee morning thing tomorrow. on Thursday i have to get a grip on my diary, I may also have a RYPI meeting. On Friday i need to sort out my office filing and recordings.
busy? possibly

Main Idea In Your Hand
what is class? how do you get to be a class.
at the staff training I was called both “posh” and “Middle class” by someone. His comment one of his comments was, “I’m from the estate, so i don’t know what it’s like to be middle class.”
I wonder if I judge people in the same way he did. I wonder if class is something which you decided or is conferred on you by wider society. How do you change class? can you?

Best laid plans:
to blog on Saturday morning. sorry never happened. I did consider it though, then my wife came in and informed me I needed to change a tyre. It was pretty tightly stuck on and took a couple of hours to change by the end of that. I didn’t have time.
sorry blogland.

I don’t wanna:
In a dream/nightmare last night I took my 3 year old son to a football match dropped him at the gate and drove off to do something else. I came back 2 hours later, couldn’t find him. He ran towards me smiling and with a hand full of lollipops. But i woke up with a very real sense of regret, worry, and a strong awareness of the danger i had caused him by ignoring him.
In real life, I don’t want to do that to him. (nor in dreams!)

A collection of Literature:
I finished the Volf, bought some new books but i haven’t got into just one yet. 2 basic philosophy books though so perhaps it will be philosophical!

lots of stuff this week
mostly on random. (for a better listening experience!)
although at the staff conference Elbow’s The Seldom Seen Kid was in high rotation.
(Also anything to battle the soft rock style worship music which was blandly uninspiring but probably very meaningful for everyone else.)

5 words to describe how i am feeling:
well, happy, tired, thoughtful, puzzled!