Preach what you practice

In the Creeds in the making, Richardson outlines how the early creeds were a missionary apologetic to what god was doing in the early church. For the last two or so decades my friends and I and many I encounter at conferences, gatherings and festivals, have followed the missio-dei as we minister to and with the LGBTQ community. It has often been misunderstood, been under the radar, or simply not shouted about because as Primate Michael Curry so brilliantly put ““Our commitment to be an inclusive church is not based on a social theory or capitulation to the ways of the culture, but on our belief that the outstretched arms of Jesus on the cross are a sign of the very love of God reaching out to us all.”
But perhaps it is time for those agencies to start to preach the inclusion they practice. Indeed many local churches practice a level inclusion way beyond the statements espoused by their governing bodies, and so perhaps it is time for us all to preach what they practice because we need to find an apologetic for what god is doing in so many lives and communities, and to create a pathway for those still suffering oppressions and violence in other places.

Choose Youth

Dear Colleague,

An unprecedented 25 national organisations have come together to organise an indoor rally for the promotion of young people’s services on February 12th 12-4 in the Renewal Centre, Lode Lane, Solihull, B91 2JR. Support organisations include as you will see from the attached leaflet NCVYS, NYA, NUS, BYC, UKYouth Parliament, and many others.

Our campaign is called Choose Youth and we are seeking to arrest the decline of essential services to young people. Your support at this rally could make all the difference.

We will be celebrating good youth work, looking at the threats and challenges to it and discussing a way forward to support us all against cuts and closures.

We have had high press profile recently and feel sure that this rally will
achieve even more. But a good turnout would help.

I therefore write on behalf of the partnership to encourage you to circulate details of the rally and strongly encourage your members to attend and promote it.

Bookings for attendance can be made via the website where you will also find details of transport co-ordinators who will be able to offer support for group bookings.

I very much hope that you will help build for this rally, the largest in youth work’s history.

Your voice will make a difference.

All the very best.

Doug Nicholls,
On Behalf of Choose Youth.

(Kerry Jenkins)
Community and Youth Workers in Unite
National Section Operations Officer
0121 6436221 and
Follow us on Twitter – @CYWUnite

Campaigns about positive images of young people:

19 Under 19s is a campaign by the Department for Children Schools & Families (DCSF) aimed at revealing the true image of our nation’s teenagers.

Local authorities and community groups were invited to nominate young people, aged 19 or under, who are making an active contribution to their local area and, crucially, a positive difference to their own lives. From these nominations, DCSF selected the most inspiring 19 to become the face of real youth in England.

Not only does each of these 19 Under 19s have a great individual story to tell, but together they reveal an important, but too-often overlooked, truth about today’s teenagers.

Namely, that rather than hanging around on street corners or engaging in anti-social behaviour, the majority of young people are instead using their free time to get involved in a huge variety of positive activities. These range from sports coaching, dancing and drama to vital roles in local youth groups and community action projects.

Through Aiming High for Young People and the work of the Youth Taskforce, DCSF is investing a total of £679 million in creating opportunities for young people at a time and a place that suits them, including Friday and Saturday nights.

ACTION: Consider nominating any young person you have given an Alternative ASBO to.

This is run by the Member of Youth Parliament for Birmingham. It is becoming a fairly aggressive campaigner (in the best way, not negative!) for the Press to change their representation of young people to become fairer and less discriminatory using the Press Complaints Commission.

ACTION: please visit the website and keep an eye on the website. Maybe you’d like to get in touch with your Youth Parliament and ask them to link on this campaign.

A positive response for the Christian community to use – to encourage engagement and prayerful support for young people, highlighting the contribution young people make in your community. FREE downloadable resources – sermons, prayers, images, creative ideas, video clips etc.

ACTION: get downloading now and give to your Vicar, Minister/Youthworker and organize a Young People’s Sunday service.The X-Files: I Want to Believe psp The Moving Finger the movie

Not Another Teen Movie ipod


i love this story that Keith posted over at Under the Acacias :-

Pastor Jean-Baptiste tells this story of when he was a teacher in a Christian school:
“There were two Muslim girls in my class. They were intelligent girls, but they would fall asleep in class. I called them to come and chat.
‘Monsieur’, they said, ‘it is because we are hungry.’
I checked out and found there were 20 people in their families with hardly any food. I was given some money and bought their families five sacks of millet. I told them to use the millet for the whole family, but that there was one sack for each girl.
The father of one of the girls thought I wanted to marry her, and that was why I had given the food! I told him that it wasn’t that, but that they were intelligent girls and I wanted them to come to school with a full stomach so they could study.
That girl became a Christian. Today she is the minister for Human Rights in the Burkina government. And she loves Jesus.”

Young Peoples Sunday

Press release Press release Press release Press release

Frontier Youth Trust calls for urgent investment in young people.

9 months of research into the future of Christian Youth Work in England

has culminated in a urgent appeal to Government Ministers to take youth work more seriously and to Denominational heads to motive their Churches to action.

FYT is calling for Churches and Christian organisations to commit 25% of their income on working with young people, particularly marginalised young people, in order to take the needs of those outside of the church more seriously.

‘With the media tending to demonise young people with such negative reporting , many of the general public are afraid to be in conversation with them. Christians need to sloth off their fears and engage with a generation that will soon give up entirely on the church if we are not careful,’ says Dave Wiles, Chief Executive of FYT.

Working in partnership with ‘2009: Year of The Child ’, Frontier Youth Trust is currently developing a FREE resource to assist Churches in celebrating young people in their communities and empowering them to reach their potential. Entitled, Young People’s Sunday, the resource will offer material and tools to help churches celebrate young people throughout 2009.

Church leaders are asked to pledge their commitment to working towards these objectives and specifically respond to the challenges with a firm undertaking to take appropriate action. Churches are also being prompted to lobby politicians to implement a commitment to long term funding of Christian faith based youth work by writing to MPs and Government ministers.

For further information, or to receive a resource pack for Young People’s Sunday, please email for details.

“A Letter to a Young Activist” by Thomas Merton

Dear Jim,

Do not depend on the hope of results. When you are doing the sort of work you have taken on, essentially an apostolic work, you may have to face the fact that your work will be apparently worthless and even achieve no result at all, if not perhaps results opposite to what you expect. As you get used to this idea, you start more and more to concentrate not on the results but on the value, the rightness, the truth of the work itself. And there too a great deal has to be gone through as gradually you struggle less and less for an idea and more and more for specific people. The range tends to narrow down, but it gets much more real. In the end, it is the reality of personal relationships that saves everything…

…The big results are not in your hands or mine, but they suddenly happen, and we can share in them; but there is no point in building our lives on this personal satisfaction, which may be denied us and which after all is not that important.

The next step in the process is for you to see that your own thinking about what you are doing is crucially important. You are probably striving to build yourself an identity in your work, out of your work and your witness. You are using it, so to speak, to protect yourself against nothingness, annihilation. That is not the right use of your work. All the good that you will do will come not from you but from the fact that you have allowed yourself, in the obedience of faith, to be used by God’s love. Think of this more and gradually you will be free from the need to prove yourself, and you can be more open to the power that will work through you without your knowing it.

The great thing after all is to live, not to pour out your life in the service of a myth: and we turn the best things into myths. If you can get free from the domination of causes and just serve Christ’s truth, you will be able to do more and will be less crushed by the inevitable disappointments. Because I see nothing whatever in sight but much disappointment, frustration and confusion…

The real hope, then, is not in something we think we can do but in God who is making something good out of it in some way we cannot see. If we can do God’s will, we will be helping in this process. But we will not necessarily know all about it before hand…

Enough of this… it is at least a gesture… I will keep you in my prayers.

All the best, in Christ,


Press and news agencies guilty

Yesterday FYT launched the findings from the Labels are for Jars not young people, which researches the views adults have of young people. The findings (see here for full details or below for a snapshot) are critical of the media. So it is not really surprising that none of the invited media showed up to press launch despite 6-7 foot jar being driven down Fleet Street. The research shows strong evidence that adults opinions are being distorted by media representation, had been a trial and the defendant failed to show a guilty verdict would have been passed.

Overall the research shows categorically that young people are viewed negatively by adults in England and it goes on to offer ideas about how the negative labels might be challenged and replaced with positive ideas for change.

The research offers significant evidence that when adults are thinking of young people as ‘perpetrators’ there is an overestimation relating to levels of anti social and criminal behaviour (in some cases very significantly). However, when thinking about young people as ‘victims’ adults are underestimating the extent of young people’s vulnerability. The research clearly shows that adult opinions are being distorted by media representations that are creating a negative spiral in attitudes and beliefs across different generations.

P.S. I Love You rip

change and the insider

Can you really change a system from inside? I was wondering how inside the system Jesus was? Yes he was Jewish but choose mainly not to preach in the synagogue. There is no such thing as free lunch and if we try to work from inside there is an inevitable need for politics etc. In an age when many of our institutions are still strong although on the demise I wonder if the cultural layers built up can really be changed from the inside?