Just putting the finishing thoughts to the skate pilgrimage this weekend. We are taking 9 young people and going with leaders and family to cornwall to discover and explore Flow.
Below is an extract from the information we discussed with the young people and what we are hoping to discover. If the weekend goes well we will ask the young people to consider undertaking a rite of passage on the Sunday to join us in the Church on the edge.
Flow is hard to describe, is it those moments you have when you are in the moment, when you forget everything else and it just Flows? It is not about the amount of practice, or trying hard but about when it all just comes together and flows. As we visit skate parks and other places we will be provoking Flow, we want your help to make sense of the what Flow is all about. We want to go with the Flow, and talk about how we bring Flow back.
Skate and Bike Pilgrimage is limited to those people who want to explore what Flow is. If you are unsure about if this trip is for you, give Richard a ring with any questions.
In the beginning there was Flow and the Flow was God and God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was formless and empty, and darkness covered the deep waters. And God’s Flow was hovering over the surface of the waters.
As God created the light His Flow was present, both in the darkness of night and the lightness of day.
As the waters separated Flow was all around, it ebbed and surged with the waves and the tides of the seas. At the creation of the land, Flow was in the soil and the solid rock, in the dust and in the sand, in the darkest depths of the land mass and on the surface of the land that was bathed in light.
So this creation might grow and learn itself to join the flow, God gave the sun to nourish the creation, and moon to increase and govern the tides and make the whole world flow in His likeness.
Gods Flow was so embedded in the land it came to breath, in colours of green, and textures so magical that Flow inhabited every corner, every leaf, every stump and root and plant. And because the seas were bubbling with Gods Flow they too sprung to life, and these creatures knew the Flow. So these creatures inhabited the sea and the land, and when their feet were rooted in the soil they were rooted in Flow. All these many kinds of living and flowing animals, birds and insects, creatures large and small Flow created.
Finally God said Let us create humanity, they will have Flow within them like us and live in the earth.
In a town not so far from here there was man known as Abs. The town was a pretty desolate place, with not much going on, so Abs grew up to skate and ride, as soon as he put his foot on his first board he knew he was born to ride. As he rode he experienced life and energy in a way he had never known before. The more he rode the more he flowed with ths life and energy. Slowly Abs began to understand the life and energy was beyond him, it was not created by him, or generated by himself, but as he forgot himself in the ride he would experience it more and more. Abs began to call this life and energy Flow, he started to recognise when he was about ride with Flow and when Flow was not present. The more he understood and experienced Flow the more he wanted to be in Flow all the time. Slowly Abs felt Flow beginning to communicate with him, it was strange unnerving and Abs was not sure at first if he was imagining things, but Abs knew Flow. Unsure he uttered to himself as much to the Flow that he wanted to experience Flow all the time. Whether it was a voice, an internal impression of a voice, or just something in his mind Abs was unsure, but he knew it was Flow. It seemed a strange contradiction, This voice was saying to Abs if he wanted to really know Flow then he would have to break his skateboard. Abs was confused â€œwasnâ€™t it through riding that he first really began to experience Flow, wasnâ€™t it through those moments of laughter and relief after pulling the best hand plant, or kick flip that Flow was most presentâ€? Yet Abs longed for more and had grown to trust Flow and so reluctantly, he agreed. He made his way to the Skatepark Quarter the highest ramp around, to smash his board on the concrete edge of the ramp.
The Audit Commission has begun a piece of research here
into the use of local positive activities to discourage young people from getting involved in anti-social behaviour. Through fieldwork the study will assess the ways in which local authorities and their partners co-ordinate, deliver and commission positive activities to reduce anti-social behaviour, and will also talk to the young people involved in those activities about their experiences.
Mark has posted some great thoughts about being church and living shalom here Since coming to faith I have been committed to shalom and really it was as I explored and tried to live out a falteringly shalom lifestyle that I was drawn more and more into community mission and where we are now of Church on the edge, trying to grow church fom scratch with marginalised young people.
The community of Godâ€¦ will be a community that does not live for itself but is deeply involved in the concerns of its neighborhood. It will be the church for the specific place where it lives, not the church for those who wish to be members of it â€“ or, rather, it will be for them insofar as they are willing to be for the wider community.
The Gospel in a pluralist society Leslie Newbiggin
Yet doing church from scratch confilcts in some ways with the need for us to become powerless, as we draw others into ur community who are not at the same place maintaining this call to be a community that does not live for itself becomes harder to maintain. Recently we have had a couple of conversations with the young people about our relatioships with other young people in the community. They are wary, guarded aybe even jealous yet they are part of the community we serve. As we leave at the end of the month to take a group on skate pilgrimage and rite of passage
and they enter more into our community is this a serving the wider communitysomething we need to ensure we hold a non negotiable, even though they are committing to christ, but to explore.
This morning I had some time off so we went to Axminster just up the road and called on the River Cottage shop there. It was very nice, stuff in boxes, little plastic around, lots of local river cottage produce, and some local veg. However the longer I was there the more uneasy I became, the place was clearly branded, and seemed to be building on the river cottage brand using this to hike prices on other products. Most of their veg was supplied a well known food box scheme but the prices seemed over the top compared to the door to door supply. I wonder if they pass these prices onto the farmers. Then there was the more subtle things like all the apples were labelled grown in Somerset, reinforcing the brand ethos which is great, but bananas were simply labelled organic. Which is okay and a step in the right direction BUT why not say where these are from? Does acknowledging that they travelled lessen or negatively impact the brand power of river cottage, were they trying to protect the brand identity. The whole enterprise had subtlety moved away from the original self sufficient ethic of the original River Cottage experiment that I watched so enthusiastically. Okay Hugh Fernly -whitingstall needs to make some money but wasnâ€™t he trying to get away form the big business approaches, isnâ€™t this current river cottage enterprise a mask for a consumer identity and development mentality that seems to lurking beneath this supposedly local/ethical brand . I openly acknowledge I use a mix of local shops and supermarkets and I always feel uneasy coming out with a trolley load of stuff, but on leaving the River Cottage shop today I felt far more tainted.
NCVYS became the first voluntary organisation to pledge adherence to five key principles that will result in a breakdown of barriers for young people who traditionally do not participate in services for reasons associated with their faith. The principles are part of Factor in faith, a practical guide for voluntary youth organisations to make their services more accessible to young people from all communities regardless of their faith, race or culture launched by NCVYS at its annual conference on 7 November. For more info go here
Dave loved bling; in fact he wore it from head to toe. A diamond ear stud, a chunky silver neck chain, an identity bracelet. He even had a custom made pair of cufflinks engraved with his initials. He had bling for all occasions and to co-ordinate with all outfits.
One day Dave was on his way to the local record store when he saw something glittering out the corner of his eye. There in the shop window glinted the biggest, glitziest piece of bling Dave had ever seen. It was a large sovereign ring with the most enormous diamond. It was fantastic, as was the price tag! It was way too expensive for Dave to buy on his meagre wages. He looked with longing at the ring but it was no good; he just couldnâ€™t afford it.
Later that night Dave sat in his room. He had been thinking about that ring all day. Every conversation he had he ended up talking about it, he day dreamed about it. He even drove passed the shop on his way home from work even though it was dark and the security shutters were down.
He looked at the boxes of bling neatly lined up on the table in front of him. He opened them one by one, picking up and looking at each prized piece of jewellery, an idea slowly forming in his mind.
The next day Dave took his boxes of bling and went to the jewellers where he had seen the ring. He asked if he could try it on, it looked amazing, it sparkled and glinted and he knew everyone would be right jealous if he had that ring on his finger. Carefully Dave placed his boxes of bling on the counter, opening each one to show the jeweller his collection. The jeweller agreed that Dave could swap the ring for all his treasured bling and having shaken hands to seal the deal, Dave left the shop a very happy man.
When the mayor gave out the ASBO’s the young people thought he had great bling, which reminded me of the story.