Monday, 22 July 2013

Jelly Bean Time

This a great little video posted by Lizzie G on her blog recently. It uses jelly beans to explore the concept of how much time we have and how we use it. This could be very useful for worship or reflection.The person who created this video has many, some of which are quite unusual and probably not suitable for worship. Check any others videos before you use them.

This is a similar, but visually less spectacular video, that explores how people use their time and asks the question: How much time do you spend with God?

I am very fond of the story about the professor putting rocks in the jar as an illustration for how we might use out time effectively. I found this video, which although it is an ad for a company, presents the story visually and in way that might be appealing for students.

This one is also kind of fun.

Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Cooking with Devotion

Kids often say they're hungry.  Teens often say they're starving.  As a result, food is attractive and focuses their attention!

As a Chapel or class activity, why not bring along a microwave and do some cooking in real-time, to accompany a relevant message?  The site above has some good suggestions for tying food into a devotion.  Unless you are planning to feed the five thousand, it is likely that if you attempt to do this in Chapel, you will need to select just a few volunteers to assist, who can then reap the benefits of their labours.  It's often good if you ask for a couple of volunteers without explaining first what they will be doing: next time, people may be more enthusiastic!

Obviously you will need to consider safety and allergies etc, but why not seek to engage all of the students' senses, including taste?

Friday, 12 July 2013

The Hard Call

I wonder what students hear when we speak about following Jesus or the call to the Christian life? I wonder if we make it sound safe or dangerous, and which of these is the most attractive to young people?

I happened to come across the Sea Shepherd website and their call for volunteers. I would love to know how many applicants they get to their job description of: No pay, long hours, hard work, dangerous conditions and extreme weather.

It is similar to the fabled Ernest Shackleton ad that ran in 1905:

“Men wanted for hazardous journey. Low wages. Bitter cold. Long hours of complete darkness. Safe return doubtful. Honour and recognition in event of success.”

Shackleton had 5000 applicants or so the story goes.

Do we make Christianity sound too safe and nice? Have we missed Jesus call to a radical, different and dangerous way of life? What kind of life is it we want students to live? Is following Jesus more like accountancy or volunteering on the Sea Shepherd?

I guess we are fortunate that Jesus didn't say, as the Sea Shepherd ad does:

"No whiners, malcontents, mattress lovers, and wimps need apply."

Wednesday, 10 July 2013

The Value of Volunteering

We all know that there is great value in students being involved in service and volunteering.  This is an interesting (but not new) article from the University of Adelaide about the  value of volunteering to the Australian economy. It also talks about other reasons volunteering is beneficial but it is interesting to think about how helping out isn't just a feel good activity but contributes more economically to the country than the mining industry.

Monday, 8 July 2013

Year of Modesty

This is a brief article about how a New York woman decided to have a 'year of modesty'. She looked into the practices of Muslims, Quakers and Jews in relation to dress. It is interesting to note some of her insights about how she felt about herself and how she was treated by others.

I wonder what the young people we work with would make of this kind of experiment and the conclusions she reached?

Friday, 5 July 2013

The Beatitudes - Valaam Monastery

Since it's school holidays here in Australia I thought I would post some random things that I like. They may be helpful for chaplains and others involved in ministry. I just hope you might enjoy them. An important element of ministry is being refreshed. We all run dry at times and need refilling. Obviously different things work for different people. Whenever I hear this chant of the beatitudes by the monks of the Valaam Monastery I feel a deep sense of peace. I think the sound is rich and beautiful. Enjoy!

Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Psalm 23 - One Rabbi's Understanding

As I was looking for stuff to do with Psalms for my other blog (no not that one the other one), I came across this clip of Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi discussing Psalm 23.I don't  know who he is or read Hebrew but I was fascinated by some of the points that he makes about different parts of the psalm and what it really says.I was also drawn into his passion for what he is talking about. It is so easy to brush over scripture, especially passages we might know so well and to loose passion for it. It is great to be able to see with more depth and clarity. Makes me excited and  want to learn more.

I hope you enjoy it.