Monday, 25 January 2016

Lent: Challenge violence, pursue peace

Lent as a time of reflection and repentance can tap into some of the very obvious ways that individually and corporately we contribute to the brokenness of the world. The fourth Mark of Mission of the Anglican Communion encourages Christians to transform unjust structures of society, to challenge violence of every kind and pursue peace and reconciliation. Lent is a good time to think about the ways we have helped to make a society that is marked by violence, injustice, conflict and broken relationships.

In Australia there is much unfinished business between indigenous and non-indigenous Australians. Very small steps have been made over many years but there is still a long way to go. Lent might be a perfect time to think more deeply about our past, present and future together and particularly for non-indigenous Australians how they may continue to contribute to broken relationships and what action they may take to change this.

This video produced by Beyond Blue called "The Invisible Discriminator" would be perfect to show students and get them thinking on the topic of racism. There are also a few other great behind the scenes videos on this topic as well at the Beyond Blue YouTube Channel.

Monday, 18 January 2016

Choosing a life of love and kindness

I felt great joy reading this article about former Australia's Got Talent winner Jack Vidgen. This story is something worth sharing and exploring with students. In seeking fame for two years in the U.S. Jack didn't like the changes he saw happening within himself and so he turned his back on that life.

Back in Australia Jack has found something else which is bringing him joy. He said: I wanted to find something where I could help people and show kindness and love to people in another way.

Jack now cares for dementia patients.

No doubt many people will see this as failure but maybe we can help our students see that there are greater things than success, as it is most often imagined in our culture.

As a footnote - Over at the Centre for Public Christianity there is a video interview with Hugh McKay talking about how serving others is what makes for the 'good life'.

Friday, 15 January 2016

Lent Videos: A Mixed Bag

Unless you are looking at the Christian digital media companies on-line it can be hard to find good videos for Ash Wednesday and Lent. If you have any you think are great please let me know so I can post them here. Every year I post this brilliant little video which in my mind is pretty perfect.

But what else is there that is this good? Not much it seems. Some I am going to share here may be a bit quirky or unusual. Some are not for worship but are just for inspiration. So here we go.

This video may grate a bit in the Australian context but it is something most high school students could recreate pretty easily, if you have the time.

I like the imagery in this next video and the way it draws together some of the symbols of Ash Wednesday and Lent.

This is one of my favourite videos. It is the Beatitudes sung in orthodox chant. I think it evokes the beauty and mystery and the reflective nature of the season of Lent.

Somehow I found this video while looking for Lent videos. The joy this nun expresses in what is clearly an very alternate life of sacrifice shines through. I think there is a great message here for the season of Lent and for young people. Life and joy isn't found in the glitz and glamour.

This last video, you won't be able to use for worship but I was inspired by Matthew Kelly's passion and desire to have a special Lent and his desire for it to be a time to rediscover Jesus.

Thursday, 14 January 2016

ABM Lent Resources 2016

ABM's Lent Resources are out.

"ABM invites you to journey into the Australian desert during Lent 2016 with 40 days of bible readings, reflections, sayings and prayer suggestions."

"This year our Lent resources have a particular focus on Australian landscape, history and writing, Aboriginal reconciliation and the long Christian tradition of desert-shaped theology."

Wednesday, 13 January 2016

Word Up for Lent

From a group of Brisbane Anglicans this series of engaging and thought provoking videos exploring the life and meaning of Jesus Christ from a youth perspective might be perfect material to draw on for Lent.

The Word Up series explores Jesus’ life and teachings and what he means for us today, two thousand years after he lived among us. Who exactly was he? And, why is what he said and did so important? This six episode series looks at these questions, and gets us thinking.  Teacher and Student study guides are available as free downloads from the site.

The six webisodes ask:
  1. Was Jesus real?
  2. What did Jesus teach us?
  3. Was Jesus really a friend of sinners?
  4. Why did Jesus die?
  5. Did Jesus really rise from the dead?
  6. Was Jesus who he said he was?

Friday, 8 January 2016

Looking for Lent Resources?

Ash Wednesday is almost upon us! The season of Lent is coming at you like a smoking thurible in the hands of an overzealous altar server. Where will you find some resources? Look no further my chaplaincy friend!

Click here for all the previous Lent posts and look forward to some more Lent resource posts in the coming weeks.

40 Ideas for 40 Days

Joe Paprocki's 40 Ideas for 40 Days has some fantastic experiential activities to engage young people during Lent. Check them out  here.

My favourites include the Salt Dough Crown of ThornsSacred Art and Triduum Triptychs.