I love assemblies and work in schools. Often I come out of a school class/assembly and think ‘Wow, I get paid for this!’
It can be any age: 2-18 and it is fantastic (in fact, a group of 13-18s that don’t want to listen feels like gladiatorial conflict- in a good way ie without the casual murder and ritual disembowling).
Today it is a primary school- lots of people that I have a link with. I read some assembly websites and the assemblies come across a bit didactic and ‘Dear children- let me get you to learn something drippy.’ I think a good assembly is like jazz.
I don’t do jazz (think Spinal Tap and ‘free form jazz’)- hence my dated jazz picture here……
What I mean- you go in with something- you listen to God and the kids and suddenly what you have got starts riffing and changing. It becomes alive and creative and pregnant with possibilities.
It’s 8.15am and I’m raring to go!
From the Observer Sport section yesterday p6. An article about Middlesbrough v Barrow:-
Mr Spencer Vignes ( for he was the journalist); please look at a map before writing a ‘it’s grim oop north article’. Last time I was in Middlesbrough (Saturday) I did not notice groups of people queueing up to buy candy floss, buckets and spades, and ‘kiss me quick hats’. And there is a simple reason for this (apart from the temperature currently being about -1 centigrade); there is no coast in Middlesbrough- we are inland.
Also ‘another northern coastal town’ is like writing that Penzance and Brighton are ‘southern coastal towns’….. grrrrrrrrr………. why is the media so southern?
I’m just off now to have tripe butties for my lunch, feed the whippets, put some more coal in the bathtub and find my flat cap. ‘appen lad- there’s trouble at t’pit’
grrrr grrrr grrrrrr
Well it’s not…..it is the 5th and the 11th day of Christmas (and my 100th post……wahey….woohoo and other sounds of merriment)….. but this day always feels like the first day of the year: the first Monday ‘back at work’ proper. It used to be the day when I had a ‘proper job’ that I would sit at my desk, head in hands, drinking coffee (hmm….. have you ever tried holding your head in your hands and drinking coffee at the same time? It is not easy) and thinking ‘when can I have another day off?’
(‘Addictive to Coffee’ cartoon from littlefunny.com)
But- that was then, this is now and I’m always full of beans (mainly coffee) and the joy of the Lord and raring to go (well my study is next to the toilet, so that helps…)….hmmm- maybe a ‘hint’ of irony there….
3 quotes/ideas that are going round my head at the moment and helping- only one is original; I ‘magpie’ constantly:-
(1) Something that I picked up from Maggi Dawn’s blog a year ago (see links section):-
(2) I was reading a blog on new year’s day about action/seeking God and thinking about a baptism/leaving service I am doing for friends who are emigrating (this Sunday- Huddersfield- be there or don’t be there). I was also thinking about what it means to ‘Go’ and this thought came to me…
(3) This is off Jonny Baker’s blog (see links) a day or so ago. I used it yesterday and plan to use it on Sunday. I like it!
From p32 of the current Q magazine (John Harris):-
…I can add no meaningful comment to that…
Don’t you wish that there was a church version of ‘Pseuds corner?’ (for non British readers, that is a column in ‘Private Eye’ for overblown, stuck up your bottom, language). What for instance is a ‘liturgical jewel’- is it more or less valuable than a small diamond/piece of gold/ruby/zirconite/beach glass? And what, pray tell, is an ecumenical table? Is it stored in a cupboard at a church HQ somewhere to be bought out for ecumenical discussions: ‘Sorry lads- that is the ‘Real Presence’ table; please could you get the Ecumenical Table in; you know the one that doesn’t quite balance and is a bit battered and embarrasing. Whilst you are at it; phone Security- we have an ecumenical jewel coming in today’.
I like the Covenant Service- it is a kind of health check, a reminder at the start of the year. I don’t like the service fully from the service book. It can become too po-faced and stern (and why do we often think that that is good in a church setting?). It can confuse seriousness with plain boring and tends to shut all ages out IMHO.
See this from the excellent Dave Walker:-http://www.cartoonchurch.com/blog/
However- this morning I will use one of the versions of ‘the prayer’ in its entireity. I always do. I/we face many big possible life changes in the next few weeks. I haven’t a clue what to pray. Sometimes written stuff helps. This prayer, said in a community with others, stops my prayers becoming ‘Me Me’:-
That will be one of several moments of stillness in an ‘all age’ service this morning (I like ‘all age’- lots of opps for light and shade, stillness and movement and formality and informality- ie a life-filled occasion).
I did google ‘comedy vicar’ for a picture for this post and it only came up with this, which I like immensely (see asbojesus in links):-
nb: Middlesbrough v Barrow yesterday was not like watching Brazil, but it was exciting (and very cold).
I’m sat here designing ‘thank you’ cards for my children to send. I used to have to write them myself and they always followed the same formula:-
…..it seemed I had to do it over and over and over again. It was a sign that the fun part of Christmas was over. And now they feel the same way.
What is it that makes playing a joy and writing ‘thanks’ a pain? How do we manage to seperate the two so that we get ‘pleasure’ and then ‘duty’—- could they both be intermingled?
I don’t know- I hope so this year- if I have a hope for this year, it would be to live more in gratitude and thanks…
Anyway…here I am blogging when I could actually be writing ‘thank you’ cards…history is repeating itself….. back to ‘work’……
Hey— some pleasure to look forward to this afternoon- Middlesbrough v Barrow in the FA Cup. It will be just like watching Brazil. Not
That is one of my abiding memories of childhood. We hardly had sweets. Or at least sweets freely available. Except for Christmas week, when plastic pots of Quality Street and Licorice Allsorts would appear. And then…it was sweets before breakfast, in between meals and in between sweets….
Here are 2 boring Woolies pictures.
I went yesterday when I was in Oldham (Oldham is that kind of place)- it was like raking over the belongings of a dying, loved friend.
Did I really need to spend Â£5.98 on a DVD of ‘There will be blood’ or Neil Diamond ‘Twelve songs’ ( Rick Rubin is the producer- that is my excuse & I’m sticking to it)? No—-but they were cheap. Here is a thought- the demise of Woolies has been mourned and lamented, but give us a chance and we are ripping the fittings off the walls to try and get a bargain. I am no better- I picked up a copy of ‘Seasick Steve- I was born with nothing and I still have most of it left’- the assistant said it was only Â£5.98. I said ‘No thank you’….thinking that I could get it cheaper from Amazon….
Such is the loyalty of the British (or this British) consumer.
What is there left to believe in, now that we know that shopping won’t sustain? Hmmm….still have a feeling we are like junkies and if more retail fixes are offered, we will take them. We can’t, with the help of others, or Another, go cold turkey and try something different.