Showing posts from August, 2011

Bible with Bill

Tuesday morning saw us say good bye to Bram who gave us a crash course on information gathering techniques. He gave us some great advice about how to do interviews, distil information and what the general rules are for various mediums. The quote that I will always remember from Bram is this, "Art is never finished; it is only abandoned." Brilliant! When we create something we can spend far too much time trying to make it completely perfect and, of course, we can never attain that. And so we bid farewell to Bram and then welcomed The Reverend Canon Bill Cliff to our midst. Bill is a Biblical scholar and has taught me more about how to read and interpret Scripture than any of my courses in theological school. He doesn't "dumb down" his approach at all when it comes to working with young people and that is a great gift he gives. His "Three Rules of Biblical Interpretation" are legendary. I have posted them here before but they always beg to be re

A Day of Creation

Today the participants began with a tutorial about what media is and how it is created to tell stories and hopefully change the world. Our media guru was Bram Ryan who has been creating media of many forms and he was a great teacher. After lunch the participants created media to tell a part of their story. I spent the afternoon wandering amongst them and offering tips about how to tell stories and help in what ever way I could to give them focus to their work. When the pieces were presented I was completely blown away! These young people speak the language of media. They each created wonderful pieces using technology and software that many of them had never seen before. I have no idea how they did what they did in the short amount of time that they had. We concluded the day with Allie telling us the Godly Play story of the First Creation Story. It was wonder-ful to say the least. We then shared in the worship of Compline. I was so proud of what the participants created an

The First Day

Sunday was the first "real" day of the program as it was the first full day. And full it was. We began with a series of "introduction" games that helped us connect with each other and give us a little bit more information about each other. After that we discussed the nature of what community looks like. The eight pillars of community are: Contemplation Inclusion A Place of Safety, Intimacy & Vulnerablity Ability to Fight with Grace Committment A Spirit Shared Wisdom After a brief nap - yes "siesta" is part of our daily schedule - we began the formal educational component of the program. Judy Steers taught us a crash course in "What is Theology?" Explaining the difference between good theology and bad theology she said, "A good theology is that which allows for God to be fully God and for humans to be fully human." We explored the nature of what theology is and how it came to be. The evening saw us engaging in "Bl


The house was ready. I had the extreme pleasure of venturing forth from Brough Hall to go and meet five of the eight participants. I jumped aboard a chartered 12 passenger bus with my driver Ted. Ted got me to the Toronto Airport safely and I eagerly went into the arrivals area. I knew three of the five already - had met them at other youth events in Nova Scotia. After all five had arrived - three out of Halifax, one from Prince George, and one from Victoria we all piled into the bus again with Ted who dutifully took us back to Brough Hall. The voyage was full of questions and stories. The participants wanted to know some stuff about the program and about the area. We got to know each other a little in the two hour drive. Upon arrival Jenny was waiting for us and they were shown to their rooms by Allie. I met the other three participants - one of whom I know as well. Two of them are from Guelph and the last to arrive was from Toronto. Supper was waiting for us. A deli

The Day Before...

Friday we mostly told each other stories - Godly Play stories. We began with Janet telling us the Story of the Great Family. If you've never seen a Godly Play story then you have been missing something truly remarkable. Janet told us the story of Abram and Sarai and how they went out into the desert to see if God was there... and God was! Each story ends with a series of "wondering" questions: I wonder what is the most important part? I wonder where you are in this story? It truly is a remarkable way to experience the stories of our faith. Then after a short break it was my turn. To let you know how I was feeling I will quote to you from the journal entry I made early this morning as I contemplated Psalm 66:1 which says, "Be joyful in God, all you lands: sing the glory of his name; sing the glory of his praise." "Whenever I do something I've never done before I am full of trepidation and a little fear - ok, I'm nervous - downright nervous

Day of Prepartion

Today we began to prepare the house and organize ourselves. There was lots of moving of large objects, rearranging of furniture and shopping for things we need like food and supplies. After lunch we enjoyed some time learning about Godly Play. In the words of their website : "Godly Play is based upon the recognition that children have an innate sense of the presence of God. All they lack is the appropriate language to help them identify and express it so it can be explored and strengthened. The Godly Play approach teaches classical Christian language in a way that enhances the child’s authentic experience of God so it can contribute to the creative life of the child and the world." Judy Steers taught us the basics of being a Godly Play Storyteller and then each of the leadership team volunteered to learn a story and prepare to present - first to the team before the participants arrive; and then to the whole group later in the program. So tonight I will be learning th

Ask & Imagine 2011

As in previous years I will be doing my best to keep a record of the events I engage in while at the Ask & Imagine Program . Today I big my darling wife and child good bye and jumped on a VIA Rail train from Aldershot to London. Unlike previous years I did not have to get on an air plane and wing my way for 2+ hours. Rather I had a very pleasant 1.5 hour train ride. My dear friend Jenny met me at the train and we took ourselves to our home for the next two weeks - Brough (pronounced "bruff") Hall on the campus of Huron College. I've unpacked and arranged my gear and am enjoying a brief relax. Tomorrow the team will begin to get down to the "real" work of setting up the house and getting prepared for the participants to arrive. Until tomorrow...