Thursday, June 19, 2008

Slavery Under Your Nose

Every captive is a person; every survivor has a story. It's time to show the world that slaves exist among us. Restaurants and fields, construction sites and brothels, suburbs and cities: all are home to victims of trafficking in the United States and abroad. Twenty-seven million slaves in the world, and we want to find them. SlaveryMap exists to record and display instances of human trafficking across the globe. Whether you find them hidden in your hometown or covered in The New York Times, report the incidents onto this map for people everywhere to see.

Professor David Batstone began the NOT FOR SALE Campaign to rescue those in bondage and to end modern day slavery.

Check out the Not For Sale Campaign and for more details of how to use your voice for freedom!

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Wednesday, June 18, 2008

BBC on 'The Blood' by Kevin Max

Kevin Max

The Blood - Kevin Max
Reverend Gareth Hill

Ever wondered what it’s like to live the life of a rock star? Well Kevin Max has done it. He was one third of American Christian rock/rap group dcTalk. Our reviewer Reverend Gareth Hill takes a look at Kevin's solo efforts...

Kevin Max enjoyed plenty of success as a member of dcTalk.

The band won three Grammy Awards and sold more than eight million albums.

In 2001 the band split, still great friends and Kevin Max went on a seven-year journey that he completed with the release of his latest album, simply called 'The Blood'.

"In my mind, I've already lived the fantasy of becoming a rock star, and it's not that great. It doesn't have that much reward. Now I'm more interested in creating something that I want to sing about in the years to come," explains Kevin.

More . . .
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Monday, June 16, 2008

Two Unique Youth Ministry Resources

Some of you may be aware that two years ago the Church of Ireland Youth Department launched a reflective journal based upon Lectio Divina called 'fuel'. It is our attempt to make a time-tested Christian practice more accessible for younger audiences. Inside fuel is a brief explanation of the process of Lectio Divina, a sample reading / responses section, 31 identical sessions with seven questions leading the user through the process and a blank space for unpacking (writing/drawing) time with God. At the end of the resource there is a brief section on the early Celtic Christian notion of the 'thin space' and an encouragement to have a (or the equivalent of) spiritual director (anam cara) in one's life. The back inside cover has eight links to websites that may be helpful and an inspiration to young people journeying with Jesus. fuel is available from the Youth Department for €2 each plus postage and packaging.

In the past month the Youth Department has launched 'Inspire'. Whereas fuel was designed with young people in mind, Inspire is for youth workers and clergy. Inspire is a primer of sorts, a reference resource on foundational elements of an effective youth ministry. At 210 pages, Inspire covers information in five main sections: The Inner Life, Young People and Youth Culture, Theology and Methodology of Youth Ministry, Developing Leaders and Effective Youth Ministry and Tools of the Trade. Each section has between 9-12 subsections written or contributed by numerous organisations and youth ministry practitioners. We have partnered with some great organisations for this project including Renovare, Simply Youth Ministry, Youth Specialties, Hope UK and the Center for Parent/Youth Understanding. Simply Youth Ministry has included a special 15% discount on all of their resources and events for those who invest in young people by purchasing Inspire. Also included is a disc in the back of the project with digital versions of every page for printing or distribution within your youth ministry team. Inspire is available from the Youth Department for €20 plus postage and packaging.

I'm really pleased with how both of these resources have turned out and how they're proving to be useful for those who have used them. May God show up in a big way in Ireland and beyond!

Friday, June 13, 2008

Church Basement Roadshow

Some really honest, fun, creative, authentic 'stuff' going on with the Church Basement Roadshow and on the YouTube channel here. Here's one of the promo videos (okay, a little tongue-in-cheek but it's good!):

Tony Jones and Jesusland

This photo is from Tony Jones' time with us last December in Christ Church Cathedral crypt when he was speaking on post-modernity and the emerging question. I think he was presenting how some American Christians 'seem' to view the North American continent through a theo/political lens. The slide just sent me laughing - I think I laughed the loudest - and wondered if anyone else caught on.

Some Reading in the Clouds

I was reading Aer Lingus' magazine while I was heading to Barcelona with the family and I came across this article interviewing Al Pacino. It was col to get some backstory on the man. He had some interesting insights on the Irish people from his time in Ireland working on a film. They resonated with my thoughts on the Irish as a people (generally speaking). It's the second paragraph from the top of the page.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

The Young People of Ireland

Here's our new promo for the annual youth weekend that the Church of Ireland host in the Republic of Ireland. It's called Anois (Irish for 'now') and we're in our fifth year. It just keeps getting better and better!

Friday, June 06, 2008

A Prophet's Diet

My thoughts are very invested in this notion of being a prophetic voice to the world; what makes a 'prophet', how do they come by God's revelation, how it is to be delivered and, in particular, the role of the artist or creative in being a prophetic (God-messenger) voice in the world. So, here's a snippet from an email I receive regularly from the London Institute of Contemporary Christianity on the 'how' of being a prophet of God:

"A Prophet’s Diet

‘Then he said to me, “Son of Man, eat what is before you, eat this scroll; then go and speak to the house of Israel.” So I opened my mouth, and he gave me the scroll to eat.’ Ezekiel 3:1-2

It was a crucial lesson for a prophet to learn: his words would not be his own, but God’s. He would not have to fabricate his message, or concoct it out of thin air. He’s assured that what he spoke would be nothing less than God’s word.

And yet it has to become his own before he can present it to others. He must absorb it into his own personality. And in that process of digestion, the words of God would also be nothing less than Ezekiel’s own words.

He will sound like he has always sounded; his mannerisms will be recognisably his; his interest in all things to do with holiness and the temple will be readily apparent; and he will still have a curious penchant for going into more detail about those matters than many of us care for... Even so, God will embody his own words in the words of a human being, such that Ezekiel’s message will be fully God’s message.

In Revelation 10:8-10, John undergoes a similar experience. There too we have a dramatic picture of a prophet of God internalising the word of God. It’s a powerful demonstration of what we’re called to in our own engagement with God’s word. Not that we will become merely more technically competent in handling Scripture, nor even that we just learn more about God and his word; but that his word will become so much more a part of us. It’s an encouragement to read the Bible and to be read by the Bible; to read not merely to be informed about God, but to be transformed by God. It’s a challenge to make sure we do not stand over Scripture seeking to make sense of it, without first making sure we stand under it, allowing it to make sense of us, to work on us from the inside out.

It’s a great image to keep before us as a directing principle for the ethos of our whole lives; as we live for Christ in the face of the contemporary world, we seek do so in line with Scripture: eat this scroll.

by Antony Billington"

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Kid's Rock!

Ok, so I don't get on YouTube that much these days but this one is worth posting I think. I had a laugh and you will too if 1) you are a child of the 80's and 90's and 2) you have kids. I don't usually listen to my kid's music when they're traveling with me in the car. When I do it is definitely a labour of love, but 'Kid's Rock' I could do! Enjoy.

PS - thanks to Barbara Swann for the FunWall post on facebook!

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Good Times All Around

There has been a lot on lately in the Tucker household - not least my somewhat heavy traveling schedule. We've had some great times with friends, special moments with the kids, quality connection between Christy and I and some spectacular sites seen. There is really too much to wax on about here, but I'm posting a few choice pictures - snapshots of special moments - but as someone in a TV show once said, "Life is what happens between the moments these pictures represent." How true, yet only half the 'picture' without highlights like these!

Wherever you are, whatever you're up to, however you feel about your self this day, may God remind you afresh of His wild, unmerited, reckless, unconditional LOVE for you. This love is nothing less than life-altering!