Archive for the ‘Teenagers’ Category

In my quest for suitable books for the young people on our Pathfinder venture this summer, I picked up School Survival by Catherine and Louise House. Louise is Catherine’s school age daughter and some of this book is based on the experiences she had when she moved school. And although it’s called School Survival, it’s particularly about friendship and working that through, with a single chapter about starting in a new school. It is very suitable for the Pathfinder age group (11-14) as it covers many issues faced as young people move on to secondary school.

The book is a combination of stories, quizzes, activities and bible study and is split into 14 chapters, including ones on making friends, bullying, gossip, prayer and church. It might be suitable for a Year Six primary school leaver to study over the summer holidays, or for family devotions or even as an outline for a church Pathfinder group to study over a few weeks (the chapters are uneven in size, so some could be combined). I’ll be ordering a few copies for our camp bookstall.

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I’ve just been digging through my blog drafts folder and realised I failed to post this a while back, but I thought you’d all still enjoy this shot of the Vicar, prepared by the Ringmaster at the CPAS Pathfinder summer holiday venture we were on way back in July. The theme was the Circus, and the Vicar’s dorm group were the Lily Livered Lion Tamers.

A lion or a teenager - which is harder to tame?

A lion or a teenager - which is harder to tame?

We had a wonderful week by the sea with 62 young people, aged 11-14, and a talented team of over 30 leaders. Me, I hung out with some other mums who were there with younger kids and were supporting their husbands who were leading. But it was great to be there, praying and having the chance to chat with leaders and youngsters.

The Queen blogged about camp too.

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It’s been another busy week at the Vicarage. Not only do we have Polly and the baby still in residence, but we’ve had Voice staying as well. Voice loves to lead singing in church and is on a week’s work experience with another local church. We are just providing accommodation for Voice as she’s spending most of her time with the other church, singing in services and meetings and helping out with their activities.

Voice is only fifteen, so it’s been interesting having her stay. We’ve been trying to get her to give us the inside track on being a teenager so we are better prepared to handle our gang when they hit those challenging years. Her capacity for sleep is enormous, even to the extent of being completely comotose through our jet-engine sounding shower pump going.

Gone has called at our front door three times in the last week, drunk, homeless and very sad. This morning I gave him a cup of coffee and a sandwich as he sat on the front step, waiting to speak to the Vicar. As he added more Frosty Jack to his coffee, he became more restless and abusive.

Frosty Jack

Frosty Jack

I was trying to find out about local hostels for him when he finally left. He couldn’t wait for the Vicar. The booze had made him too jittery. One minute he was weeping and admitting the mess he’s in, the next he was swearing and threatening to throw lighted paraffin over the front door.

I didn’t feel in any danger, though. As spoke to him softly, I could see the self-loathing in his eyes. And the Vicar and his elders were meeting in the study.

He probably won’t find a hostel place, though, cos he’s on the booze. He told me that he’s thinking about doing something to get himself locked up. At least in prison you are fed and given a warm bed. He’s 51, and has been told that he’ll die soon, given the state of his liver. He keeps warm by begging for a day saver ticket and then spending all day on the bus. That way he can cope with being out all night.

He needs too much help to stay with us. I can only pray and feed him sandwiches and gentle answers.

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Mourning in the parish

Two young men have died in road accidents near us in the last few weeks. The Curate officiated at one of the funerals. I was reminded of one lad who died today, when I realised that some silver graffiti on the road on the way to the junior school was a memorial to him. He was a popular lad and his friends were moved to write a song about him which was played at the funeral.

Last week, on the way to town, we passed this memorial to the other boy, who was just sixteen when he was in an accident, driving his new moped.

There were twice as many flowers there when I passed this yesterday

There were twice as many flowers here when I passed this spot yesterday

These expressions of grief are new, creative and increasingly popular amongst the young. But the comfort they bring can’t last. One of the great privileges in parish ministry is meeting people who are grieving and pointing them to the eternal comfort that God offers to human beings through the life, death and resurrection of Jesus.

The Father is a merciful God, who always gives us comfort.

2 Corinthians 1v3 (ESV)

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Cakes for teenagers

After an evening with our 11-14s I need to make a note to myself:

Teenagers don’t like cakes with raisins, currants or any other dried fruit, unless covered with 90% chocolate. So no more fairy cakes with currants (the ones my dad likes).

Teenagers also don’t like cake they’re not familiar with, so even if you tell them it’s like chocolate brownie only with lemon flavour and no chocolate, they won’t even try it. But it might be the lack of chocolate rather than the lemon.

Best to stick to chocolate (also flapjack and oatie biscuits they said).

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