It is late, and I have been at Deanery Synod even though I am not a member of Deanery Synod. Suspicious.
Here are some end-of-Tuesday links for you:
An open letter to Subway about their cheese, from ‘Left handed toons by right handed people’. (Scroll down the page to see the September 10th blog entry too).
Man in Kenya draws his cartoons on a bus stop shelter. Not dissimilar to the way I started, though mine were on a door at Bible College.
Rev. Gerald Ambulance is now on Facebook. Rev. Gerald is an example to us all.
The top 10 religious blogs, according to Iain Dale, one of the UK’s top politics bloggers. The list is totally unrelated to the top 10 that I would choose, but interesting nevertheless. I suspect most of the religion-related blogs that I would see as being good ones are more or less unnoticed by the mainstream blogging world.
Lastly, I am proud to hit the Google top spot for ‘Rubbish Christian Blog‘. Somebody has to be there.
Posted by Dave at 11:59 pm on September 11, 2007 and filed under Links: bloggers, Links: cartoonists, Religion, Sundry posts.
In my days as a youth worker I would sometimes hear youth worker and ministers at meetings talk about how they were not ‘playing the numbers game’ or that ‘it is not about bums on seats’. The thinking behind such comments was that there are more important things than how many people come to your services / youth club / events.
I tended to think that if nobody came along to the things you were running it probably was because they were rubbish or clashed with something good on TV. But then I am no longer a youth worker, from which you could deduce that some of my philosophies were flawed.
The image depicts a non-conformist minister as you can see. I thought it was about time I drew a non-Anglican picture. Just in case anyone is thinking that I am attempting to perpetuate a stereotype I’d like to point out that there are a few middle of the road Anglican churches that are nearly empty on a Sunday morning. It is not only the non-conformist Evangelical and Charismatic churches that struggle for numbers.
I will add this to the downloadable section if there is a small to medium demand for me to do so. I’m afraid the picture has poor perspective as I did some errors whilst drawing.
Posted by Dave at 11:43 pm on September 10, 2007 and filed under Anglican goings-on, Cartoons, Church, Religion.
These are various things that I discovered whilst loitering in the resources tent at Greenbelt and also elsewhere:
‘Happiness for Church’
I went along to Bruce’s ‘Happiness’ seminar at Greenbelt with one eyebrow raised, but came away rather convinced by the whole concept. Bruce runs courses in Bristol all about happiness and is now offering a day session for churches on the subject. If, like me, you think ‘But hang on, Christianity isn’t about being happy is it?’ then the words from the above flyer sum up where Bruce is coming from quite well:
The journey may start with questions about ‘me’, but it ends with community, kindness, spirituality and purpose. The Church might just be the right place to welcome people on this journey.
Bruce’s Embody website has a lot more on the general topic. If you’re interested in the above course then I’d recommend contacting him. Who knows, ‘Happiness for Church’ might just be the new Alpha, in which case you heard it first here.
Proost supply alternative worship-type music and the like. They have recently relaunched themselves with a new website, the ability to download things and a range of new publications. I like the fact that they are supporting young creative people doing interested things – Sophs with her book of liturgies is one example. You can subscribe to all their content for £60 a year.
On a not unrelated note (and one I think I’ve mentioned before), Twelve Baskets is a site enabling you to download and share Christian-type resources. The Methodists are something to do with it.
The people from Prayerfeeder were distributing beer mats around Greenbelt. It is a site that enables you to pray with other people. It looks quite interesting, but I’m not sure how many people will want to sign up to another networking site with such a narrow focus. Perhaps more likely to take off is Scripture Union’s PrayLive application on Facebook which allows you to do something not dissimilar.
Second Life Chance
The people from the Churches Advertising Network are on the verge of launching their 2007 advertising campaign, which will be themed ‘Second Life Chance’. It is aimed at people who would like a chance to do things better the second time around, and will be linked to an island on the ‘Second Life’ website where people can ask questions and watch a lively animation of the nativity. The website for this year’s campaign isn’t up yet, but I’ll link to it when it is. I have one eyebrow raised about the ‘Second Life’ bit, but we’ll see.
Posted by Dave at 12:36 pm on September 10, 2007 and filed under Religion.
These are the answers to the Wedding at Cana ‘Spot the Difference’. I have posted a larger version that you could print off at the bottom of this page.
Posted by Dave at 2:58 pm on September 7, 2007 and filed under Cartoons, Quizzes and competitions, Religion.
I had a fantastic time at the Portsmouth Diocesan Conference in Chichester. The talk went really well I think – everyone seemed to enjoy themselves anyway. I needn’t have worried about a pointing device – the gig was in a top class theatre with a huge screen so I wouldn’t have been able to reach the salient points with a pointer even if I’d have wanted to. Before my session I had the privilege of being seated on the VIP’s table at the Conference Dinner, which was rather splendid. Afterwards I went to the bar and sat at the table with the naughty priests. Oh, the stories I could tell. All in all a great 24 hours with a great bunch of people.
I didn’t sell any copies of my book, but that’s because I didn’t take any to sell. There was a good reason – it is being reprinted again, which I am pleased about. Hopefully it will be available again very shortly. I did sell a few calendars and cards to passers-by whilst sitting in the quadrangle during the afternoon. Very pleasant.
I’d quite like to do some more cartoon talks as I really did rather enjoy myself. If you know of any institutions or events that are looking for a cartoonist to come and show some drawings about the church whilst talking and perhaps waving a long pointy thing then get in touch. I do have very particular requirements for my dressing room etc, but we can talk about that sort of thing.
Update: the Portsmouth Diocesan website has a report of the conference here.
Posted by Dave at 6:25 pm on September 6, 2007 and filed under Religion, Talks.
Tomorrow I am off to do a live gig in Chichester at the Diocese of Portsmouth Clergy Conference. They have asked me to impart wisdom to them on matters of an ecclesiastical nature. My talk will consist mainly of drawings that will be projected and I will talk about various in-depth aspects of things. I will be staying there in plush surroundings so there will probably not be a blog entry here tomorrow.
Today I had a look for a pointer sort of a thing to use in my talk so that I can point at interesting aspects of the drawings in a scholarly way. I was after something like this telescopic pointer pen, but I phoned Staples and it is just something they put on their website rather than something they actually stock. The technical name for this is that it is ‘discontinued’. I am aware that these days one can get laser powered pointing devices, but I am from the old school and would prefer a physical stick sort of thing to point. I would probably be a danger to shipping with the laser sort (possibly literally) and could end up shining it inadvertently at an archdeacon who would be caught like a rabbit in one red and quite dangerous headlight.
I had a good look around the garage to see if I had any telescopic pointing devices lying around. In the old days I used to have lots of old stereos which would be very happy to have their aerials ripped off, but in these modern days of ‘throw it away if it is useless’ I am clean out of retractable whathaveyous.
I am sure that some readers have spare telescopic items lying around which I could perhaps borrow, but now it is too late as I am off on the 8.07am as I need to allow goodness knows how many hours to get past London (see diagram).
Posted by Dave at 9:23 pm on September 4, 2007 and filed under Anglican goings-on, Religion, Talks.
I had this idea for a special Sunday when people would be especially invited to the back of church.
There would be a big publicity campaign and we’d try to get lots of churches to run special events. There would be flags and stickers and a website with a FAQs page a bit like this:
Q: Does Back of Church Sunday work?
A: Feedback from participating churches since the first Back of Church Sunday suggests a consistent average of ten new people per back of each church. But ‘success’ isn’t a number or a percentage. If one person comes to the back of church because of the invitation of a friend, then it’s worked. As one Canon from Manchester Diocese says: “There are loads of people who used to go to the back of church, who moved pews or just stopped coming to the back for whatever reason. Back of Church Sunday is a simple way of reaching out to them again with a personal invitation to the back and a warm welcome at the back.”
Q: What about people who have never been to the back of church?
A: For some, Back of Church Sunday is a misnomer as they have never been to the back of church in the first place. But the idea is designed to reach those coming back and those who are curious about what happens at the back with a simple invitation and a warm welcome
You get the idea.
Link for back ground reading.
Posted by Dave at 11:47 pm on September 3, 2007 and filed under Cartoons, Church, Religion.
John Davies has now begun his two month walk along the approximate route of the M62 motorway. You can follow his travels on his M62 walk blog here. I have mentioned this before, but thought I’d mention it again as a reminder now he has started.
This post explains why he is doing it. Do add the blog to your feed reader and send him an encouraging comment every now and then.
The above diagram is not to scale so do not use it for navigational purposes.
Posted by Dave at 11:59 pm on September 2, 2007 and filed under Links: bloggers, Transport.
I am still not reverting to daily posting on the Cartoon Blog, but on days when I will not be posting I will attempt to make a post like this just to let you know that there will not be a post so that you are not continually on the lookout for one.
I will now just fill the space up with uninteresting news just so that there is not blank space.
Today we loaded the bicycles into the camper van and drove to a place where there is a road with no cars. It is the only road in Essex with no cars and the location is a closely guarded secret (It is near Brentwood, just off the A128). I do still intend to sell the camper van of course, but I have not got around to thinking about how I might start to plan the preliminary steps that will be required to proceed towards a point where I can contemplate beginning the initial stages of the process.
We went to the supermarket with the camper van. The camper van is large, which is good for carrying things. The problem with carrying supermarket shopping in a camper van though is that the groceries tend to roll around a bit, as there is too much space for them. Various items tend to go skedaddling across the width of the van, which is not good if they are eggs. The answer is to stack the groceries against the left hand side of the van and then only go around corners that will cause you to bear right. It can be done as long as you live somewhere that can be reached via a spiral route.
This evening we did barbecuing. We do have a proper metal barbeque, but the wire grill is not fit for cooking owing to the fact that it was left outside for a lengthy duration whilst a winter was taking place. We therefore use a disposable barbeque, but perch it on top of the proper metal non disposable barbeque in order to keep it away from the cats who are nosey parkers. This is not an ideal situation, but it is the best you can do if these are your circumstances. I am hoping that we might be able to buy a wire grill to replace one that suffered under the elements. If you see one let me know. These are the specifications: Shape: round, Size: largish, Handle-y things: yes.
Posted by Dave at 11:37 pm on September 1, 2007 and filed under Mundane.