Black Friday Saloon

ColoursBlack Friday Saloon.

The simplest smile from a man in red hat.
The giggles from a child as he holds his mum’s hand.
The ‘Hi ya!’ from the family as they leave their flat.
The morning puja.

The nod of hello, a man in yellow, on patrol.
The smiles as the boy and his dad ride their bikes.
The wave of the lady that helps cross the road.
The morning welcome.

The chatter of the ladies on fluorescent daily run.
The ‘morning’ from the girl with the curly dog.
The warmth of the morning sun.
The warmth of community.

The courtesy of the man in the green hatchback.
The eyes that smile as they wait for their bus.
The fellow people that you see every day.
The strength of the morning.

All this puts the ignorance of the man in the black saloon in his place.
He’s still a danger though, #forbearance, becare!



Churches …becoming community problem solvers (?)

Looking at this article “…libraries are becoming community problem solvers” in The Guardian (sorry) from the ALA’s Larra Clark

…and simply (?) substituting “Church” for “Library”

Developing Churches as community hubs and problem-solving partners is a top priority…

…conferences show that Churches are evolving in this role as well.

We must fundamentally change how we view Churches and move from a historical idea of Churches as merely Churches, to seeing them as an opportunity for proactive community engagement.

the Churches is successfully connecting the most… networking, supporting, enabling

…demonstrates that Churches can be powerful players in supporting the…

…believes that Churches can be community problem-solvers, helping us to fully use our spaces, our people, and our resources. Or, to put it another way: “What can’t Churches do?”

…they are turning to their Churches for help…

Similarly, Churches quickly stepped up during the recession to help assisting those seeking …

Churches also have a vital role to play in education? and learning? starting with helping every child…

Adults tell us that their top priority for Churches is that they should co-ordinate closely with schools and support young children.

A report on the future of Churches and teens puts it this way: Churches used to be grocery stores; now we need to be kitchens and our Churches are adding new ingredients to best serve readers.

We must look to the larger ecosystem that includes? to find answers.

The technology revolution… There is a pressing need for us to reach out, network and figure out where Churches might best contribute. We should expect more – not less – from our Churches in the digital age… But this won’t happen in isolation, and it won’t happen without keeping Churches open and connected to our community partners.

…. discuss ?



Quality beer and nuts…

fuzzineszEverything and anything, the whole wide world, at the touch of a button! brillyunt!?

I recently saw a post about a small church (remember them?) in north London. The local library(remember them?) and community centre was threatened by budget cuts and the church was discussing plans to offer space for a new library in their new church development.

Like many small towns, the population there is growing and more facilities, are needed – not fewer.  As might be expected, the church is looking to increase its “community involvement”.   Community Centres, Libraries, Churches, Health Centres and the like, are vital places where people have traditionally found information, help, succour and strength.  These places have in the past been vital assets for community integration and interaction.

All that happy-clapping, rainbow guitar straps, hearty singing, and WWYD stickers etc came later.   I’m told that originally “churches” (or synagogues in bible daze) were central places in communities where families (remember them?) might help each other, where widows, orphans, strangers etc might be ‘looked out for’.  The church would administer and manage support and help for those in need.  Over the last 100 years the government took over looking after the community’s heath, education, and wellbeing.  What was the church to do?  Sing another hymn? Also note that back in the day, “families” were not the 2 adults & 2.4 children of today (or even the growing 1 & 1.2 of contemporary life) – The fully functioning “family” was the grandparents, parents, bob’s ur uncle, aunties, brothers, sisters etc.

But now, you can get everything and anything at the touch of a button?

“For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?”  King James Bible. or “What good would it do to get everything you want and lose you, the real you?” The Message Mark 8:36

Yes we can and do get ‘loads of stuff’ all online…   or you can get everything at the uber-store… indeed you must get everything… ‘cos “every little helps” and “mum’s gone there”…

However it might be my age, and yes the Aldile’s do have some great deals but…

If I want a quality, value for money, bit of beef (and a chat) I go to the butchers…
If I want quality, value for money, fruit & veg (and a chat) I go to the green grocers…
If I want to browse for quality (and value for money!?) brain fodder (and a chat) I might go to the library…
If I want quality beer and nuts (and more importantly a chat) one might go to the pub…
If I want quality insight and support of well-being (and more importantly a chat) one might go to a church…

Real people, real places, and real life!?


talking to one’s self


Yes, here I am again, solitarily talking to myself.
Studies show that it’s a mental and physical form of release, justification and excitement.
Yes, I guess I do blog about myself, who else could I speak for?
Question is, where’s it taking me… more and more into an insular world of introspection?
Or is it a release for natural introspection, a purging of the essential contemplation? A contemplation that started when as a growing boy, I first realised that we are essentially alone. A moment, with stars, sky, sea and misplaced(?) instruction…
We all find ourselves somewhere on the introvert extrovert spectrum, some more polemic than others. I don’t think introversion is a crime, but it’s often perceived as such and it can be a weight.
In today’s society/community the extrovert is celebrated, championed and adored. We are expected to take part, join in and display.
A traditional organic community existed as a result of necessary relationships, necessary structures around work, religion and local commerce and trade. Today we find fabricated communities created as novelties and commodities, clubs, groups and lifestyle choices.
I feel there is still a great need for real community but real community does not readily fit with our individualistic, purchasable, ‘click and collect’ world.
My introspective nature generates guilt, when attempting to be part of ‘community’, one fails to entertain, failing to display value, failing to suspend disbelief.
In his book ‘Solitude’, Simon Parke talks about “the feeling that no one really cares what happens… an awareness that we lack close and meaningful contact with others, which produces feelings of being cut off from them.” and that “many people have been taught loneliness. We want our children to live active lives in the world, and so train them for activity. But if this is the only world they are taught to value, a world of external stimulation, they become alienated from themselves”
We teach our children and ourselves to be part of a collective consciousness but when that collective consciousness fails to be worthy, fails to perform, one has no value, we fail, we have no place. Solitude is a reality, loneliness is a symptom of a shallow ideal.
With solitude I can mindfully talk to myself.
With loneliness, talking to anyone, even oneself, can be hard even not possible.
Happy daze?