Thursday, December 07, 2006

Jonny Did The Missionary Position

Tonight has been an interesting night. As a student union we were given a large quantity (ie a thousand) condoms that were needing distributed. They were given with the idea that we hand them out. The univeristy runs a weekly club night, entitled Half Time, that attracts around 400+ people therefore could be seen as a place willing to distribute them. That said I had a small quam about this. I don't belive sexual promiscuity is right (ie sleeping around) and I also don't think it should be encouraged. Half Time is a drunken night out and is often the starting point for many peoples (first) sexual leasons. Therefore a challenge, for me as a person on the union, I could go and hand out the condoms and ensure that everyone had a safe time. That said by handing out condoms at a drunken event (though I wasn't drinking tonight so the folks handing out wern't drunk) then are we (as a union) condoning druken sex? Well this conundrum was never quiet going to be solved really. That said the image is the front page of the leaflet which I felt was a nice half way house between my own personal morals and what we, as a union should be doing. By that i mean that I cannot ignore the needs of others, druken sex between a couple and drunken sex between strangers happens. The much greater risk is ignorance, unconsensual sex and sexual transmitted infections and we are combatting that by passing out information (STOP : THINK : ENJOY) with the condoms. *Note over a thousand condoms were handed out to around 500 people in twenty minutes!* I wasn't going to blog about this but I just thought it was a nice re-awakening of the battle of mission and quiet what it means. For alot of mission is just about our own personal comfort zones (eg giving money) and yet rarely does one go out and actualy face the problems we talk about (eg homelessness) face to face. Whilst this doesn't devalue anyone as a christian (cause who am I to judge.. I could be on a complete loosing track with my own outlook)it does devalue collective action. Sometimes we do need to go beyond and then find within ourselves inner strength. As an example of this I thought I'd flag up the work done in Manchester, where they now run a Night Angles scheme aiding clubbers return home after a night out. This service will be invaluable yet the pragmatic may have at first raised questions about the personal safety of the angles and other such issues. Yet sometimes people like myself can be too pragmatic and not trust enough in others and also what good can come out of it... and lets face it after a night out how many of us have neaded a hand after a few too many ? Take Care Y'All John

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Christmas isn't Christmas Without...

Many say that Christmas isn't Christmas until the Coca-Cola advert for the year is shown. That said coca cola have some very very dodgy ethical goings on therefore I wanted an alternative to enjoy. I believe the people of Barr and Irn Bru have won through yet again... Take care Y'All John

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Light in the Darkness

Advent is a rather special time of you. It is a time in the christian year in which we are meant to be in joyful anticipation. Joyfully anticipating the birth of the "prince of peace" and the idea of hope in the darkness (this is rather backed up in the UK by Christmas falling in the middle of winter when darkness is literally all around us). The way this period is followed is generally through reflective services (tinged with excitment) and advent calenders. The calenders are generaly morphing into some form of chocolate based countdown, though the better ones have an ethical kick to them as well. Therefore no matter where we look we are meant to light a candle and get excited for the oncoming fun! Yet this year the onset of advent has been tinged by great sadness, in two differing peoples lives, as they recieved some particularily devistating news. Whilst not knowing (face to face) either of the people I haven't been struck as deeply as they have by the tradgedies. Both the losses were marvelous, inspirational people who have left a deep impact on the people they leave behind. All this death goes into distinct contrast with the excitment. Afterall, how can one sing of the oncoming prince of peace, saviour of mankind (sorry but most of the hymns I sing tend to be gender specific...)who brings joy to the world when all around suffering, of the most human kind, is prevalent. Therefore how to appraoch advent? Well i can't really answer that one as it is all rather odd, half distant yet a reality and ultimatly (like so much) comes back to this all as an act of faith. In order to glipse that light in the real darkness then sometimes one has to use this God thing, all the glib hymns such as "what a friend we have in Jesus" assure us of His presence at all times. When one is surrounded by the very lowest moments then how can one even comprehend God being all around, let along revealing himself through the people around. Yet in the darkest times, the immense depths of love and compassion that these people aroused and also the love, compassion and support shown even by those most deeply affected to others mourning gives us a glimmer of this god. Maybe not, maybe all this is just human nature. By this time you need to see what conclusion I have reached, the only problem is I haven't reached one. This is bringing whole new aspects to Advent... Take Care Y'All John