Saturday, May 24, 2008

Henrik Jansberg Band : In Action and In Your Collection?

The Shetland Folk Festival, 2008, has been and gone. As ever it has featured the usual ecclectic mix of local and international talent blended to create what could be only termed a tubthumping time for all concerned. I wasn't there this year but thanks to the BBC Island Blogging network I was able to read about some of the acts who played. The star find has to be Henrik Jansberg, a rising star from Denmark, who seems to sympathetically combine the general Northern/Celtic fiddle style with a back rhythm that lifts the roof without intruding or appearing out of character at all. As a result of seeing the above clip I purchased his album 'Signature' and would highly recommend it to all. Featuring Henrik and his band it covers a wide range of material that is all melody based. It plays about with rhythms and style yet still keeps central to it a deeply traditional and rootsey feel. Warning, this may not be an album to listen to when in public as you may just find yourself letting out an unexpected whoop or two! Take Care Y'All John (Hattip to Solijay for their excellent review of the Festival)

Friday, May 23, 2008

Ian Hislop : Hunting Methodists

Evening all. Anyone watch Have I Got News For You tonight? It was good, but also most amusing... A bizzare joke meant Methodism got name checked twice! The joke was that Ian Hislop spent his spare time chasing Methodists, and an appropriate picture (showing what must have been a Wesleyan Minister (the chap was wearing preaching bands) was shown. To view the clip - click here and go forward to 3.50mins in. Any leads, drop me a line. Take Care Y'All John

Time for the Duck Tape

Pete Rollins has posted a cracking wee post. He asks if church attendance nothing more than a fetish. A good question really. As someone so often rallying against the church and the system I do ponder it deeply. I suppose that is why my worship life is more akin to the 'Salad Bowl' analagy of American Life than anything else. My worship life includes use of Anglican, Quaker, Catholic, Non-Denominational and of course Methodist. Yet the challenge is still there - why the need for so much variety and change - am I really plugging gaps and holes? Anyway I'm off to find some duck tape... Take Care Y'All John

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Twit : To Who?

I am now loaded up onto twitter. I don't know how much I will use it but we shall see. If you wish to track me my user is JhonCooper Take Care Y'All John

Yesterday at work...

I lead house prayers. I used the Jaffa Cake to start a meditation upon the Trinity. What did you do? Take Care Y'All John (Pictured downloaded, then uploaded to my blogger server from here)

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

The joy of participation

Today, in the Guardian, is possibly one of the best reasons to support a youth participation scheme
"I would ask Berlins to look at our council's proposals for the spending of its budget of £101,000:these include 50 new books for every school, thousands of pounds worth of sports equipment for state schools, and a teacher to help disadvantaged primary-school children with reading. Moreover, one suggestion made by the adult council officers was that the budget would be better spent on publicity such as youth council wrist bands and one-off awareness events that only cater for a maximum of 200 people, a tiny fraction of the young population of Camden. Such an event was hosted last year, and the bill came to £25,000."
This is part of a full article, by Camden Youth Councilor Conrad Landin, written in response to the latest outpouring from Marcel Berlins. His attitude, that of disregarding someones opinion as useless due to age, has always annoyed me. That is why it is so exciting that the Methodist Church is looking to commit £4million to a nationwide participation scheme. But what makes the scheme, like the vision outlined by Conrad, so important? Participation never has the structure as the endpoint. Instead it is about creating a scheme through which the voice of young people can be heard and something done about it. Participation is only part of the outcome, it is an active group of young people changing the lives of young people (and more) around them. I have been involved in various youth participation schemes for almost a decade now and I firmly believe in their power to be the best method to deliver the voice of young people. That said, they must always remember at best they represent the voice of those involved - and there will always be more people uninvolved - the challange is to ensure that the system does not discriminate. Take Care Y'All John

Sunday, May 18, 2008

A decade on we still haven't learnt

Today I'll be in Birmingham. I'll be joining thousands of others in celebrating a decade of awakening and action. A decade demanding jubilee for countries around the world. The idea of a jubilee stems from Levitacus 25 and celebrated the concept of financial release and rebirth. In the UK the mass action in Birmingham was a result of years of (mainly Global South led) campaigning to raise awareness about debt. With the debt crisis hitting the UK now it is right to remeber our duty to other countries. If people in our own country can't afford to pay their bills or can't afford to feed their families because of the rising cost of food and an increased debt burden imagine condemming a country to that. We allowed the country, often, to get that way because we thought we knew what was the best economic or political solution for their poverty. Imagine condemning a country to it simply by not taking action. It is disgusting. What is worse is the government is about to do it again. This time it is the environment that provides the problem. The government is involved in the establishment of a global fund to support countries affected by global warming. Yet with the poorest in the world suffering the highest from the effects of global warming (see Famine in Kenya as an example) why do we offer them a lifeline then ask them to pay back tenfold for doing so. Are we not asking them to Traffik their future? Take Care Y'All John