detached and detaching. period.

4 05 2010

I wonder if in Jesus’ day they had bored young people hanging out around the synagogue climbing on the roof and causing trouble?  This week my new developing role of informal detached youth worker (known locally as “The Church Man”) turned into detaching youth from the church roof by getting them a ladder – they were v embarrassed to be stuck…

blaming eve?

Well, we had prayed for ways to engage with the young people on the street. We wanted to be the centre of the community. This wasn’t quite what we had in mind. Nor were the broken windows. But now neighbours have been asking for my name and phone number so they can tell me if kids are on the roof. There’s nothing quite like shared annoyance to get people talking…

Whilst talking with the kids I was asked some spectacular questions:

  • Do you own the church?
  • Why are there earthquakes?
  • Are you a paedo?
  • How did Jesus defeat death?
  • Can Jesus see me in the shower?
  • Will you crucify me so I know what it was like?
  • Can I ring the church bell?
  • How can Mary have been a virgin?
  • Can Jesus see you and Church Lady in the bedroom?
  • What is the Church of England?
  • Why do bad things happen?
  • Is it Eve’s fault we have periods?

It wasn’t my answers they were interested in. Thankfully, because saying that I am a boy and therefore don’t have periods probably wasn’t the answer they were looking for. Allowing questions, not being shocked or angry or annoyed, listening, laughing… talking to them human to human, accepting that they are pushing boundaries and want to get in trouble and not allowing myself to get pulled in that direction…

In my naive and glass-half-full mind, talking to them as adults and showing them love and respect will have a positive effect, will mean they muck around on the street but respect other people’s lives and properties and leave the roof alone. Jesus had brief encounters that changed lives, after all.

Maybe I’ll still keep watch though.

Now, back to musing on the Eve and periods question…
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7 responses

5 05 2010
SGR

I particularly like your style when it comes to reaching out to people, m8, kinda reminds of the Costa (or was it Starbucks?)/ Slater’s/ Ann Summers gaff one Easter Sunday in Queen’s Square, Crawley. Epic!

5 05 2010
Dave

Haha these are exactly the same questions i get every day in my life as an Eden worker. Yesterday i was asked “was the virgin Mary hot?”

5 05 2010
c2drl

Minutes of the Synagogue trustees

It was noted that there had been an incident where the supporters of an itinerant preacher had damaged the roof of the sanctuary by attempting to lower one of their number through it. The preacher had also asked impertinent and unseemly questions of the Rabbi and appeared to have poor knowledge of his own historical traditions and faith. It was agreed that these unseemly beings should be excluded from the vicinity of the syangogue and we should have nothing to do with them until such thime as they agreed to conform to cultural standards and expressed proper respect for the faith.

12 05 2010
ascension: earthy jesus disappeared jesus « the blog of kevin

[…] for him to speak out loud, but he trusts us to listen to God and speak them. Kids out there and on the roof we would love him to meet with, but he trusts us to meet with them. All those encounters Jesus had […]

18 05 2010
Leigh

Hi Kevin
You and church lady (and BA people) are in a great position to be normal human to human people to talk, listen and answer some questions with the local yoofs. Keeping the gates open is great and even having doors open at different times. The breakages are a test of our resolve not our finances, there wouldn’t be any thing to break if there wasn’t anything there that was worth trying to crush, there is good work afoot so be be ready for the disruption and we won’t give up.

18 05 2010
Kevin

Thanks Leigh, that is very encouraging to hear! We stand together, broken windows or not… 🙂

2 06 2010
Kevin

To keep you guys updated, 3 of the lads have now been to church a couple of times, getting on well – I know, it’s amazing! Mysterious ways, mysterious ways…

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