events

Sydney is fab

For those interested I had a great trip to Sydney and Canberra where I delivered RealityBites lectures and workshops to about 450 Christian teachers; I also spoke to about 200 young people in several Oz schools. Feedback has been really encouraging. One headmaster wrote to me as follows:

Dear Mark

RB goes to Oz again

Today I am flying out to Sydney and will be speaking at two conferences organised by Christian Education National in New South Wales and also in Canberra. The one near Sydney will be attended by about 500 Christian teachers and I will be talking about my approach to storytelling and the calling of the Christian educator.

There are no crocodiles in this part of Oz which is a shame.

It's a great honour to be asked back to Australia and I hope RB will be a blessing to them 'downunder'.

Raised in Leeds

Leeds-based illustrator Si Smith presents 19 'stations of the resurrection' all relocated to present-day Leeds. Full of beautifully observed detail, the pictures reflect the Leeds we know and love (particularly north Leeds, where Si lives, and the city centre) and pose that eternal 'What if…?' question that comes from relocating one of our culture's greatest narratives into a 21st century city.

The pictures will be presented along with other simple artifacts that enhance the story, and a prayer guide will be available for those that wish to see further into the work.

RealityBites in Newcastle

In my work with RealityBites I sometimes go into schools in order to provoke young people to engage with Jesus’ wonderful teaching about the kingdom of God.

In July 2011 I spoke to about 300 largely unchurched teenagers at a sixth form conference in Newcastle. Here is an outline of that conference.

For about fifty minutes I spoke about celebrity culture, consumerism and commodification. I told stories about Jordan, Cheryl Cole and Russell Brand.

Well done Oz!

I had such a great time in Darwin. Couldn't have been better. I met so many fantastic people and the conference Educating for Tough Times was inspiring. I have never seen so many palm trees in a city and it was wonderful to see some big crocs in their natural habitat. More than 1,000 people from all over the world attended and the conference was very well-organised and enjoyable. Congratulations Australia! We may have the ashes for a few months but you have the prophetic voice.

Off to Australia

Next week I am off to Darwin in Australia where I will be delivering an academic paper on storytelling and a popular presentation entitled James Bond, Rat worship and Postmodernism: Subversive Questions for Christian Educators.

The conference is called Educating for Tough Times. There will be more than 1000 people attending.

Here is my take on how Bond would answer the five big faith questions. Bond is a great way to get young people thinking about faith.

Debate with Andrew Copson on Premier Christian Radio

Andrew Copson is the Chief Executive of the British Humanist Association. Polly Toynbee is the President and Richard Dawkins is the vice president.

"How should RE be taught in schools?"

The debate went extremely well. Andrew is a very affable and intelligent man. I think I disarmed him by telling some of my stories with voices. I was very encouraged to see him smiling in a very nice way. I argued that we desperately need worldview awareness plus critical thinking skills etc. In a vague way he seemed to agree.

Storkey and the failure of militarism

At a recent LifeMatters event Alan Storkey was very critical of American and British foreign policy. He argued that American politicians have been 'patsies' for the weapons industry for a long time. In particular the Bush family has many connections with the big weapons companies. Obviously the profits are huge.

What do we think about this?

Here is some stuff I've dug up.

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