"Life Verses"

I think Life Verses are probably a bit of a marmite thing – you either love the idea, or hate it/don’t see the point. I must confess that I haven’t read any direct explanation of what they are, so I’ve inferred it from some of the youthwork books I’ve read and my own personal experience. As a concept, they perhaps grab youth a bit more readily, but I think there may be value whatever your age. In essence, and as I understand it, a Life Verse is a particularly verse from the Bible that you feel God has given you […]

"Swedish Bible Study"

(Download PDF Template) Sometimes a little bit of structure can make a huge difference, especially when trying to do a Bible study. I must confess that I find it very hard to engage with the ‘standard’ sort of Bible study, where you start off with a list of comprehension questions (“Where was Peter when he first saw Jesus?” “Who else was in the boat?”), and then move onto discussion and application. I don’t want to be negative about this approach – which can be very helpful and appropriate, particularly for complex or less familiar passages – but I often struggle […]

"One down – two to go"

Well, I have just finished my first year of Ordination Training on the Yorkshire Ministry Course. The highlight, without one doubt, has been the people. The other students, the tutors, the brothers of the community. Fellow pilgrims on the journey of ministry and faith, with a particular emphasis on this rather peculiar and specific call to ordained ministry. I can safely say that some of my fellow students will be friends for life, and I am sad about the people who have moved on from the course this weekend, even though I’ve barely got to know them in any objective […]

"Distractingly Sexy?"

It’s been interesting to see the reaction to Tim Hunt’s widely publicised comments regarding girls (i.e. women) in a science lab: “Let me tell you about my trouble with girls … three things happen when they are in the lab … You fall in love with them, they fall in love with you and when you criticise them, they cry.” Despite his very clear introduction “let me tell you about my trouble with girls” (emphasis mine), it seems to me that this has almost been universally interpreted as a statement about ‘girls’ (and specifically ‘girls’ in science), whereas it seems […]

There are many ways to interact with the Bible – I have previously talked about Lectio Divino, or holy reading, and FIER is another technique where you try to experience a passage “first hand”. Obviously unless you are The Doctor (or possibly a neutrino), travelling through time to experience it first hand is a tall order, but the next best thing is to imagine yourself there. This can be done by choosing one of the people present in a given passage, and putting yourself in their shoes – trying to imagine what they are thinking, feeling, seeing, smelling, etc. Having […]

"Lectio Divino (Holy Reading)"

One of the ancient contemplative habits of the ancients is Lectio Divino, or Holy Reading. This is a way of engaging with the Bible and with God in an utterly different way to normal. In fact, it’s different from any other form of reading. The best and most helpful description I have come across is in “Contemplative Youth Ministry: Practising the Presence of Jesus with Young People” by Mark Yaconelli (see resources, below). The starting point is to understand that there are many different ways to read. The way you read the milk bill is different from the newspaper, which […]


For a while I have run a second website at katartismos.net, but since starting on the whole ordination journey I have run out of time and energy to keep it up. However, there’s some good stuff on there (at least I think it is!), so I’m going to move all the posts across from there to this site, and then ultimately close it down. I’ve scheduled them in at one a month for the next 12 months or so, and hopefully by then I’ll also have some new content to put up here!

"YMC Easter School"

I’ve just got back from the YMC Easter School, which was a really good time. About the only thing I don’t like about the course is that you tend to only get information about things just before they happen! So I thought that I’d jot down some thoughts about the Easter School while they’re fresh in my mind, in case it’s of use for next year – either for me or the next batch of first years. So, the YMC Easter school is seven nights away, either starting or ending on Easter day (there’s a 3 year cycle of Easter […]

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