St. Mungo Youth Galleries: Blog http://stmungo.zenfolio.com/blog en-us St. Mungo's Episcopal Church wendy.brown@stmungos.org (St. Mungo Youth Galleries) Wed, 07 Jan 2015 12:41:00 GMT Wed, 07 Jan 2015 12:41:00 GMT The Sanctuary of Sanctuaries http://stmungo.zenfolio.com/blog/2013/5/youth-alpha-the-penultimate  

Blog Update: (This article had a great pic of Mushy at the top... but we're now waiting for an updating of a new "documentation procedure" before I can re-introduce it!) Please just imagine her standing in the Church sanctuary holding one of her shoes! - I will return the image here soon. It's worth waiting for!

Here we have the lovely Mushy, shoe in hand in the "Sanctuary" of the church last night during Youth Alpha.

I love using the church building. One of my hobbies is putting all the things away after you crazies have left and locking up. Strange hobby perhaps but sometimes, when I'm alone, I spend a bit of extra time in the Sanctuary and have a quiet chat with God. I wonder around the stained glass windows and examine their minutae. I did this last night, and once the noise from bonkers teenagers has left, it's a very peaceful place altogether.

Using Google Translate, I read the Latin inscriptions on the windows at the alter end of the building. The window on the right reads: hujus ecclesiae aedificatae AD - and translates as - This church built AD 1869 generous benefactor for AD 1877.

Not sure how a generous benefactor would pay for the church 8 years after it had been built... perhaps I read it slightly wrong... in any case, the building is 144 years old (in 2013) - I stood and thought about the people that would have come and gone within these walls. What would the people say that stood here 144 years ago if they knew that we have since used this alter for screaming teenagers drinking Irn Bru through a sock?!

I remember a time I was on my knees at the alter not praying but mopping up squirty cream, nutella and confetti streamers!.... Do you know, I think a lot of the 150 year old St. Mungo members would have been very proud of you lovely tweens and teens.

God loves joy and laughter..... he even invented it! And, although there is still a very great need for reverence and respect in a church building, I do believe that it's the Youth of Balerno (and neighbouring villages) who keep the flame alive for the next generation.

I, myself was married at this very position in the room nearly twenty years ago..... and now my own children are the ones performing Irn Bru / sock stunts! So perhaps I'm just another passing soul in the life of this lovely wee building. Ladycroft's stone walls can't talk - and the windows only say a little.... but I definitely felt spoken to last night.

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wendy.brown@stmungos.org (St. Mungo Youth Galleries) http://stmungo.zenfolio.com/blog/2013/5/youth-alpha-the-penultimate Tue, 14 May 2013 10:57:11 GMT
What does the Devil look like to you? http://stmungo.zenfolio.com/blog/2013/4/what-does-the-devil-look-like-to-you Again, as part of the Youth Alpha theme last night on "How Can I Resist Evil" - we touched on this question.... What is our picture of Satan?

We pulled up various images of the personification of evil including Darth Vader, Voldemort and the iconic man with horns and tail on your shoulder..... but then there's this.

Here we have a cute wee girl in a Devil costume. She looks SO lovely.... but think again...... If the Devil is the very personification of evil, pain, disease, hatred, violence, misery, lies, horror..... how strange is it that we would want to actually to re-package the things we hold dear to us - in the Devil's image. Do we want to deny the true horror of evil? Are we more comfortable with a cuddly Devil teddy? etc etc.

I don't really mind the picture of this girl in a Devil suit...... it's a Halloween costume..... (which is a different and yet obviously linked subject) but we brought this up at Youth Alpha just in passing. We wanted to ask the question "What does the Devil look like to you" - or, perhaps more importantly, how does he make you feel?

I wanted to be clear in our discussions yesterday that, if he is to be the enemy of all things good and, if we are in a battle with him every day, perhaps we need to get a good picture of what we're dealing with as we put on God's armour (Ephesians 6 vs10-20) We have to defend ourselves, and remember too - As we are Light of the Word (Matthew 5 v14) - we need to attack!

Sure, if the symbolism doesn't bother you, dress your daughter up as Satan.... I didn't write this to get into a Christians & Halloween (etc) hot potato debate - but, whatever you decide, just remember that by re-shaping the Devil into something harmless, fun and loveable, you might have accidentally helped society to further dumb down the truth behind evil.

Surely, facing up to the harsh realities of the pain in the world is the first step towards resisting evil. After all, if evil looks like something attractive, there's nothing to resist!

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wendy.brown@stmungos.org (St. Mungo Youth Galleries) http://stmungo.zenfolio.com/blog/2013/4/what-does-the-devil-look-like-to-you Tue, 30 Apr 2013 13:02:16 GMT
YOU are light of the world! http://stmungo.zenfolio.com/blog/2013/4/you-are-light-of-the-world We did this in Youth Alpha last night - Yes, You are light of the world - it says so Matthew 5:14 -  “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven."

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wendy.brown@stmungos.org (St. Mungo Youth Galleries) http://stmungo.zenfolio.com/blog/2013/4/you-are-light-of-the-world Tue, 30 Apr 2013 11:49:34 GMT
You Don't Need to Do This if You Don't Want to! http://stmungo.zenfolio.com/blog/2013/4/you-dont-need-to-do-this-if-you-don-t-want-to We had Youth Alpha last night. The theme was "How do I resist evil?" -

The talk part of the evening is sometimes only 20-25 mins long, so that's a pretty big theme to cover!

  • What we looked at was:
  • What does the Devil Look like?
  • Is he even real?
  • What does the Devil have to do with me?
  • Should I be worried?
  • How can I defend myself?
  • How do we attack?

We also looked at the actual concepts behind sin and evil. Words which get bent around or even misinterpreted over time.

For example, evil can sometimes be seen as sexy, risky, exciting, fun, cheeky, alluring, attractive and sin is fast becoming a "churchy" word that doesn't otherwise have much of a place in normal conversation. People totally understand right and wrong - they feel bad when bad stuff happens - but they don't always like to use the word sin to describe it.

Resisting evil is important - we don't want it! But sin is also a fact of life.

I didn't want to dwell on this last night as we had so much else to cover and forgiveness for sin alongside resisting evil are really two different topics - But Jesus' death and resurrection opens the gateway of Grace which enables forgiveness - getting right with God. We are set free!

But some people like to feel bad for longer!

This picture shows the Scala Sancta staircase in Rome. The Pope apparently grants "indulgencies" to you if you go up them on your knees.

The idea of this penance is that, if this experience is discomforting to endure, then you can justify or pay for your sins by some measure.

I should stress that not all Catholics feel the need to do this - didn't want diss the Catholic faith! - but I guess sin makes all people feel bad - and all people (even atheists!) want to get right after they've either thought, done or said something they consider to be wrong. We all want to be clean again..... sometimes we need this every day!

Look at the top of the stairs in the picture.... Jesus is there! He's waiting to greet these people once their knees are sore - trading their failings for pain. As you see, the Catholic Jesus is still often depicted on the Cross. But actually it's not really an image that best illustrates the whole story.... Jesus is risen. The Cross is empty - and he's waiting to forgive you at the bottom of the staircase. You don't need to pay for your sin..... it's already a done deal folks!

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wendy.brown@stmungos.org (St. Mungo Youth Galleries) http://stmungo.zenfolio.com/blog/2013/4/you-dont-need-to-do-this-if-you-don-t-want-to Tue, 30 Apr 2013 10:00:40 GMT
Hanzi Hoops http://stmungo.zenfolio.com/blog/2013/4/hanzi-hoops Youth Alpha Day

Yeah - we did hoops. Of course we did hoops.

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wendy.brown@stmungos.org (St. Mungo Youth Galleries) http://stmungo.zenfolio.com/blog/2013/4/hanzi-hoops Sat, 27 Apr 2013 21:14:01 GMT
Amy Preaches! http://stmungo.zenfolio.com/blog/2013/4/amy-preaches Amy, Rozi and Christy Yes - We were at RS2 St. Mungo's Youth Action Festival Party Frenzy Apocalypse this morning - it's what we call church nowadays!

Here is Amy in the pulpit - preaching the Word to the ever eager youth of the village.

Her style, we think, is very Bible centred. It involves shouting at the top of her voice and beating the teenagers with her bare hands!

We love it!

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wendy.brown@stmungos.org (St. Mungo Youth Galleries) http://stmungo.zenfolio.com/blog/2013/4/amy-preaches Sun, 21 Apr 2013 11:59:17 GMT
Youth Alpha - How to Read the Bible http://stmungo.zenfolio.com/blog/2013/4/youth-alpha---how-to-read-the-bible We had some fabby fun yesterday at Youth Alpha - We all tried to read the Bible....... it's easy! - It's hard! - Both at the same time.....

I of course loved seeing all my lovely photogenic youth squad members - but guess what? - I blew up my camera..... in fact I have now blown up both my cameras - Must be from overuse! - Too many pictures of you crazies!

So I can't show you Roza asleep on the floor, I can't show you pics of our lovely meal and I can't show you George and his new ponytail

We could have been enjoying some great pics of Mark doing various bizarre faces or the twins with their plastic cups.....

I quote from the Ridley Scott movie "Blade Runner" when I say - All these moments lost in time, like tears in rain!

Instead though, here is a shot from my phone of Rozi and Em_Wi's phones.... yes - it takes three phones to make a heart - one for the left ventricle one for the right and one to take the shot...... from a photographic point of view, I'm a little embarrassed since it's out of focus - and you all know how I feel about that!

love it

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wendy.brown@stmungos.org (St. Mungo Youth Galleries) http://stmungo.zenfolio.com/blog/2013/4/youth-alpha---how-to-read-the-bible Tue, 16 Apr 2013 20:58:30 GMT
Youth Escape Committee! http://stmungo.zenfolio.com/blog/2013/4/youth-escape-committee escape committee Okay, so it's Easter - and we don't start back until next week. But I caught this array of mugs outside our house this afternoon. Who knows what they're up to.

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wendy.brown@stmungos.org (St. Mungo Youth Galleries) http://stmungo.zenfolio.com/blog/2013/4/youth-escape-committee Sat, 06 Apr 2013 14:54:42 GMT
So we have done a St. Mungo picture overhaul! http://stmungo.zenfolio.com/blog/2013/4/so-we-have-done-a-st-mungo-picture-overhaul Hannah Banana We were getting a little blocked up with thousands of lovely shots of you guys - so we have extended our gallery system to cope with as many fabby shots as we can get...... Coming back in full effect after Easter 2013, we are very excited about how much fun we are gonna have..... and I, of course, will do my best, from time to time, to capture you all! - Mushy took this shot though...... so we do need to encourage the budding photographers amongst you too..... everybody loves a good photo! Sx

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wendy.brown@stmungos.org (St. Mungo Youth Galleries) http://stmungo.zenfolio.com/blog/2013/4/so-we-have-done-a-st-mungo-picture-overhaul Fri, 05 Apr 2013 14:05:12 GMT