Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Church of England Newspaper October 2007

October’s a nothing month really isn’t it? Sorry if it includes your birthday or wedding anniversary but it seems to me, apart from an occasional spot of autumnal natural beauty in the northern hemisphere, that all we do is get cross about Halloween and crosser still if shops play Christmas music.

Still, if getting angry about Halloween is your bag try Halloween Choice and find lots of ideas to celebrate light not dark. If you just want to join in, look at Amazing Moms for some safety tips and ideas. Talking of light and dark, National Churchwatch campaigns to keep church buildings open in daylight and also to keep clergy safe. Useful ideas and articles.

Worried about what to wear at the evening, informal light party? Dresscodeguide is available to give information based on custom and climate. There’s more rules than you think out there.

If you spent last month getting a bit ratty about people doing yoga in your church hall then you might find Yogapages a help. It seems as susceptible as all sites to banner ads though. Then again it may just annoy you, in which case read the article on the Reachout Trust web-site to restore what you probably don’t call your karma.

ChangingMinds is a compilation site of articles on ‘...all aspects of how we change what others think, believe, feel and do.’ Read up about disciplines, techniques and explanations including interrogation, propaganda and conditioning. From now on staff meetings will never be the same.

The Church Army do good work with little praise. Their autumn campaign Bringing Hope is worth checking out. They do precisely that, by and large, often in places where other church staff and volunteers could not reach.

Those of you who work in the education sector have probably heard of Groupcall which functions largely as a truancy management scheme. But if you ever need to tell a large group of people the same information quickly (Sunday School cancelled? Youth weekend washed out?) then you might wish to investigate its wider benefits.

I recently attended e@b Bristol Elim Church. To give you a flavour, this is a church where the crèche team give parents pagers for contact during worship times. The venue (not just the crèche) functions as an excellent conference venue during the week. I was there for the videocast of the humbly named Global Leadership Summit. This was two days of excellent training at a brilliant price. Investigate next year’s conferences, buy this year’s DVDs and check out other opportunities at Willow Creek.

I love ideas. This week I discovered Dumb Little Man. In their words, ‘...Each week we provide a handful of tips that will save you money, increase your productivity, or simply keep you sane.’ They do too. Left-handed mouse use anyone?

Experts at Pub quizzes will no doubt love trivia sites. Song Facts is full of lovely, distracting information about songs. If you ever have to set quizzes, not necessarily in a pub, then there are many sites which may help. Try Pub Quiz Help, Madrid Pub Quiz, Free Quiz Questions or Utter Trivia. Of course your potential contestants may have visited before you so don’t take all your questions from the same site.

One of the wonderful things about the internet is the ability to get basic tuition on almost anything. I’ve been researching help with simple sketching. The aptly-named Learn to Draw was a start to, ‘...learning the fundamentals of drawing with easy to follow interactive instruction.’ For mathematics help visit Math. For almost anything podcastable try Mediafly, especially their Online Learning Area. If you don’t understand podcasting there is, as ever, an excellent BBC page dedicated to frequently asked questions.

Later this school year some of you might need to investigate work experience opportunities. My Work Experience is the aptly-named first-stop help.

If you want to search for blog material – someone, for instance, may have written an online reaction to a news event or attempted the difficult task you are about to embark upon and journalled their experience, use Icerocket. It will trawl blogs and list results starting with the most recently posted. It’s research 2007 style. Technorati offers similar help and will feed information to your email address if you identify the particular subject matter in which you are interested.

Visit my blog to find previous columns.

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