July's article was lost in the great crash but here is August's. I'm writing September's today.
Summer? Something I missed whilst blinking this year? Or perhaps I was too busy watching and surfing the Olympics. Elise’s Olympic Journey was a lovely little blog about a Canadian synchronised swimmer. Carissa Gump (yes, really) is a US weightlifter. Her Dad wears a T-shirt saying ‘My girl lifts more than you.’ Her blog is illuminating and has a lovely little medal chart showing the Australians coming fifth. Start dropping in to the London 2012 blog from now.
Still, it is about time we thought about the autumn programme.
Now normally, each month, I collect ideas from friends, magazines and links which go to make this column. But what if I came to the internet cold? I decided to have a go, feeding some cue words from the autumn into various search engines and seeing what came up. It follows that the sites I now list come with a warning. They are not fully investigated and may contain dross as well as delight.
Fancy taking the children on a nature walk? Under 5s can help you answer questions about leaves and stuff. For a more commercial take, Autumn Fair 2008 is at the NEC from September 7-10. CEN readers will also need (oops I mean, enjoy) the Guardian’s A-Z guide to autumn fashion. It will help you tell your Ashish from your Eskimo.
Need Harvest service ideas? If you are a teacher then Teachernet is a good port of call. Some background information and loads of links to resource sites. Key stage 1 and 2 assembly ideas are also available at Teachingpets. Worship resources for churches are available from the Arthur Rank Centre.
I also discovered that 20th September – 5th October is British Food Fortnight and their site has ideas and links. As part of that look out for the Cook for Life Challenge to reward schools which feature cooking in their curriculum innovatively. During this period the NHS will be stepping up its 5 a Day fruit and veg campaign. The raspberry jam in a doughnut doesn’t count, apparently. Curses.
Organisations have not (according to Google) been very quick off the mark in making 2008 alternative Halloween resources available online as yet, but the Evangelical Alliance still has its 2007 page and many of the links remain appropriate. It’s, ‘A listing of resources from Christian agencies covering the background to Halloween as well as resources and ideas for alternative Halloween events for children and discouraging trick or treating.’ Church House Bookshop will sell you Nick Harding’s 2006 book Better than Halloween. There is a good online summary.
Visit the Royal British Legion’s site for background to Remembrance Sunday. Service ideas available from CPAS’ Church Leadership site (subscription required). Author bias warning; I wrote some of them. Transforming Worship is ‘...an initiative of the Liturgical Commission of the Church of England.’ It has links and material for Remembrance Sunday. Not surprisingly there are also a couple of service outlines on the site of the Royal Army Chaplain’s Department.
Sending offspring to college? Studential has an article for freshers, as do Real Uni, the e-zine Get Smart, not surprisingly UCAS and I found a recent, archived article from the Independent. It’s a world of advice out there but don’t be worried by all those links to the Samaritans.
One friend recommendation this month though. I was pointed in the direction of Greenmetropolis. It’s a second hand book trading site. All books are £3.75 and you get £3 of that less the cost of posting it to the purchaser. 5p per transaction is donated to the Woodland Trust. Time to get rid of those paperbacks you will never read again? By the way my church has occasional book and DVD swapping sessions. They are popular and part of growing community.
I’ve had a massive hard-drive failure to add to the fun recently so last month’s column isn’t archived yet, but Mustard Seed Shavings is still around and delighted to welcome your comments. I commend the links to the YouTube videos of the outstanding instrumental guitar playing of Steffen Schackinger and Andy McKee. Open two windows if you can and listen whilst surfing.
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