August has been a month of riots and summer festivals. Both of which seems to have caused a bit of debate.
Thomas Prosser wrote about the pernicious and manipulative teen camps such as Soul Survivor. Obviously, teen camps are all about brain-washing and praying on the vulnerable. Steve Clifford, however, disagreed. He feels that the teen camps encourage an ethos of volunteering and community work, something that this country desperately needs in the wake of the riots. Martin Saunders (editor of the Youthwork magazine) agrees with Clifford and believes that faith-based youth work can offer hope and transformation in the lives of disenfranchised teenagers. I was a bit disappointed that Prosser didn't charge the organisers with bundling all 20,000 teens who attended Soul Survivor in the back of transit vans, taking them to the campsite against their free will and not telling them that it was actually a Christian event they were attending. Because that is what they do, isn't it?
The Comment is Free section of the Guardian posed the question Is there a spiritual response to the riots? Martin Saunder's aforementioned article talks about the riots and how Christianity can provide a solution. My friend, Nai, who is about to start a job with XLP, wrote on her blog about the Christian response to the events (as well as a bit about New Wine and other bits). It very much echoed the heart ache I felt as a youth worker, seeing the young people, the same age as my teens, looting and burning down buildings. What made it more poignant was the fact that Nai is going to be working with some of the teens that would have down this, as she begins her job in Lewisham.
You can read about my experience of New Wine (including embarrassing anecdote), the preparation for Soul Survivor and how it turned out in the end. I never got round to writing my article about the riots and how twitter surprised me, but the moment passed. However, the guys at The Church Sofa pretty much wrote what I was going to about twitter anyway.
The Resurgence website had some gems this month, including Do You Doubt Yourself? Good.
Okay, okay, so this next one was published in July. But I was away and I probably wouldn't have had time to put it in the post anyway. Tim Chester posted some very interesting information on the porn industry and its effects.
I seriously cannot believe August is over. Has it gone as quickly for you as it did for me?
What have I missed?