Archive for February, 2008

Death By Monkeys!

Woody & BuzzAs billed last week, tonight was the start of our Bible Study series based on Computer Animated Films. We gathered at the newly decorated, carpeted and ‘put back together again’ Rew Residence to watch Toy Story 2. It’s probably fair to say that the film was enjoyed by everyone present – and I’m looking forward to seeing how the Bible Study uses it to relate to scripture. The film obviously sparked of some profound thoughts in the mind, as evidenced by the following quote:

Why does he grab his own bottom?!” – Steph

Not much else to report for the evening, except biscuits really. Oh, and we made use of the DVD special features including the “which character are you” quiz (I’m Woody apparently), and thoroughly enjoyed the faked out-takes whilst marvelling at the effort which went into them considering it’s an animated movie. You can watch the out-takes below:

Don’t forget last week’s Caption Competition – the prize will be awarded next week. There are only two entries so far – so the odds are still pretty good (provided you’re funny/witty/clever/obtuse).

Next Week: meeting at the Church Centre as normal for the first Bible Study proper, and some further planning for the Promise Auction which is scarily just one month away!

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Trouser Rippingly Good Clean Fun

Trousers!This week it felt like we had a full house, with all but one of the “usual suspects” (we missed you Flic!) and all four leaders present, and in addition we welcomed Tim (as there was no DofE), Sarah (as she’s back for half term) and Alex (who will be joining us again after Easter!). With it being half term, of course there was really only one thing to do…head into the Youth Hall for general madness and merriment!

The madness began with a complete free-for-all, with one group trying to set-up an obstacle course whilst another group used them as target practice, eventually driving the first group out of the hall altogether. Once there was a return to some order, we played the lethal swinging rope game (did someone say ‘risk assessment’?). Then we moved seamlessly into an unpredicted skipping frenzy! There were some very talented skippers present, and did I mention that Alex was with us too ;o)

After the skipping Nicci and Steph organised an obstacle course and then set two teams against each other. Then the teams were mixed up a little and then set off again. A very enjoyable activity to watch – I’m not sure about the taking part.

At the start of the evening we made rude comments about the likely effect Ali’s presence would have on our Keepy Uppy record. Well we were in for a shock. Of course it’s down to teamwork, but even with Ali present, we hit a new record. The current record was 40 volleyball style keepy uppys, and we broke it fairly quickly and hit a new high of 43. But a further surprise was in store as we did it again an reached an amazing 45! Good work all round! 50 here we come!!!

For devotions I was trying encourage everyone to make a connection between a packet of Ikea sweets and God – but it didn’t go too well as everyone was still hyper from the games and only 20% were paying attention at any one time. Instead – let me summarise over here: God is…

Caption Competition: take a look at the following picture and add your caption to the comments below. There will be a chocolate-based prize for the winner (unless it’s James, in which case we’ll negotiate a suitable alternative!).

Caption Competition

The rest of this weeks photos are of course online too.

Next Week: we’ll be starting the new Bible Study series by watching one of the animated films on which the study is based. We’re meeting at Ricky & Tracy’s at the usual time – if you need a lift get in touch as soon as you can to avoid disappointment.

And Finally, a video summary of the evening:

Dainty Little Freak

Cookies! Yum!After a short time catching up on each other’s news from the past week, we spent the majority of the evening making progress on the Promise Auction planning and eating way too many cookies! Yum! The Promise Auction is coming together well, with the catalogue of lots pretty much sorted (just need to bash out the details on some lots) and we’re making a start on publicity.

As ever at Amicus, the evening was punctuated with lots of strangeness. The first of which was these two videos – it’s amazing what you can find on YouTube – simply bizarre:

Obviously this week is a very romantic week – so it wouldn’t be right if we didn’t make mention of Valentine’s Day. Especially for Flic and Morgan ;o)

Be Mine...

Talking of romance, in a further strange diversion, we also watched a clip from the BBC’s excellent “Life in Cold Blood” series. The clip in question features the excellent Waving Frogs – but you’ll have to watch the video yourself to work out the tenuous connection to romance.

Next week it’s half term – yay! And in honour of this fact we’re off to Ikea on Tuesday morning for a 95p breakfast! After breakfast we’ll chill out a bit together, have a laugh, and then wander through the store and visit the marketplace. Meet us outside at 9:25 – or make contact if you need a lift and we’ll see what we can do.

Quite Literally Pumping With Excitement

We mentioned last week that we have a now long-running Amicus tradition of eating pancakes a day late – on Ash Wednesday instead of Shrove Tuesday (hmm, Shrove Wednesday?). Whilst I’m sure God isn’t too bothered – others think it’s all a bit weird. Thankfully, Jon Birch has produced an excellent Asbo Jesus cartoon which we can use to justify our position if anyone questions it in the future:

Ash Wednesday Pancakes

Thankfully we didn’t have any pancakes which were burnt that badly. This year we cheated a little (some call it lazy, we call it efficiency) by using ready-made ‘shake and make’ mix – which comes in the best kinda Blue Peter style – just add water. The pancakes turned out pretty well really – accompanied by fizzy drinks after James volunteered to run to the shops. We each brought along our favoured toppings which included white chocolate spread, Nutella, chocolate spread (can you see a pattern emerging?), marshmallows, squirty cream, syrup, maple syrup, lemon and sugar. Mmmmmmm. The biggest contrast between this year and previous pancake-making exploits was the quantity we prepared. As we’re lower on numbers than usual, and as the Dungate “boys” and “the Nicks” weren’t around, we cooked only a tiny fraction of the usual number. Steph was ultra-confident in her flipping, even when a pancake seemed to explode in mid flip she didn’t flinch at all.

Before we stuffed our faces with unhealthy foods we stopped for a while to reflect on the start of Lent. We thought about what we’re giving up and taking up for the 40/46-ish days and why. We started by looking at a cartoon which explores how we often get Lent wrong. Then we viewed a set of cartoons produced by Si Smith which depict Jesus’ temptation in the wilderness – the set is entitled 40 and can be viewed online (although it may take a while to download) and you can read the story behind Si’s series of pictures in this short interview. We progressed through the pictures and included some of the Scriptural accounts of the temptation whilst listening to ‘Sometimes you can’t make it on your own‘ by U2. Read the following reflection on Lent by Maggi Dawn:

It’s a common misconception that Lent is about self-improvement. Somehow a half-remembered custom of giving things up has been mixed in with our society’s obsession with self-help and self-improvement, so that we’ve blurred the true meaning of the fast into a rather individualistic concept, more like a New Year Resolution to detox or de-clutter.

Lent is not about giving up luxuries, not about losing weight or gaining other benefits, not about food per se, not about de-cluttering or Feng Shui or about ay other kind of feel-good, de-toxifying exercise. In the end, it’s about denying yourself some of the essentials of everday life in order to focus on the reality that we depend upon God for life itself; about re-aligning ourselves with God and his purposes in our world; about reminding ourselves that all we have is a gift from God in any case.

And neither is Lent about achievement. We cannot earn God’s love, nor save ourselves. If our Lenten Fast is understood well, it will relieve us of the need to try harder, achieve more, feel worthy. It will ground us in the firm and unshakeable knowledge that we are human – we are but dust, and to dust we shall return – but that to be human is enough, under the loving gaze of God. – Maggi Dawn

NichollsWe were joined for part of the nightby Mark Nicholls (who even makes lumpy “shake and make” pancake mix) and were missing Simon who was in Spain on Business ;o)

We closed the evening with a lengthy session of Volleyball Keepy-Uppy. We struggled a little. At times it was a lack of motivation, ability and lack of breath due to laughing (boy did we laugh – at times it physically hurt). At other times it was for reasons which will remain between us – although the title of the update should give you a little hint (whiff?) of the reason. We were stuck at about 27 for a while, but then in a late flurry of genius we acheived 36, but sadly still fell short of the current record of 40 (hmm a good Lenten number). No doubt we’ll try again in weeks to come – perhaps doing it without a stomach full of pancakes and fizzy drinks will help).

Randomness:

Thought: perhaps we need to have a physical quote book which is ever-present at Amicus sessions.

Reflection: maybe there are potential incrimination issues with the physical quote book idea ;o)

Next Week: Promise Auction Planning – we’ve made a lot of progress, but there’s still a lot to do. We’re looking forward to the final event as it’s shaping up to be fantastic.