Archive for April, 2008

Ferris Bueller Is On Line Two

To everyone’s surprise, tonight it was time for an 80’s classic film. We had a wide range of films to choose from, but the democratic process resulted in the selection of Ferris Bueller’s Day Off originally released in 1986 (to give you an idea of just hold old it is – that was the year Nicci was born!). For those of you who’ve never seen it, here’s a quick summary of the storyline:

“Ferris is a street-wise kid who knows all the tricks. Today he decides to take the day off school. When Ferris takes the day off, so must his best friends, Cameron and Sloane. Cameron is reluctantly persuaded to borrow his father’s Ferrari, and together they hatch a plan to get Sloane out of class. Suspicious dean of students Ed Rooney knows all about Ferris, but can never catch him. Ferris’ sister Jeanie is also frustrated that Ferris always gets away with his tricks and she doesn’t. Furthermore, Ferris is an ‘angel’ in his parents eyes. It’s Ferris’ day off, he’s out to enjoy himself, and he does!”

It’s not a fast-pace film by any stretch of the imagination, but it’s got some classic scenes and quotes:

“You’re not dying, you just can’t think of anything good to do.”

“It’s understanding that makes it possible for people like us to tolerate a person like yourself.”

We were pleased to welcome Steph’s friend Yolanda who joined us tonight. She probably didn’t get a true flavour of Amicus, so we hope to see her again soon.

Before everyone went home, we watched an amazing news report about the man who grew a finger. Well a finger tip – but it’s just as amazing. This led to a whole string of bizarre “what if” scenarios and a number of questions. Please take a few minutes to read the story and watch the short video, and as you think about how the bones knew to be on the inside, and the finger nail ended up in the right place, reflect on just how amazing God’s creation is…

Important: with the stress of revision and exams looming large, it can only mean one thing – it’s almost time for the H3 Festival [pictures here]. Full details of the line-up are available on the festival website, but here’s the important information: if you want to take advantage of the reduced rate you have just a few days left. If you order your ticket by Monday, the cost will be £25 for an adult weekend ticket and £20 for a youth ticket. That cost includes the Camping fee. The adult ticket will go up to £40 and the youth ticket to £30 – so it’s well worth paying early and making the saving. Please order your ticket through Nick Lingard, but do it by this Monday!

Next Week: Board Games at the Church Centre – bring along your favourite.

Come on in and wipe your feet…

This week we were doing our best to “find humanity in Finding Nemo” as part of our Bible Study series.

Simon skilfully guided us through the much-loved film clips, and through a wide-ranging collection of Scriptures. There were a whole bunch of excellent discussions and questions, and we were all challenged during the course of the evening. One question in particular kept us busy for some time:

If you can work it out, it might make you think a whole different way about the title of this week’s update…

We were pleased to welcome Alex back into the Amicus fold and look forward to her continue attendance. Aside from the question above, even the discussions during the social time were diverse and a little odd, with a discussion between Nicci and Alex about ‘chickens having sex’ and trying to pass it off as a discussion about Chaucer. I don’t remember the context, but there was definitely mention of a ‘sexy goat’ at one point too. Of course it wouldn’t be right if I failed to report the following quotes – as ever, you need to be there to understand the context and humour:

“Beef tables!” – Nicci

“I have feathers and wings…” – Alex

To close the evening we spent some time in a prayer huddle sharing things to celebrate and items of concern, before closing in prayer and remembering each concern before God. Please continue to pray for the things we shared together as you go through the next week.

Reminder: annual membership fees are now due – please pay as soon as possible to avoid us sending round the heavies! Don’t forget – only those who have paid their membership fee will be allowed to order an Amicus Hoodie.

Next Week: will be another Film Evening at EasyRew Towers (Ricky & Tracy’s) – bring along your DVDs and we’ll provide the refreshments. If transport is a problem, let us know with enough notice and we’ll sort it out for you.

A True Underdog Story

This week we had uninterrupted access to the Youth Hall and made the most of it. Advertised as a “sporting frenzy”, we weren’t let down. Due to a slow start the lads entered into a game of “Headers and Volleys”, a game which was once the main focus of BB activity for Seniors, but simply managed to confuse Steph and Nick tonight. Then we switched to the more sedate option of French Cricket, which seemed to move much quicker than normal but we still barely broke a sweat. After a while, and much to Nick’s displeasure, we turned to Unihoc for a bit of frantic exercise and it didn’t disappoint. The teams were picked fairly by David and Andrew (who joined us for the evening as their D of E group doesn’t meet during the end of term break) but the game was a little one-sided. After a good long session we broke for refreshments and a rest.

We resumed the session with the same teams, except for one tactical substitution, but before long the losing team got frustrated and a little disheartened. We shuffled the players around before starting again from scratch – this time the game was much more even. Perhaps a little too well-matched as there was only one goal scored in about 20 minutes, but an enjoyable game anyway. DodgeballThen we had a complete change and tried to play dodgeball by following the rules which feature in the film of the same name (rather than the Junior Section favourite). It took a couple of attempts before we got the rules right, but we persevered, even in the face of enthusiastic debate. If you’re interested, you can play Dodgeball online here. On a not-quite-related note, check out the FaceBall phenomenon. Either watch the short video introductions below, read “A FaceBall Primer for the Memory Deficient“, or take a quick look at a couple of photos of how the game is played. It definitely looks like a possible future Amicus activity.

Ikea BreakfastDespite discussing it with as many people as possible, and a reminder on the website last week, the Ikea breakfast wasn’t very well supported. Obviously a number of people of people have excuses because they are at work – but the rest of you… Despite there only being three of us this time, we had a great time. The breakfast was as good as ever, and a bargain, and we chatted about a whole range of things, none of which we’ll share. You’ll have to come along next time…

Click to enlarge...

It’s been a long time coming, but I’ve finally managed to get round to writing the “start of session” letter. Yes I know it’s a few months late, but it’s done now. You can download it here, and it will also be emailed to all current Amicus members. It also includes the order form for the all new Amicus Hoodies which are available at the bargain price of just £20 (click the picture to the right to see the design). If you would like to purchase one please complete the form and hand it to an Amicus leader by Friday, 2nd May at the latest.

Next Week: Simon will be leading us in part two of our Bible Study series {see prequel and part one}

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Strike

Tim Mid ShotThis week those of use who didn’t venture out to Spring Harvest decided we’d treat ourselves and go bowling. Of course the camera was taken along too and between us we managed to capture some amazing shots:

There some pretty good video clips too:

  • Tim’s technique which inspired the title of this post
  • Sarah skillfully avoiding all the pins in one frame
  • Some nudity {appropriately edited for the squeamish}

Simon won the first game and Ricky won the second and the combined scores for the two games were:

  • Simon: 275
  • Ricky: 267
  • Tim: 246 [using own ball]
  • David: 235 [not using own ball]
  • Sarah: 213 [not using own ball]
  • James: 152 [set a new Personal Best of 93]

And finally, congratulations once again on such an outstanding job on the Promise Auction.  I’m still hearing the buzz everywhere I go.  You kept your end of the bargain (raise enough money and you won’t have to pay subs) now I’d better keep mine and get the letters out asking everyone to pay their £10 membership fee.

For your enjoyment, I’ve now uploaded the photos which Simon took during the Promise Auction preparations and which I totally forgot about.

Next Week: Sporting Frenzy at the Church Centre – come dressed for the occasion, wear sensible shoes, bring a bottle of water and a truck-load of energy.

Sweaty Hugs All Round

After a short time to recover from the events of the weekend, we spent most of our time this week reviewing the success of the Promise Auction. We celebrated what we did well, and discussed what we didn’t do so well and suggested improvements ready to make next year’s event even better (oh yes, expect another!). A full report of the Promise Auction is now online for your enjoyment. Our highlights included Steph and James performing their duet, and the final total of £1200!

Random quote of the evening:

I go to sleep listening to Harry Potter – because I’m cool” – Sarah Putman

There wasn’t much else to report really as we didn’t even attempt to beat our current Volleyball Keepy Uppy record – preferring instead a mad, seemingly chocolate-fulled game of Unihoc. One or two people had to be warned about their over exuberant activity, and one person bowed out early after a particularly “enthusiastic” swipe (hope the bruises aren’t too bad Steph!).

Did any of you get caught out by any April Fools jokes this year? I know someone who was fooled by both the Flying Penguins and the Ice-Skating Greyhounds – yes it was early in the morning, but there’s really no excuse Tracy. And what about this prank – do you think the Cope’s would’ve been fooled by Laura‘s attempt? If you’re interested or looking for ideas for next year, find out what everyone else got up to this year.

The following all happened on April 1st:

  • 1891 – Wrigley Company founded
  • 1929 – Yo-yo invented
  • 1976 – Apple Computers formed
  • 1999 – UK Government introduced the Minimum Wage
    • although, of course, there is a special lower rate for young people (18-21) and a further lower rate for under 18s, making the use of the word “minimum” redundant and pointless
  • 2004 – Google launched Gmail

The evening ended with sweaty hugs all round as we said goodbye to another batch of Uni bods, and those who are off to Spring Harvest.

Next Week: as there are lots of people away at Spring Harvest next week we decided that the small group which is left will go Ten Pin Bowling at Mega Bowl. Please make sure you let me know by Sunday night if you’re coming and I’ll book a lane or two and organise transport.

End of Term Breakfast: Ikea – Tuesday 15th April – 9:30am – let me know if you need a lift.

Promise Auction Success

Promises, PromisesWow what a night!

Saturday 29th March was the day of the Promise Auction which had been organised by the Amicus group members to raise funds for the 1st Bletchley BB Company. It took three months to plan, one day for the final preparations and one evening to execute. To find out exactly what we got up to and how much we raised, read on…

The Amicus group gathered at the Church Centre at 9am on the morning of the Promise Auction with a long to-do list which included: setting up lights, sound and vision equipment, decorating the hall and dressing the tables, making the bidding cards, finalising the processes, and drinking coffee! After an enforced break for lunch we returned at about 4pm to complete the tasks and make sure everyone knew their role and what was happening. With just three hours to go the priority was putting everything in the right place and ensuring that any rubbish was cleared up, and of course rehearsing the entertainment. The refreshments arrived and were arranged in the kitchen, then we had time for a quick briefing and time to anyone wishing to bid to pre-register. Before we knew it the time was 6:40pm and our guests started arriving.

The welcome team leapt into action and made everyone feel, erm, welcome before directing them to the registration table. Once registered everyone found their seats and started to settle in before being served by the waiters. A little after 7pm, with people still arriving, we made a start. Everyone was formally welcomed and instructed as to how the evening would work, before the auctioneer for the evening was introduced and things really started to hot up.

From the start of the evening the bidding was moving at a surprising pace, and we’re pleased to say that the prices kept up with it. Each lot was presented by the auctioneer and on the screen as the bidding got under way, with most being hotly fought over. As expected, Lot 105 for Nudrat’s home-made muffins went down a storm.

The evening was divided into three auction sections and breaks between them for fellowship, “comfort” and refreshments. At the end of each break we drew everyone back together again with a number of entertainment slots introduced by Flic. The first break included Steph singing “Somewhere over the rainbow” (see the link?) with Simon accompanying her on the ukulele. The second item was the world premiere of the Amicus movie – more on that later. The final item of entertainment before we returned was James singing “Hero” with the backing of Simon, Chris and Graham.

The second part of the auction was the longest and featured 17 lots. The apetite for bidding hadn’t been quenched and a number of bidding wars broke out – but thankfully they were good-natured and smiles remained on faces throughout. A number of people who were unable to make it to the event sent donations, and others sent money and specific instructions for what to bid on, so we had a number of Amicus members working as Proxy bidders for the night. Perhaps next year we’ll also organise telephone voting and live website updates.

The second break included the option of dessert and hot drinks, which were absolutely wolfed down, even before the Amicus members could get their hands on any (a politically difficult time in the evening). But tempers were calmed with the return of the entertainment, which included another viewing of the Amicus Movie and a duet from James and Steph (accompanied by Colin Bradley) singing “All For The Best” from Godspell which received a well deserved standing ovation. Before the final section of the auction started again we revealed the already impressive running total of £492.

Part three started back and featured a variety of different lots from cakes to cards and mastermind to make-over (see catalogue for full details) and included two further surprise lots which both sold well. The final two lots were star lots and lived up to their billing with the “Jeeves and Roaster” fetching a winning bid of £40 and Amicus Brute Force (like ‘ground force’ but with much less skill) raising an amazing £80.

We closed the evening with a few well-deserved ‘thank you’s to all concerned (even the fader monkey) before one last item of entertainment, the Amicus Auction Anthem written and performed by the Amicus members and sung to the tune of ‘Hero’. Sadly we didn’t record the performance but here are the words:

Would you pay if we promised you muffins?
Would you bid if we promised you cake?
Would you pay for the ones you love?
Would you save BB tonight?

I can be your ukulele,
I could sing this song all day,
With these promises we’ve made,
We will take your breath away.

Would you like us to clean your house?
Would you prefer us to walk your dogs?
O would you like us to stop singing this song,
And end the auction tonight?

Could we have your money, maybe,
Been given much change lately,
We have nearly hit our aim,
So stick your money to Jame – s!

The last line was a reference to the final opportunity to give money. For those who hadn’t been successful in bidding for their chosen lots, we figured we needed to give them the opportunity to donate some money to the cause, and so we covered James in sticky tape and invited everyone to stick their loose change to him on the way out. It seemed a little bit cheeky, but was a popular activity and it alone raised over £70! A few more stats for you:

  • 41 registered bidders (but families shared bidding cards)
  • 41 lots (including the extra cakes)
  • Most Expensive Lot – 120 – Amicus Brute Force – raising £80
  • Least Expensive Lot – 114 – A Clean Sweep – a genuine bargain at £8
  • Most people came away with one lot, four people with 2 each and two people with five each!

Promise Auction TotalBy the end of the evening when all the lots had been auctioned, and the “James money” counted and added to the donations for desserts, we’d made a staggering £1200!!! So a huge thank you to everyone who supported our efforts in any way – you’re all stars. And we hope to see you all again for an even better event next year.

There are a few more photos below or you can view a slideshow of photos from the evening, and a few additional details.

Admin Team Prepare Welcome to the Promise Auction Good-Natured Bidding War I Can Be Your Ukulele Keep the bids coming...

Well you’ve waited patienly enough for further information about the Amicus Movie mentioned above, so here’s what you’ve been waiting for. The following movie was a complete team effort and took three weeks to plan and film (1 : 2 : 3) before Simon completed the editing and “foley“work. And here it is:

So that’s the Promise Auction over for this year – but we’re seriously considering another event for next year. If you attended the event, please leave a comment below and let us (and others) know what you thought of it. Thanks