Exploring Emotional Health

 

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On average, three children in every class at school are affected by a mental health issue

Did you know …

  • It is estimated that half of all mental health problems manifest before the age of 14 years old

  • Child and adolescent mental health services are turning away approximately 25% of children referred to them for treatment

  • Only 0.7% of the NHS budget is spent on children’s mental health

  • 2 in 5 young carers have a mental health problem

  • 1 in 12 young people self-harm

Youth leaders recognise that issues around emotional health are growing and research shows that young people want to talk about it!

In her debut book, Exploring Emotional Health, author Liz Edge provides key information and six ready-to-go workshops covering: self-esteem; anxiety; depression; self-harm; and identify and coping with emotions, to enable even the busiest of youth leaders to provide effective support in building resilient young people.

Liz says: “This book was born out of identifying personally and professionally the need to support youth leaders and young people in exploring emotional health and faith. Each workshop is the start of an ongoing conversation that we must engage with in our practice.”

Liz Edge is a professionally qualified youth work practitioner, holding a first-class degree in Youth Work and Ministry. She has worked with young people across a wide range of Christian and other settings and now delivers innovative youth work through education, training and intervention.

To contact Liz for interviews and enquiries please email her at Liz.Edge@mail.com. Alternatively, head over to her website www.Liz-Edge.co.uk or follow her on Twitter: @LizEdge_

This Months Featured Author – David Adam

David Adam was born in Alnwick, Northumberland and was the Vicar of Lindisfarne where he ministered to thousands of pilgrims and other visitors for thirteen years until he retired in March 2003. He is the author of many inspiring books on spirituality and prayer, and his Celtic writings have rekindled a keen interest in our Christian heritage.

David Adam

Icons of Glory

Icons of Glory is a book of intercessions for the major church festivals throughout the year.

Each set of intercessions prays for the Church, the world, the local community and our homes, the sick and those in need, ending with a remembrance of our loved ones departed. 1501513-cover-v3
The short introduction to each festival will help focus on that event. There is also an opening prayer, readings from the Scriptures, an offering of God’s peace and a blessing.Icons of Glory is a book of intercessions for the major church festivals throughout the year.

Each set of intercessions prays for the Church, the world, the local community and our homes, the sick and those in need, ending with a remembrance of our loved ones departed.

The short introduction to each festival will help focus on that event. There is also an opening prayer, readings from the Scriptures, an offering of God’s peace and a blessing.

 

Candles – Complete Common Worship Talks and Activities

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Candles were first published in three volumes, one for each year of the liturgical cycle. Since then David Adam’s teaching programme has proved to be of enduring value as a resource for those who lead children’s groups of pre-school age to 5 years. It is now being republished as a single volume, alongside its companion volume for older children, Lamps, covering Years A, B and C of Common Worship. Apart from minor revisions and updates the content of the original book remains the same. This revised edition includes a CD-Rom of the worksheets for every Sunday.

THE LORD’S PRAYER

I find that increasingly I’m forgiven for being grumpy.  At my age it is almost as though people expect it of me. So I don’t disappoint them. One of my little ‘grumps’ is that people don’t trouble to remember things any more. They just get out their smart phone and look it up – addresses, phone numbers, where they live!  Like many youngsters of the time I was brought up to remember poems, passages from Shakespeare plays, history dates, prayers and verses from the Bible. It didn’t do me any harm.  It provided a little store of things treasured away in my memory to call on when needed. I remember Terry Waite said how much he valued having a store of remembered bible verses and prayers when it came to those terrible days of solitary imprisonment in Lebanon.

One prayer that people do still make an effort to remember is t1501546-cover_1he Lord’s Prayer. In many church schools children are still encouraged to learn it by heart. But that doesn’t always work as it should.

My grandfather who was headmaster of a small primary school in Kent used to tell the story of the time a visitor came to the school and stood at the back of the hall during assembly.  Afterwards, over a cup of tea he told my grandfather that when it had come to the Lord’s Prayer the children were saying; ‘Our Father, chart in heaven, hollering down the lane’. It was the best sense they could make of the words.

It still makes me smile and wonder what children have made of some of the things I have said in schools and churches. We all do our best to make sense of what we hear but don’t necessarily properly understand.

Could that happen with the Lord’s Prayer and adults?  You bet it could, you bet it does.  Knowing the Lords’ Prayer, even off by heart, isn’t the same as understanding it’s meaning.  We live in an age when its imagined that knowing something, a fact, is the same as understanding its meaning.  It isn’t.

Here is the most important prayer we could ever learn – a prayer taught us by Jesus himself. It doesn’t ramble on, it doesn’t use particularly difficult words. It is rich in meaning and spiritually important – it comforts and it challenges. But the very familiarity of the words means we so seldom stop to ask what they really mean – what they meant to Jesus, what they meant for his disciples, what they mean for us. Next time you use that prayer as part of your private prayer time don’t rattle it off.  Say it slowly. Think about each phrase, what it means for you, for this day. And if you want a bit of help why not take a look at a book just published by Kevin Mayhew: ‘The challenge of the Lords’ Prayer.’  It could make more sense than ‘hollering down the lane’.

Still Valued and Blessed

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When do we move from middle age into old age?  Is it when our hair begins to turn grey – or we lose it? Could it be when we hit the age of being eligible to receive our pensions? Maybe it is at that time of life when we cease to carry out any kind of paid employment? Is it when our health begins to fail, or when we come to a point of realising that we can no longer do what we used to? Many people say that ‘old age’ is all about attitude of mind.

God doesn’t want us to stop living fulfilling lives – filled with joy and hope – just because we have reached a certain age. We still have spiritual needs to be met; callings to fulfil; and, through our relationship with Jesus, an eternal spiritual connection with God that no one and nothing can take away. And this is why I came to write Still Valued and Blessed. Not to try and define when old age does or does not begin, but to encourage the kind of understanding of Scripture, relationship with Jesus and mind-set that enables us to approach, enter and journey through old age with a positive attitude that will enable it to be a spiritually fruitful and fulfilling time of our lives.

Just because we are older, doesn’t mean we have to stop! Indeed, surely it is better to see this stage in all our lives as nothing more – and nothing less – than another chapter! New experiences lie ahead, new wonders, new challenges.

With God beside us, these senior years have as much promise as the ones which we have already lived. It is not about dwelling on the things we can no longer do – though don’t for a minute think just because you’re a certain age you can’t run a half marathon or learn a new skill – it is about seeking God’s continued calling, no matter what our age. And in that, realising and relishing the fact that we are, each and every one of us, Still Valued and Blessed.

Patrick Coghlan

Five Note Philharmonic – Sarah Watts

 

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I have so much to thank music for. Not just the obvious things like appreciating its power to relax me, change my mood and to conjure up life memories etc. Those things are important and powerful of course, and one should never underestimate the power of music, but for me, it was so much more.

I could probably say that music played a huge part in carving who I am. Because I was fortunate to have been encouraged by my parents and school to play an instrument…or two. Music gave me an identity, punctuated my week with exciting experiences, introduced me to friends, shaped my teenage social life, gave me a career, and even found me a husband.

This is probably why I feel so passionately about sharing this experience with others. I have written a lot of music, and I can honestly say that the aim behind most of it has been to make playing music enjoyable, accessible and inspiring. Some of the young people who have played my music may have only played three notes, but I wanted them to really enjoy playing them, and remember the experience.

Because of the “Wider opportunities” and “First Access” schemes many Hubs, music services and schools are now able to provide class instrumental lessons. This is wonderful, but the challenge has always been “How are we going to get these young instrumentalists to keep playing?”.

Often music comes to life when you play it with other people. Research has shown that those who join bands, orchestras ensembles and groups at a young age are more likely to continue playing their instrument. With this in mind, it’s really important that we as music educators offer these opportunities in the very early stages of learning.

My “Easy band book” and “Band in a book” have been very popular as a “grass roots” ensemble resources, but I wanted to do something better. It’s very difficult to write something for a beginner ensemble that is suitable for everyone. This is mainly because the instruments are often in different keys, and most teachers just don’t have time to arrange things specially.

I have recently written a new book called “Five note Philharmonic” where despite the “key issue”, each part only uses five notes. Where possible I have made sure that these are five of the easiest notes on the instrument. It’s wonderful offering an “Ensemble experience”, but it’s important to make sure that it’s a comfortable one that will build confidence rather than deflate it.

The book has ten short pieces in varying styles, all have a piano or CD accompaniment. I have also written an extra B flat part for a slightly more advanced player so that the melody line be played with a B flat or C instrument.

One of the strongest desires I have for anything I write, is for it to be useful as a resource for teachers. It is also very important to me that my music can provide the same “musical excitement” for somebody that gave me the inspiration to write it in the first place.

Sarah Watts

From the archives: Finding your Inner Treasure (2010) ~ Helen Warwick

FindingyourInnerTruth

A good proportion of this rather meaty 346 page book is made up of hands-on exercises involving (amongst other things) paper, felt tips, paint, symbols, words, magazine cuttings, dough, the Bible and using the imagination- all of which are aimed at getting you to learn ‘the language of your unconscious to connect to God in a way that’s personal to you.’ All of these techniques require an instinctive approach, and are very much grounded in interpretation and looking for connections between what’s happening in your life and what you’ve found yourself visualising, sculpting or putting down on paper.

Notable chapters deal with examining the pace of your life,decision making and finding your true purpose. Later chapters seem to have a kind of anchoring effect which may appeal to those who have problems living in the present moment or who are anxious about what the future might bring. Her reflections on the Bible and the way she relates it to back to life issues will suit all readers- whether your copy is gathering dust on a shelf or you’re just looking for a fresh approach to it.

Reflections on Dante’s ‘Divine Comedy’, The Catcher in the Rye, Henri Nouwen and St Teresa of Avila also make a pleasing appearance and there are some candid insights into her past struggle with ME, her life in general, as well as methods and case studies from her work as a Spiritual Director.

Early on in the book, Helen writes with the assumption that the majority of her readers will have lost touch with their creativity at some point along the way and offers reassurance to those who may be sceptical about some of her methods. She also speaks directly to those with busy lives with little time for reflection, promising them a journey towards wholeness. For those who are already in touch with their creativity and/or spirituality the book offers a fun and fresh take on exploring your inner landscape and something that will go some way to consolidate the insights already gained on your spiritual journey.

Finding your Inner Treasure is available from all good Christian Bookshops or direct from Kevin Mayhew online www.kevinmayhew.com/finding-your-inner-treasure.html or by telephone 01449 737978
Posted by Sarah

Q&A with Nicholas King

Nick King

If you didn’t catch Nicholas King’s talk on Bible translation at CRE, Sandown earlier this month, then you will have missed one of the highlights of the whole event; delivered with humour, humility and zest,  I was inspired to put on my theology hat for a bumper blog post! Below the respected New Testament scholar and Oxford University lecturer talks New Testament ‘freshness’, Hebrew, learning Zulu passed 40, ‘elderly gym antics’ and the ‘impossibly difficult task’ that is Bible translation!

At a recent talk given at CRE, Sandown you said you began by translating two Gospels simply ‘just to see what it was like’. You’ve also been quoted as saying that Bible translation happens because ‘the community has forgotten the language of the sacred texts’- do you think subconsciously you were feeling this when you chose to translate?

I don’t think that was what was going on inside me; I sat down to translate Mark and John because I had to give a summer school about the two of them, and there is no better way of getting a ‘feel’ for a document than to translate it. And it was certainly a great education.

Nicholas King
Nick signs copies of his latest book ‘The Prophets’

What age did you begin learning Hebrew, how long did it take you to master and also what advice would you give to someone wanting to learn the language?

I started learning Hebrew in my mid-20s; and my advice is that the brain works better the younger you are. I learnt Zulu when I was past 40, and that was really hard work. The only advice is that learning a language is very hard work, and you must never give up. Do a bit every single day; do new stuff in the morning, and familiar material last thing at night before you go to sleep.

Nick King - Book Signing

Presumably you’ve read the bible simply as a reader and believer in God as much as you’ve read it as a scholar…how much do you think personal beliefs inadvertently ‘cloud’ a translation…would having no belief in God take some of the feeling out of the text?

Many non-believers have worked on the biblical texts (though I sometimes wonder why); so it is certainly possible to work on them without believing in them. As for being clouded by ‘personal beliefs’,any translator is the person they are and not some other person, and what you do as a translator is greatly affected by the person you are.

Before you began each of your translations did you have an idea of what you didn’t want to produce…what you didn’t want it to sound like and also how you’d strike a balance between literal renderings and paraphrase; about pitch of discourse, style and format?

Before I started the translation, I thought translation was easy; I thought, for example, that every word in the source language would always be translated by the same word in the target-language, and that I could control the effect of what I was doing. I found in fact that the translation dictated itself, and that it was out of my hands. The one quality that I wanted the NT to have was that of ‘freshness’ which is there in the 27 documents that make up the original; and I am pleased to notice that several reviewers have used that word. Now I know that translation is an impossibly difficult task.

The Old Testament - Nicholas King

Did you find yourself seeing, in your minds eye, the various people in the Bible– was there enough there in the text to get that kind of clarity?

One always forms an impression of the people who are part of the narrative; how accurate the impression is, must be, of course, another matter.

You spoke of avoiding ‘puréed sludge’; translating the various voices in a way that they all retained their uniqueness rather than sounding like one and the same. Are you able to summarise in one or two words the personalities/character traits of say, Matthew, Mark and Paul?

Matthew: a school-teacher, with all that implies
Mark: young and vigorous
Paul: a great lover

The New Testament - MathewThe New Testament - Mark

Have there been many sleepless nights during the course of translating the Bible and has there been anything that was particularly difficult to translate?

The hardest bit was Romans; at times I found that the closer I looked the less I understood what Paul was saying.

Not that man - Nicholas King

Are there any parts that seemed ‘easier’ than others to translate and why do you think this was?

Perhaps Joshua to 2 Kings, the ‘Deuteronomic History’, because it is mainly narrative. Ruth, because it is a breath of fresh air after the appalling narratives with which the book of Judges ends.

Who or what kept you sane throughout…I read that you’re a big cricket fan so perhaps watching/playing?

Playing cricket and squash, as well as some running and downhill skiing, until osteo-arthritis brought retirement upon me. Now I content myself with elderly antics in the gym.

Did you check your translations with other readers?

For some reason I felt very private about the translations, preferring to wait and see how readers reacted. However I had an excellent copy- editor in Peter Dainty, who was incredibly vigilant, and a former student, Yolande Trainor, who read every word of the text with her Ladies’ Bible Study group in South Africa, and preserved me from many blunders.

With regards to the things left unspoken in the Bible, for instance in Mark 16:8…why do you think that some translators have felt the need to fill in the gaps- do you think it’s because they didn’t trust the reader to get the nuances in the text or simply because they wanted to put their own stamp on it?

It is probably a bit of both; biblical narrative operates by understatement, such, for example as the terrible story of the binding of Isaac in Genesis 22, which is simply crying out to fill in the gaps. And quite often later authors have been unable to resist the temptation to fill them in.

Strangest Gospel - Nicholas King

You have said “The Greek text of the New Testament is only a scholars’ guess, and what we have in our modern editions is not a manuscript that ever existed; all the manuscripts that we possess have mistakes in them, so we do not even know what the original text was”…does this conflict in any away with your belief that god’s voice is just below the surfacedo you believe that this voice will get harder to hear/find?

This is where the Church comes in; we get the Bible from the Christian community, and not the other way round. However (and this is really important) it is also true that the Church is subservient to the text, as well as being its source, and we all have to listen to that voice of God which is there “below the surface of the text”, whatever the quality of the translation, and whatever the state of the manuscripts.

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You mentioned the biblical narrative has ‘a certain fullness’ would you say that in distilling/ editing this ‘fullness’ in your own translations you’ve done away with poetics? Was there a chance that the translation would not only have been ineligible but twice the size if you’d left the ‘fullness’?

“A certain fullness”. I can’t quite remember saying this, nor what precisely what I might have meant by it! However I have tried to be faithful to the text, and where it was poetic I have tried to be poetic, and so I don’t think that I distilled it in a way that would have made my final text notably shorter than the original.

At CRE, you spoke of your affinity with Ronnie Knox (a theologian who amongst other things translated the Latin Vulgate Bible into English, using Hebrew and Greek sources)– remarking that you said a prayer at this grave in ‘allegiance’. Are there other people you admire/feel an allegiance to?

The list is too long, but those who taught me above all. In different places, Peter Hardwick (and he would be surprised by that), and Geza Vermes, both of whom have died this year; Robert Murray SJ, Professor Christopher Rowland – and many many others.

Father Ronald Knox
Father Ronald Knox d. 1957

Has translating the Bible changed your understanding of it in any significant way? And would you say it’s strengthened your faith?

One thing that it has taught me is how much I love the bible. And, yes, I think that my faith has gone deeper.

And finally, what advice would you give to someone wanting to translate the bible?

Think twice about it.

 

With special thanks to Nick for this interview!

Posted by Sarah

The books featured in this post are available from all good Christian bookshops or direct from Kevin Mayhew online: www.kevinmayhew.com/info/contributors/nicholas-king.html or by telephone: +44 (0)845 3881634

It’s a family affair!

Critical friend by John CoxMore Sermons on Difficult SubjectsA Day Away by Paul Cox

Identical twins John and Paul Cox have more in common than it would initially seem. The retired duo, both of whom worked in parish ministry, have had titles published by Kevin Mayhew on the exact same day- a first ever (we think!)

Twins - John Cox and Paul Cox

John’s Critical Friend, which provides information and guidance to help school governors fulfil their important, demanding and worthwhile role and A Day Away, in which Paul Cox contributes his valuable experience in planning parish away days and study groups, were published on the same day last month.

While John has been writing for Kevin Mayhew for many years and is also a commissioning editor for the company, it is only recently that Paul began writing. From their contributions to pastoral care handbooks to their very own titles that range from study courses and joining the Anglican Church to retreat days and the important work of church schools, the Cox brothers have covered a wide spectrum and their list of titles have been well received critically.

Other recent publications include their esteemed contributions to the important new title More sermons on Difficult Subjects. Elsewhere, John offers a fresh and exciting resource for those leading and speaking during this season of Lent in the aptly titled The Week that Changed the World.

The Week that Changed the World by John CoxJoining the Anglican Church by Paul CoxMore Than Caring and Sharing by John Cox

More information about the twins plus further titles by the pair are available at www.kevinmayhew.com. You can ‘like’ Critical Friend on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Critical-Friend-The-Work-of-Governors-in-Church-Schools/549242891776459

Posted by Sarah

What are you giving up (or taking up!) for Lent?

Pick up and use Youth Work Resource for Church and SchoolThe Greatest Love Story Ever Told and then some by Rosie RushtonFeasts and Festivals by Claire Benton-Evans
Derek the ClericHiding in God by Annie HeppenstallThe Psalms - Translated by Nick King
Fruitfull by Suzi StockThe New Testament - Translated by Nicholas KingOur Earth, Our Home by Ellen Teague

A wise priest once told me, ‘Give vent to your creative bent this Lent’ – so this year, I’m going to start learning the ukulele! It will be the first musical instrument I’ve tried to learn since I gave up piano lessons at 15…it could be a long forty days and forty nights!
Claire Benton-Evans

I’m giving up the early morning cup of coffee, with a view to praying a bit more. And possibly abandoning alcohol…
Nicholas King

I like the idea of taking something up instead. I’m going to start a ‘thankful’ box. Basically each day I will try to write down a short thing I’m thankful for on a slip of paper and put it in a box or jar…. then at the end of the year I will read them through. I’ve heard of people who have done this and they say how positive and encouraging it is so I’m hoping I can keep it up!!
Suzi Stock

I’m going to make an effort to actually finish all the books I have on the go…that’s a biography, three poetry books and two novels at the moment!
Sarah Sibley (Copy Editor and Social Media Publicist)

I’m going to curb my sweet tooth- no more Humbugs, Skittles or Cola bottles!
Steven Gibbon (Website Manager)

Having stocked up on pancakes for yet another year I and my flock at St.Cliff’s are journeying through this season of Lent by abstaining from that firm favourite: chocolate.That my elevenses are invariably accompanied by a digestive biscuit covered with this now-forbidden treat makes this an even greater sacrifice for this humble clergyman. Between you and me, I had considered proposing that our discordant and cacophonous organist, Mrs Higginbottom, perhaps lay off ‘tinkling the ivories’ for this forty day fast but discretion got the better of me. Onward and upward.
Derek the Cleric

I’m going to try to give up crisps. It sounds like a small thing (and I know it is in the grand scheme of things) but I eat a lot of crisps! It will certainly make me think abut God most lunchtimes when I have my lunch.
Philip Eley

I’m giving up drinking tea!
Abbie Goldberg (Marketing Manager)

I’m going to try and give up fizzy drinks.
Kevin Duncan (Managing Director)

I’m ‘taking up’ rather than ‘giving up’, I want to re-awaken my musicality, which was always a real love of mine and also an important part of my prayer life, but it got a bit lost in recent years. I want to be able to replace ‘I used to play …’ with ‘I play’.
Annie Heppenstall

This Lent I will be attempting to reduce my use of my car by at least 50%, shopping more frequently from shops nearby to reduce wastage, and reading the Psalms cover to cover!
Rosie Rushton

I’m giving up having three sugars in my tea and sticking to two from now on!
Amanda Harker (Sales Coordinator)

I’m giving up junk food!
James Hare (Sales Coordinator)

I’ll be attending Pax Christi’s Ash Wednesday Vigil at the Ministry of Defence today to repent Britain’s Nuclear Weapons expenditure and nuclear threat. Throughout Lent I’ll support campaigns to stop more expenditure on Trident. Lent is a time for repentance and making peace.
Ellen Teague

Posted by Sarah 

New titles coming soon from Nicholas King, Annie Heppenstall and Claire Benton-Evans…watch this space! A range of ‘Derek the Cleric’ greetings cards are available from our trade site at trade.kevinmayhew.com/greetings-cards/derek-the-cleric.html. Books by all mentioned authors and more can be found on our website at: www.kevinmayhew.com.