Monday, August 14, 2006

And Afterwards...

So Summer School 2006 has been and gone. Here are 10 of my highlights (in no particular order):

1) Drama. It's really easy at this point (when it's all done and dusted) to look at drama through rose tinted glasses. It went really well. The final showing on the Saturday was really well received and the guys who took part (about 32 in all - 10 more than we were expecting) said that they'd enjoyed the week. All in all, it was a resounding success. But the truth is, it was really hard work and proved to be quite emotionally draining. Kirsty and I spent most of the week on edge as we never knew how the next rehearsal was going to be received or how we were going to keep over 30 teenagers interested for a week. But we managed to pull it off and they all did really really well.

2) Watching the lecture room fall apart around us. It started out as quite a funny little moment when Liz Northwood and a group of teenage girls wound up sitting on the floor during the welcoming meeting due to half a row of chairs collapsing beneath them. But after a week of seeing chairs and desks and barriers falling to pieces every time a 12-year-old girl walked passed, we started to question the architectural integrity of the building. There were approximately 3 secure seats left for the final celebration on Saturday.

3) My Cell Group. Christina and I had an amazing cell this year and it was incredible hearing 14/15 year old teenagers being completely open about worship and listening to God. Really positive.

4) Hair Growth. I greatly enjoyed seeing how long I could get away with allowing my facial hair to grow and observing the developments that took place on my chin. For those of you who are wandering what it looked like, imagine a beard - nothing like that.

5) Prayers. I had the opportunity to lead the prayer session on the Thursday evening and after a long day of smelly nervous wind I got through it and seemed to get a positive response.

6) The Jack Plug. I think an ongoing highlight for me was watching the confused look on people's faces when Matt W showed them the big prop he'd made for the final celebration and asked them to guess what it was. This highlight was only beaten by the even more confused looks when he told them what it was and they still couldn't work it out. I'd show you a picture at this point but Blogger has decided once again to not let me. Just imagine a silver asparagus on a plinth and you're pretty close to Matt's jack plug.

7) Grippage. Another great year for Grippage. The sport that tests your body and your mind. Your strength and your agility. Your detemination and your table navigation. For those of you who don't know, Grippage involves making your way around a table without touching the ground. Only the strong of heart have achieved it.

8) Worship Support. Andy and V had a great team this year and it was awsome seeing all the work that had gone into the mulitmedia side of things. Some really funny films and one presentation in particular that was very powerful.

9) Mates. Really good staff team this year and it was a truly joyful experience to be able to have a laugh with some top-notch friends.

10) And Afterwards... At the final celebration, Matt stood up and spoke from Joel 2:28 which says:

And afterward, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophecy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions.

Just something about the phrase "And afterward" caught my imagination. It's always bugged me that events like Summer School and Roots and Spring Harvest can so easily get left behind after we leave. People get caught up in the atmosphere and it's great but we don't get to take the lights or the band or the great speakers or the hordes of like-minded people home with us. So what are we left with?

I guess what I'm saying is, the success of an event such as Summer School shouldn't really be measured by what happened during but rather by what happens afterward. Are teenagers taking the message back to their Corps? Will this division have changed in the long run as a result of lessons learnt in the passed week? Will the Salvation Army have grown? Will the church? Are the youth in Essex now listening more attentively to God? These are questions we should be asking throughout the year till we get to the next Summer School.

So how was Summer School 2006? Ask me in 12 months.


BeccaBoB said...

mate, that sounds excited about my summer school now. currently in Lanzarote with the lady who does the yorkshire summer school drama and she feels she can relate to alot of what you said (Not the smelly nervous wind though!!)

Andy said...

Re: 8) it was the video with footage of the drama group warming up to 'Apache', wasn't it?

You're not fooling me...

Kirsty said...

Good review of the week Glyn. You're right about the drama. They all did really well, and having spoken to a number of people since, I am told that the message was clear too.

I also agree totally with your comments about "And Afterwards". I have been writing my next blog post which says the same thing. Its so easy to get back to 'normality' without really taking anything back into that 'normality' with you.

I love the point you make at the end. We can only truly call summer school a success when we see the evidence of it in our lives. I hope and pray we will all keep listening. Really listening.

RikiWright said...

I probably am milking my summer school blogging but what the heck I have a boring life and so therefore need to fill it. My Summer School blogage won;t just be about summer school........why am i talking about this? ah yes....this is a great blog I love it very good Glynn. Someday I will achieve this level of quality of blogging I am just a simple blogging child and will have to learn from the masters of blogging. Anyway. yeah great job

Richard "Doesn't know when to stop tying" Wright

Glyn said...

Richard is your profile picture of a dead dog?