This video, ‘The Scale’ is narrated by Morgan Freeman. ‘The Scale’ leaves you wondering all the way through what he is talking about. Only at the end to you get it, and yes it is very clever. But more than that it is challenging and thought provoking too:
Nicholas Allan writes and illustrates the nativity through the eyes of a grumpy inn keeper who is unexpectedly at the centre of Jesus’ birth. The story follows him as he is woken up repeatedly by Mary and Joseph and guests visiting the newborn.
I first heard of the book when I was a child and it was used for a Sunday School drama to present the Christmas narrative to the whole church. As a children’s and youth worker I’ve used it numerous times, be it with young pre-school children, older teenagers, or non-Christian adults. The book is easy for people to follow and join in, and yet still allows for profounds truths to be taught.
It can be bought in a number of sizes – from A6 just to fit in the pocket and use to tell a large group of people, to a large A4 size which a class of children can crowd around and look at the pictures.
The Bible Society produced this video of sand artist Gert van der Vijver retelling the story of the Nativity in sand. This is a great thing to watch in an all-age service:
Roger Carswell warmly narrates this graphic and asks the question, “are you ready for what God wants to give you this Christmas?” You pick up an accompanying book and free downloads of posters, invites and the high definition version of this video here.
Three years ago Glen Scrivener produced a brilliant one-shot video. It appeals to the human nature to want to label ourselves and one another as it helps us to consider which of the ‘four kinds’ we are, after all everyone loves working out their ‘type’. There’s an interactive website and book, which could be a great conversation starter.
Links from around the world of youth work and social care:
- Online abuse: Facebook has announced that it has removed 8.7 million pieces of content that violated their child nudity or sexual exploitation of children policies in the past quarter.
- Young people’s mental health: statistics provided by Health Secretary Matt Hancock, in response to a written parliamentary question from Bambos Charalambous, show that in 2017/18 there were 27,487 attendances at accident and emergency departments in England by young people aged 18 or under with a recorded first diagnosis of psychiatric conditions. This was almost double the figure for 2012/13, when there were 13,800 attendances.
- Characteristics of children in need: The Department for Education (DfE) has published statistics for children referred to and assessed by children’s social services in England for the year ending 31 March 2018. Figures show there were 404,710 children in need at 31 March 2018, an increase of 4% on the previous year; the number of child protection plans at 31st March 2018 has increased to 53,790, an increase of 5.3% on the figure for 2017.
- UK Youth Parliament: UK Youth Parliament has published the results of the Make your Mark consultation, run by the British Youth Council, which asked young people in the UK to choose issues they felt were a priority for discussion. Responses from 1,106,788 young people aged 11-18 show that putting an end to knife crime and improving mental health services for young people were among the top priorities identified.
- Domestic abuse: The House of Commons Home Affairs Committee has published a report following an inquiry into the government’s proposed domestic abuse strategy and draft bill on domestic abuse. The report looks at the impact of domestic abuse on children and makes recommendations including: the impact of domestic abuse on children should be explicitly recognised in the legislation; the government should develop a clear strategy to ensure that children experiencing domestic abuse are protected and given the support necessary to help them recover; children affected by domestic abuse should be given special waiting list status for all NHS services, including child and adolescent mental health services.
- Digital Media Is ‘Like Cocaine’ for Babies’ Developing Brains: Some doctors refer to behaviors resulting from overexposure to digital devices as “virtual autism.”
The Christmas story told cleverly through the eyes of Instagram. #comeletusadorehim
ITN and the Jerusalem Productions have created two powerful videos reminding people about the Christian meaning of Christmas as an antidote to all the commercialisation, tinsel and drunken partying!
The first one of those is this one – Is he drunk? Is he in a parallel universe? Or is this divine intervention?