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The Interdependent

Issue No 18, July 1999

Published by the Association of Interchurch Families

Sarah's Bit
Well helloooo
A report from Mark
AIF mentoring
IFYAG Weekend 1999

Sarah's Bit

As usual we have a full packed edition of the one and only Interdependent that we all know and love. Amongst the excitement Mark reports on the EYE conference, Melanie reminisces over the youth weekend, and Bev answers some questions you might have concerning the Mentoring scheme. This is a particularly special edition for me as it is my last, therefore I would like to thank those who have contributed, and recognise the great support behind the Interdependent. So with a tear in my eye and a smile on my face (possibly a little melodramatic!? - what can I say I'm a drama student!) It gives me great pleasure to welcome our new editor Sarah Mayles.

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Well hellooooooooooooooooooo everyone, this is your new editor speaking!

I have volunteered to be the editor of your favourite magazine (am I mad?!) and am looking forward to it with great enthusiasm (honest!).

I'll tell you a little bit about me for those of you who don't already know. I am Sarah Mayles and live near Chester. I have a sister called Helena and most importantly a dog called Shammy. My Mum is a Catholic and my Dad is an Anglican. I go to both churches and like to call myself a Christian. I am 17 and have just ended the Lower Sixth Year. Next year are the scary A
levels and so I am going to need everyone to write loads and loads for me to put in the Interdependent, so I have to do as little work as possible!!

The Interdependent is your magazine, so it is up to you what goes in it. Anything that you feel you want to share with the world (or just other AIFites) then feel free to send it. Any articles, thoughts, experiences, pictures and jokes are welcome - and there are never too many (usually too few). Any new ideas for the Interdependent will also be gratefully received. You'll hear from me again in the next issue, but until then have a great holiday and have fun writing!!

Sarah xx

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A report from Mark

A small group of young AIF people were invited to a meeting entitled “The Ecumenical Youth Forum for the United Kingdom”. The purpose was to run a Workshop to show the difficulties and the fulfilment of being an Interchurch child. We were welcomed by a whole host of young people and organisers with “smiley” badges and “smiley” faces. Arriving at Swanwick in the cold and the dark did not seem right, especially with a Christmas tree in the foyer.

There were‘welcome and introductions’. And we went into small regional groups which meant that Ellen, Christine, Melanie and I were split up. There was then a Worship, for which we asked to bring a candle from our “home church”. These were then lit and we had a time of prayer/meditation, and intercessions from different churches and denominations. Then we had a “chill-zone”, which either consisted of people staying up until the wee hours or going to bed.

The usual alarm woke us up bright and early the following morning. After breakfast, there was a “Taize style”. worship.

The first speaker was Margaret Connolly, the Catholic Youth Co-ordinator. She did not really have much knowledge of other denominations, until she had left home and went to train as a nurse and on her corridor there were lots of people from various denominations. They trained at Poole, in Dorset, where they all attended each other’s services and Masses. This opened her eyes to ecumenism.

The second speaker was Father Mark Hartley, a monk from Mt St Bernard Abbey. He talked about the filming of the series “Behind Closed Doors” which was filmed at the Abbey. This episode was called “A God Shaped Space”. He went on to say that there is a God shaped space in all of us and it can only be filled by God. He also said that we should apply God to our lives and how we should be people of peace.

The third speaker was Miles Salter. He talked about the power of music and the arts and how people can fully express themselves through these media. He then talked about being “true to yourself” and how you should not arrive in heaven saying “I was this type of person” or I was that type of person”. You should say “I was ME”. He went on to say that you should not take the world too seriously and you should follow your heart.

The final guest speaker was a Christian Magician and comedian whose name was John Archer. He compared a torn up newspaper to the situation of ecumenism. And showed us the importance of uniting all the torn parts of our faith so that we can spread the news as it is meant to be. The Bible teaches us that we should begin with Fellowship, then meeting peoples needs, praying for them and finally we should talk to them about the Gospels. We asked the speakers questions. The monk was asked about his daily routine. He gets up at 03.15!!

Before our last worship session of the day, was the highlight of the weekend. The AIF Workshop!!! We had a nice number, just the right size for the room we were given. We split them up into two groups. Each sub-group had a role play to discuss and we related it to similar situations that an Interchurch Child faces. It was a great success. Those who attended said that they “ really enjoyed it” and found it “an eye opening experience”. We were even asked for information about AIF by one of the attendees whose husband was of another denomination.

After a little “free-time”, we had a really moving worship session together. People were bravely open, about particularly personal things. We were asked to bring forward something that meant a lot to us, and explain its importance. The singing was fantastic. We all went to dinner feeling quite emotional but closer to one another somehow.

After the feedback from the workshops we were informed of the situation of Jubilee 2000, and we made a long chain of petition for use in the worship on Sunday.

Finally it was time for “Cocktails and Dancing”! We had an evening of Ceilidh, like a barn dance only Irish. It was a great laugh and we experienced some non-alcoholic cocktails at the bar. It was very lively entertainment. On Sunday morning every body was feeling a little bit tender after a very, very late night.

The weekend was a great success. We found it easy to talk to people about our difficulties and still had an enjoyable time.

Mark

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The AIF mentoring scheme is up and running!

But what's mentoring when it's at home? It's when an older person (or two) acts as a source of advice and a listening ear for a younger person. It's about being friends, and the older person being an example and a guide.

Sounds heavy! 
No, not at all! It's basically about friendship. The mentor is not a counsellor, not a spiritual director, not a teacher. It's all very informal.

So who does it? 
You do! AIF young people can look to older members of AIF to be mentors, people who can be an extra source of advice and information as well as your parents.

How do you keep in touch with your mentor? 
That's up to you. It's good to meet occasionally - perhaps at Swanwick or Heythrop, but how you keep in touch in between is going to be different for everyone - phone, email, letters, pigeon post....and there's no rule about how often you are in touch.

Does the mentor only talk about interchurch stuff?
That's up to you too. Mentors will be there as friends and you'll work out together what you want to discuss. But normally you'll have talked to your parents too, unless you want advice on what to get them for their wedding anniversary!

Does anyone know who your mentor is?
Only the Co-ordinator for Young Adults. You should let your parents know - it is important that they know you have a mentor and that they are happy with the relationship; otherwise everything is kept confidential. Any information is kept at the Co-ordinator's house, not in the London office.

What if something goes wrong?
Then contact the Co-ordinator immediately. She is there to help mentees and mentors and to make sure you are secure and happy as interchurch young people.

Mentee? Sounds like a kind of sweet!
Just like you! If you want to be one - a mentee that is - contact the Co-ordinator for Young Adults as soon as possible!

Beverley Hollins

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
40 Patricia Close, 
Cippenham, 
Slough, SL1 5HU
Tel: 01628 603297

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IFYAG Weekend 1999

Naturally the theme to our IFYAG social weekend was 'time to chill and bond' and that's exactly what we did! The weekend began for some of us even before we reached Epping, as all but four at the event took the train together from London.

We settled in quickly on Friday evening and watched 'The Wedding Singer' and 'Six Days, Seven Nights'. Eventually, at about 3 a.m. we, unwillingly, but with very sleepy eyes found our way to bed.

On Saturday, not only did we play an intellectual board game in two strong, highly competitive teams of four, but later, we had a choice of activities. While the square eyes stayed in to watch 'The Avengers', four of us went for a nice walk in the village. Following 'Star Trek', cards and home made pizza, we glued our eyes to the box once more for a mellow episode of 'Buffy'.

While the sensible ones then went off to bed, the rest of us stayed to watch an Eddie Izzard performance. Sunday morning brought very weary bodies out of bed for a small worship and lunch, We would like to thank John Glasspool very much for coming at such sort notice.

At the end of another special and successful weekend of chilling and bonding, we made our way home with many more precious memories of friends within an association that is very close to our hearts.

Melanie Lander

Next year the event will move situation and is going to take place at the house of Sarah and Helena Mayles, on the Wirral. We would like to say thank you to Chris and Mary Bard for giving up their house two years in a row for this entertaining weekend.

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New Editorial address:

Five Oaks, 
Street Hey Lane, 
Willaston, 
NESTON, CH64 1SS

Published by the

Association of Interchurch Families, 
Bastille Court
2 Paris Garden
London SE1 8ND

Direct telephone (AIF): 020 7654 7251
Switchboard (CTBI): 020 7654 7254
Fax: 020 7654 7222
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