Spreading Joy at A Christian Festival

Sofa may receive some some money (not much) if you click on some of the links below…

Over the next month and a bit there will be loads of Christian Festivals all around England, which will attract many Christians from many different Churches from all over the place. With festivals such as Momentum, New Wine, Soul Survivor, Keswick, Greenbelt. and Creation Fest, there are plenty to choose from.

In an attempt to get into the Festival spirit, Sofa decided to write the annual Church Sofa list of the best ways to create trouble at a Christian Festival ask around for ways to spread some “Joy” at these events…

  1. Have a supply of sweets to give out to people.
  2. Be servant hearted. Serve warm milky hot chocolate each night of the festival to the tents around you. On the last night, mix it up with espresso.
  3. Walk up to any musicians / famous Christian singer types and ask if they are U2.
  4. Print a T-Shirt saying “Its not like it used to be around here”.
  5. Walk around with an open wifi hotspot in your pocket. Lock it down so people can only access another festival website.
  6. Lead late night worship sessions. Ensure the worship is honest, by not tuning your guitar… not singing in tune… Also ensure that God can hear by singing loudly.
  7. Ask people if they’ve heard of the Delirious reunion tour, and their “Holy Troublemakers” single*?
  8. Ask everyone for their signature, explain they are all famous in Gods eyes. (Don’t ask famous Christians for their autograph)
  9. Tweet a photo of random peoples signatures to @thechurchsofa. Help me feel included in with the fun.
  10. Be servant hearted. Serve coffee each morning of the festival. Ensure it’s decaf on the last morning.

For more ideas, please check out last years list, Managing Mischief At A Christian Festival.

Disclaimer: Do any of these at your own risk, the Sofa takes no responsibility for any trouble that happens to you if you do this, but if you do end up in Christian Festival Jail, please let us know what that’s like.

*i may have made this up, but there is a song on Stu G’s “The Beatitudes Project” called Holy Troublemakers, which could be mistaken for a reunion.

A reminder that suicide and depression are not selfish

a reminder that suicide and depression are not selfish

After the sad news that Chester Bennington, lead singer of Linkin Park had committed suicide, I wanted to reshare a part of a Guardian article written after Robin Williams had taken his life:

Depression IS an illness

Depression, the clinical condition, could really use a different name. At present, the word “depressed” can be applied to both people who are a bit miserable and those with a genuine debilitating mood disorder. Ergo, it seems people are often very quick to dismiss depression as a minor, trivial concern. After all, everyone gets depressed now and again, don’t they? Don’t know why these people are complaining so much.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again; dismissing the concerns of a genuine depression sufferer on the grounds that you’ve been miserable and got over it is like dismissing the issues faced by someone who’s had to have their arm amputated because you once had a paper cut and it didn’t bother you. Depression is a genuine debilitating condition, and being in “a bit of a funk” isn’t. The fact that mental illness doesn’t receive the same sympathy/acknowledgement as physical illness is oftenreferenced, and it’s a valid point. If you haven’t had it, you don’t have the right to dismiss those who have/do. You may disagree, and that’s your prerogative, but there are decades’ worth of evidence saying you’re wrong.

Depression doesn’t discriminate

How, many seem to wonder, could someone with so much going for them, possibly feel depressed to the point of suicide? With all the money/fame/family/success they have, to be depressed makes no sense?

Admittedly, there’s a certain amount of logic to this. But, and this is important, depression (like all mental illnesses) typically doesn’t take personal factors into account. Mental illness can affect anyone. We’ve all heard of the “madness” of King George III; if mental illness won’t spare someone who, at the time, was one of the most powerful well-bred humans alive, why would it spare someone just because they have a film career?

Granted, those with worse lives are probably going to be exposed to the greater number of risk factors for depression, but that doesn’t mean those with reduced likelihood of exposure to hardships or tragic events are immune. Smoking may be a major cause of lung cancer, but non-smokers can end up with it. And a person’s lifestyle doesn’t automatically reduce their suffering. Depression doesn’t work like that. And even if it did, where’s the cut-off point? Who would we consider “too successful” to be ill?

Read the rest over at The Guardian website.

Has this whole matter hit home a little hard. Contact The Samaritans, or find someone else to talk to. Please.