Friday, June 17, 2016

News and information for those working with children

Responding to tragedy, the spiritual life of children and the place of boredom all feature in June's Child in the Midst.
Our Father is a beautifully illustrated book which takes each line of the Lord's Prayer and explores what it might mean. It would make a great gift for a godchild.
pub. SPCK £9.99
Don't read Messy Hospitality unless you are prepared to be challenged! Lucy Moore doesn't pull her punches about the way we often limit the welcome we offer, and urges us to reconsider God's outrageous generosity as we reach out to our communities. Practical help, rooted in reality, offers churches a way to move towards becoming more hospitable spaces for all. Whether you are part of a Messy Church or not, this is well worth reading.
pub. BRF £9.99
'When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.'
Mr (Fred) Rogers
The killing of Jo Cox MP yesterday shocked our country. The shooting in Orlando this last weekend was the latest in a series of targeted attacks that shocked the world. Unprovoked violence, terrorism, natural disaters, plane crashes - they are no longer just reported in a newspaper or during a news broadcast. Social media, internet and 24 hour news channels mean that even young children are aware of the worst that the world has to offer. How can we approach the inevitable questions and conversations which children have as they try to make sense of what's happening? Here are some sites which give pointers:
from The Washington Post
Talking about tragedy
Another tragedy
Helping kids feel safe

Gretchen Wolff-Pritchard in her seminal work Offering the Gospel to Children speaks of the importance of offering children a Gospel which doesn't gloss over the reality of the world but which offers them hope in the darkest times.
May the Gospel of God's love be lived out in our lives wherever we see hatred, fear or despair.

Children as ministers

How are children involved in your church? What ministries are they taking part in? Praxis East recently held a conference on the place and role of children in ministry where theology and practice came together. Read all about it here and challenge your church to explore children's ministry in new ways.

Bored and Playing

With the school holidays just around the corner, 'I'm bored' will be a familiar phrase to many. But maybe boredom is a good thing - and maybe this is the time to rethink the place of play and creativity. Check out these articles:
Sitting in boredom
Process not product - rethinking crafts
The decline of play
Play and Mental Health

Hide and Seek

Rebecca Nye explores what we know about the spiritual life of children in this articlefirst published in Premier Childrenswork.

Sometimes it's just not possible to get to Conferences - which is why I'm glad Faith Forward are making the talks from previous gatherings available as podcasts. Check them out here and listen to Brian McLaren, Marcia Bunge, Phyllis Tickle, Andrew Root and more. 

Images of God

2 Corinthinians 3:18 talks about how we reflect the glory of the Lord. So what reflection of God do children see in your church community? One of love and welcome, or of fear and disapproval? Explore and Express shares the artistic reflection of one child.


Dates for your Diary

11th October BOOST: exploring the emotional and spiritual well-being of children
12th November Enabling Church
24/25th February The Conversation - save the date. Details to follow. Exploring news ways of ministry with children and young people
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