Friday, May 26, 2017

Children and Youth mailing from the Church of England

The Jesus we meet in the Gospels was attractive to children. The Jesus children meet in church is less so. This is because we misrepresent him or surround him with so much clutter that the child can scarcely catch a glimpse of him.
By looking at the recalled childhoods of people round the world, John Pridmore invites us to wrestle with the angel of childhood and in doing so, discover more of what is needed for spiritual flourishing.
Playing with Icons by John Pridmore
A series of essays explores Messy Church in a variety of forms and contexts - through sacraments, in evangelism, making disciples, creating sacred spaces, for all generations and more - and asks what it brings to the wider church.
Being Messy, Being Church ed. Ian Paul
(Harry) made his choice while he dug Dobby's grave... That's what Confirmation is. You have to make the choice in your heart before you make it in public. You can't just show up and say you're ready to confirm something. You show up to Confirmation because you have already decided to be all in, and now you're ready to say to the sceptics and the grown up 'Yes. I mean it.' The bishop just plays Aberforth, really: the grown up who asks the questionsthat you answer to their face with your faith. (High School Student)
Patricia Lyons, Episcopal priest and school chaplain, takes a fresh look at the Harry Potter books as a way of helping young people grow in faith. Using themes woven into the stories, she explores sin, Eucharist, confirmation, parenting and social activism.
Teaching Faith with Harry Potter by Patricia Lyons

I'm writing this just 48 hours after the devastating events in Manchester, when screams of joy and delight at a concert were turned to screams of fear and agony. Our thoughts and prayers are with all whose normality has been shattered through death and injury.
In response to a previous trauma, Ruth Harley devised a simple session to use with her young people which she entitled It's not the end of the world. It may help your young people process their thoughts, feelings and responses to what has happened.
And on the Going for Growth site, there is a page of resources and sites which also deal with many aspects of grief, bereavement and trauma. I hope that these will be of help in the coming days.

Thy Kingdom Come

From Ascension Day to Pentecost, Christians all over the world are praying 'Thy Kingdom Come'.If you would like to be part of this wave of prayer - and help children young people and families to join it as well - check out the resources available. And there's a prayer journey available from Roots on the Web. Let's pray for the Holy Spirit's power so that we can unashamedly share our faith, whatever age we are.

All Age Service or Intergen Church?

The body of Christ isn't just adults. It isn't just teens. It isn't just children. It's people of all ages who worship, and pray, and share, and live and laugh and serve together as they follow in the way of Jesus.
Too often churches separate age groups yet Rooted in the Church found that young people valued being with the whole church as they grew in faith.
Being all ages together isn't about a 'Family Service' once a month - it's about a way of life. Here are some articles to help you think how you might start changing things.
All Ages Needed
Intergen Faith Formation
Towards an Intergen Church
Annas and Simeons
Valuing the Child's Voice

The Frances Factor

What do you do when only one child turns up? You remember that everyone matters

Children, Policies and Government

On 8th June we go to the polls and elect a new government. But what might a new Government offer to children and young people? Children England considers what a manifesto for children might include, while the National Children's Bureau looks at the manifestos from the Conservatives, Labour and Liberal Democrats through the lens of what each is offering in relation to children.

Toddling around

Toddler groups are great! They can be a life-line for new parents and help build community. The Toddler Project set out to discover how church-based groups might become more confident in their Christian roots. Read what we found - and check out the Top Tips which experienced Toddler Group leaders told us worked for them. And just for fun, take our quiz to see how people might see your Toddler Group!
PS June is the National Month of Prayer for Toddler Groups.


Families and Faith

Gen Z - Rethinking Culture found that families have a huge influence on the way young people think about faith, yet parents often lack confidence to be Christian with their children. Here are some sites which might help.
Faith at Home
Spiritual Road Map
Together with God
Family Faith Practices
Discover some of the conferences and exhibitions which are coming up by heading to this site.
And if you - or someone you know - is looking for a post in children or youth ministry, have a look here.
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Archbishops' Council - Education Divsion
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