Monday, January 29, 2018

Great fun at Messy Church

Some photos from yesterday's Messy Church, on the theme of houses and building. It was Homeless Sunday yesterday, so it seemed a good moment to think about what homes mean to us. We built with all sorts of things. We made some big cardboard box houses and decorated them, and some welcome banners to take home. We also made "gnome homes" out of paper cups, and a mobile with four different habitats and the creatures that live in them. The next Messy Church is on Good Friday, March 30th, in church from 10 -11.30am. 

Building with home made cardboard building shapes. Great fun, but quite wobbly!
That's one way of make the building more stable!

Welcome banners

Habitat making. 

The basic structure is made from four paper plates cut and folded, then stapled together. 

Love your "gnome home" Ali!
Anyone home? 

Sunday, January 28, 2018

February and March News from Seal Church

Dear Friends

You can download the February and March Parish Magazine from Seal Church by clicking here. We are now producing the magazine bi-monthly, so this edition takes us through Lent and into Holy Week. There's news here of our Lent groups - they are filling up, so get in touch if you'd like to come. I also wanted to remind you of our next Messy Church session, which is tomorrow - Jan 28 - from 3-4.30pm in the Church Hall.
Our Children's Choir has got off to a very good start on Wednesday afternoons at 5pm in the church hall. There are around 10 children coming along, but there's still room for more, so if you know of a child who likes to sing (between 5 and 9 years old, please do let them know about it. 


Friday, January 19, 2018

Church of England newsletter for children's work

Going for Growth

In just a few, beautifully illustrated pages this book tells the whole biblical narrative as a single story. Creation, patriarchs, prophets, priests, kings, incarnation, miracles, parables, resurrection, new Jerusalem - helping children hear the whole story not just individual parts.
And it's under £5!!!!
Coming from the Church of Scotland, this collection of articles (about being church together, working together and being formed together) offers a starting point to get churches and individuals talking about best (and effective) practice. 

Praying through Lent

In this blog, Bishop Steven Croft argues for the importance of praying the Lord's Prayer every day in order to remember our identity, to find courage, to learn contentment, to live with our imperfections and those of other people, to build resilience and to understand the end of the story.
This Lent, encourage families to learn and pray the Lord's Prayer together, either as part of bedtime routines or before a shared meal.

GodVenture through the story of Lazarus

Yvonne Morris and Victoria Beech have partnered to produce a family activity book around the story of Lazarus. In a busy world, it challenges families to slow down a little and dwell with the story.
Pre-order before the end of January and it's half price (making it a great Lent gift for a godchild, grandchild, nephew or niece)

The new year is only 3 weeks old - yet already we are hurtling towards Lent (just over 4 weeks away!). Last year I came across Make Room by Laura Alary. It tells the story of how one family slows down to make time, space and room during Lent so that we are ready to celebrate Easter. It would be a great gift for a family or addition to your church bookshelf.

In a recent survey, practising Christians were asked, 'At what age did you become a Christian?' 40% said it was before the age of 5, 16% between 5 and 10, 20% between 11 and 18. The importance of rooting that faith and nurturing it from the earliest years is vital - and it can't just be left to 'church on a Sunday'. How is your church helping parents live and share faith with their children? Let us know so that we can share some good ideas.
Research shows again and again the importance part that family plays in helping nurture the faith of children. Ali Campbell has written a powerful article in the Church Times urging churches to take this seriously and equip families with the skills and confidence they need.
Premier Youth and Children's Work magazine has a selection of articles on line encouraging faith at home.

Not shielding children from darkness

Children's author Matt de la Pena ponders the importance of supporting, not shielding, children from the dark times of life.
You might also want to read Kay Morgan-Gurr's thoughts on giving children space and support to wrestle with pain and suffering rather than rushing in with an explanation.

And there's more...

It feels like I belong - the importance of real listening
A place at the table - thoughts about children and communion
Asking questions of our worship - one church's experience
Session plans for children's groups and churches based around the Revised Common Lectionary

Messy Church with the Liturgical Commission have produced an excellent guide to Holy Communion. Lots of ideas for engaging all ages in the liturgy.

The God made known in every child

Another thoughtful reflection from Alison Sampson at Sanctuary.

Life in Likes

How are 8-10s using social media? The Office of the Children's Commissioner has just published this report looking at the effect social media has on children's well-being.

Heading towards Lent

Here are a few books, websites and resources for Lent, Holy Week and Easter.
Faithful Celebrations, Faith at Home, and Faithful Families all have ideas to keep the seasons at home and with generations together in church.
The Going for Growth website will signpost you to a host of Lent, Holy Week and Easter websites.
Meeting Jesus in the Gospel of John suggests ways to use Godly Play presentations through Lent.
Engage Together offers a free download of intergenerational resources for Lent.
Between Me and You is a Lenten resource from the Mennonite Church.
Mothering Sunday resources from the Mothers' Union.
Dates until April: Where Adventure begins faith in the family production from Riding Lights
9th & 23rd February: Hand in Hand Conference
19th May: Love Early Years Conference
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Our mailing address is:
Archbishops' Council - Education Divsion
Church House
Great Smith Street
London, England SW1P 3AZ
United Kingdom

Sunday, January 14, 2018

View me Lord, a work of thine, sung by Seal Choir.

From this Sunday morining's service. The  choir's performance of "View me Lord, a work of thine" from this morning's service. Words by Thomas Campion, music by Richard Lloyd.

View me Lord.

This morning's sermon is here.

Sunday, January 07, 2018

Epiphany Sunday: Chalking the doors

Happy Epiphany!

We blessed chalk at church this morning to chalk our doors at home with the traditional greeting to the Wise Men, who have arrived at the crib today. It's a prayer for God's blessing on the house, and a sign that we are open to God's wisdom in all who come to our house.

The C, M and B are the initials of the tradional names for the wise men, who aren't named in the Bible - Caspar, Melchior and Balthasar . Alternatively they stand for Christus Mansionem Benedicat - Christ bless this house.