Animal Welfare Sunday is on 6 October 2013. Every year, Animal Welfare Sunday, celebrated on the Sunday nearest St Francis’ Day, gives the church an opportunity to think more deeply about the whole of creation and our responsibility as Christians towards our fellow creatures. This year’s Animal Welfare Sunday theme is ‘Endangered Species’. A service guide, information booklet, sermon resource and resources for exploring the subject with children and youth are all available from the Anglican Society for the Welfare of Animals’ website: www.aswa.org.uk/page/animal_sunday/
Winchester Cathedral are organising an event for harvest weekend, 4th to 6th October 2013, and all sorts of things happening… a Farmers’ Market, craft demonstrations, live music, children’s workshops, horse rides, tractors, straw bales, an assortment of live animals, different stalls etc. On the Sunday they are planning an interview sermon with Alistair Stewart plus hopefully Jodie Schecter and his wife Claire (he used to be a F1 Motor Racing Driver but now runs a farm) and Geoff Morgan, Chair of the New Forest Show. The prayers will include a theme of ‘caring for God’s creation’.
In addition there will be a scarecrow making competition with an environmental theme to it. Each scarecrow must be made out of recycled material. Would your children’s group like to take part? The attached leaflet provides full details and an entry form.
The Golddigger Trust have written a new course for teenage girls that has been developed by Golddigger Trust – a Sheffield based charity who work with young girls on issues of identity, sexuality, image, self-esteem, friendships etc. It’s called “I’m the girl I want to be” (info attached)
You can invite the Golddigger team to come and work with a group of girls in your neck of the woods (they will travel!) or they can train up others to run the course. http://www.golddiggertrust.co.uk/i-m-the-girl-i-want-to-be
Golddigger also run a course for boys (More Of More) which you can find out more about on their website. http://www.golddiggertrust.co.uk/made-of-more
A Bible study course for young people would need to identify with how they learn and are influenced before it would be taken seriously. In Hanging out with Jesus Corin Child begins each session by looking at the young person’s own life experience and perspective before introducing them to a range of New Testament characters.
Through a series of introductory exercises, young people are given an opportunity to make a connection between their own experiences and those of people in the Bible. This connection gives the study a relevance to everyday life, and leads into times of reflection and discussion. The six sessions provide a framework for young people to explore their own Christian identity as they gain an overview of what being a Christian is all about. Through times of discussion and reflection on the implications of what they have heard, young people can grow a sense of belonging to the church in their own right.
We’ve just heard that the team at Christ Church, Westbourne (Bournemouth) have organised a Training Day with Rory Bell of TnT Ministries, for Children’s Groups Leaders and Helpers. October 5th, at Christ Church Westbourne, 10am – 4pm, £15 a head (great value!)
One of our contacts emailed me to say she’d been browsing Oasis Bookstore in Romsey www.oasisromsey.co.uk and found a copy of this book. She was so impressed she bought several for people in her congregation.
It’s been around since 2007, but nevertheless the reviews are good. Here’s part of one:
Church, unlike my quiet times of Bible study and prayer, is a communal experience. We come together to make a joyful noise for our God. We come together to encourage each other in faith. We come together to welcome newcomers into a relationship with God and his people. And that welcome extends to children. Our job as a congregation is to welcome children into the life of the church. This job may fall primarily on parents, but it won’t work if the entire community doesn’t pitch in. Here are some suggestions for all of us. Nearly all of them are taken directly from a book that I cannot recommend highly enough, Parenting in the Pew.
FOR PARENTS: Church is not a time-out from parenting. It’s not like date night, where you and God are gonna have some special time. You have the responsibility, and incredible blessing, to lead your child in the life of your church. This means recognizing that the church is not there only for your child’s enjoyment. They are part of a community, and teaching your children to respect that community is important work. In a culture that entertains children into a spiritual coma, this is not going to be easy. But it will be worth it.
The Arthur Rank Centre specialises in resourcing and supporting rural churches. They’ve got lots on their website about Messy Church in a rural context:
This includes a toolkit on using Messy Church in rural areas.
Case studies of good practice of Messy Church in rural areas.
Messy Discipleship with a rural flavour.