Animal Welfare Sunday

Anglican society for the welfare of animals

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:

Harvest Scarecrow Competition at Winchester Cathedral


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.

I’m the girl I want to be


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.

Golddigger also run a course for boys (More Of More) which you can find out more about on their website.

Hanging out with Jesus

Hanging out with JesusA 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.

Click here for more details

Parenting in the pew: tips for stressed out parents and fed up congregants

parenting in the pewOne of our contacts emailed me to say she’d been browsing Oasis Bookstore in Romsey 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.

Read more here and make up your own mind.

Messy Church: resources for rural ministry from the Arthur Rank Centre

messy churchMary Hawes, Church of England Going for Growth (Youth and Children) Adviser, points us to these resources:

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.

Social workers raise online grooming fears

onlineAn interesting BBC News article to set you thinking:

Many social workers lack confidence and know-how when it comes to dealing with online grooming and sexual abuse of children, a survey has suggested.

The British Association of Social Workers (BASW) said they desperately needed specialist training.

An online survey of 327 social workers found 74% wanted more support, while half felt concerned about dealing with online sexual abuse or behaviour.

One said social workers were “way out” of their depth.

 Read the whole article here.

iPads, iOS6 and Special Needs Ministry

The inclusive churchStacy Hodge writes on the Inclusive Church website:

If you’re anything like me, you love Apple products and also love the fact that Apple has made accessibility on their products a priority for their company.  Finally, having a communication device with you at all times has become affordable, easy, and “cool”  to carry around, as opposed to those (albeit useful) huge, expensive, bulky, batter-draining devices of yesterday.

Apple continually improves their software, and with their iOS 6 update Wednesday, they have brought to the table upwards of 200 updates, many of which are wonderful functions that I have been waiting for!  While this update brings many great features to the iPad, iPhone, and iTouch, the ones I am most excited about are the accessibility updates that we can use beginning tonight in our ministry.

We have two  iPads that we use in our ministry, used mostly as communication devices and as Bibles with LARGE text.  We also use them for Bible story enrichment (through videos and games) and for just plain fun together as a group when we hook it up to the TV.

Read more of her thoughts here.

Mission in schools training week


Monday 2nd – Friday 6th September 2013

Cliff College and Youth for Christ are please to be working together on the delivery of a new Mission in Schools training week.  This 5 day residential week will take place from 2nd-6th September 2013 in the beautiful surroundings of Cliff College in Derbyshire.  The week forms part of Cliff College’s BA in Mission and Ministry course, but also runs as a short course for members of YFC Staff and volunteers.

Read more here