It’s been a few months of terrible news from close to home, with two terror attacks in London and one in Manchester. Meanwhile, around the globe, particularly in Afganistan and Egypt, terror attacks have continued to devastate communities.
In the midst of these horrifying events, our children and young people can be left with a lot of questions, anxiety and concerns. We’ve compiled links to some of the resources that have been released to help you tackle these tricky issues with the children and young people you work with.
Premier Youth and Childrenswork Magazine – Manchester attack: How do we support children and young people?
NSPCC – Supporting children worried about terrorism
Winston’s Wish – Responding to children affected by the media coverage of the incident in Westminster
BBC – How to talk to children about terrorist attacks
It’s just a couple of short days until we head to the polls for the General Election. While we may have many views when it comes to political persuasion, one area many of us overlap is a belief that children, families and young people matter.
Premier Youth and Children’s Work Magazine have pulled together their Manifesto for Children and Young People in the face of this upcoming election.
Meanwhile the National Children’s Bureau have provided this summary of what the different manifestos offer Children.
And Children England have drawn together a range of charities working with Children across England to say what they think should be in a manifesto for children.
What do you think? What might you add? Or change?
You could consider sparking some conversations with the children, families and young people you work with around what’s important to them.
And whatever the result of the polls, political engagement doesn’t stop as the polls close. Why not think together about how you can continue to work together with the children, families and young people you minister to, to hold whatever government we end up with to account?
Here’s an article from Premier Youth and Childrenswork Magazine to help you think about how you could do just that.
University is no longer the automatic default option for young people. In a world of rising fees, economic and employment uncertainty, new apprenticeships and opportunities, you may well find you have growing numbers of young people who leave school, and stick around locally to work or train through work.
They’re too old for your youth group, but there may still be an age gap between them and the wider congregation. So what do we do?
- Find space for them – If these young people have been lucky enough to have youth dedicated activities in church through their teen years, suddenly dropping out the end of that can be hard. All of a sudden the space that was theirs, is now closed to them. Hopefully during that period they’ve been able to build relationships into the intergenerational church community as well. But it’s still a big change. Have a think about what spaces there are in your church that could welcome them in during this new phase of life. Is there a 20s and 30s group? Is there a friendly house group? Is there an area of church with a strong team which would welcome them in with open arms. Encourage congregation members to mindfully offer invitations and make space for them as new adults within the church community.
- Recognise their new challenges and opportunities – You’ve known Johnny since he was a hyperactive 12 year old, now he’s heading into work every day, getting a pay check, training on the job and interacting fully in the adult world. This means he’ll be seeing himself differently, he’ll be seeing you differently. We need to honour the growth happening for these young adults – no longer treating them as teenagers but rather as adults. This can be practically worked out by seeing if they can embrace a bit more responsibility in church, maybe helping them find a mentor in church with employment experience to guide them, looking for growth in their skills and giftings and offering opportunities for them to use this in church. Give them opportunities for genuine, meaningful participation in church life.
- You’ve been her youth leader for years, and now you’re not. But what are you? You’re not automatically friends. You’ve had years of appropriate boundaries and distance. How on earth does that work now? It’s going to be clunky for a while. If there’s other people who can start to invest in relationship with these young people while you take a small step back that can be helpful. Making space allows the relationship structures to weaken and then be reformed and reshaped in time. This might mean you have to actively look for other adults in the congregation to build relationship with these young adults, letting you slowly take some steps back. Where possible, make this a smooth transition – rather than suddenly ignoring them on a Sunday morning! And realise it might take a year or two for the relationship to reform into a new format. That’s OK. Hang in there.
- Don’t forget them – as a whole church, above all else, don’t let these young adults drop off your radar. Not seen them in a few weeks? Drop them a message, invite them to lunch, ask how they’re getting on. Keep the door open to them and keep the communication lines open. It’s easy for these young people to drop down a gap in the system at this stage – they’re no longer the primary responsibility of the youth leaders, but they may not be on the radar of key pastoral people at church. Don’t let them fall through a gap in the system – they’re part of the family!
Bishop Jonathan will once again be leading a pilgrimage to Taizé for young people aged between 18 and 29. In past years this week in Taizé has proved to be a life-changing event for many young people.
The cost will be no more than £160 (£185 for those over 24). This includes coach travel to/from Taizé (leaving from London), food and accommodation in Taizé .
To find out more see the Winchester Taizé website
or contact: Winchester.email@example.com
For a booking form click here: taize registration form
A day away looking at Healing Divides and Becoming Peacemakers.
We live in a divided world and constantly hear of division and opposition to others viewpoints on both a local and global scale. On the 22nd April 2017 at St Mark’s Church, Peterborough attendees will unpack what these divisions mean to the way we lead our lives.
This event is open to young people aged 14 – 25 as well as clergy and youth leaders.
It’s free and lunch is included!
To find out more watch the video, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h4yBGEudlIM
If you are aged 16-25 please register for yourself at www.ceyc.org/april2017 If you are aged 14 or 15 please ask your youth leader to register and attend with you!
Tickets for the Thy Kingdom Come Beacon Event on 4th June at Winchester Cathedral are now available through Eventbrite. Tickets are going fast so make sure you order yours today! Don’t miss out on this exciting event!