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Lots of Ps this month - Pentecost, Prayer, Picture books and more to help resource your ministry with and among children and families.
Elizabeth Caldwell's book combines theory and practice to help adults engage with the Bible alongside children. It tackles how we might handle the 'difficult' parts of Scripture, explores how to choose and use children's Bibles, and offers very practical advice for parents, Sunday group leaders and clergy.
I wonder pub. Abingdon Press £12.99
Passing on faith to our children is something with which many Christian families struggle. How do you begin to pray, read Scripture and talk about faith when there is so little time and so many challenges? This slim volume is packed with stories of how real families have engaged with this - the result is reassurance that there isn't a 'right' way, a variety of ideas for families with toddlers through to teens, and a conviction that we need to be intentional in sharing faith and faith practices with our children.
Together with God £6.95
With summer on the way, Outdoor Worship is a great companion for families or mixed age groups to break away from screens, get out into nature and engage with God's world. Each of the 23 themes has activities, worship ideas and a field notes page for jotting down discoveries. The book could be used in many ways - families on holiday, home group outings, church picnics, church family fun days.... A great resource!

 

Written with sessions for each of the seasons, Outdoor Church helps congregations get outside the church walls and actively worshipping in nature.Sally Welch helps leaders consider the 'ideal' venue, the practical aspects of being in an unconfined place and the joy of all ages worshipping together in the open air.
Supported by downloads from the BRF site, Outdoor Church is well worth a look.

 


This beautiful altar frontal from Wells Cathedral reminds us that Pentecost is not far away (15th May). The Archbishops of Canterbury and York are asking Christians to use Pentecost as a time to pray for more people to follow Jesus. All the details are on the Thy Kingdom Come website. If you would like some simple prayer ideas for children, families and young people to use, email me.

 

Picture Book Theology is a site which explores the potential of using secular story books to explore theological themes with children. Some of the exploring is more didactic than discovery, but it opens your eyes to the ways that picture books can make connections between faith and life.

90 not out....

Queen Elizabeth turns 90 on 21st April, and celebrations are being held all over the country. If you are looking for ideas to get your church or school involved, there's a stack of ideas on the Church Care website.

 

Additional Needs

Families come in many forms - but often churches struggle to know how to welcome families with additional needs. The following may be of help:
 
In 2012 I had the privilege of hearing Patricia Lyons speak about the theology of Harry Potter and how it had transformed her work as a school chaplain.
In this series of presentations from Forma 2014, she and Lisa Kimball offer some thoughts on how we encourage young people into the epic adventure of faith when the church instituion appears to have become an edifice. (The first video is rather out of synch, but stick with it.)

 

How do you begin to explore the idea of God's call with children? This reflective storytelling approach offers a way of starting the conversation and helping children consider what God might be calling them to.
And if you want to think further, it's worth getting hold of The Vocation of the Child

Whispering in church

There's a lots of 'Shhhh-ing' that happens in church. Carolyn Brown explores the importance of learning the art of whispering in church so that children and adults can engage in worship with each other rather than beside each other.
Check out some more of her very practical wisdom here.

The importance of blessing

Blessing and praying for and with children builds the connection between life and faith. But how to start? This helpful article offers simple ideas which don't involve lots of prepartion or props. It would be a good handout to give to baptism families, offering them a way of keeping the promises made on the day of their child's baptism.

 

Dates for your diary

1st May
Godparents' Sunday
9 - 13 May
The European Conference for Christian Educators: High Leigh
18th May
Faith in Research: Birmingham
15th June
Conference on school & FE Chaplaincy: Birmingham
17-18 June
Den Day - have fun building dens!
26 - 29 July
Spirituality and the Whole Child: Lincoln


 

 

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