Posts Tagged “children”

spill beans 8 coverThe new edition of Spill the Beans is out and the material starts from Trinity Sunday (26 May) and goes through to Pentecost 14 (25 August).  As usual there are great resources from a hugely talented team for children and young people and those who lead and enable worship.

You can download a free sample if you want to try before you buy.

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HT to Steven

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Did you grow up in a Christian home?

How do you know?

Those were two of the questions which were posed by Lucy Moore during Messy Church training on Saturday.

The assembled throng laughed nervously and made jokes about growing up in a bungalow and how they had never asked their house if it had accepted Jesus as its Lord and Saviour before confronting the fact that this is a hard question.

I grew up in a house with two Christian parents.  I went to church every week and Boys’ Brigade.  But that didn’t make it a ‘Christian home’.  Did it?  We prayed each night before bed.  Did that make it a Christian home?  My dad became a minister.  Did that make it a Christian home?

The question and answers led to an interesting discussion asking:

‘How do we model faith at home?’

So, I’m asking you:

Did you grow up in a Christian home?

How do you know?

And as an extra bonus question:

Would your kids (or future kids) give the same answer as you?

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Sat 27 february 2010   10.30am – 4pm

Cost £10 – includes lunch

St Silas Church, Glasgow, 69 Park Road, Woodlands, Glasgow G4 9JE

The event is a must for anyone interested in building a Christ-centered community where parents, carers and children can share their creativity, eat a meal and worship together outside of Sunday worship.  It’s ideal for Worship Leaders, Local Preachers, Ministers, Deacons, Sunday School teachers – the sky is the limit! There will be time to learn from Lucy Moore, to try out activities and make plans for the future.

Book soon. Places are limited and this even sold quickly out last time.

For bookings contact Fiona Inglis – Email: meth [at] scottishchurcheshouse [dot] org – Phone: 01786 820295 – Methodist Office, Scottish Churches House, Kirk St, Dunblane, FK15

You can download the Messy Church Training poster 2010

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Sat 27 february 2010   10.30am – 4pm

Cost £10 – includes lunch

St Silas Church, Glasgow, 69 Park Road, Woodlands, Glasgow G4 9JE

The event is a must for anyone interested in building a Christ-centered community where parents, carers and children can share their creativity, eat a meal and worship together outside of Sunday worship.  It’s ideal for Worship Leaders, Local Preachers, Ministers, Deacons, Sunday School teachers – the sky is the limit! There will be time to learn from Lucy Moore, to try out activities and make plans for the future.

Book soon. Places are limited and this even sold quickly out last time.

For bookings contact Fiona Inglis – Email: meth [at] scottishchurcheshouse [dot] org – Phone: 01786 820295 – Methodist Office, Scottish Churches House, Kirk St, Dunblane, FK15

messy church poster 2010

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One of my favourite books is called Dangerous Wonder by Mike Yaconelli.  The tag line of the book is ‘the adventure of childlike faith’.  In it Mike argues that following Jesus should be an adventure.  That Jesus is dangerous and wonderful and that Christians should be known for the fire in their souls, the wild-eyed gratitude in our faces, the twinkle in our eye and the holy mischief in our demeanour.

There are quotes, poems and stories at the beginning of each chapter.  They set the scene and give a flavour of what’s coming.

There are two at the beginning of chapter 4, ‘daring playfulness’.  The first is this quote from a Rabbi’s sermon:

‘Life is tough.  It takes up much of your time, all of your weekends and what do you get at the end of it?  I think the lifecycle is all backward.  You should die first, get that out of the way.  Then you should live twenty years in an old age home.  You get kicked out when you’re too young.  You get a gold watch, you go to work.  You work for forty years until you’re young enough to enjoy your retirement.  You go to college, you party until you’re ready for high school.  You go to primary school, you become a little kid, you play, you have no responsibilities.  You become a little baby, you go back into the womb.  You spend your last nine months floating in the womb and end up as a glint in someone’s eye.’

I love that sentiment.  It makes me smile.

But perhaps the second short quote is one we should really pay attention to this week.

“I was never young because I never dared to be young.”

Is that where we are in our faith and in our church?  Are we scared to be young?  Are we trying to be great without knowing what greatness is?

What would it mean to be a childlike church?  Not just child-friendly, but childlike.  How can we become a place of imagination and daring and wonder and playfulness?

When Jesus points towards the least he picks a child.  He doesn’t pick someone who is rubbish at everything and he doesn’t pick the poorest and he doesn’t make fun or embarrass anyone.  He picks a child.  A child who needs looked after and nurtured and encouraged and played with… and loved.  Maybe that’s a clue about what church should be like…

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This morning the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland heard the report of the Church and Society Committee.

First up was the ‘Growing Up in Scotland‘ report.  I was on the group which wrote the report so I was glad to see some good deliverences (motions) coming from the report.  I’ll pick out the highlights for me…

Child Friendly Churches

3. Instruct the Church and Society Council to work with other Councils to introduce a Child Friendly Church initiative based on the United Reform Church’s model.

This was amended to welcome the work the Mission and Discipleship council has already done on preparing a Child Friendly Church initiative, based on the United Reformed Church model.

Hearing Children

4. Urge Scottish and UK Governments to evidence as a matter of course how young people’s voices are heard in the development of legislation and policy.
5. Instruct the Church and Society Council, together with Presbyteries and other Councils of the Church, to bring to the General Assembly of 2010 a report on the ways in which each is enabling the voices of young people to be heard in their decision-making processes.

Great to see an emphasis on listening to children in decision making.  I wonder how congregations and the Assembly will make that happen?

8. Instruct the Church and Society Council to work with representatives of the National Youth Assembly to develop awareness of models of support in congregations on the issues involved in mental illness among young people.

This issue is one that has become ever more important to me.  My wife is a soon to qualify mental health nurse and her training has confirmed my belief that the church can and should play a role in supporting people with mental ill-health.  Like the other deliverence, the question will be how?

10. Urge Scottish and UK Governments to strengthen their commitment to end child poverty by 2020 and ensure that policies and adequate resources are in place to achieve that aim.
11. Urge the Scottish Government to ensure that resources, including partnerships with Churches and others, are in place to deliver the ambitions of the Early Years Framework.
12. Demand that HM Government uphold, respect and protect the rights of children who are asylum seekers or who are trafficked into our country.

For me these show that the church is where it should be, campaigning on behalf of the poor and those who’s rights are overlooked.

Engaging with Technology, Science and the Environment
Climate Change

16. Instruct Presbyteries, in association with the Church and Society Council, to produce a plan for each congregation in their bounds, setting out how they will measure energy consumption in their church
buildings, ascertain their carbon footprint and achieve a year-on-year reduction of 5% of their carbon
footprint using the Eco-Congregation Scotland carbon footprint module; and instruct the Church and Society Council, in consultation with the General Trustees, to report to the General Assembly of 2010 on the implementation of this instruction.
17. Welcome the proposed incorporation of Eco-Congregation Scotland as a Charitable Company and continue to support the work of eco-congregations.
18. Affirm the current commitment of the Church and Society Council to the ‘Responding to Climate Change Project’ and instruct the Church and Society Council, in partnership with other Councils, to complete the review of this project with a view to its development.

The climate change debate threw up some interesting discussion around how ambitious the church should be about targets, with 5% perhaps not being nearly enough of a reduction.

This raised the question again about the suitability of buildings for me.  Is the reduction of carbon footprints the catalyst needed to get rid of unsuitable buildings once and for all?  Can the church really claim to be good stewards while pouring money into drafty and expensive to heat buildings?  And the church’s central offices in Edinburgh won’t escape the carbon audit…

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