SJ Club Newsletter May 2016

Welcome!

As the temperature hots up here, it’s going to be getting even hotter for the 12 disciples at Pentecost and for 4 friends who are at the centre of our upcoming series, ‘Heroes of the faith’.

We’ll be celebrating Ascension in it’s usual place followed by Pentecost when we also have a Pentecost Family Party in the afternoon (more of that later). After that we dive into our series on Heroes which will take us right up to the end of term as we spend 5 sessions with Daniel and 2 with Esther. Please pray for us as we will be writing lots of the Daniel material ourselves.

Aside from the Pentecost Family Party, our next Special will be on June 12 and we will end the year on July 24 with an Awards Ceremony to celebrate each of the children.

SJ Club groups

For those of you new, and for clarification for all, there are 5 groups within SJ Club: Seedlings Crèche for 0-3‘s, Acorns for 3-5‘s, JIGSAW for 6-7‘s, K4J for 7-9‘s and Strawberry Juice for 9-11‘s. Children can leave Seedlings to join Acorns from the term after their 3rd birthday if potty trained and parents and leaders all agree. This, we hope will allow us flexibility to move the older children in Acorns up to JIGSAW before they move to Year 1 e.g. from Easter in their Reception year.

The Acorns team begin their session upstairs before joining the other groups downstairs for the story.

The oldest 3 groups meet altogether for a time of praise & worship, hearing the Bible, friendship building and meeting together with God. We then split into our age groups for activities such as games, craft, discussion, quizzes & more that help us to respond to what we have heard.

Parent helper Rotas

We ask every parent, where possible, to help out in a group once each half term. This role is to support the group leader as they ask and gives you a great chance to see what your child is doing. If you end up on a rota but feel this is too much, please let me know. Equally, if you are not on a rota and can be, please tell me as we are often short.

Back in the Winter, Deborah Evans took on the leadership of Seedlings creche, supported by Nic Nevin, Zoë Shuler and others.

I am always on the look out for people to join the teams and lead groups as well. So if you are passionate about helping children meet with God please talk to me.

Transition

The year 6 Strawberry Juice children will be moving up to Edge after half term, beginning on Sunday 12 June. They are also invited to begin Edge Fridays on May 27 when I will also be at Edge to help with the transition.

Holiday Club

We’ve got a bit behind with our team recruitment for Holiday Club so we have extended the deadline for applications to May 10 when the Core team will meet to make sure that it is viable to run it this year. The theme is ‘Factory Rock’ and we will be exploring some of the Parables of Jesus as we share with the children what an amazing Kingdom they can belong to if they follow Jesus ways. This is the biggest opportunity we have  to share Jesus with children in our community so please do pray and think (quickly now!) about joining the team. Talk to Tim or Eileen for more an visit the website at http://www.histonholidayclub.org.uk or get to it from

Pentecost Party May 14

Following a very successful Party last  year, we are doing something similar on May 14 from 3-5pm: All families are invited to come to this wonderful laid back time. There will be opportunities to create, play, chat, chill, praise God and eat together, or just sit and drink coffee! Whatever, you choose, there will be plenty for children to do.

So come along and help us create a giant flame mural, make your own candle, run as fast as you can, eat delicious food and lot’s more! Do invite friends along too and if you would like to help with the preparation of activities we would be delighted!

Talk to Tim (07905321901, tim@standrewshiston.org) , Rob, Rachel, Rebecca, Chris or any of the SJ Club team to find out more

Baptism

There is the possibility of running a short course to prepare children for baptism during the summer term. We need to act fast on this to make it happen before the end of July, otherwise it will have to move back to January. If you have any children interested, do get in touch ASAP.

Sabbatical

Many of you will already know that I am taking a sabbatical this summer from August through to the end of October. I’ve been here 11 years now so its time to step back, refresh, reflect and hopefully grow and learn a bit too. I’ll probably set up a blog so you’ll be able to keep up with some of what I am doing if you want! The SJ Club team have started to prepare for this and I am totally confident that they will not miss me! However, it would be really helpful if some of you could offer to help out a little more. I’ll be in touch with some more specifics soon as well but one of those will be helping out with Summer SJ Club.

St Andrew’s Kids website

www.standrewskids.co.uk This is now being updated most weeks so please keep checking it for information on all things children and families.

Talk to God about

  • Your friends; that you will invite them to SJ Club and they will come to know Jesus too.
  • Your teachers at school and on Sunday at Church and especially with Tim being away from Aug-Oct
  • For Tim’s sabbatical to be really helpful and refreshing
  • Pray this over each other: ‘The Lord bless you and keep you, the Lord turn his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you, the lift up his favour upon you and give you his peace, Amen. (Numbers 6. 24-26)
  • Sing a song to each other e.g. The Irish Blessing: https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/irish-blessing/id296677881?i=296678017#

May the Road Rise to meet you

May the wind be ever at your back

May the sun shine warm upon your face

And rains fall soft upon your fields

And until we meet again

May God hold you, may God hold you, ever in the palm of his hands, ever in the palm of his hands

  • Ask each other ‘when have you felt close to God today’ or ‘far from God’ then thank him and ask him for help

Thanks for reading!

Tim

Histon Holiday Club

INCREDIBLE MACHINE UNVEILED AT FACTORY

Mr Ivan Goldchest had inherited a small fortune after after his parents died in a mysterious accident in the family run factory. Now he is determined to build the perfect robot who will build the perfect machine to make perfect, err, stuff to make their factory and the whole world a totally safe and perfect place. However, he needs some workers to join him, workers who are fearless and brave, clever and creative and who can work with the factories’ crazy inventor Zyinven Crator and his incredible machines like the Story Machine. All children currently at school (years R-6) are invited to join us to help Ivan Goldchest find out what the ‘Truth Machine’ is trying to say about a special, upside-down and inside-out kind of place. Could it be that a place of wonderful peace and joy already exists? How can we get there?

This year’s Holiday Club is based on the fantastic ‘stories with secret, hidden meanings’, that Jesus told the people of his day. We’ll be finding out what they have to say to us today about life, heaven and having faith in God.

All children currently of Infant of Junior school age are welcome to join us for this annual adventure packed full of stories, songs, drama, messy challenges, quizzes, games, craft and prayers and quieter times too!  It is run by Christians from the local churches.  Tim and Rachel will be our presenters for the week along with a team of around seventy others. Booking is now open for children and we would love to have children signed up early to help us in our planning. Forms will be available through the schools and on the website: www.histonholidayclub.org.uk or from Tim at the Saint Andrew’s Centre

Histon Holiday Club

Source: Histon Holiday Club

Lent ideas to do as a family

Lent is both about giving up and taking up: giving up things that get in the way of our relationship with God, that stop us from putting him first and living lives pleasing to him; and taking up new ways of living life in the way of Jesus – doing justice, loving kindness and walking humbly (Micah 6.8).

As we journey the road to the cross at Easter, Lent is an opportunity to do something special together as a family. Here are some ideas:

http://godventure.co.uk/tag/lent/ This is a book you can buy and if 10 people act fast by telling me by Thursday evening (4 Feb) I can order at £2,80 inc. postage

http://engageworship.org/store/lent-family-creative-journal. A journal for use in families during Lent. It looks really good and the ideas appear to work for a wide range of ages and types. I think it’s not ‘one a day’ but a bit more fluid. Again, if  10 people say ‘yes please’ by Thursday night I can place an order at £4.50 each. Otherwise you can order individually for £6
Pancake Prayers: a great idea for praying while enjoying your pancakes: (this one is free, assuming your cupboard is full of ingredients!) http://godventure.co.uk/news/pancake-prayers/

Another free set of ideas that you can use whenever you like: http://flamecreativekids.blogspot.co.uk/p/family-lent-ideas.html

Beth Cope has just sent this one in; it’s a bit more pricey and there are no offers so just go for it on your own if you like it.

A Lent Family Book Suggestion:
“Follow Me” by Amy Robinson

In our house, we’re really looking forward to Lent this year! In fact, we’ve started slightly early… we just couldn’t wait to try out the new book by one of our favourite story-tellers, Amy Robinson.

“Follow Me” offers families a daily story or activity to help explore what it means to be a follower of Jesus. Each week focuses on a familiar bible passage, looking at it from different angles each day. Our Year 3 and 5 children have particularly appreciated Amy’s ‘retellings’ – biblical, entertaining, and thought provoking for adults and children alike. And she has plenty of tips to help the storyteller make the retelling their own.

Cleverly, Amy uses Sundays as a ‘community day’ – inviting us to do small things with friends and family that put what we’ve been talking about into action. Nothing too onerous.

We’re also going to join the online community on facebook, seeing how other families are getting on with the stories throughout Lent. Why not join us? (You can preview the first week online, so it isn’t too late to order your copy and join in!)

Beth Cope

Follow Me is available for £9.99 from http://www.kevinmayhew.com/follow-me.html

If you have other ideas, please share in the reply box below.

Tim

SJ Club Newsletter January 2016

Dear SJ Club families,

As we start a new year it’s good to remember what Super Jesus Club is all about:
to nurture and disciple children in their faith so that they may come to know Jesus as their saviour, Lord and friend
We hope that all your children are settled in to their group – please do keep us in the know on how they are. The groups can vary largely from week to week in number and we are very grateful to those who step in to be an extra pair of hands when needed. On that note, the new rotas are live on the website under SJ Club. Please check all the rotas where you have a child and if you can’t do your slot please try to swap with someone else and let me know. We would also value any help with tidying up at the end of sessions.
 
Sharing the Good News
We are starting off in the later chapters of Acts seeing how Paul shares the good news of Jesus in every situation good and bad he finds himself in. We are hoping to encourage the children to know they are part of Jesus team today and can play an important part in sharing the good news. Into February and Lent, we are hoping to do a series on ‘Justice’ looking at both old and new testament scriptures. Please would you pray for us as we plan this as it’s not proving easy! As part of this we will be introducing a new ‘Giving Box’ every week and a project that we will work for. We hope to include the children in this decision. More on this as it develops. In the middle there will be two specials, one of which will focus on our link with Rwanda. That will take us up to Easter which will we celebrate in full with another big Special on Good Friday down at the Saint Andrew’s Centre. 
 
Learn to Listen
Back in the Autumn I went on a National CofE Conference concerned with changing the churches attitudes and practice towards listening to children. This is a very significant project as the church makes a sea change in it’s approach to children and children’s spirituality within the christian faith. You can read all about this on the blog. We began to implement the findings and ideas from this in December and will be making more time to consult the children on how they think the events they are involved in should be run. One of the questions we will be asking them is about starting a new mid-week club at the Saint Andrew’s Centre.
 
Time in Church
Back in September we asked the older children to move back from the soft area to make more space for the under 5s for who this was designed. Thank you for helping this to happen. The next step is to review what we do in this part of the service and again Ill be asking the children what they think. 
 
Thats all for now, do check the website for more about what we do and why + special events and thoughts etc
 
Blessings to you all,
 
Tim

Learn to Listen

In November, I had the privilege of being given a place on a conference called Learn to Listen. This was an exciting and significant time…

Here is my summary of the 48 hours and there is a full report too if you want to read more

www.learn-to-listen.org.uk (national website)

Aims

  • to help us listen to the voices of children and young people in our churches and communities

Summary

Within ten minutes of the first session beginning, It was clear that I was part an elite task force gathered from across the Church of England given the mission of saving the church from extinction. Whilst that is a bit James bond-esque, there is some truth in it. These 48 hours felt like a significant marker in our work with children and young people and this project is a potential game changer for the church.

There’s nothing more frustrating than thinking that no one is listening to you. Tragically, it’s a feeling children and young people often have. However, in the last few years there has been a growing paradigm shift from previously seeing children as vessels to be filled to increasingly recognising them as candles to burn brightly. Furthermore, as ‘Going for Growth’ states;

…we must commit ourselves to listen to the voices of younger generations and the challenging messages they may bring to light.

Going for Growth, 2010

Learn to Listen is another step in this sea-change. It is based on Biblical precedents such as the call of Jeremiah to rebuild and to plant, and upon British and International Laws relating to the rights of the children to have a say on the things they are involved in. It also stems from knowledge about early childhood brain development that shows how babies are born ready to develop through experiences of interaction with other people – as we listen, we grow.

Tony Cook both stated and showed us that listening to children is not rocket science, but it requires the adult church to change it’s culture, patterns and ways of thinking. We thought about the benefits of listening, the barriers to listening and worked on solutions. Significantly, as someone who has been working in churches full-time with children for 16 years, and who takes pride in listening to the hearts of children and their views on scripture, God and faith, listening to children’s views and opinions on what the church is like, on what they do in church , and on how they meet God has not been a big part of my ministry. I am challenged deeply by this.

Ali Langton and Ester Gregory shared their experiences of how youth councils and children’s councils can work with great and profound impact and Sonia Mainstone-Cotton took us through the practical and ethical issues involved in working with children in their early years, showing that they have a deep sensitivity to other’s needs as well as their own and that they have a powerful voice that needs to be heard as well.

The truth is that children and young people have much to give to the church and some, if not all, have a prophetic voice to the church, for today. Dare we risk missing that voice? I know the feeling of being listened to and being heard. It feels good. It builds me up, gives me confidence and inspires me to do more. We need our children to feel this, to feel valued and engaged, to feel like they own the church, are genuinely part of it and can actually make a difference. Without this, many will leave the church.

Below, and on the Learn to Listen website there are scores of thoughts, ideas, reasons, benefits and tools to back this up and enable every church, big and small to listen to the voices of children and young people. There are 300 questions to ask children, simple ideas for holding a consultation session, ideas for involving young people on PCC and creating a children’s PCC and countless more.

It was a very encouraging and challenging time with excellent input, guidance and facilitation from people with a great heart for children young people and the church. So to sum up in short; ask questions, listen and act upon what children say.

An all new Light Party?

Just three of us met last week to talk about the Light Party (held on Halloween by Council of Churches Holiday Club team) but despite this we have a new vision for what it might be and we are super excited! Clearly we need more than three people to make any Light Party happen so please would take a few minutes to read this and then think about whether you would like to get involved.

Light Party 2015 : Saturday 31 Oct 4-5.30pm

Matthew 5.14-16, Psalm 34.5

Vision

to bring parents and children together in a natural way,  encouraging whole families to come along to do stuff together: play games, make stuff, eat together and for us to share something of the love of God. To grow friendships and relationships within families and across the community.

This will be achieved by;

  • bringing the time forward to 4-6pm (it’s a Saturday this year)
  • opening the café space (or even full opening) where parents can enjoy a drink, papers, chat. The screens could have the Bible verses and something of the theme we are covering in a gentle manner and the clergy and other adults could be there too
  • allowing people(particularly adults) the choice to dip in to what is going on
  • Begin with an upbeat praise party as children arrive, using a full band and the lights etc to create a party atmosphere
  • a number of activities for all to join in with – families doing stuff together: preparing the feast, craft, games
  • the upper room could be either a prayer space or quieter space for the youngest children if needed
  • a time of sharing the bible story in multi media ways
  • a ‘banquet’ at the end
Ideas
  • Upbeat songs with a live band and using the lights etc – party atmosphere
  • Coffee and refreshments in the café? Can the café space be used?
  • Crafts in Hall 2
  • Prayer space in the Upstairs Room
  • Preparing food at the start and then eating it later
  • Narnia?
  • A spiritual lift (Ben’s words)
  • Psalm 34.5 + Shine like stars Phillipians?
  • Revelation 2 (as at HC 2014)?
  • Rachel’s story parable with Matthew 5.14-16 – play with this image lots
  • Songs: I am a city on a hill (Nick & Becky Drake https://youtu.be/Cg2We2iK7og) / My Lighthouse (Rend Collective)
  • Passing on light to one more person – Domino effect
  • Fish finger sandwiches! (White inside!)
  • Cupcakes with white icing and a candle – make two each to pass on on
  • Banquet at end at tables where we can pass the candle light on

 

   Timing

4-6 – to help younger children / families come along and for feast at the end

Format
Team

Q & A: Natalie Collins – ‘Creepy Naked Stuff’ online resources

This is a short film on youtube designed to help children begin conversations about any bad stuff they might see online. It won’t destroy children’s innocence but will alert them and hopefully us as parents/carers to the dangers of online pornography
TMB

On the release of a new resource about the dangers of porn for children, Phoebe Thompson chatted to its creator, Natalie Collins, about why she feels it’s needed, how young is too young for parents to raise this topic with their children and what children’s workers can do to support and equip parents in this area.

Source: Q & A: Natalie Collins

Still Playing School: The After School Attitude: Why Is My Child Acting Out at Home?

Whilst this is not ground breaking, it has some good thoughts and ideas about managing the transition from school to home, especially focused on the first days and weeks. I think we can apply some of the ideas to our bigger ones too…
Tim

Reasons why kids act out at home during the back to school transition (and tips about what you can do to help)

Source: Still Playing School: The After School Attitude: Why Is My Child Acting Out at Home?