Make Advent Meaningful and Special this year + Nativity prep

Advent is a very special time in the Christian year. It is, in fact, the start of the Christian year and gives us a wonderful opportunity to carve out some special time with our children and families and to get the candles out! It is a time to get ready, a time to prepare our hearts and lives to receive the new born baby king, Jesus Christ.

In the past, we have held special events at Church such as the Advent Light Party or SJ Club Advent Party. This year, we having an SJ Club Special on Advent Sunday during the normal SJ Club time. This is because we want to give your Advent a kick start and send the children home with something that will be the hook on which you hang all your Advent activities. But before we get to that, most children love Advent Calendars and these can be a great way to get ready for Jesus and keep Christmas focused on him. So we have bought a job lot of ‘The Real Advent Calendar’ which is a fun way to share the Christmas story. Behind the first giant window there is a 32-page Christmas story/Advent booklet with a page for every day of December. Then, behind each of the 25 windows there is a Fairtrade chocolate star and a few words from the Christmas story. As well as celebrating the true meaning of Christmas, the calendar makes a charity donation to Funzi & Bodo Trust from every sale. These are already in the Stable Rooms, cost £4 and you can put the money into the box of calendars.

Real Advent CalendarLove Life Live Advent


So on Advent Sunday the children will be making an Advent Wreath, Calendar or Jesse Tree to use each day throughout Advent and we can all start this off on Sunday tea time. Alongside your wreath, calendar or Jesse Tree we will also be giving every child a ‘Love Life, Live Advent’ booklet. If you have used the ‘Love Life, Live Lent’ booklet you will be familiar with the format of a small, achievable action or thought for each day.

We hope that some or all of these will help your children and you to have a wonderful Advent time that will help you all to get ready to meet Jesus on Christmas day and, of course, each day before.

We will also be beginning our preparation for the Christmas Nativity by recording the children’s voices retelling the story. Their pieces will then be edited together to form the narration of the story to which the children will perform in a loosely rehearsed style on December 14. SJ Club on December 7 will include the second rehearsal and then we will need to arrive early on Dec 14 to get into costumes and be prepared. We would appreciate your help in this by getting the children to the Stable Rooms by 10am on December 14. Thank you!

Throw your money down a toilet, in church!

This may be the first, and last time, that toilet humour is used excessively in church on a Sunday morning…this Sunday we are all about Toilet Twinning and mini hampers.
The 10.45am service is an All Age Holy Communion Harvest celebration! We are setting ourselves two challenges: one close to home and one more global. You can do one, some or all of these:
  1. To make and take a mini hamper to someone nearby who is in need of food, or is lonely, or unwell and would be really blessed by receiving a mini hamper. It doesn’t have to be loads. Sometimes the thought is enough. If you can’t find anyone near you, there will be a list in the porch at church
  2. Toilet Twinning:
    1. For £60 you can twin a toilet. Can you twin all the toilets in your home? Go to Tearfund’s toilet twining website to do this
    2. Then we have a challenge together: to twin a school block in The Congo (next to Rwanda): £240 or even to twin all of STAK and the Stable Rooms–£1080. To take part in this, bring money with you on Sunday and throw your money down our toilet! We’ll keep this going for two more weeks. We will have Tearfund envelopes and gift aid forms available too should you want to use these

Examen prayer for kids

One of my aims as Children and Families’ Minister is to encourage our children to have frequent encounters with God. Here is a really useful way to encourage reflective prayer each evening. It’s the kind of thing they could listen to as they lie in bed. Let’s give it a try

SUPERBOOK website and app

I’ve already recommended the SuperBook App for tablets and iPods etc but the website is possibly even better. There are games, Bible challenges, readings, videos, contests and when you sign up you can have a daily challenge sent to you. It’s definitely worth trying to direct your kids towards if they are into using computers!

Summer SJ Club

Over the summer holidays, we run SJ Club a bit differently to normal. It’s a less structured time where all the children are together and have a choice of activities including arty stuff, games, modelling, Lego and more. All the church services in August and through to and including September 14 are 10.30am starts. The children spend the first 10 minutes in the main service before heading off to Summer SJ Club.

Our theme for this summer is ‘Summer Holidays’. Each week we will be opening a suitcase to find an object and a postcard from ‘Frank’. These will lead us to a Bible story that includes that object. From this point on it’s mostly free flowing play and the children are encouraged to help each other out in whatever they are doing.

If you know you will be coming this Sunday, please download, fill out and bring with you an SJ Club registration form.

SJ Club specific consent form

Hope to see you there!