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Children and Youth Ministry
May 2021
Looking to summer
The summer can be a time for rest and refreshment as schools and much of our normal programming takes a break. As this year the summer holds the promise of restrictions easing and moving into a post-pandemic world, it is important that we take time to discern where God is leading us for the next season. As we are perhaps feeling tired and anxious, we also need to take time to take care of ourselves, restoring our sense of wellbeing and building ourselves up spiritually.

What follows are some ideas and resources to help you as you move into the summer season.  

Wishing you every blessing,
Isobel and Suzi
Contact us
Rest – Reflection – Reading
If you have a change of pace over the summer, you might like to listen to some podcasts. Try Youthscape, Parenting for Faith, and Care for the Family.

Check out our reading list for suggestions of children, youth, family, and intergenerational books to read.

Watch the recordings of the Intergenerational Church and Reimagining the Future webinars and use them in your teams as you discern the way forward for the next season.
Download the webinar recordings for offline use
Praying - Reimagining – Planning
You may want to use the summer months to stand back from the past and recent challenges.  Think ahead to the future and reimagine fresh approaches. Take time to listen to God. Take time to listen to children, young people and families and explore their needs, hopes and dreams.
Access the Aspirations for Ministry resources
New ways of worshipping together 
Often during the summer, churches take the chance to do things differently. This year you might take the opportunity to explore in-person worship that is creative and intergenerational. You could even offer something outdoors:
 
Holiday clubs and activity days
You may be planning to run a holiday club or offer some activity days in a different way over the summer. Here are some ideas:
  • Jungle Adventure from Scripture Union Scotland sees God communicating through His Creation, from speaking through a burning bush, a psalmist in awe of the stars, and Jesus himself using Creation to point us to the wonder of who God is. This can be run outdoors or digitally.
  • Run a Back of the Net faith and football themed outdoor event for children and young people, or an On the Field community sports event.
  • Other holiday club materials can be adapted to suit your needs.
 
Day events and pilgrimages
Many young people benefit from Christian camps and activity days over the summer. Indoor overnight opportunities are restricted but the ideas below are possibilities:
  • Outdoor trails: Wonder Walks and Muddy Church trails.
  • Scripture Union and others are offering activity days.
  • Magnitude: A festival for 11-18-year-olds is being held between 24-28 July, with worship, workshops, sports and fun. Camping at Lendrick Muir.
  • The Columba Experience is a week-long pilgrimage for 18-25-year-olds. They will explore ancient Christian practices as well as contemporary faith, and trace the stories of Columba and other early saints. Two pilgrimage weeks will take place in Argyll: 28 August-5 September, and 4-12 September.
 
Watch this video on impact of youth events and residentials
Faith at home in the holidays
Through the past year, some churches have increased their contacts with families and have supported parents to share faith at home. Other places are seeking to re-engage and connect with local families. How might you build relationships with families in your area and explore how best to meet their needs?

Lots of ideas available on:
 
Upcoming webinars
Do register, below, for the final webinar in our Intergenerational Church series: 'Insights from the Scriptures'. This one will provide an opportunity to reflect on being an intergenerational church through exploring the scriptures together. Monday 21 June at 7:30-9pm.

Save the dates for other upcoming webinars:
  • Serve Your Local School - Wednesday 25 August at 12pm
  • Family Ministry - Thursday 4 November at 7:30pm
 
Register for the Intergenerational Church webinar
Post-lockdown guidance
We know that planning activities for the summer is hard at the moment when we have no confirmed idea as to what stage of post-lockdown recovery we will be in by then. The Church of Scotland and YouthLink Scotland are updating their guidance as quickly as possible, so we ask for your patience and understanding. 

We are also aware that for some, the activities you are thinking about or planning do not fit neatly into one particular section of guidance (especially if you are being creative, following our recent webinars).  If this is you, and having read all the guidance offered, you are unsure of the way forward, please get in touch and we will do our best to help.

It would also be great if you could share your ideas and ways forward in our Now You're Talking Facebook group, so that we can all learn and share together.
Join the Now You're Talking group
Upcoming events
If you are a paid children and youth family worker, you are warmly invited to join us for our weekly informal prayer gathering, our fortnightly online conversations and/or our monthly book club.

Our online conversation events each focus on a different theme so you can join as many or as few as you are able to:
  • Monday 17 May from 1:30-3pm: Covid-19 Guidance
  • Thursday 3 June from 11am-12:30pm: Climate Justice and COP26
  • Monday 14 June from 1:30-3pm: Telling Our Story
Our monthly book club focuses on a different book each time and is a great opportunity to think about how we can contextualise our practice. This takes place on the final Wednesday of the month from 11am-12:30pm. Here are the upcoming book discussions:
  • 26 May: From Isolation to Community: Youth Work in the Covid Era and Beyond, by Jenni Osborn. We are delighted to be joined by the author for this one.
  • 30 June: Faith in Children, by Ronni Lamont.
 
Ask for joining details
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