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Children and Youth Ministry Newsletter
April 2020
Dear Friends,

We are living in strange times and find ourselves exploring what worship and ministry with children, young people and families looks like when we are not able to meet together in our normal ways. We have been heartened to hear how many of you are looking at how to keep connected with and support children, young people and families, as well as supporting parents and families, sharing things that might help to connect with God. 

This newsletter shares some information and links that we hope will be useful. There are lots of resources and ideas available online that can be shared with families to do together, as well as online stories, songs and games to enjoy. Please pass on this newsletter to others if they too would benefit.

We are now on furlough so no longer able to support children and youth ministry directly. In the meantime please send any urgent enquiries to Faith Nurture and keep sharing ideas and supporting one another.

Praying for you and thanking God for all that you do.

Suzi and Isobel
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With a lot more of our engagement and support of children, youth and families being online, please familiarise yourselves  with the latest safeguarding advice about online work and revised parental permission forms.
Read more
There are several sites providing resources to help households worship together including specific ideas for the Easter season :
  • ROOTS is offering free resources to use at home every week, with prayers, reflections, family time talking points and activities and seasonal resources
  • Weekly Worship  has good ideas from Spill the Beans of what families can do around the Sunday readings.
  • Together at Home Facebook group has weekly resources for families to explore Bible stories and spend time together
  • Engage Worship has a daily prayer and worship activity for families
  • Illustrated Ministry offers free, weekly faith formation resources for all ages
  • Godly Play– you could watch an Easter story and wonder together
  • Rhema Theatre have made 11 short films about Holy Week and Easter freely available
  • Bible 2020 has family resources with a verse and activity for every day on an App and Facebook page
Discipleship with Children at Home
Here are some useful websites with ideas and resources that can be shared and enjoyed at home. You may find some ideas to share with families to use at home or for specific ‘God times’.
  • GodVenture has lots of activities and ideas to share faith at home.
  • Build Faith  Discipleship and seasonal resources for all ages 
  • Little Worship Company  An App, videos, stories, music and prayers and ideas for ‘home churching’ younger kids
  • An Online Resource Centre sharing ideas and resources to help churches stay connected with children and families
  • A Messy Church at Home Pinterest board has lots of relevant activities, information and fun links from Messy Church and a range of other organisations
Music at Home
  • Out of the Ark Music  have made some of their resources freely available
  • Same Boat Music  have songs free to download (with a more faith-focused slant)
  • IsingPop combines music, faith and fun. They've made many of their songs available on their YouTube channel, great for bopping around at home
  • Fischy Music songs can be enjoyed, as well as an online assembly every Monday morning at 11am
Sharing Faith at Home
With everyone now staying at home, this gives an opportunity to support families in living and sharing faith.

Parenting for Faith has really useful podcasts, blogs and a training course that would be useful for parents, grandparents and children’s leaders.

Now we cannot gather together as church, this video of 'Keeping Families Connected' is worth watching. See the notes here.
Watch the video
Engaging with Young People
There are lots of resources and advice being produced to help you engage with young people at this time and a selection are listed here.  Please be especially mindful of the mental health of any young people you know, as those with preexisting conditions will be particularly vulnerable at the moment. 
  • Youthscape liveblog - this is updated very regularly (sometimes 4 or 5 times a day) with new resources, things to think about, guidance etc.  See in particular their 'Together Apart' resources.
  • Youthlink Scotland  - guidance on funding, some resources for volunteers and paid workers.
  • YoungScot - some great advice for young people as to how to cope with all that is going on.
  • Mental Wellbeing Tips - some great tips for families with young people.
  • Tearfund 'Together Group' resources - youth group resources which can be done online together with interactive quizzes and videos.
  • Youth For Christ - some great how to videos and best practice guides for taking work online.
Read more
Parenting as a Church Leader
This is a unique online opportunity to explore how to help your family thrive as you lead. This group is for church leaders of any kind including children's, youth and family leaders, ministers, elders, and their spouses.

This will give an opportunity to explore the parent vs church leader tension of living in the goldfish bowl, and discovering how best to position our children to flourish in their connection with God and with the church.

Monday 27 April at 8pm for 4 weeks or Friday 19 June from 9.30am - 2.30pm.

These are free and you watch from home.
Online Support
The Now You're Talking Church of Scotland Facebook group shares lots of new ideas, resources and stories from across Scotland. This is valuable for all involved in children, youth and family ministry, and in these unusual times we would particularly encourage you to share ideas, stories and support each other here. 

There is a lot of ideas on these Pinterest pages too.
Join the Now You're Talking Facebook group
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