The Church of Scotland
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Children and Youth Ministry
September 2020
This month's newsletter is focussing on Ministry to Schools, as we come out of lockdown and start to plan for a new season in the life and ministry of our churches.

Schools have been working out how to have children back and how to keep them safe, whilst working within the government guidelines. There has also been a lot of challenge and change around the exam results that has been very stressful.

Here, we'll be looking at how we can be 'Good News' with schools and young people at this time. There are a number of opportunities you might like to explore to support your local schools.

Do get in touch if you want to discuss anything or need some support.

Suzi and Isobel
Get in touch
'The Lord is close to all who call on Him … He grants the desires of those who fear Him; He hears their cries for help and rescues them.’
- Psalm 145:18,19

Lord, provide our teachers and pupils with all they need in the aftermath of the pandemic. Help children to readjust and catch up on their missed learning, especially those most affected by lockdown.
Psalm 27: 5
Read more prayers for schools
Small groups in schools
It may not be possible to physically go in to schools at present, but some schools may appreciate the offering of some online contribution to assemblies or lessons and some online groups. Young people can be supported to lead the groups themselves.
  • Explore Online from the Scripture Union has videos and activities that can be used in either primary or secondary school groups. 
  • The Inspire videos have proved really popular with young people and youth leaders alike during lockdown and beyond.
Praying for schools
Do consider how you might pray for your local schools, teachers and pupils as this new term year starts in such unusual circumstances.
Assembly Ideas
Some people have been able to record a reflection or story to be shown to class or year groups.

Godly Play UK has produced a free new resource for primary schools to use as class collective worship during a pandemic. Using story-telling, wondering and imaginative response time, pupils' spiritual wellbeing is given focus and value.

This offers teachers accessible, simple to follow material that requires almost no additional resources. For pupils (of all faiths and none) this offers space to wonder and respond to the challenges and opportunities of the Covid-19 pandemic.

A short guidance video is included, alongside four acts of worship (more to be released soon). 
Find out more
Curriculum support
Teachers may appreciate pointers to videos and other resources that can help with aspects of the curriculum.

10 must know bible stories give lots of ideas on how to use Bible stories creatively across various areas of the curriculum. These have been produced for use in Scotland.
Support with mental health and pastoral care
Many children and young people and families have struggled during this time of lockdown. It has been a time of change and loss. How can we recognise and support them with all of this?

Some people have appreciated individual phone or zoom calls and some mentoring support as well as opportunities to meet together in small groups. Are there ways you can pair up people in your church of different ages to be in in touch?
Mental health  information and support
Transitions and change
Many children are finding it hard getting back into school, changing years or schools. How can you support and help them with this?
  • The Scottish Book Trust has produced 'Stories to share at times of change'.
  • Making the move from primary to secondary school can be daunting. It’s Your Move is made up of helpful information and advice for children moving schools.
  • Starting school is a big milestone in a small child's life. It's Your Next Step helps to promote healthy conversation about school and learning.
  • Student Link Up helps link university students to local churches
  • How might you pray for and support young people connected to your congregation?
New Hope: an online schools work conference
Schools are definitely going to look a little different this academic year because of the ongoing global impact of the Covid-19 virus. This means the way that churches and Christian organisations offer support to schools will need to change too.

This conference, run by Youthscape and Prayer Spaces in Schools, is designed to help us explore the challenges and navigate ways to support schools, teachers and pupils into the future. It is free to attend and will be hosted online. 

Monday 21 September from 10am until 3pm.
Register here
Paid Worker Conversations
This month, our series of conversations for paid children, youth and family workers aims to help us navigate the changes we are facing as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic in relation to schools.
Each online conversation begins at 2pm on a Friday and lasts between an hour and 90 minutes.  

We'll be talking about how we can serve our local schools on Friday 4 September; how we can work with the curriculum on Friday 11 September; and prayer spaces in schools on Friday 18 September.
Request joining instructions to take part
Paid Workers Book Club
This month, our book club sees us delving into Steve Younger's book 'Time for Reflection' and we're delighted to say that we will be joined by the author. 

Friday 25 September at 2pm.
Request joining instructions
Children and Youth Ministry in the Church of Scotland
Lanark Presbytery organised a very useful webinar looking at the way forward and the current guidance that relates to children and youth ministry. Do  look at the YouTube recording of this to catch up. Suzi's talk was particularly helpful looking at embracing opportunities and doing things differently. How might we develop faith and discipleship in peer groups, in families and at home and in intergenerational groups?

Keep up to date with the Church of Scotland's Covid-19 guidance here.

Lots of ideas and resources are posted on the Now You're Talking Facebook page. 
Support for engagement in schools
Connect with Serve Your Local School for ideas, resources and stories of how churches can connect with their local schools.

Christian Values in Education also has a lot of useful information.
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