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Children and Youth Ministry - November
Intergenerational Church
'While there is definitely a place for age-appropriate groups, a strong faith is formed when children and young people are part of an intergenerational community, worshipping God together. Faith is also strengthened when children and young people have friendships with adults in the church who are not their parents – they get to hear about other life experiences and chat about things without family pressures getting in the way.' - Sticky Faith

In recent years activities and even worship in churches has become increasingly segregated and divided on age lines, to the detriment of intergenerational relationships and experiences in the faith community.

How can we encourage and develop intergenerational faith formation and relationship-building in the life of our Church? How can we truly be One Body in Christ? What might this look like in these days of uncertainty and separation? How can we prioritise doing things together and only doing things separately where we have to? How are the gifts and voice of younger people used within the life of the Church?

We look forward to exploring these areas with you.

Best wishes,
Suzi and Isobel

PS. Congratulations to Darren Philip from Livingston United Church. He has been awarded the John Hope Prize in Practical Theology for his MTh dissertation on 'Children in an Intergenerational Church Community: Lessons for the Church of Scotland from the Works of Dietrich Bonhoeffer'.  
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From him the whole body grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.
Ephesians 4:16
Rooted in the Church
Rooted in the Church research (from the Church of England) offers a snapshot of what helps the seeds of faith take root and grow in young people and looks at how congregations can make churches a more fertile place for the growth and flourishing of young Christians.

The report concludes that churches should:
  • aim to build a culture of intergenerational relationships
  • be inclusive of all ages in both leadership and worship
  • recognise young people and young adults as equal members of the Body of Christ
  • become unconditionally welcoming places for young people
  • support youth workers and leaders
Watch the video
Intergenerational Worship
In our gathered or online times of worship , we have an opportunity and a challenge  to make the experience more intergenerational. This is not just about having a ‘children’s slot’. How can we plan worship where people of all ages can engage together? 

It is understood that we all connect with God in different ways. Spiritual styles (i.e. word, symbol, emotion, action) can be helpful as a tool to plan worship that engages with everyone. The Roots worship and age group material is shaped with spiritual styles in mind.

The  Church of Scotland's Weekly Worship materials suggest alternative ideas that can be done creatively together as a part of a service. These use ideas from Spill the Beans.

The upcoming Advent and Christmas periods both provide opportunities to do things differently, and to find new ways to do worship that can include all ages.
Intergenerational Relationships
What happens in your church to bring people of different ages together? How can this happen, even with COVID-19 restrictions? Can you encourage people to pray for each other, to provide mentoring or to make occasional calls?

With the closure of church buildings, we have seen a greater emphasis on sharing faith and worship in the home and households coming together. How can we provide support for this, as well as link members of the Church up with families?

Some useful resources and ideas can be found from Together at Home and Together Apart.
Watch this video on intergenerational relationships
Messy Church
Messy Church is an example of an intergenerational expression of church. It is planned for families and people of different ages to worship creatively together. At this time people are running Messy Church with socially distant household groups, or running a group on line; some people are encouraging Messy Church at Home and creative ways to do Messy Church during COVID-19.
Read our Messy Church guidance
Children and Youth Ministry Guidance Zoominar
Following the success of the last Zoominar on children's and youth work during the pandemic, the Presbytery of Lanark is organising another one, which is again open to everyone. This will be held on Wednesday 4 November from 7-9pm.

Lucy Moore, Messy Church founder and team leader, and Tim Frew, CEO of YouthLink Scotland, will join representatives from the Church of Scotland's Covid-19 guidance group to help us understand what is possible in our work with children and young people. 
Whilst the Church has provided detailed guidance in relation to children and youth ministry in Section 7 of the Church's re-opening of church buildings guidance, we are aware that questions and uncertainty remain in Church and community about how to apply this as well as Government restrictions at a detailed local level. We hope this Zoominar will help us navigate the regulations and guidelines of both the Church and Scottish Government.
Request Zoom link
'Now You're Talking' Conversations
We are offering two opportunities to explore and share ideas on developing our children and youth ministry. These will take place from 8-9pm:
  • Thursday 12 November - Beyond Lockdown - What has changed? What do we need to consider as we move forward?
  • Monday 23 November - Advent and Christmas - planning and ideas for what will be a rather different festive season
Join us with your ideas and questions.
Request joining instructions
Intergenerational Church webinar
This online webinar will explore how churches can become life-giving and faith-shaping for everyone in our communities. Darren Philip from Livingston United Church will contribute to the sessions and there will be an opportunity to share stories and explore ways to reshape our church life and worship as we explore  four key questions:
  • Where are we and how did we get here?
  • What could being an intergenerational church community look like?
  • How do we get there?
  • What might this mean for our different local contexts?
This event will be relevant for anyone involved in leadership in congregations; those in the recognised ministries, elders, children/youth ministry volunteers and paid workers.
Register here
Paid Worker Conversations
This month, our series of conversations for paid children, youth and family workers aim to help us navigate the changes we are facing as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic in relation to intergenerational worship.

Each online conversation begins at 2pm on a Friday and lasts between one hour and 90 minutes. Please join us whenever you are able.

We'll be talking about:
  • Participation in worship on Friday 6 November
  • Songs/music and spiritual styles on Friday 13 November
  • Learning from the early Church on Friday 20 November
Request joining instructions
Paid Worker Book Club
This month, our book club sees us delving into Margaret Prichard Houston's new book 'Beyond the Children's Corner: Creating a Culture of Welcome for All Ages' and we are delighted that we will be joined by the author.

Please join us on Friday 27 November at 2pm.
Request joining instructions
Join our Now You're Talking Facebook Group to be kept up to date with resources, ideas and other support.
Join the group
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