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Children and Youth Ministry
June 2021
Relationships
One of our 'Aspirations for Ministry' with children and young people in the Church of Scotland is this:

‘We seek to be a church that is relational, desiring deep relationships with God and with one another, regardless of age.’

As we make our way out of lockdown and the restrictions ease, how might we intentionally seek to deepen relationships with people of the same generation, as well as across generations, in our worship and church life?

Our faith, and that of the children, young people and families in our care, develops and grows as we share our stories of faith together. Our ministry with children and young people should not just be about running programmes but should focus on building relationships, with one another, and with God. 

As we "re-imagine the future" for our churches in worship and community, and with some lifting of restrictions, we have opportunities to explore new ways of building relationships in our communities. How might we prioritise building and deepening relationships in the days ahead?

Every blessing,
Isobel and Suzi
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Prioritising Relationships
Some questions to consider as you seek to prioritise relationships:
  1. As we move out of lockdown and look to the future, how can we rebuild relationships with each other, across generations and with God?
  2. How can we develop and explore new ways to reconnect with others in our churches?
  3. How might we reconnect with our teams and those who serve in children and youth ministry, and invite new people to get involved?
  4. During the pandemic, we have seen the benefits of encouraging faith formation in the home by building relationships with the whole family rather than just the children or young people. How can we not lose this as we move to more in-person programmes?
 
Mentoring and Pastoral Support
Young people are amongst those hardest hit by the Covid-19 pandemic. Now might therefore be an appropriate time to consider if and how you can offer them more emotional and pastoral support, perhaps through a mentoring programme.

Transforming Lives for Good partners with churches to support children and families who are struggling, to see them supported and encounter the transformational love of Jesus. They can support churches with:
  • Make Lunch - a programme that sees churches invite families to a regular club (especially in the school holidays) where they can receive a hot meal but also gain skills, build relationships, grow in confidence and access activities.
  • Early Intervention - a mentoring programme aimed at those aged 8-14 (primary and secondary years) where volunteers receive training and resources to journey with a young person for an academic year.
  • Emotional First Aid training - free to churches with accompanying resources including a parent/carer guide and a journal for young people to use themselves.
 
Find out more about Transforming Lives for Good
Relationships during school transitions
In these next few months, many children and young people are facing transitions in some form. They will be going back to school and new year groups; some will be changing schools, and some will be going on to further education. How might we support and pray for them in this?
  • MOVE is a free three-part video series from Scripture Union Scotland exploring the change from primary to high school, looking into the key themes of emotions, foundations and growth. There are also discussion questions and personal reflection sheets.
  • Prayer Spaces in Schools also have some great ideas to support school transitions.
  • Ten Must Know Bible Stories have ideas for transition-themed reflective activities, for use both in school or at home.
  • Fusion have a range of resources to help churches support those making the transition from school to further education.
 
Upcoming Webinars
Intergenerational Church Webinar 3: Insights from the Scriptures
Monday 21 June from 7:30pm-9pm

The final webinar in our series on Intergenerational Church is currently open for bookings. Join us as we explore together some passages of scripture to see what they have to say to us today about being intentionally intergenerational, about intergenerationality being at the core of everything we do, and about being together, developing faith experientially.

This online webinar is for anyone interested in intergenerational church (although connected to the previous intergenerational church webinars this is a stand-alone event so you do not need to have been at the previous ones to take part). Register before Sunday 20 June. 

Serve Your Local School Webinar
Wednesday 25 August from 12pm-1pm

As we start a new school year, this webinar gives an opportunity to rethink and refresh how churches might support and serve schools in their local area. Register now. 

Follow Serve Your Local School on Facebook and visit their website for more ideas. 

Family Ministry webinar
Thursday 4 November from 7:30pm-9pm

Keep a note of this date, and more information and a registration link will be coming soon.

Digging Deeper
  • Relational Ministry Reimagined is a series of talks given at a previous Church of Scotland conference (and a book) by Dr Andy Root from Luther Seminary in the US. Perhaps you could watch his talks as a team and consider the questions he raises, which are even more relevant to consider now as we reshape who we are as a church and our relationships with each other.

    "Ministry is about connection, one to another, about sharing in suffering and joy, about persons meeting persons with no pretence or secret motives. It is about shared life, confessing Christ not outside the relationship but within it. This is living the gospel." - Dr Andy Root
  • The Rooted in the Church report from the Church of England offers a snapshot of what has helped the seeds of faith take root and grow in young people and considers 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, and become unconditionally welcoming places for young people.
  • The lightning talks at the Reimagining the Future webinar shared ideas on building and deepening relationships.
  • Our previous Intergenerational Church webinars are also well worth watching, sharing and discussing.
 
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 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:
  • 30 June: No set book. Instead, we'll be sharing thoughts from things we've all read over the last year. What's been your favourite book and why?
  • 25 August: Faith in Children, by Ronni Lamont.
 
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