The Church of Scotland
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Children and Youth Ministry
February 2021
Family Ministry
One of the areas that a number of people have found positive during lockdown, while we can't meet in our church buildings, has been the opportunity to connect with parents alongside their children. We have been reminded that faith isn't something to simply be learned at church, it's also to be lived out during the rest of the week, including at home.

Research has shown that only 50% of children growing up in Christian households will keep their faith as adults and that Christian parents do not have confidence in sharing their faith. Some churches have managed to build stronger relationships with parents, by providing ideas and resources to encourage families to worship together and develop faith practices at home.

There are lots of ways that churches can reach out and connect with families, support parents and encourage living out faith at home. This newsletter shares information on some of these.

Best wishes
Isobel and Suzi
Contact us
Faith at Home
How can we encourage families to share faith and worship at home and develop family faith practices?
  • Together at Home  free resources for churches to share with their families to help them explore the Bible and learn about God together in their own homes.
  • Roots share worship at home and use children's sheets to encourage families to talk about the Bible and live out their faith together.
  • Kitchen Table Project blogs, stories and ideas to help parents share faith.
  • Messy Church at Home During the pandemic, a number of Messy Churches have shared ideas and resources with families, developed deeper and wider relationships and encouraged families to do Messy Church together at home.
There are also lots of opportunities to support parents
  • Care for the Family offers information, training and support for parents including a parenting course and a course for new parents.
  • Parenting for Faith offers a video course and podcasts.
Ministry with Under-Fives and their Families
The early years of our children are incredibly significant in shaping their mental, emotional and spiritual lives for the future.
  • Parenting for Faith has launched bite-size sessions with videos and take home sheets to support nurturing your baby or toddler's spiritual life. These can be delivered online or to in-person groups, and are accessible to those who are new to faith or just exploring as well as those who have been Christians a long time.
  • There is also a video and a leader's guide to use with families bringing babies or children for infant baptism, dedication or thanksgiving.
  • Nurturing your Child's Spiritual Life - a new book by Rachel Turner, suggests simple, everyday approaches to help our children connect with the God who loves them.
Other useful material:
  • Play Time  Further information on ministry with early years.
  • 1277   Make them count Facebook Group.
Grandparents and Family Ministry
How can we explore meaningful and acceptable ways of passing on faith from one generation to the next? Our churches are full of grandparents who can have a significant role in nurturing faith in their families. Part of this privilege and responsibility can lie with grandparents sharing authentic Christian lives. They can be the vital link between the gospel and the faith of a younger generation.
Family Ministry Training
What principles underpin family ministry?
How can you best approach this work in your context?
How are changing demands and online engagement influencing your practice?

Join these ecumenical evening online sessions from 7-9pm on 13 and 27 April and 11 and 25 May.
Register interest
Digging Deeper
  • Faith in our Families – This report from Care for the Family explores what parents in the UK are doing to nurture their children’s faith, and how churches are supporting them. 
  • We are Family - This research shares findings about how churches engage in both family ministry and family support, from nurturing faith in households and bringing together the church family to including all generations 'as one body’, as well as growing the church community. 
  • The Essential Guide to Family Ministry – an overview of contemporary family life and the principles that underpin this work, this guide offers strategic and practical approaches to working with families.
Conference Talks 
  • Homegrown Conferencewatch the talks. How can we encourage families and households to nurture faith together and to spur each other on as they encounter Jesus and faith in everyday life?
More Family Ministry Training Opportunities
  • Reimagining Children's Work. Join an online opportunity from the Kitchen Table Project, to explore how we can effectively connect with families and children and look at ideas to help as we move forward into a new season. These sessions are 90 minutes long, on different days and times through March.
  • Join Messy Church for Messtival 2021 online on Saturday 22 May.  The morning will have  a variety of workshops. In the afternoon,  join The World's Biggest Messy Church for a huge celebration of the church's birthday at Pentecost.
Upcoming events
If you are a paid children and youth family worker you are warmly invited to join us for our fortnightly online conversations, our monthly book club and our yearly conference.

Our online conversations each focus on a different theme so you can join as many or as few as you are able to.
  • Thursday 4 March from 11am-12:30pm - Church Leadership
  • Monday 15 March from 1:30-3pm - Safeguarding
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:
  • 24 February - Wrestling with Rest, by Nathan Stucky
  • 31 March - The Innovative Church, by Scott Cormode
This year's annual conference, entitled 'Restore | Refresh | Release', will be held online on 17-18 March and have more of a retreat vibe as we delve into some spiritual practices together. Places are limited, with booking closing on 3 March.  Programme info and booking is available here.
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