Working together

On Monday 25th September we have our next Messy Meet Up. This is to be held at the Xcel Centre, Johnstown, Carmarthen, SA31 3BP from 4.30-6.30pm and includes a bring and share meal so please do bring along something to share together.

This is a great opportunity to build your team, encourage one another, bring along new volunteers, come as a team who wish to start a Messy Church and learn all about what’s going on across the Diocese.

We have seen seven new Messy Churches start in the last 18 months and we are delighted that we are still hearing about new Messy Church beginnings and people who are keen to develop what they are doing.

Messy Meet Ups offer a great opportunity for networking and sharing together. We will share our successes and challenges and help each other solve problems.

We will be focusing on Messy Festivals; Christmas, Easter, Pentecost and Harvest. During the session and as part of the evening we will plan Messy Church themes together. In small groups we will look at; ways to theme and plan a time of welcome, craft activities, ideas for the celebration, prayer activities, games and much more.

At the end of the evening you should go away with 4 ready-made sessions to use.

Plus we are giving away books, bags and leaflets to all groups who attend!

It would be really helpful if you can let me know how many are coming from your area clarewilliams@churchinwales.org.uk

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This is part of our aim to help bring leaders and volunteers together to share, encourage, network and pray together. We will be doing even more of this in 2018 with training, networking event and our ‘meet up’ series.

In addition to this we are continuing to encourage visits to other groups, both Messy Churches and different types of groups working with children and young people to learn from each other, ask questions and give support. If you would like to arrange a learning visit please do get in touch with us.

 

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Money, money, money

GRANT FUNDING

The children and youth team have, for some time now, been giving grants to support ministry with children and young people. We give grants of up to £200 twice a year at our spring and autumn meetings. We aim to give around 10 grants at each meeting. These are to support new work and get a project going, or to inject new energy into a project. We recognise that £200 is not a huge amount of money. However, it is a significant sum and we have seen a great deal of work achieved through the grants we have given so far. We also do not preclude parishes/LMAs from applying twice in one year to continue to support their work and ministry.

The deadline for the next round of grants is the end of September and we would really encourage you to apply by completing the form below.

Grant Application Form

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WE HAVE SUPPORTED…

We are delighted that so far our grants have been able to support;

  • development and growth of a youth group in north Cardigan
  • starting up 3 Messy Churches
  • starting a Sunday School in Pembrokeshire
  • developing provision to older children in a Messy Church
  • establishing 2 new Parent & Toddler groups
  • two schools’ outreach projects
  • beginning new work in a parish for children and youth ministry
  • outdoor equipment for children and young people
  • purchasing resources for a Sunday School
  • developing activity packs for visiting children
  • growing a Messy Church in Carmarthenshire
  • purchasing publicity materials for groups
  • starting up 2 new after school clubs

WELSH LANGUAGE RESOURCES

There is now a new element to our grant funding project. We are supporting parishes and LMAs to have Welsh language resources. We recognise that there are many areas for which the Welsh language is very important and the majority or resources for children and youth ministry are not produced bilingually. However we don’t believe that the most effective system is to translate everything we have into Welsh. Instead, we are asking parishes/LMAs to approach us with texts, resources etc. they wish to use and have translated. To facilitate this we have an application form, simply to make sure a) we translate material that is needed and useful b) we can then have a bank of resources which have been translated into welsh c) if it has already been translated we can let you know.

Please use the application form below to let us know of resources you wish to be translated and we will fund this process.

Welsh Translation Grant Form

Ffurflen gais am grant cyfieithu i’r gymraeg

To build up our catalogue of Welsh language resources we have already had our Advent and Easter programmes for schools translated into Welsh. For a copy or to have help to run these programmes please email clarewilliams@churchinwales.org.uk

Application deadline for grants is 30.09.17

The kingdom of heaven is like…

Session plans for children and youth groups on the sayings, parables and phrases of Jesus when he teaches about the Kingdom of God

Youth Group planning

Each session includes – activities, games, Bible references and reflections

Young people will engage with drama, cooking, craft, Bible study, games with a purpose and much, much more!

The kingdom of heaven is like

Children’s Group planning

Each session includes – game, story and craft activity

Children will engage with tricky Biblical concepts using every day objects, crafts and ideas. Exciting and memorable sessions for Primary school age children.

Kingdom of heaven planning 

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A word of encouragement

As well as being very busy with camping, ‘pop up’ events, beach missions, holiday clubs and much more, I hope this summer you have found some time for rest and reflection too.

Here is a short reflection you may find helpful looking back at the work you have done this year so far and forward at the beginning of this new academic year with God and with the children, young people and families you work with.

A wise friend gave me this beautiful image this week and I hope it helps each and every one of you in thinking about your work, your ministry, your relationships, your identity, your place in life or any other situation in which you find yourself.

The image of a tower is iconic for us in the world today, in the Biblical world I am sure the first image which springs to mind is the tower of Babel, we have the leaning tower of Pisa and other world landmarks and also much sadder, more poignant images of course with the twin towers and more latterly, Grenfell tower.

To build a tower one must of course have firm foundations. The imagery takes us first to this thought, perhaps to the rootedness of such a structure or its reaching heavenwards. However there is more to the architecture of this building which can help us in our spiritual reflection.

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For such a tower to stand there is, built into its very design, enough give for it to move slightly. This is not such that its inhabitants might notice or to cause damage to the tower by the movement but to respond to natural changes such as wind and pressure. This element of the design is vital. If the tower did not have that give, enough to physically move and be shaken, it would be more likely to fall down.

In our lives, we can often feel shaken, swayed by situations, people or the world around us. Our lives can feel like they are shifting beyond our control and right under our feet, perhaps without us even noticing. Maybe we do not feel like we have those solid foundations because those movements are, at the moment, our focus. In architectural design I am sure that this notion could have, at first, sounded ridiculous, the thought of a multi-storey tower swaying in the wind. However, it is this very design which enables it to stand firm.

With God, whatever shakes us or causes us to falter He is of course, firstly, our firm foundation. However it is this beautiful image which also reminds us that we are designed that way. We are not completely resistant to the temptations, difficulties, questions and pain of this world. We are however made to withstand whatever movement this may cause to the tower of our life. We may remain shaken and moved by them but we are designed that way.

It might be more pleasant to be designed not to move, to not feel or respond to these turbulent situations. However we know that if we were made that way we are, in the end, more likely to give up, give in and fall down completely.

It is this image of the tower which I hope you can hold on to in whatever situation you find yourself. Let it remind you that whatever you may be feeling, whatever influences are shaking, or even damaging, you at the moment, God has it all in hand. He has designed and built you this way in order that despite being shaken and disturbed, ultimately, you are stronger, more firm, taller and perfectly designed in him.

Summer stories

This year Summer Salt – whilst being a little damp – has been no less successful! We have been out and about in Borth, Lampeter Velfrey, Llanelli, Haverfordwest, Neyland, Dafen and Penrhyn-coch with lots of children, young people and families joining in.

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Our games and activities have been based on the miracles of Jesus with our most popular sessions aptly being based on the ‘water miracles’ the calming of the storm and walking on water.

A BIG thank you to all those places that have engaged with this project this year.

Some good news stories

– despite the rain in Llanelli and the session having to take place indoors, a family was reached who had been trying to get in touch with their local church. With 4 children and a hunger to be part of a church family this was a real success of the day.

– in Borth 3 days back to back were possible with even some sunshine and over 15 children attended the sessions.

– Summer Salt was used in Haverfordwest to kick-start work with children and young people with the churches from September, working in an area of the community where there is very little contact with the local church.

We hope you might think about having Summer Salt in your area next year, or why not work with us and use the sessions to have a whole 3 day holiday club? Get planning now!

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A voice for young people

Be part of the Youth Forum

We are delighted in this Diocese to be one of the first in Wales to have a youth forum which meets regularly and plays an important part in our Diocese.

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Last year the youth forum was formed at Diocesan conference and this year we are looking for some new members.

Work with your youth groups to see if anyone might be interested using this questions;

Are you;

Aged 10-18?

Do you;

Worship in a church in this Diocese or a part of a club connected to a church?

Want to have a voice to talk about how you think church should be?

Enjoy meeting with people and going to events?

Can you;

Come along on Saturday 7th October to our next event?

If so;

Get in touch clarewilliams@churchinwales.org.uk

youth forum

If you’d like Clare to come and talk to your youth group or young people in a congregation please get in touch. It would be really great to see more young people becoming part of this pioneering project and changing the way the church works for young people in this Diocese.

Sports Report!

Three Sports Days took place on 27th, 28th and 29th July, one for each Archdeaconry in the Diocese.

We are very grateful to Bro Lliedi LMA, Llandysul and Milford Haven parishes who hosted the events.

We are also very grateful to Adam Lloyd (aged 10) who provides us with this report

“On Thursday July, 27th Dafen Church hosted a Family Fun Sports Day for the Bro Lliedi area. The weather was not good, so we held it inside the Church Hall.

Kids from my Youth Club went to the sports day and so did lots of people from other groups.

Before we started we had some water and fruit, and we could have our packed lunches to give us energy before we started. We were put into teams and I decided to go into the  Blue Team.

The first thing we did was under and over, whilst we were doing it each person said a word. All the words put together said ‘we never get tired we never lose hope’. It was a warm-up. After that, we did a song . Everyone then took part in a running race. At the end of the running race we all had a pack of sweets, as a prize.

Next up were the individual races. First of all was the egg and spoon race, which was really fun, because we all kept on dropping the egg, we had three of the egg and spoon races for the different ages, It was the same for the sack race and skipping race. After that was the sack race, what I thought was funny was that we were all falling every two seconds. Then we had the skipping race what we had to do was skip whilst walking, It was hard but we still enjoyed It.

Finally we had the team races, It was the relay race and the obstacle race. In the obstacle race you had to go through the hoop, go around the cone skip with the rope, then go around the cone again and run back to your team. My team won both of the races (green). Next up were the Adults races, first was the hoola hoop race It looked really hard, what you had to do was walk whilst hoola hooping, which Lorna from youth club won, then the 3 legged race, where a Mum and her son won. We all then gathered to sing the song again and handed out the prizes. I was pleased that I won 3 races. I enjoyed the afternoon doing all of the sports and It seemed like others did too by the smiles on their faces.”

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Autumn Events

We are delighted to announce our programme of events for Autumn/Winter 2017 and hope you will support us at as many as possible.

Autumn Events

Monday September 18th – Prayer Breakfasts

9.30-11.30am in 3 different Archidiaconal venues

Starbucks, Crosshands St Peter’s, Lampeter St Katharine & St Peter’s, Milford Haven

Thursday September 21st – Plant Dewi CMD Session

6-8pm, UWTSD, Carmarthen

Come and hear from Plant Dewi about who they are and what they do. Also find out how best to link up with projects in your area. Support the amazing work that happens in our Diocese with the team from Plant Dewi.

Refreshments available from 5.30pm.

Monday September 25th – Messy Meet Up

4.30-6.30pm, Xcel Centre, Johnstown, SA31 3BP

Come and share and learn together with other Messy Church leaders and those interested in starting Messy Churches

Ideas, support, sharing and free resources!

This event also includes a bring and share supper so please bring something along to share.

Saturday October 28th – Kindling a Flame

10am – 4pm, St Mary’s Church, Swansea

A resource day or anyone with a passion for passing on faith to children and young people. With speakers from Urban Saints, Open the Book, Bible Society, Message Wales, Girls Friendly Society, Boys Brigade, Youth Alpha, Mothers Union, Christians in Sport ; talks on safeguarding, sacramental youth ministry and Christian youth festivals; worship; and a display of resources to aid your ministry, this is a day not to be missed!

Monday October 30th – Ignite Youth Event

6-9pm, Xcel Bowl, Carmarthen

Faith, Friendship and Fun

Meet at 6pm for food (burger or pizza and chips) followed by bowling. The evening will finish with games, activities and worship together in the Xcel Centre on the theme of light. An opportunity for young people to get to know one another and build relationships across the Diocese.

Saturday November 18th – Advent Experience Training Session

10am – 1pm St Peter’s Carmarthen

Advent Experience is now available in English and Welsh, we can also support you to run it in your area. Come along to see it set up in St Peter’s Church, have a walk-through of how to lead the sessions, see what is available from the Diocese, pick up the free resource pack and ask an questions you may have.

Beginning with coffee and cake at 10am. This is a ‘drop in’ session so you do not have to attend for the whole time.

Saturday December 2nd – Coming, ready or not!

2-5pm – Advent Children’s Activity Day in St Davids Cathedral

Join us at 2pm for a short introduction and act of worship. There will then be craft activities run around the Cathedral for 40minutes, followed by a break for a snack and a drink and then another 40minute session of activities. Games, crafts, singing and more! Final act of worship to finish by 5pm.

 

clarewilliams@churchinwales.org.uk

Out and about

More ideas to use outdoors with children and young people celebrating creation and God’s gifts to us.

Creation

Story

Godly Play creation story

creation

This is available to buy but you could have a go at making your own using foam or felt

The story is now broken down into actions and words for each section; the beginning and then each day of the creation story.

Settle the group into a circle.
Place the creation display rack beside you. Sit, ready to begin.
Judge when to start. Look around the circle.
Keep eye contact, smile, encourage dialogue. Let all speak who wish to. Don’t go round the circle, taking turns.

 Words

What is the biggest present you ever got?
Listen. Listen to your friends. These are all big gifts. They are wonderful presents.
Yes. Yes. That is a wonderful present
Listen. There is something different about that gift. That gift is alive.
Did you know that there are some presents so big that nobody notices them? They are so huge that they are hard to see. They are so hard to see that the only way to know that they are there is to go right back to the beginning or maybe a little before the beginning.

 Actions

Most gifts mentioned will be inanimate but some may be alive —Mum, pet, friend. Make note of the distinction in case any child wishes to comment.
Take the rolled-up black felt strip and place it on the floor to your right, so it will roll to the left, in front of you.

Words

In the beginning… in the beginning there was… well, in the beginning there wasn’t very much.
In the beginning there was… nothing.
Except, perhaps an enormous smile… but there was no one there to see it.
Then on the very first day God gave us the gift of light.
So now there is not just darkness, but there is light and dark.
Now, I don’t mean just the light in the light bulb or in the car lights at night. I don’t mean just this light or that light, but I mean all of the light that is light. God gave us the gift of the light that all light comes from.
When God saw the light, God said,
‘It is good.’
And that was the end of the first day.

Actions

Unroll the strip slowly to the left, as you speak.
When the strip is unrolled, move your hand across the surface to show ‘nothing’, sweeping from your right to left.
Slowly and deliberately outline a large ‘smile’ with your finger in the centre of the felt, as seen from the children’s perspective.
Pause, then take out the first card – light and dark. Place the card on the felt, on your far right, with the dark side on your right.
Place the side of your hand where the light and dark meet; your hand needs to be perpendicular to the card – as if about to chop it in two.
Move your hand across the light section, as if pushing snow, ‘uncovering’ the light.
Each time ‘light’ or ‘dark’ is mentioned, point to it on the card.
Place your hand flat on the card, as if blessing it.
Sit back for a moment and reflect. Enjoy all that was made on the first day.

Words

On the second day God gave us the gift of water.
Now, I don’t mean just the water in a water glass or the water in a bathtub or shower. I don’t even mean just the water in a river or a lake. I don’t even mean just the water in the ocean, or the water that comes down from the sky in rain. I mean all of the water that is water. This is the water that all the rest of the water comes from
This is the firmament. It divides the waters above and the waters below.
When God saw the water, God said,
‘It is good.’
And that was the end of the second day

Actions

Place the second card, with the white arc, next to the first, ensuring they touch. The children should see a white ‘rainbow’.
Trace the white arc with your finger.
Place your hand flat on the card, as if blessing it.
Sit back for a moment and reflect.
Enjoy all that was given on the second day.

Words

 On the third day God gave us the gift of the dry land.
God divided the water and the dry land, and gave us the gift of green and growing things.
When God saw the dry land and the green and growing things, God said,
‘It is good.’
And that was the end of the third day.

Actions

Place the third card – the sea, land and trees – on the strip and touching the second card.
Move your hand to the right, ‘uncovering’ the dry land.
Point to ‘green and growing things’ on the card each time they are mentioned.
Place your hand flat on the card, as if blessing it.
Sit back for a moment and reflect. Enjoy all that was given on the third day.

Words

 On the fourth day God gave us the gift of the day and the night. God gave us a way to count our days.
Here is the great light that rules the day, the sun, and here are the lights that rule the night, the moon and the stars.
When God saw the day and the night, our way to keep time, God said,
‘It is good,’ and that was the end of the fourth day.

Actions

Place the fourth card – the sun and moon – on the strip, the moon half touching the third card.
Point to the lights on the card, each time they are mentioned.
Place your hand flat on the card, as if blessing it.
Sit back for a moment and reflect.
Enjoy all that was given on the fourth day.

Words

On the fifth day God gave us the gift of all the creatures that fly in the air. Not just the birds but all of the creatures that fly. And all of the creatures that swim in the water. All of them.
When God saw all of the creatures that fly and all of the creatures that swim, God said,
‘It is good.’
And that was the end of the fifth day.

Actions

Place the fifth card – the birds and fish – touching next to the fourth card.
Point to the birds and to the fish each time ‘flying creatures’ and ‘creatures that swim’ is mentioned.
Place your hand flat on the card, as if blessing it
Sit back for a moment and reflect.
Enjoy all that was given on the fifth day.

Words           

On the sixth day God gave us the gift of all the creatures that walk upon the earth: the creatures that walk with two legs and the creatures that walk with many legs and all the gifts of the other days.
God said, ‘It is very good.’
And that was the end of the sixth day

Action

Place the sixth card – the people and animals – touching next to the fifth card
Touch the creatures on the card as you name them.
Move your hand over whole row of cards, starting from the sixth card.
Place your hand flat on the card, as if blessing it.
Sit back for a moment and reflect.
Enjoy all that was given on the sixth day

Words

On the seventh day God rested and gave us the gift of a day to rest – and to re­member the great gifts of all the other days.
There is nothing here, because people go to different places to remember the great gifts. You can put something there to show your favourite place to remem­ber. It might be in your back garden by a tree, in a church, or in your room. It might be in the mountains or by the ocean or a lake. I don’t know where your place is. Only you know.
What I do know is that this day is so special, that sometimes the Christian people mark it  with a cross and the Jewish people mark it with a star, the star of David.

Actions

Place the seventh card – all white, touching next to the sixth card.
Point to the seventh card.
Trace an image of the cross on the card with your finger.
Trace an image of the star of David on the card with your finger

Game

Parachute game – one child at a time to dive underneath to find a letter to spell out the word thank you – need a board to stick them to

Song

Thank you, thank you, thank you God, thank you for this day. God loves you and God loves me, we’re glad we’re here today. (to the tune of Row, row, row your boat)

Thank you Lord for this fine day x3 right where we are Thank you for…birds and fish rivers and trees mum and dad you and me

Craft Time

  1. WHOLE WORLD ‘God made…’ cross craft – helping the children to think about simple things God has made. Write ‘God made…’ on the middle square and then fill in the other 6/7 squares.

Using; Foam/coloured card felt pens Glue Scissors Ribbon/string

  1. FOOD Apple craft –remembering the good things we have been given. List your favourite foods on strips of coloured paper and use them to make an apple! Using; green and red coloured paper/card felt pens Glue & scissors
  2. ANIMALS use the paper plates to create your favourite animal – sheep, pig or cow?

Using: Paper plates Glue Scissors Cotton wool Coloured pens Black card Pink paint & paint brushes

4.DIOLCH Great big rainbow collage – who are we saying thank you to? Our families and to God. Decorating a big drawn out word

Using; Large word ‘diolch’ drawn on cardboard or mounted newspaper glue Collage materials – coloured fabric, foam, card, tissue paper Sequins, glitter etc.

 PLUS – here is 5 weeks of planning for summer children’s groups or Sunday school using the Lectionary Children’s group planning lectionary summer 2017

Transition with young people

This time of year is a time of great change for young people when they move from one school or one year group to another and often have to face new challenges of exams, friendships or changes in relationships as they move on. This is aside from many other types of transition which young people may be facing including; puberty, family problems, moving house, exploring sexuality.

This transition activity is designed to help them think and reflect on ‘moving on’ in whatever way that affects them, to be able to do this well, considering positives and negatives, saying goodbye to whatever they need to as well as looking forward to a goal ahead.

Opening activity Go into church – 1 minute to take a photo of one thing which tells you the most information about Jesus – tell me what and why
Bible Ref Acts 1: 6-11 So when the apostles were with Jesus, they kept asking him, “Lord, has the time come?”

He replied, “The Father alone has the authority to know. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere to the ends of the earth.”

After saying this, he was taken up into a cloud while they were watching, and they could no longer see him. As they strained to see him rising into heaven, two white-robed men suddenly stood among them. “Men of Galilee,” they said, “why are you standing here staring into heaven? Jesus has been taken from you into heaven, but someday he will return from heaven in the same way you saw him go!”

This picture/story of Jesus on top of the mountain – We often think about the cross or Jesus’ birth as the most important things about him but this is the picture of how we can have a relationship with him and the promise he made “I am with you always”

Game Cups and Saucers – Divide the young people into teams and ask them to stand at either side of the room. In the centre of the room, between the two teams, spread out even numbers of cones facing up and facing down. One team is allocated to try and get as many cones facing up as possible and the other team to get as many cones facing down as possible. When you shout ‘go’ the teams come into the middle and turn the cones. When you shout ‘stop’ they have to return back to their sides. The team who has the most cones facing their way wins.
Activity How to move on well

Do some of these things today but you might need your own time to do them in school, at home or whatever area of transition you are in – relationships etc.

RAFT

R- reconciliation – making things right – saying sorry – Write down something you want to say sorry for, perhaps someone you need to make things right with or maybe someone has hurt you and your need to forgive them. Shred the piece of paper and then put the shreds into one plastic bottle

A – affirmation – what are you pleased about? What positives will you take away with you to the next stage. Write these down and put them into another plastic bottle

F – farewell – take time to say ‘goodbye’ properly to the things/people you will miss. Write down 5 things on lolly sticks you will miss about the school you are leaving or about something you leave behind as you get older

Think destination – write a goal you would like to achieve, something you are hoping for or your new school/destination on a small flag

Make a raft – join the lolly sticks together using string and add the plastic bottles underneath. You can decorate more if you wish and add the flag to the top of the raft.

Reflection Go down to the beach and sail the rafts or do it outside in a tuff tray. Say prayers for the transition moments in our lives.

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