Hi Church Family
I often tell people that it’s the most fun part of my week!
Is that going for a walk or bike ride with Jim or gardening when its sunny or meeting up with someone I don’t usually see? No, it’s Sunday Club Zoom meeting on a Sunday morning!
I have the absolute privilege of meeting up with families with children ranging from 2+ to 8. We have a ball! This month we have been learning together (children with the parents in the background, joining in when they want to or helping with the craft activity) about the story of Joshua. We start with a “Get Ready” activity. Last week we were in disguise as spies and this week we had to quickly find a stone somewhere inside or outside for use as “Remember Prayer Stones”, reminding us of God’s promises and faithfulness. Parents are key to this as they are sent the activity sheet and craft idea beforehand which have to be printed off/prepped. We make it as simple but as fun as possible. Whilst the craft is being made, the story is told and we listen to and join in with a song and then a prayer. We finish by having a snack together and chatting. All in 30 minutes.
It is an absolute privilege because these parents are doing a wonderful job. Most are holding down jobs, juggling childcare, home schooling and trying to keep the faith in the midst of a lot of stress and total exhaustion. And yet they still feel that meeting together on a Sunday is a priority for them and for their children. They are doing an amazing job!
As I write this, we have just had a Pancake Party on Zoom for all our families, youth and children. We delivered goodie bags to 35 families with readymade pancake mixture, sweets and a chef’s hat craft activity. It was so much fun and I know the families really enjoyed seeing everyone else and joining in pancake flipping, if they had the courage!
All Saints families and children are not necessarily ‘visible’ online at services or in the zoom chat but they are very much a part of this new way of doing church that we have created. I know Emma feels the same way about her young people. There is so much going on behind the scenes in the way of support and care and encouragement of each other in their journeys of faith. Parents of the under 11’s have a WhatsApp group for both of our Sunday Club zoom meetings (2+ to 7/8 year olds and 8-11 year olds) plus an extra one that comes live one evening during the week for a time to offload and seek help, guidance and prayer. This is a crucial place for some who are feeling the struggle, not necessarily every week but when they feel they need a safe place to voice their anxieties.
Please pray for our families and our youth and children’s leaders and helpers. It will be interesting to see what kind of provision we will need to ‘invent’ as a church in post COVID times and I for one, will need to be in tune to where God is leading.
In the meantime, the PCC have endorsed my request to stay on in post until July (and maybe beyond – only God knows my path!) as we come out of restrictions and I begin to re-start the groups that I run.
Every blessing to you all, Helen (Ellis)