Family Film Night
This exciting new resource comes to you from two experienced children’s ministry leaders Jess Poole, Childrens Ministry Development Worker for Scotland URC, and Ruth White, Children’s and Youth Development Officer for Wessex Synod.
Designed for families to use to have fun, and explore big questions together all based around a family friendly film.
Each film night* has a main theme and follows the same pattern. Watch the film together, have fun doing the activities and then explore using the wondering questions. For families who want to link to the Bible there are going deeper wondering questions to use.
Free to download and use.
This resource can also be used in Sunday schools, Messy Church, Bible study groups, school assemblies and church services**.
Why not consider hosting a family film night and inviting your community to come along?
Want to do the ‘Going Deeper’ questions but can’t lay your hands on a Bible, you can download an app for your phone or visit BibleGateway. We recommend that you use the International Children’s Bible (this translation can be found in most apps through the search function).
*We do not provide access to the films. All films used are available on various streaming services, Blu-ray discs and DVD’s. This resource is provided for use in the private home. Churches and Organisations are welcome to use the ideas however they will need to check any restrictions and relevant responsibilities.
**Our Family Film Shorts are ideal for services. Churches and Organisations are welcome to use the ideas however they will need to check any restrictions and relevant responsibilities (such as CCLI licencing, etc).
Here are some resources to help you get the most out of your family worship time with fun and engaging activities, readings and so much more.
If you have any suggestions of resources, please share them with us. If you would like any help, please get contact us.
Family Worship Resources
Roots are providing free resources that can be used at home.
Engage Worship has free daily resources to use at home.
The Kitchen Table Project has articles and resources on how to share and grow faith at home.
Care for the Family have lots of articles, training, resources and more for families.
Augustine United Church Sunday school, Seedlings, create a new weekly activity sheet. Follow the link and click on Children’s Activity.
Families on Faith Adventures @home is a fantastic intergenerational resource created by the URC. It is updated weekly and is packed with activities, stories, games and so much more. Click on the link and simply choose which weekly plan you’d like to use.
During the Covid-19 crisis, maintaining contact remotely with children and families can be challenging. Below are some resources to help us meet this challenge and to help our families faith at home thrive. Some of these resources have been designed for youth but they are easily adaptable for children and families.
If you have any suggestions of resources, please share them with us. If you would like any help, please get in contact. Take care and many blessings upon you.
United Reformed Church
Children’s and Youth Work Resources The URC have provided resources from guidelines to video conferencing to links to support your ministry through Covid-19.
Information guides on how to use social media platforms, create podcasts and more can be found here.
Care for the Family
Care for the Family have been providing workshops and training for over 30 years in many different areas of ministry. They have now taken some of these workshops and conferences online. They are running a conference in September 2020 looking at 0-4 years ministry, workshops on supporting those that have been bereaved and more. These workshops are free although you can make a donation.
Youth for Christ have provided free online resources to help you engage with your groups online.
Youthscape provides virtual tours, safeguarding advice and more.
For resources for families can be found here.
What is Seek. Pray. Serve?
Seek. Pray. Serve. is a simple, sustainable approach to children’s ministry. It does not require ‘professionals’ to lead or do the ‘work’. You do not need to have a minister or ‘younger’ people to use this approach for children’s ministry. It is unique to each church, utilising their own gifts and resources. It is a different approach to the way we ‘do’ children’s ministry. It is for you.
Where are the children in your church? Where are they in your community? Seek out the places where the children are. The local primary school; parent and toddler groups; Brownies and Boys Brigades.
Pray for those children and groups. Thank God for them and ask Him to support them. Ask God to show you how you can serve these children and the groups.
Serve the groups. Thank the volunteers for the work they do, give them encouragement. Bake cakes for teachers in the local primary school and thank them for the work that they do. Approach the uniformed organisation (i.e. cubs) and offer to share your skills with them (such as gardening so that they can obtain their gardening badge).
Using SEEK. PRAY. SERVE. is a very simple and gentle approach that any church can partake in. If your church has little to no contact with children and you would like to develop your ministry, contact us to find out how to, using SEEK. PRAY. SERVE. Likewise, if you wish to further develop your children’s ministry, find out how this approach can help.
Where are the children?
Where are the children? is a booklet that has been published by the URC. It is based on the Seek. Pray. Serve. approach which provides a simple framework to develop churches’ engagement with children.
Each church should have received a booklet but if you would like more, click here. This link will allow you to email the URC office and request a PDF version.
Pray it Forward
Pray it Forward is a project that began here in Scotland and then grew! It was borne out of a response from our churches who told us that they had members that, during lockdown, were experiencing feelings of isolation and being disconnected from their church. It was also noted by many how people within their local communities were experiencing feelings of isolation and depression.
We wanted to find a way to help our members feel more connected to their churches and for those within local communities to feel joy. We know that the children, young people and adults in our churches have many skills and talents and we wanted to use these to flood their local communities with prayer. We encouraged those within our churches to create wee ‘prayer tokens’. These tokens could be anything, painted stones, knitted hearts, windmills and so on. We asked that whilst they made them, they prayed over them. They prayed for the people that would receive them, that they would know they are loved, that they were being thought of and that God would bless them. They would then attach a label and prayer and flood their local communities with these prayers. The idea is that you put the prayers out into the community for people to find them and be blessed by them.
One lady shared her story of her ‘prayers’. At the end of the road, by her church, their were roadworks. Many people were complaining about it and moaning about the disruption these roadworks were causing. This lady wanted the roadworkers to know that they were valued and appreciated for the essential work that they were carrying out. She knitted a wee digger for them, made some mini hi-viz vests, attached a prayer and left them on the barriers for the workers to find. A few days later, whilst walking past, the lady noticed that they had placed the digger that she had made for them inside of their digger. Her actions and her ‘prayer’ will have at least brought a smile to their faces.
Pray it Forward is not a one off event, it can be used throughout the year and it can be used for various events. For example, to raise awareness about the plight of the bees, how about making pom-pom bees, attach a label with information about how to help the bees, a small prayer and then place the bees in the local park and gardens for people to find. It can be used for COP26, Christmas, anything. The key thing to Pray it Forward is prayer, praying over what you are making.
The Pray it Forward project is a blessing for all involved and is for all ages and abilities. If you would like to flood your community with prayer and encourage the talents of those within your church, a resource pack can be found here to get you started, along with the prayers that we used here and labels front and message for labels.
If you would like to start but would like some support or want to know more please get in touch.
Saughtonhall Holiday Club 2019
Great fun was had at Saughtonhall Holiday Club in July. Inspired by the verses from Luke 17: 20 – 21
Some of the Pharisees asked Jesus, “When will the kingdom of God come?”
Jesus answered, “God’s kingdom is coming, but not in a way that you will be able to see with your eyes. People will not say, ‘Look, God’s kingdom is here!’ or, ‘There it is!’ No, God’s kingdom is within you.”
The club had a building theme which gave the children a sense of God’s Kingdom. They explored Genesis and learnt how God is the creator of the world we live in; built the boat with Noah; heard how Jesus is the cornerstone; learnt about the Rock – Peter and heard about how the wise and foolish men.
Each story was illustrated as it was read which was amazing to watch.
Every day, there were songs, dancing, jokes, games, crafts and not forgetting the delicious snacks!
There was also a daily weather report from Heather Weather – incredibly important to all builders before they begin their day. It has to be said that Heather’s forecasts were uncannily accurate!
It was a really great week, with everyone having so much fun. Keep your eye on our events page to find out when their next holiday club will be.
Advent Boxes 2020
At Augustine United Church we decided to send out Advent Boxes far and wide and see what happened. We sent them to families who are regularly in Church, the families of nieces / nephews / grandchildren of people in church and other families who have a connection with the congregation. Our furthest boxes went to the USA & Japan.
Families were delighted to get the package through the door and excited to have different envelopes to open each week with different activities and stories.
As a congregation in our worship we took the idea of the Jars of Hope & Joy, inviting all worshippers (whether you had an Advent Box or not) to make a Jar. Each week in the services from Advent to Epiphany we invited everyone to write on strips of coloured paper and add them to your jar.
On the Yellow strip we wrote something we hoped for ourselves, the Blue strip something we Hoped for the earth, the Red strip something we hoped for others. Then on the Gold strip we gave thanks for something which gives us Joy, on the Green strip something which gives the earth joy, and on the Purple strip something which gives others joy. On the last week we were invited to make the strips of paper into a paper chain to remain with us in the weeks ahead. Our minister has a chain which we see each week in worship beside the Peace candle.
In total we bought and posted 35 boxes and we were very grateful to the Synod Children & Youth fund for paying for the boxes while the congregation paid for the postage.
It was a wonderful idea and creation from the URC, which supported many families through a very strange Advent and Christmas Season.