Youth and Children’s Newsletter April 19
WHOOPS! Its been around 5 months since I last wrote an update on our youth and childrens work at the Church, here we go….
One of the things that we have been trying to do more of over the past term or so is to encourage our young people to lead. We have had young people lead sessions on a wide variety of topics from philosopy to Bible studies on the book of Revelation. I guess this was most obvious to you when our young people led the recent all age service on Mothering Sunday. I was so proud of all of them and I’m sure you will agree that they did a great job. I know they are keen to do it again.
In recent months we have been on a trip to Bluewater to do a photo hunt and some of the young people cooked for us at our group meal. We finished our term with our annual epic Easter egg hunt which involved over 200 eggs!
One of the greatest privilieges in my role is being able to journey with young people as they explore faith, baptism as part of that journey is always a highlight. At our Easter baptisimal sercie we had the joy of baptising 3 of our young people.
At youth group last term we asked the young people to come up with a set of values for the group that will inform how we behave, this is what they came up with.
They wanted youth group to be a place where all felt welcome and included and could experience community. A place where we listen to each other and take on the views of other people, a place where they could grow in faith and take part in interesting and challenging discussions and of course a place where they can have fun and relax.
As you know we are privileged to have a brilliant team who make all of our different children and baby groups run. Thank you so much for the way you serve in each group, it’s truly a blessing. Last term in Powerhouse we studied the creation story and the book of Exodus. The Children loved learning about creation through fun interactive stories and craft.
I would like to take this chance to announce some exciting news! By the Beach, our children’s trip away, will run this year from 12th-13th October, bookings will be open very shortly, watch this space!
Myself, Charlie and Andy continue to regularly take assemblies at the local schools. Alongside doing assemblies I’m involved in a number of different ways across the schools in Sevenoaks. This involves a variety of activities that happen on a weekly basis. A breakfast club at Dunton Green, lunch club at Trinity and Girls football at Amherst are the regular weekly groups that I’m involved in. It has been great over the past few months to have some really deep chats about faith with young people who attend some of these groups.
In the term ahead of us we have a number of exciting things happening. The youth will be having a Knole park games evening, a Desert Island Discs evening, finishing the term with a big summer BBQ. In our sessions this term we will be doing the youth version of Fruitfulness on the Frontline.
For the last time ever we will be heading off to Soul Survivor in the summer (Soul Survivor is ending this summer). We have nearly 30 young people signed up for this year!
As I mentioned earlier on the 12th-13th October we will be running “By the Beach” Look out for posters and notices with more info
- Please pray for all our young people and students who have exams this term. Be it GCSES, SATS, A Levels or Uni exams. We all know this is a stressful time for them, please pray that they can give of their best in revising and in the exams and also that they know their worth is not defined by a grade on a piece of paper.
- Please pray for those who were recently baptised, that they will know God close to them in the weeks to come.
Over the past few months I keep coming across this phrase Imago Dei which means the Image of God. I first saw it when studying for my Chaplaincy course, we went to shadow a Chaplin in a huge 6th form college near Birmingham, he said this about his role “I see my role as being able to see the image of God in all people of all faiths believing that God is already at work somehow in their life before I even speak to them.”
As we have gone through the “Fruitfulness on the front line” series at Church this is something that has kept popping into my mind. I have been challenged to see all those I meet on my frontline as being made in the image of God. As you can imagine this is much easier to say than do in practice but when practiced it has changed the way I interact with people.
One of the key principles of youth work is equality and it’s easy to see how this comes into play here, choosing to treat all people regardless of their faith or world view with the same love and respect as you would for someone who had the same faith or view on life as you. The Chaplin we shadowed described this as “Compassion without compromise”
Maybe a challenge to all of us is to try and see the Image of God in everyone that we come across on our front line. Knowing that God is already at work in their lives in some way. I have found that when I can do this I act with more compassion and am able to show more empathy.
Josh Amott-Youth and children’s worker