Autumn youth mission resources

Because You’re Loved – free resources for autumn youth mission

If you are going to Soul Survivor look out for news about HOPE Revolution’s schools’ mission week 17th-23rd October 2016 – Because You’re Loved. All the ideas and resources are free to use. Find out more here and get planning on where you will be bringing the love this autumn.

Sir David Attenborough narrating Pokémon Go

You might think that David Attenborough and Pokémon Go was a marriage in heaven waiting to happen.

Who better than the beloved naturalist to narrate a popular game where people go hunting for exotic creatures in the wild?

Thanks to Lovin’ Dublin, the dream is now reality.

The mash-up features Attenborough describing Charmander as a “top predator” and giving a brilliant understatement on a Spearow – “It is, of course, a bird.”  But the best one might be his comment on those irritating Zubat: “Bats, with their fluttering zigzag flight are not easy targets.”

 

Google Glass app helps kids with autism see emotions

Stanford University researchers are testing software that is meant to help autistic children with social cues. The Google Glass software reads the emotions on people’s faces, then tells the user what those emotions are. Early research is yielding positive results:

 

An Infographic on Anonymous Apps and Teenagers

One of the most frequent questions I receive from parents is about apps that teenagers are using and what a caring parents perspective should be on them.

The team from Rawhide.org have released a helpful infographic which gives a quick and concise overview of these anonymous apps – something you can share with parents.

Temporary and Anonymous Apps

 

Why your church needs to know about Pokémon GO

The Church of England has written a very helpful blog post on what your church needs to know about Pokémon GO:

The NSPCC has issued advice to parents of those children playing Pokémon GO in the UK. Whilst we would encourage churches to engage with those playing the game, be they adults or children, we also understand the concerns that the NSPCC have raised with regards to keeping children safe. Our first priority as a church should be to provide a safe place for children and vulnerable adults with regards to Pokémon GO.

Please make sure you read the advice on the NSPCC’s website here:https://www.nspcc.org.uk/preventing-abuse/keeping-children-safe/online-safety/pokemon-go-parents-guide/

If you have any concerns in relation to those playing Pokémon GO, please feel free to talk to your Safeguarding Officer.

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First of all, what is Pokémon GO?
Pokémon GO is a mobile and tablet app game which lets players find Pokémon (Animated creatures, first created in the 90′s, which players have to catch, train and battle with). The game takes place in augmented reality (meaning the game combines real life action with virtual gaming) by using GPS as you walk around towns, cities and other locations to find the Pokémon.

The game has been an overnight sensation with millions playing it around the world.

Why does your church need to know?
Your church might be a ‘PokéStop’ – real life buildings and landmarks that players have to visit to get certain items they need to play the game. Your church could also be a ‘Gym’ where players can battle their Pokémon. (Being Gym means people spend significantly more time battling Pokémon.)

Pokémon Go is therefore giving churches around the country a great opportunity to meet people from their area who might not normally come to church. However, we all need to be aware that this game means that children under the age of 18 may come into contact with people who may present a risk.

How do you know if your church is a Pokestop or a Gym?
Download Pokémon Go on your mobile or tablet. Through the game you will be able to see if your church is a PokéStop or a gym.

You might also spot people standing outside the church on their phones who may be playing the game and at your ‘PokéStop’.

What can your church to do get involved?

  • Place welcome signs outside: encourage them to come inside and offer them drinks and snacks. The game also uses a lot of battery so why not create a battery charging station? If you’ve got it, let them connect to the church’s wifi

  • Speak to players about the game: learn how to play it yourself, it’s a good way to start a conversation that may lead on to other things.

  • Hold a Pokeparty like Christ Church Stonehttps://www.facebook.com/events/246500169067368/

  • Tweet about it: Just like St Stephens Rednal and Hope Church Islington did. Don’t forget to use #PokemonGo

Origins prayer course

Over the last two months I’ve been running the Origins prayer course with a group of 11-14 year olds in our local church.

The resource has been developed by 24-7 Prayer, and describes itself as

a tool to help you teach young people to pray … our aim is that the outcome of this course will be young people developing healthy spiritual lives, equipped with tools to help them grow in prayer throughout their lives.

The 7 sessions are:

  • What is prayer?
  • Why do we pray?
  • Who do we pray to?
  • How do we talk to God (Part 1)
  • How do we talk to God (Part 2)
  • How to listen to God
  • Keep growing

OriginsSpreadWe have found the resource to be helpful.  Each session includes an icebreaker, food, game, talk, response, discussion and a challenge.  Within our context we did not do the meals – that isn’t something we would currently be able to do, but everything else was easily adaptable to fit to our context without much preparation.

The course whilst aimed at those with some faith is easily accessible for those with little or no faith.  Our particular group has a number of youngsters who would be unsure of whether or not they have a faith, but they thoroughly enjoyed these sessions.

Priced at just £5.00 for a leaders manual this really does work for all types of churches.  Do go and order yourself a copy here.

 

Small charities/social enterprises – need support with employment issues?

FREE HR telephone advice every Weds 10am-12noon to small charities and social enterprises.

Populo, a social enterprise based in Hampshire provides affordable, quality human resources support to small social enterprises and charities.

For more information call 07584 731 420 or email populohr@btinternet.com or visit their website www.populo.org.uk

Children and Holy Communion

Recently I have been doing some reading about children and Holy Communion.  One of the most helpful things I read was this blog by Margaret Pritchard Houston:

As we were preparing to admit six children to Holy Communion before Confirmation, our curate turned to me and said, ‘So we admit them at age 7? Explain this to me theologically.’

And I had to explain that I couldn’t – that the only reason we do admission to Holy Communion at 7 is that we’re not allowed to do it from baptism, that our policy is more a compromise than a coherent theological principle.

She goes on to answer the following questions:

  • If we admit children to communion at baptism, then what is confirmation for?
  • Children are allowed to participate in other ways, aren’t they? They can come to Jesus through Sunday School and worship without receiving communion until they’re older.
  • Wanting it doesn’t mean they should have it. They don’t understand what it means, and that’s crucial to receiving the sacrament.

Empowering Children as Ministers

Empowering Children as Ministers was a day conference organised by Gill Ambrose and Ally Barrett (Reverendally), with help from the Praxis East Committee.

The notes from the day show it to have been a rich and thought provoking day with a diverse group of ministers and church representatives reflecting together on how they might empower our churches’ children and young people as ministers, and the impact that this may have on the children and young people themselves (both now and into adulthood) and on the church itself.

At a time when the Church of England is actively promoting the nurturing of young vocations, why not start in childhood?  Click here to read a full report on the day, including the full text of the speech given by 11 year old Joanna about her own experiences as a minister.

Take part in the British Film Institute Consultation

 

The British Film Institute (BFI) is running a new consultation presenting opportunities for teachers and youth leaders to give their views on the value of film and education. The feedback you give will inform the BFI’s future strategy. So have your voice heard, the consultation survey goes live on 24 June, don’t miss out!

 

Take part in the BFI Consultation Survey

The decline of play

In this TED talk, Dr. Peter Gray argues that children must be given support for more free play.

Dr. Peter Gray compellingly brings attention to the reality that over the past 60 years in the United States there has been a gradual but, overall dramatic decline in children’s freedom to play with other children, without adult direction. Over this same period, there has been a gradual but overall dramatic increase in anxiety, depression, feelings of helplessness, suicide, and narcissism in children and adolescents.

Based on his own and others’ research, Dr. Gray documents why free play is essential for children’s healthy social and emotional development and outlines steps through which we can bring free play back to children’s lives.