Children’s & youth work links

Links from the world of children’s and youth ministry:

Cathedrals attract record numbers at Christmas

Christmas attendance at services in cathedrals last year reached its highest figure since records began, statistics published today show. A one year rise of 5%, meant that 131,000 people came to cathedrals to worship last Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

Increased attendances were also recorded at services in Advent with 635,000 coming to worship during the busy pre-Christmas build-up. Average weekly attendances at services on a Sunday also increased to 18,700.

Meanwhile, over 10 million people visited cathedrals and Westminster Abbey with half donating or paying for entry.

The Rt Revd John Inge, Bishop of Worcester, and lead bishop for cathedrals and church buildings, said:

“Behind these figures lie stories of worship, learning, exploring faith and spirituality and encountering God at times of joy and despair.

“Through new forms of worship, bringing people of all faiths and none together, and serving the young and old alike, these amazing places continue to be at the heart of national life.”

 

Click here for more information.

Church accidentally prints 2Pac lyrics in carol service booklet!

Someone probably should have told this church that there’s more than a few ‘Hail Mary’ carols.

Sadly they choose rapper 2Pac’s version.  Not the most suitable lyrics!

The Church in Colombo were hosting their carol service ‘Joy To The World’ on 11th December when this mistake happened.  They were meant to be singing a Catholic prayer, also called ‘Hail Mary’, when they spotted the wrong lyrics.

Pictures have since spread on social media, with people sharing those 2Pac’s lyrics.  Here’s just a little snippet:

‘I ain’t a killer but don’t push me
Revenge is like the sweetest joy next to getting p*ssy
Picture paragraphs unloaded, wise words being quoted
Peeped the weakness in the rap game and sewed it
Bow down, pray to God hoping that he’s listening
Seeing niggas coming for me, to my diamonds, when they glistening
Now pay attention, rest in peace father
I’m a ghost in these killing fields’

It makes me feel a lot more relaxed about any mistakes we might have made over the Christmas services.

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas!

And as the carol says:

O Come All Ye Faithful
Joyful and triumphant,
O come ye, O come ye to Bethlehem.
Come and behold Him,
Born the King of Angels;
O come, let us adore Him,
O come, let us adore Him,
O come, let us adore Him,
Christ the Lord.

 

Mocktails youth club evening

 

For our Christmas Party our three Sunday groups enjoyed an evening of making mocktails.

Mocktails are alcohol free or non-alcoholic cocktails (mainly fruits and juices) which we had fun mixing together to make our own recipes and blends!  We printed off a few recipes to give the young people some ideas.

We laid out lots of fruit, juices, and other types of drinks for the young people to add into their glass.  When they had the ingredients they wanted they went to one of two blenders and blended their drink with crushed ice.

The group had lots of fun in their Christmas jumpers.

 

Christmas video 19: Jesus: Truth or Fairytale

“Jesus: Truth or Fairytale?” a Christmas video resource aimed at 16-19 year olds. For many young people Christmas is a fairytale, a nice story we repeat each year. This video asks the question, what if God really came to town?

The video features Meg Cannon reciting a spoken word piece that brings back the grit, humanity and truth into the nativity story, and then questions what that might change. If Jesus’ birth was a real event, what does that mean for me and what does that mean for you?

 

Christmas video 18: What happened to the love?

ITN and the Jerusalem Productions have created two powerful videos reminding people about the Christian meaning of Christmas as an antidote to all the commercialisation, tinsel and drunken partying!

This is the second of the two clips.  It’s been a rough year for many of us. At Christmas we ask, where is the love? And where is the light and the hope?

Christmas All-Age Talk: What shape is Christmas?

This is the script from my all-age talk yesterday:

What shape is Christmas for you?

 

Perhaps the outline of the manger, or the outline of a stable, or a star in the sky (normally a four-pointed star), or an angel.

 

Or it could be the shape of a Christmas tree, or a Christmas tree bauble. Or perhaps a cracker.

 

When Christmas comes to an end whatever shapes we have are put back in the boxes (nativity sets, Christmas tree baubles, leftover crackers) to be used next year. They make only a brief appearance before going into the loft.

 

If we’ve got a real Christmas tree perhaps we take all the decorations off it and cut it up for recycling.  [Start taking the secateurs to the tree – leaving just the trunk and two cross branches.]

 

That’s the real shape of Christmas for me: Jesus comes to be our Saviour, Jesus comes to die for us on the cross.

 

Throughout the first Christmas we hear this message.  The angel who appears to Joseph in Matthew 1:21 said: “She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.’”

 

As the angels announced to the shepherds in Luke 2:11: “Today in the town of David a Saviour has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord.”

 

So apart from a nice cosy feeling what does this leave us to do?  As the shepherds shared the message so we’re to share with others around us.  1 John 4:14: And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Saviour of the world.