29 March, 2020

Here is the kids talk from this morning!

Here is the full memory verse for this week...


Or you can learn the simplified version that we sang during today's kids talk:

'Don't let any nasty words come out of your mouth, but only what is useful for building others up' Ephesians 4:29

If you want to have a practice at using words that build others up at home, why not try this activity...

1) Write the name of every member of your household on a separate piece of paper
2) Pass these pieces of paper and either WRITE something encouraging or kind about that person, or DRAW a picture of something you love about that person
3) Keep passing the papers around until everyone in your household has written or drawn something kind about each person in your home
4) Give each person the piece of paper with their name at the top and let them read all the words/pictures that will build them up


23 March, 2020

Here is a little booklet i've created to help talk with our kids about the Coronavirus. It's also maybe helpful to chat through with friends who are not yet Christians. If you'd like me to send you a printable version, do just email me and I can send it to you! nicci@emmanuelcanterbury.org.uk

22 March, 2020

Hi there!

It was wonderful to do virtual church together this morning - so lovely to see all your faces and be encouraged by God's word!

Here is a link to the audio and video of the kids talk from this morning in case you fancy watching it again!

And here are some questions you can chat through together...

1) How are most people feeling right now?

2) Is there anything you're worried about at the moment?

3) What did the verse from Philippians 4v6 say we should do instead of feeling worried?

4) Who do we pray to?

5) Why will that help us not to worry?

6) Shall we pray now about the things we feel worried about, then we won't need to worry any more!

Enjoy praying through those worries together and handing all your concerns over to our great God who loves us. If you want to make a worry tree to set up in your home, then have a watch of the video we made so you know how! Enjoy!

'Do not be anxious about ANYTHING but in EVERYTHING... PRAY' Philippians 4v6

Here is an activity you can do at home to help you put this into practice!

A don't worry, PRAY tree... (see video below for instructions and explanation!)

Here's a video of our family making our don't worry, PRAY tree...

And here is a poster you can print off at home to help you remember the memory verse for this week...

Finally, HAPPY MOTHERS DAY to all you wonderful Mums who work so hard every day to love, encourage and care for your families... Perhaps especially during these challenging times, may we lean on the Lord for the patience, love and creativity we need to be able to make this time of social isolation a precious time for our families. In our weakness, HE is our strength! Praise Him!

20 March, 2020

Do Not Be Anxious (Philippians 4:6-7)

Supporting you through the lockdown

Dear families,

As we all struggle to process what is happening in the World at the moment, I wanted to email to reassure you all that as a church we are trying to think creatively about how we can support you with your children at home.
First of all, amidst all the difficult implications of what is happening, let me encourage you to see some of the blessings that the Lord might bring in our families at this time:

1) More time together! I know it might seem obvious, but this extra time is a GIFT from our heavenly father that we might take time to 'train our children in the way they should go' (Proverbs 22v6). The bible is clear that as parents, our primary responsibility towards our kids is to teach them about the Lord and show them what it means to live lives that glorify Him. In order to train our kids effectively, we need to KNOW them – know their struggles, know the idols their heart is tempted towards worshipping, know their dreams and fears. Then, with the help of the Holy Spirit, we can seek to lead our kids to the bits of the bible they most need to understand. In the mad bustle of normal life, we often miss out on really getting to know the kids the Lord has given us… without the pressure of school, let's take the time to enjoy getting to KNOW our kids well!
2) More time to store up God's word in our hearts. In Deuteronomy 6:4-9 we read:
Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.
This gift of time that we now have ahead of us with many of us working from home and with our children off school is a wonderful time to put these verses into practice – whatever activities we're doing with them, let's talk about the Lord and all the treasures we find in His wonderful word! And let's memorise bible verses! (see below!)
3) More time to show love. When there are scheduled activities taking up every free moment, we often miss the little ways we can show God's love to others. We can't go and visit people at the moment, so we're going to have to think creatively about how to do this as a family. Take time to skype lonely older relatives, write cards to post through the doors of people who are having to stay in their homes… I'm sure you'll think of other ways to train our kids to reach out in love to those outside our immediate household!
Kids on Sundays
During this time when we are not able to meet together physically as a church, each Sunday there will be a kids talk as part of the zoom Sunday service (visit https://www.emmanuelcanterbury.org.uk/ for details on how to join the Sunday service - everyone is welcome!).
Each kids talk will contain a memory verse for the week.
The kids talks will be recorded and posted on this blog, so you can watch it again if you'd like to! Also, on this new kids@Emmanuel blog, there will be a few short questions for you to discuss as a family following on from the kids talk. There will also be some suggestions for activities you could do to apply that verse this week and some ideas for how you might pray together in the light of what we've learnt. I will also put some ideas for creative ways you might learn the weekly verse together.
I also hope to put some links to other useful Christian resources and songs that you might enjoy using at home.
I know many of you will be wondering about Sunday school during this season.
We did investigate ways that technology might enable us to continue with Sunday school. However, after discussion and prayer, we have decided that this unique season in our church life provides us as families with a unique chance to enjoy being together in a full church service. Your microphone can be muted and your children can play lego, do some colouring or puzzles to keep them entertained while you all listen to the service together. This is a wonderful chance for our children to see us listening and learning from God's word. They will see us pray. They will see us reading our bibles – and they will get to participate too and get used to hearing the word of God explained in detail. Obviously, much of the teaching will be too advanced for them to take in, but they might grasp more than we anticipate! But even if they just play and it all goes over their heads, there is still something very beautiful about the whole family doing church together.
Kids midweek
As well as the discussion questions and activities following from the kids talk each week, we are also going to have one midweek kids group…
On Wednesday mornings at 10:30am, we will launch Zoom Junior Jivers that I will run from my house, with my kids! This will be a half hour singing and dancing class that will go out using zoom technology that we can invite non Christian and Christian friends to join. You can either join in 'live' at 10:30am on Wednesdays, or the classes will be recorded and available for you to use at another time if you prefer (keep an eye on this blog for details on how to join!).
As many of you know, we launched a physical Junior Jivers group a few weeks ago.  This term, our theme is 'God made me'.
I plan to record the 3 initial sessions we have already done so that those of you who have not been able to join us before can catch up (if you don't have time to catch up before Weds, don't worry, you can do them at any time – each session stands alone!). You will be able to play these sessions from this blog once they have been recorded and uploaded! Keep an eye on this page!
Some weeks there might be a craft activity (this week, we're making a loo roll shaker with this week's memory verse on it... video instructions due to be uploaded shortly!) for you to prepare before Jivers on Wednesday!
One further thing!
I have written a short booklet for children trying to think about the coronavirus. Once this has been edited, I will post it here for you to go through with your children. I hope it helps you to discuss and pray through what we're all experiencing in your families – and do feel free to share it with anyone else you think might find it helpful too!
I hope this helps to alleviate any sense of anxiety any of you might have had. Our God is in control of this whole situation. Let's find the whispers of His love and delight to have this unexpected gift of more time… let's USE this time wisely in our families and homes to the praise of His glory!
Every blessing in our wonderful Saviour who has given us HOPE…
Nicci (Emmanuel church children and families worker)