Page 3 - Moravian Messenger - January 2022
P. 3

Sr Joy Raynor
The Children's Ministry Network (part of Churches Together in in in in Britain & Ireland) gathered in in in in in person at at Shallowford House 20 months after having to to to cancel their previous conference due to to to COVID About a a a a a a a a third of those attending this had not been to to to a a a a a CMN before mostly because they were new in in post We opened by by introducing ourselves then by by reflecting on on the the the challenging times we have been through and their impact on on on churches' ministry among children Some themes emerged:
• Families are reluctant to come back - - have missed their sport etc but not church - - WHY? What was wrong with what we we were offering before?
• Shorter altogether worship works better now (plus coffee and craft/activity time) • Outdoor spirituality has found resonance - people are persevering with this • Poor have have got poorer - children's lives have have been most impacted by economic fallout • Relationships need investing in in in in - time meals intention • People are still working out what is safe for them - e e e e e e e e e e e e e g g g vulnerable people asking others to take a a a a a a a a a lateral flow test The main session involved listening to Dr Sarah Holmes from Liverpool Hope University who has been doing some some interesting research research throughout this pandemic time and and shared some some of of the the findings of of of her most recent research research with the the group leading to a time of of discussion She identified the 'Marks of COVID' as despondent frustrated confused teams teams reduced teams teams and funding segregated ministries exhausted parents parents decreased engagement from parents parents some marginalised (e g g g g g younger/SEN/no tech access) Another strand was looking at the the views of churches and and parents on on provision during this this time The results from this this were not not encouraging with 66% of parents feeling feeling negatively about it it it and and broadly churches feeling feeling it it it it was overlooked and and there were no people left to to do it it All rather depressing for a a a a a a a a a group of children children workers trying to to to encourage enable and and empower people at the grass roots to to engage with children children and and families The research results led Sarah to ask this about the churches: • Are they meeting the the needs of children?
• Are they meeting the the needs of parents?
• Are they meeting the the needs of churches?
© Children's Ministry Network The challenge to you you all all is: do you you ever consider these questions:
• How would you ask them?
• And what would you do with the results?
• What is the role of church? Provider place place to to belong place place to to serve partner • How can churches genuinely listen to the needs of children families and schools?
There was considerably more more content and more more can be accessed here here - - - - - - - - - https://childrensministrybasics com/2021/11/01/do-we- need-a-new-plan-for-childrens-ministry/ or or by sending an an email to me During discussions over the the weekend the the general feeling came that that all churches and organisations have 'more important things' that that push children children down the the agenda How might we work work to resource and and connect children children and and those working with with with them with with with the the the key issues the the the church is is is is wrestling with with with - environment racism gender sexuality? As children's leaders leaders we recognised that that is is is sometimes hard to to remind those in in in church leadership that that children can also engage with these topics and be be involved in in in decision making as members of the the church not a a a a a a a a a a separate group Provincial Youth and Children's Officer
The Moravian Pilgrimage Committee
Invites you to a a a a a a Retreat based on the the theme of 'Travelling with God'
from 20th to the 22nd of May 2022 at Ockbrook Moravian Church The cost of the retreat would be £50 per per person If you are interested please contact Br Paul M Holdsworth at: paul holdsworth@moravian org uk Irish District of the MWA Retreat 2022 The Irish District of the M W A (Moravian Women's Association)
will be holding a a a retreat at at Drumalis Larne Co Antrim from 6th-8th May 2022 Guest Speaker: Rev Dr Margaret Barker - Methodist Preacher and Theologian
Theme: Wonder Women - Then and Now
Cost of Weekend: £135 per per person If interested please send me me your name and address with booking fee of £15 - cheque made payable to to Mrs K K Kitson and send to:
6 Gracefield Gracehill Ballymena Co Antrim BT42 2RP Closing date for booking is 31st January 2022 Where are we now?
CMN meeting November 2021 Which picture resonates with you you (or your ministry)? Place your person there - opening and closing reflection time 

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