Church Notice Sheet – 7 June
There is also a PDF version of this notice sheet, with additional graphics and full colour,
which you may prefer for your own use or to pass on to friends and neighbours.
‘…AS I HAVE LOVED YOU, SO YOU MUST LOVE ONE ANOTHER’ (JOHN 13:34)
WORSHIP @ HOME
WATCH OUR WEEKLY WORSHIP SERVICE
LISTEN TO THE SERMON
on our WORSHIP and SERMONS PAGE
FAMILY WORSHIP IDEAS
ZOOM JUNIOR CHURCH
ON SUNDAY 10AM
for more info. & consent form
EXPLORE TOGETHER QUESTIONS
- Describe a time when you have
been generous. How did it make
- Cain lied to God. Do you think
this was a good idea? Would you
- God sent Cain away. Have you
ever been sent away from
- How well do you love others
instead of being jealous of them?
Compliments: Tell each person
something you love about them
and something they are really good
at. This is a really simple way to
show love to one another!
Either, a) find a secluded spot or b)
cover your face with your hands,
and ask God for His help to not be
jealous or hurtful to others. Say
sorry for the times when you might
Then either, a) come back and be
with your family or b) uncover your
face, and thank God for giving you
family that loves each other. Ask
God to help you to be generous and
loving to them and others.
PRAYER FOR THE WEEK
O Lord, answer us in the day of trouble,
send us help from your holy place.
Show us the path of life,
for in your presence is joy.
Give justice to the orphan and oppressed
and break the power of wickedness and
Look upon the hungry and sorrowful
and grant them the help for which they
Let the heavens rejoice and the earth be
may your glory endure for ever.
Your kingship has dominion over all
and with you is our redemption.
Taken from Common Worship: Daily Prayer
Church at home day
As we are unable to meet for our annual Church away day we are staying in instead.
Join us for a Zoom at home day!
When: Saturday 20th June
Time: 9.30am – 12.30pm (with breaks)
More information to follow
Where is God in all this?
We are starting a new series this week focusing on bible characters:
- Locked out of Eden (Cain and Abel)
- Into the unknown (Abraham)
- Refined by suffering (Ruth)
- Speaking truth to power (Rizpah)
- Learning to lament (Jeremiah)
- Returning from exile (Nehemiah)
- Trusting in Jesus (Mary)
- Strength and hope (Paul)
We need to raise a rather large sum of money to repair the Church buildings so we can continue to use them for worship and community activity as they have been for hundreds of years. It’s actually a VERY LARGE SUM……a bit like a VERY LARGE ELEPHANT. Well, how do you eat an elephant?…..One bite at a time! How do you raise 1.4 million pounds?…….One donation at a time! We would like to ask you, our wonderful congregation to help to promote our Restoration Mission by forwarding an e-mail (which we will send to you soon) to anybody you know with a link, past or present, to our Church. The e-mail will include a video of Alan explaining our situation and a link to the Restoration Mission information on our website. It will also ask for a donation of money and/or prayer. We hope you will be able to help. Look out for the e-mail and thanks in advance.
The Building Project Committee.
Gabi Fonseca was an intern at UPC seven years ago. She is now married to Pedro and teaching at Illinois State University. Her brother is a missionary in France and Gabi hopes to visit us when she visits him. Until then she sends her love.
A fun word game based on Acts 2:2-4:
Suddenly a noise came from heaven. It sounded like a strong wind blowing. This noise filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw something that looked like flames of fire. The flames were separated and stood over each person there. They were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they began to speak different languages. The Holy Spirit was giving them the power to speak these languages.
Thank you to all of you who have logged onto My ChurchSuite. We are still waiting for many of you to log in and give permissions. Please do check your ‘junk’ folder as the email may have ended up in there. If you need Jen Cox to resend your invitation please email the office and she will happily send another one. If you need help please to get in touch by emailing the office or phoning and Jen will talk you through the set up. Many thanks for your support.
Jen Cox, Church Administrator
FACEBOOK GROUPS you might find useful
‘Ulverston Parish Church’
‘UPC – Church Family’
‘Faith 4 Furness Families’
‘Self Isolation Ulverston’
STAY CONNECTED, APART
We would love to hear from you!
Send your news, encouragements, prayers or pictures to firstname.lastname@example.org
Children’s Ministry in Lockdown
Hannah Fishwick, Children and Families Minister for Ulverston Parish Church and Furness Deanery
The night of Monday 16th March will forever be stuck in my mind. I remember sitting in the car park of our parish centre checking my emails before a PCC meeting. I opened an email from the minister which said, “the PM has just advised against all non-essential travel and contact with others, so we will have to cancel the PCC meeting this evening”. I was already there so it was with hesitation that I walked up the stairs and joined a few others who had not yet read the email. It was a weird feeling. And to some extent, that feeling has not gone away. One day I’m in a primary school leading a lunch club being told that I won’t be able to visit again and the next day schools are ordered to shut and to provide home learning opportunities.
Weird words and phrases like quarantine, self-isolation, immunosuppressed, lockdown, social distancing became commonplace in the space of a few short days. That’s the Year 6 spellings sorted for a week at least! It hasn’t just been words that seem to have appeared and made themselves at home, it’s attitudes too. Feelings of fear, anxiety, loss of sense of control and freedom have cosied up on our sofas without invitation and with no indication of how long they are staying. ‘Ay, there’s the rub’. When will they leave? When will it all end? Will it ever end? It’s only now, almost 10 weeks later, that we are seeing a possible end in sight, or at least a rest stop.
So what has the church done in this time? Well, most put their trainers on, sprinted after and jumped on the speeding train of social media. Church buildings may have had to close but churches certainly haven’t. But where are all those who were in the buildings? They are in their houses and on the pavements of our communities. Putting crosses on their walls and God’s rainbows in their windows. They are donating food to the food bank and waving to loved ones from the garden. They are more present both offline and online.
I have been so impressed with how churches have felt the tug of necessity and with minor hesitation set aside their nerves and fears related to technology and put their faces out there in the world. I, for one, am no different. I actually tried my hand at professional acting so you would think that getting in front of the camera would come naturally. Nope.
- So, I can’t work in the church, I can’t work from the office and I can’t go into schools. Thankfully I’m not furloughed so how do I do my job? Well, the first thing to think about was virtual church. The national church services were a great resource but not all that child friendly. After it was decided we would give Zoom a whirl I considered what elements of Junior Church would work well over a video conferencing medium. We settled on:
1. A fun starting activity linked to theme of the main lectionary reading
2. Scriptural input (bible reading, YouTube video)
3. Discussion questions
4. Interactive prayer
5. Action song
This skeleton structure has more or less stayed the same but a few key lessons have been learned:
- Keep the pace fast!
- Using videos to convey the bible reading rather than simply reading it is more engaging.
- When it comes to discussion questions, invite children to respond in either of three ways; talk to their adult, type in their comments or answers in the chat function or raise their hand, unmute themselves and share aloud with the group.
- Getting them up and doing something will increase engagement rather than lose it
- Using a song to bridge the transition between Junior Church (10am – 10.30am) and main church (10.30am – 11.15am) (which occurs in the same ‘meeting’) provides a welcoming window and a clean start.
- Obviously, other Zoom etiquette applies (all on mute unless speaking, sitting comfortably in a light space) and we have had to write risk assessments specifically for Zoom (including correct DBS checked adult to child ratio)
(It’s worth mentioning that some families do not find it easy to engage with group Zoom meetings and so I have been meeting with them one to one on alternate weeks via Zoom for half an hour before Sunday worship, for games and a catch up. As with everything, there is no one size fits all approach!)
Moving on from Junior Church; toddlers find it even harder to engage with real people through screens so Zoom meetings were not an option for the toddler group that I run. (It was not a popular choice after a quick Facebook poll.) What families wanted were ideas for activities and crafts to do with their children. So each week I share a craft activity and theme for families. In our toddler group, we have a time called Prayer Patrol (it’s a play on Paw Patrol, the children’s TV programme) so during lockdown when I found few faith resources for toddlers on the fringe of church I decided to re-establish Prayer Patrol on Facebook Live. Facebook rewards you for using their inventions so a live video will be shown to more people than if you pre-record a video and post it. (Don’t ask me how!) So for the last few weeks I have been ‘going live’ following this simple 5 minute plan:
- Good Morning’ song to welcome everyone
- Shout-outs to specific children for birthdays or ‘hello’s
- (Making a show out of) picking a Paw Patrol cap out of a bagTeaching and singing the Prayer Patrol song (sung to the tune of Paw Patrol theme tune)
- Saying a short prayer and inviting the children to shout ‘Amen’ at the end into a pretend microphone (my hairbrush!)
- Final shout outs (if any received live)
- Finish with ‘Good Morning’ song again
More than anything else I have done online for toddlers and their families, the shout outs have made the biggest difference. Children love hearing their own names. Simple. It’s personal, it’s specific and with a video, they can watch it over and over again. (Children are liturgical creatures, after all!)
So, from one end of my spectrum to the other; Years 5 and 6. Pre-lockdown, I ran a youth club called Vision but how do you just hang-out online? You can’t really. A free for all on a video conference would be chaotic. When I first realised it was viable my fears ranged from, ‘what if everyone talks at once and it’s chaotic?’ to ‘but what if no one talks and it’s boring?’ I have learnt to over-plan and adjust as necessary during the session. We meet over Zoom for an hour every week. The first half an hour consists of three or four games. Good games to play are scavenger hunts, ‘Would you rather…?’, reverse charades, Twenty Questions, ‘What’s in the box?’ and one word stories. For the next 15 minutes, we watch a video on a specific topic of faith, discuss it and pray and I use the final 15 minutes to invite them to do ‘show and tell’ (this gives lots of freedom for the children to share as much or as little as they want and to ask each other questions) or to play a game
of their choice. Oh, and points and prizes! At the beginning of lockdown, we were wary of cross contamination and didn’t send anything via the post but things have relaxed now. Points are awarded throughout the games section and, although I haven’t yet, points could also be used for positive behaviour reinforcement. The highest scorer receives an envelope of prizes; flat things are good to post like sweet bars, flat chocolate bars, colouring in, bookmarks, key rings, snap bracelets, tattoos, stickers, origami crafts.
The world of YouTube is amazing and normally you won’t struggle to find an appropriate video to show during collective worship in a primary school or Junior Church but now, as a children’s minister, I don’t have direct access to children. Everything (well, most things) they watch are screened (excuse the pun) by the adults they live with and if parents don’t deem the video worthy enough they won’t show it to their children. Parents and carers are now the gatekeepers so, rightly or wrongly, it’s now them we have to appeal to and engage first and foremost. In Junior Church, it’s normal for the parents of the children to have a faith and so it’s more likely they will read the word and pray during the week but what about those children who only heard the word in school? Those children who are never read a bible story, never prayed with, or never reminded about the glory of God? Even if I share a bible story cartoon with parents and carers, will they show their
children and discuss it afterwards? I wasn’t sure so I set about making vlog style 5 minute YouTube videos myself, beginning with something secular (funny, silly, interesting) and moving the conversation towards something spiritual with a practical challenge at the end. Primary schools seem quite keen to send them to their pupils and encourage them to take part in the challenges at the end. They aren’t a typical collective worship input but we need to consider whether children would sit down and watch and listen for 15 minutes as they have to in school. I spread them as widely as I can on social media and use them as my connection with primary schools and Junior Church. Are they a perfect solution? No, of course not! Does such a solution exist? Definitely not but this lockdown has forced me to set aside my preferences and just try. During this time God has forced a lot of us to set down many of our daily responsibilities and has invited us to pick up
several new ones. It’s been sudden, sometimes uncomfortable and always with uncertainty but we’ve tried and that’s all we can do. Try well, fail well, listen to God’s voice and go where He calls.
If you would like to investigate the vlog style videos, please go find the YouTube channel, Faith 4 Furness Families. If you would like more information or to know how to get involved with anything I have mentioned please email email@example.com – I would be very happy to chat!