Here's a collection of material to help us be Junior Church at home.
Anything we've underlined is a link to more details.
There's good stuff for grown-ups on the Worship at Home Page, and you may be surprised by how much we can all do together, so check that out.
We could join the grown-ups in our Circuit who are stopping what they are doing every day at midday (or at 9.00 am on Sundays) to say the Lord's Prayer together. Maybe you could learn it in British Sign Language?
Use the big orange button to send us anything we should be sharing far and wide.
Junior Church by Zoom every Sunday at 4.00 pm
Give this a try if you haven't already. It's a half hour of fun every week for children and their parents.
Resources for Junior Church
Get Bible Stories For Children, on your computer, phone or tablet, including related colouring pages you can print out.
Download the Bible App for Kids from Bible.com.
The Beginners Bible has lots of free puzzles and colouring pages here.
Explore the Bible - free resources from Bible Society.
During this time Roots On The Web are making materials available for free each week, including some lovely activity sheets. Some of their material is for grown ups, and that's very good too!
How do you fancy Messy Church at Home? There's tons of great ideas and materials here.
Visit the YouTube channel of All Souls Church in London here for really inspirational stories and activities aimed at what they call Scramblers (aged 2-4), Climbers (aged 4-7) and Explorers (aged 7-11).
Tell us if you recommend anything else
Stuff we can do at home
We get a lot of Junior Church materials from Scripture Union, who are great. They have started putting activity videos on YouTube. The first one is below, but there are loads of them (more than 30 at the last count!) and if you click here you can watch them all on YouTube and subscribe to their channel so you don't miss them as they come out.
We've really enjoyed some videos and podcast stories too that have been produced by St Mark's primary school in Farnborough.
Revd Phil Warrey from the Herefordshire (South & East) Circuit has been producing some videos showcasing his puppets. Have a look at the S Club Playlist on his YouTube channel here. (No, not that S Club!)
Revd Jemima from the Birmingham South Warwickshire Circuit has been creating some terrific Junior Church videos. Visit her YouTube channel here to see all of them, and as a taster you can watch one of them here which seems appropriate for Black History Month.
The good weather seems to be well and truly over. With autumn having properly arrived and local Lockdown restrictions still tight in our area you might find yourself at a loose end at home. Many of the links we collected for the Summer holidays are still available below if you have a favourite, or if there's something you wish you had tried out.
How about a free show from Cirque du Soleil? Click here and and settle back to be amazed.
While you're in the mood for some travel, Google Treks allows you to journey to more than 20 famous and beautiful places all around the world - like the Grand Canyon, the Amazon Basin (the one in Brazil, not the large bowl you ordered online), Petra in Jordan or the Eiffel Tower. and The World At Home takes you on tours around loads of famous places.
How about a virtual tour around a museum? Click here to pick which one you feel like visiting today.
Lots of games, jokes and videos from Sesame Street. No we didn't know they were still around either!
Feel like travelling even further afield? Try NASA at home for a mammoth collection of games, videos, activities and fun.
What have you done that you think other people might like? Got any cool links? Get in touch and let us know by clicking the big orange button above.
Hope everything isn't too weird back at school. It's a lot to get used to - staggered lunch and break times, social bubbles, social distancing, PPE, one-way systems, limited socialising. And the risk of having to do "virtual school" again if there's an outbreak of the virus. If this is all making you a bit anxious, then rest assured, you're normal!
It would be great if we could get together and share some of our experiences. At the moment though, there's no date for when we will start to have in-person church back (lots of vulnerable people in church congregations, and standing in groups singing is a high risk activity). So we're still virtually Junior Church.
That doesn't mean we're not thinking about each other though. And it definitely doesn't mean any of us have to feel alone. So do stay in touch. Stay in touch with your friends, of course. Get in touch with Ian if you need anything (all your parents have his number/email), even if all you need is someone different to talk to. But especially, keep in touch with God. Remember that He's not in Lockdown, He's truly happy to hear from you any time, and if you listen out He will make it a conversation.
Perhaps he will speak to you through this screen. Have a look at some of these short videos from Scripture Union. There's a load of them and SU are adding to the list, but just try looking at a couple to see what you think - only 2-3 minutes long, don't worry!
Hillsong can do classic worship songs so that they sound new! This is one of Ian's favourites, and this version may even be better than Elvis' (hoping that at least some of you guys do know who Elvis was!)
Ian's still enjoying all those different versions of the Blessing. Well, it's better than the phase he went through of sharing videos of cheesy Christian parodies. There was the brilliant UK one (that's on our home page), then they started to come in from everywhere: Australia for example, children from all nations, from China, from Kenya, from Ghana, from Zimbabwe, from Uzbekistan, in more than 30 of the languages of India, and from across the Arab world. We've found more than a hundred so far, including this brilliant version in Makaton, and expect there are many many more.
Blessing trivia alert. The oldest physical bit of Biblical text that's known today is the original text of the priestly blessing from Numbers, on two tiny silver scrolls which are 2,600 years old. But we still use this blessing in our worship today, including at every baptism. It's also still used in modern Jewish worship and one result of that is that it also inspired the Vulcan greeting in Star Trek. Live long, and prosper!
I think some of us will understand why Ian wanted to put this on the website this week.
Test your puzzling skills
We've put this on both of the "at home" pages because this is amazingly good. You might have known already that Revd Stephen has written maths books, but who knew that Revd Stephen also writes a mean Bible quiz!
He has a collection of clever puzzles to test your wits and see if you can find your way around your Bible. One day these might be a book, but generously Revd Stephen has allowed us to put them up here on the website. The deal is - if he does publish this, you have to give him a brilliant review on Amazon - OK? (No, just kidding!)
They are called BIBLEWORDS. Just click the picture to download the whole lot.
See if you can solve one of these "old school" by just printing out the page and tackling it armed only with a pencil and your Bible. But don't worry if you can't - Revd Stephen has given you lots of help towards the back of the book.