We aren't meeting in person at the moment, but we can still be Junior Church, and we can meet virtually. There's all sorts of things we can do at home. Anything you see on these pages that's underlined is a link - click it to go to what's being described.
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 can definitely all "go" to church together every Sunday, and as you can see below we can "go" to Junior Church together and even just hang out together virtually too!
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?
We've got some ideas on this page already but we'd like to share the things you've found that help you to stay in touch with each other, and with Jesus, during the time we're not seeing each other. Use the big orange button to send us anything we should be sharing far and wide.
What do you think of the idea of Virtual Junior Church at 4.00 pm on Sunday afternoons?
The Circuit is experimenting with Junior Church by Zoom. How cool is that! It's a chance for primary age children to meet up with existing friends and make new ones and is led by Deacon Rachel and Kirstin Newman.
If you would like to try this out (and why wouldn't you!) please click here to email Revd Malcolm and get the link (this is a safeguarding protocol). If you've got a clip or a picture of anything you've been up to that you'd like to share, you can email it to Revd Malcolm or WhatsApp it to him on 07957 252208.
We'll be following the Scout Association guidelines for these events which you can look at here. It's all common sense. If you're new to Zoom you can click here for a short video - low on technical jargon - to give you an introduction.
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!
Illustrated Ministry have great children's worship material, which at present is available free. Click here to register for them to email you material every week. Click here to see this week's free material as an example.
How do you fancy Messy Church at Home? There's tons of great ideas and materials here. Look out for the times of live sessions once a week too!
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 now 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.
Go to Thy Kingdom Come here to download the Digital Family Prayer Adventure Map along with their app, which is available for Apple or Android. There is a version of the Map that will print out on ordinary A4 paper either in colour or black and white. The app is just too cool for words. There are games you can play on the map using a phone or a tablet which use augmented reality. Try some of the podcasts too.
There's tons of other things we can be doing as well, things that aren't specifically about prayer and worship but are just fun, or interesting. Because that's good for us too, especially when we can't see our friends. Here's some stuff we liked, but if there's something you recommend tell us about it and we'll share it here.
How about a free show from Cirque du Soleil? Click here and and settle back to be amazed.
Or maybe a trip to the Zoo ... in Australia! Click here to be flown straight there. Or maybe in America? Click here for the animal webcams at the Smithsonian Zoo (the panda webcam is awesome!) Or if you don't like flying, try Chester Zoo here or ZSL London Zoo here.
While you're in the mood for some travel, Time Out has some fantastic photos from famous cities around the world (unbelievably, not including Dudley). Click here and set off around the world. Even more impressive, 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 (but not as yet including Dudley).
How about a virtual tour around a museum? Click here to pick which one you feel like visiting today.
You can't miss the Camp Bestival Easter Stay at Home Sleepover! Dick and Dom, Lizzie’s Way’s Mudpie Workshops, Storytime Special with Kate Winslet, live Q&A with Fred Sirieix, Silly Science, Silent Yoga. And loads more. Click here to see the full line up - they're all still there to enjoy if you missed them live.
If you really can't decide, Google's Arts & Culture Hub has something for absolutely everyone. Click here to have a look but remember this is a huge hub, so have a good hunt around. Art collections, yes, dozens of them, but also cool films about inventors, about clothes, food, dinosaurs, crazy street art, all kinds of stuff.
If you're missing Ian's widely celebrated YouTube ministry (well, OK, that's fake news, admittedly) take 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! We've been pretty impressed with their output during this Lockdown time.
Also here's the whole of that Mr Bean episode we looked at when we were talking about exams. (Lockdown IS dragging a bit, fair enough, so here's the YouTube channel for Mr Bean - pick your favourite.) And since you ask, yes, Ian is aware of the resemblance.
Some of us like a puzzle. We've linked to a load of wordsearches above, some of them are refreshingly easy for Seniors. But if you dare step up to the challenge, scroll to the bottom of this page and click the puzzle image to download Revd Stephen's book (obviously not using your own data!) Use the hints if you need to, but try to puzzle it out first. They're all do-able, but they're not all easy.
This is a weird time. Nobody is going to be able to tell you that they've done all this before and they know what to expect. The important thing to remember is that this will all end and things will be OK again. In the meantime, whatever else you do stay in touch with everyone while you're stuck at home.
Stay in touch with your friends, of course. Hopefully school is keeping in touch. Get in touch with Ian if you need anything (all your parents have his number/email). 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.
Virtual Youth Group every Sunday
Ruda from the Birmingham District is hosting a Zoom get together every Sunday evening at 7.00 pm aimed at people aged 11-16. Your parents have all had an email with the link and the password, but let Ian know if you haven't got that. You're welcome to join and stay quietly in the background to decide whether you like this sort of thing.
If you're new to Zoom, there's a little video on this link that tells you how to get started. It's not challenging.
The church celebrates the Holy Trinity on the Sunday after Pentecost, and so this year Trinity Sunday is 7 June. In 2019 we were helped out on Dodgy Analogy Sunday by St Patrick (courtesy of our friends at Lutheran Satire) and the video is below. The crib sheet we used to remember the main heresies (or religious mistakes) that Patrick's friends point out to him was lost when Ian got a new laptop, but a copy was found lurking in his bag. Scanning that on his cheap phone hasn't done justice to the beauty of its design, but here it is.
Ultimately, we decided that the reason preachers, teachers and others rely on Analogy Fails is that actually the Trinity is a unique thing with no earthly comparison. Oh, and also that the Athanasian Creed that Patrick quotes from in the video is a Very Hard Thing To Read. So, anyway, about the ice cubes and the kettle ...
It's actually easier to understand what the Trinity isn't than what it is. But then again, if we could easily understand God, he wouldn't be God. Sometimes it's enough for us to understand that we are loved by God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. One has created us, one has redeemed us and one sustains us, now and always.
Finding that "All About that Grace" parody has introduced Ian to a whole world of Christian parodies of well known songs. He's been spending altogether too long watching them. A dishearteningly large number of them are, well, terrible, but this one isn't. Enjoy!
This one has some classically corny church signs to recommend it. God will have forgiven them, but we don't know whether Robin Thicke has.
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.