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.
Junior Church by Zoom is now well established at 4.00 pm on Sunday afternoons. 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) or you'll have the details if you sign up here to receive the Circuit newsletter each week.
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.
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 on of them here.
I don't know whether you've noticed but it's the school holidays!
Even in these strange times, there's tons of things we can be doing, 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 and relations as much as we normally would.
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.
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.
The Camp Bestival Easter Stay at Home Sleepover is still available for anything you missed at the time. Dick and Dom, Lizzie’s Way’s Mudpie Workshops, Storytime Special with Kate Winslet, Q&A with Fred Sirieix, Silly Science, Silent Yoga. 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.
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.
If you're missing Ian's widely celebrated YouTube ministry (well, OK, that's wishful thinking, obviously) 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.
Some of us like a puzzle. We've linked to a load of word searches 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. (Ian has done nearly all of them during Lockdown. Just sayin'!)
Restrictions are gradually easing, but this is still a really strange time. 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.
Stay in touch with your friends, of course. Presumably calls from school will stop now - or has anyone got hyperactive teachers who aren't bothering with the Summer holidays? 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. If you've seen any of the online services on Sunday mornings you'll have "met" Ruda already. She's friendly (and she's an awesome singer). 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.
This is the first video we put up here during Lockdown. It's been going through Ian's head again lately.
What's been your memory of Lockdown? Clapping the carers on Thursday evenings? Actually going for a walk because there wasn't anything else to do and finding that, unexpectedly, it was OK? Breaking the UK record for staying in your room?
How about all those different versions of the Blessing? That's going to stick in Ian's mind. 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, 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.
Do you think it's a coincidence that this multilingual outpouring of prayer and blessing seemed to begin around Pentecost?
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!
This version uses the original text in Hebrew, and is sung in Jerusalem by Joshua Aaron with his son.
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.