Sunday, 15 December 2013

Advent Club - The Names of God

For the second week of Advent I tried out another new story on the children. As we don't have liturgical church I can play hard and fast with what we do in Advent!  This story is based on the book 'In God's Name' by Sandy Eisenberg Sasso. It explores the different names for God and how each person has their own special name for God. At the end, the people of the world come together around a mirror-like lake, they see themselves and others reflected in the mirror. Their voices join together as they discover that God can have many names and yet be the One God.It's a beautiful book with wonderful artwork.

The story has been put together by some of the Godly Play trainers in the UK and I have it on loan for a while. It is still in development. It has the usual wondering questions but then I asked the group to bring something to place in the centre that expresses who God is for them.

As part of our activities we try to have an outward looking focus. This year we decided to make a banner to decorate the local community hall where we meet for worship. We'll be inviting guests for a couple of events this coming week, so we decided to make something that communicates who God is for us. So, building on the children's ideas, we took a long length of paper, sponged it with red, yellow and gold. As it dried, each child took a letter, spelling out JESUS, and then collaged it in the way they wished to. I provided a pile of different materials and glue and let them get on with it...Everyone was very engrossed.

Finally, when the letters were dried, they were cut out and glued on the background. I waited a week to do this, and the children had put a good coat of PVA over each letter, so they dried really securely.

This week - just yesterday, the group started the Club by writing on many names of God - the ones they chose - around the big letters. It was a good way to get ready. The banner looks superb! There is a lot of sparkly material used which doesn't show up in these photos - the light is so poor at the moment.I'll tell you more about  Week Three in my next posting...

Friday, 6 December 2013

Back at time for Advent

 Hi folks...oh my goodness it has been a long time. Our computer died and we've been limping along with a variety of solutions, we're not all sorted yet, but hopefully soon! And we have had a lot going on. We are all well but life has been very full. Hopefully more of that soon. In the meantime we find ourselves back at Advent! When did that happen? But, no matter how busy, it's always a special time of the year. We started with a celebration at L'Arche, and then my lovely local children asked if we could do Advent Club again. So, here we are. At a recent Godly Play training day, Alex our trainer showed an alternative way of telling the Advent story. I called it The Story of the Advent Wreath.

Afterwards we all made Advent wreaths using oasis rings, loads of greenery and candles. here. Some of the girls work really fast so I have learned to always a few extra choices! I forgot to take photos of their wreaths but they were much like the one we made last year:

The children did really well, especially at helping one another. Two of the wreaths were given away to older people in our village, which really touched me. I also gave the option of making a nativity set using some beautiful Holy Family Cutouts from Good Ground Press. As usual Sheila has lots of lovely inspiration here. I'm sure I'll be using some of her ideas. Hopefully I'll be back again soon. For now, it's time to snuggle in with knitting by the fire this evening. We had plenty of snow today - winter has begun!