Joining the pieces........Journeying together
Joining the pieces........Journeying together is a day conference being held Saturday 30th January 2016 that will be looking at the issue of engaging with Children, young people and their families, the different milestones that mark a journey of faith and how we can begin to join those pieces. We spoke to Rev Clive Doran, The Bishop’s Advisor for Children in Communion on the thinking behind this event:
The event will introduce joined up thinking in what way?
“We focus on how churches can support children’s faith journey from infant to adulthood with Jesus. Each part has its own draw and chance to connect with families. It is important to understand that each stage is a key milestone and how they impact on the next.”
“Bishop Paul will be the keynote speaker at the event. To use his words, it is this round the table; integrated thinking that will empower us to become a bigger church making a bigger difference.”
How does Children and Communion form a piece of this jigsaw?
“For a Parish wishing to consider admitting Children to Holy Communion before Confirmation the process can seem challenging.” Clive will give guidance that Parishes will need including initial consultation, preparation and practical arrangements. “Through Baptism you are made a full member of church. Following on from this, Communion helps children to grow in faith with a clear and better understanding. Enabling them to take their proper place within the life, worship and mission of church.”
"A Nurturing and organic process"
“For me, Youth work comes organically and will evolve naturally out of the building blocks set down in children’s ministry. There has to be a good foundation at childhood level. To nurture through each awarding process will encourage you to consider the wider picture of your ministry to the family unit as a whole, and in turn our continuing provision when children become young people.”
What of the importance of families to the big picture?
“Parents, wider family and care givers will have the greatest influence on the development and spiritual decisions of our children. Therefore, as we minister to the children it is also important to include and nurture the faith of the family as a whole, strengthening the soil into which seeds of faith are planted.”
So what does Clive hope to be realised as next steps following the conference?
“We hope to encourage more joined up thinking between the Child Friendly Church Award, Church Partnership and Children in Communion to allow churches to minister for the whole faith journey and the bigger picture. We want to empower churches to realise their own potential.