8 April 2020 | St Albans, UK [Victor Hulbert]
Thinking outside the box, Children’s Ministries directors from around the Trans-European Division are doing an amazing job during this time of crisis.
“Theirs has been an intense labour of love to develop and load appropriate materials on the websites of our various unions and conferences,” states TED Children’s Ministries Director Clair Sanches. Her aim is to connect and inspire children and their parents with appropriate resources.
“The internet has never been more vital than at this time,” Sanches says. “It is now our connection with one another, providing support for families, churches and leaders, especially as most of us have been asked to self-isolate and stay indoors.”
Here are just a few examples of the many activities happening around the Division.
Anne-May Muller is the Children’s Ministries leader in Denmark. She says, “Every week I put resources for ‘home-sabbath-school’ on our webpage for five age groups. Direct links to the Grace-link lessons, activity sheets that go with the stories, mission stories, etc.” She adds, “A new family activity, a new prayer activity, a new service project is included each week. I have asked different families to make videos of songs they like to sing so that every week new songs are added to sing along to.”
In the Netherlands, a group of people have been filming puppet presentations, Cor & Ona’s Coronashow. These are then put up online for children to watch on Sabbath. Hundreds of children watch it each week – both in the Netherlands and overseas.
Madelon Comvalius adds, “We make a newsletter for all parents with children/teens. This newsletter contains tips on apps, sites and YouTube channels that parents can use to actively engage with the faith life of their children at home. Each newsletter also offers a few assignments to do together as a family.”
In a further initiative, the Dutch ask musical youngsters to record short videos of them performing a beautiful song at home.
The Irish are enjoying a project called ‘Letters from God’. This lovely idea is working because the postal service is still operational there. The Dublin Ranelagh church sends out a letter from God to 73 children each week, which includes a craft activity for them to make.
Petar Popivanov is Children’s Ministries leader for the Irish Mission. He writes, “As most of our closed churches moved to online services for adults, children might feel disconnected from the wider community of faith. While for most adults reading a book or watching an online sermon might “keep us going”, kids like to explore the world in a more sensual way.”
In Norway, they have a pre-recorded online Sabbath School lesson developed for each age group every week.
The very creative Children’s Ministries leader in Sweden, Karolina Poland, is sharing ideas that can be used in any language. These include some special activities for the Easter weekend. These are all now uploaded on the TED Children’s Ministries resource page.
Online streaming of worship services in many churches are keeping the children in mind with special children’s stories and even music. In Scotland, Professor Noodlebrain joins Pastor Jimmy Botha for a weekly Sabbath worship time on YouTube. Other churches have now organised ‘breakout rooms’ on zoom for interactive Sabbath School. Pathfinders and Adventurers are also taking a lead teaching honours online.
More creative ideas from across the TED and beyond are being added to the TED website on a regular basis.
Sanches concludes, “We are so grateful to God for people willing to work and stay connected with our youngest members.”
tedNEWS Staff: Victor Hulbert, editor; Deana Stojković, associate editor
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tedNEWS is an information bulletin issued by the communication department of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in the Trans-European Division. Readers are free to republish or share this article with appropriate credit including an active hyperlink to the original article.