Lockdown Legacy: Youth and Children’s work

Susie on line (2)Youth and Children’s Worker Susie Boxhall and I had a pleasant, socially distanced catch up in our garden last week.  For those who don’t have children actively engaged in any of her children’s activities or who don’t attend the All Age Worship at 11.15am on Sundays on Facebook, here’s some of the amazing things that are going on in this lockdown time.  All available on computers, tablets and smart phones.

Sunday All Age Worship – sometimes live, sometimes pre-recorded, Susie choreographs a rich blend of song (by the Virtual Worship Band – I have no idea how IT guru Paul manages to synthesise four musicians and a couple of singers so they are all visible and all singing from their own homes); Bible reading sometimes read by our young people, a talk usually with plenty of visual aids, sometimes by Susie or by others such as Peter Bennett, Vanessa Layfield, Grace Hart and curate, Paul Wheeler; and prayers.

Zoom Kids Club – takes place after the 11.15 service.  There’s a chance to talk about the story, what the preaching meant and usually a craft activity to do.

Family Catch-up – on Wednesday afternoons at 4pm for half an hour.  This is an opportunity for families to chat about what they have been up to, chat about schoolwork and sometimes there’s an activity such as a scavenger hunt.

Little Fish – on Thursday at 10.30 am live via Facebook for pre-schools and a parent or carer.  Follows the in Church format as far as possible: light hello candles, one for God and one for all of us, celebrate any birthdays by singing, listen to a story, craft activities and a challenge.

FNL (Friday Nite Live) – via Zoom for teenagers on Friday evenings.  Quick fire activities such as quizzes, bingo, painting sessions, 5-minute super-hero competitions, glow stick challenges, talent competitions, decorating cake competitions etc and a chance for a chat with friends.

I’m staggered by the range of activities and ideas that Susie comes up with to engage with our young people at all these different opportunities.  Her self-motivation has been second to none, preparing and delivering the various events.  She could be scouring her house for household items to use as visual aids, video dancing with glow sticks so the young people have to guess the song, drawing up quizzes, out photographing for use during services, preparing prayers and talks, liaising with young people to read lessons, liaising with the Worship Band and then putting the service together to fit the allotted time.

Like many of us, the young people are tiring of this socially distanced world and Susie is working hard to conjure up new ideas to engage with them.  Any suggestions can be sent to susie@stmarysnantwich.org.uk

Annie Coombs