La Mare Prayer Spaces

The team and some of our wonderful volunteers recently led prayer spaces at La Mare De Carteret Primary School.

This was where PACE was able to use a classroom for a few days for up to seven sessions/groups a day for classes from Year 2,3 and 4 to visit the prayer space for half an hour a session.

The room was set up with colourful drapes, strings of lights, relaxing music and prayer stations. 

This is to encourage students to reflect/pray and to show them that there are many different and creative ways to pray. 

The group was split between three table leaders. 

We had a station with water and paper lilies. The water had stones at the bottom, we spoke about how worries are heavy like the stones that sink to the bottom. When we open up and talk about our worries and let them go, they feel lighter. The children were invited to write or draw their worry on the paper lily and fold it. They watched as the paper lily floated and slowly opened up. This was a great visual example of how it is beneficial to open up and not keep our heavy worries bottled up and weighing us down. The children loved watching the lilies open and had the opportunity to talk about the topic of worries. This station also covered how Christians believe we can bring our worries to God. 

The next station was about acts of kindness and showed different scenarios like finding a £5 note on the floor of the supermarket and then different choices of whether you would keep it or hand it in. Other scenarios involving friendship and how to treat others was also included. This station also covered how Christians believe that God wants us to be kind. 

There were three other prayer stations covering the importance of saying sorry and recognising how difficult that can be, by writing out something we may want to say sorry for or the word sorry and throwing it into the sorry bin. Being brave and writing on the letter of your name ways that God can help us to be brave. The importance of being a light for others and exploring what “Jesus is the Light of the World” means. 

The teachers thought it was very needed for the children to have space to reflect and be still. 

The children enjoyed the drawing and colouring and reflecting and being introduced to new ways to pray. 

NT Mini Training

Just before half term, the PACE team and OT Mini presenters met together for three sessions with Phil Baskerville introducing us to NT (New Testament) Mini. This is in preparation for the official training in September. Phil worked very hard to develop lesson plans for NT Mini during lockdown and so we felt it would be good to invite him over and show us how he would teach the sessions. It was great to see Phil and spend time with him again!

We were taught the signs (like sign language signs) for the key events in the New Testament and shown the props that could be used during the 5 week course.

We, along with our wonderful volunteers, have been teaching OT (Old Testament) Mini in many school’s across Guernsey. However, there will be some changes being made to some schools RE curriculum come September, meaning that there may be less Old Testament being taught and more New Testament teaching.

We wanted to make sure that we were ready and prepared to teach the New Testament in schools and have already had a few schools asking for it!

There will be an NT Live event on 7th September 10am-4:30pm at Spurgeon Baptist Church which we hope many will attend to see Tom Greene, from the organisation, Walk Through The Bible, representing NT Mini, teach us the timeline of the New Testament. This is suitable to anyone involved in church ministry, teaching or just keen too expand their knowledge on the New Testament, and learn simple ways to remember key events, so we all can effectively communicate these to others.

NT Mini is an an interactive and colourful impacting way to understand and communicate the Bible effectively. Please do sign up for a great day!

PACE Update

This week we thought we would update you on the work and progress of SWYM (South West Youth Ministries) in Guernsey and hear how Sarah has found her first year with SWYM!

SWYM Update from Eleanor White

The end of our first year of having a cluster of SWYM trainees on Guernsey seems to be approaching quickly with the final block week of training coming up in June. We’re really pleased that Sophie, Natasha and Sarah are all going to continue training with South West Youth Ministries next year; Sophie and Sarah will be studying towards a degree in Applied Theology and Natasha is going to do a further one year course in leadership called the ‘The Academy’. It has been a fun year of getting to know each other much better as we have met together every week as well as heading to north Devon every half term for SWYM conference. 

It has been brilliant to be able to partner with PACE. SWYM’s vision is for every child and young person in our area to encounter Jesus, know him and make a choice to live for more. It is therefore fantastic to have the opportunity to go into schools with PACE and support the team as they seek to communicate Christian values and beliefs and create space to explore faith.  As well as supporting PACE individually to do lunch clubs, OT Minis etc (and in Sarah’s case working for PACE!), we have also gone into school together to support PACE each half term including leading prayer spaces and Easter in a Box. This has been fun and gives us a chance to reflect together afterwards as we seek to develop our practice. Last week at Cluster we enjoyed having Lisa lead a session on presentation skills and we are looking forward to learning from the story telling man himself when Phil Baskerville comes to lead some training in a couple of weeks time. 

Sarah, Sophie, Natasha and I are going together to a weekend camp called Spree which is run by SWYM at the end of June. Please pray for us and the young people we are taking – camps can be really important markers in a young person’s faith development and we’d love them to take the next step forward in their faith journey.

Next year, we definitely have a new member joining our SWYM cluster but we’re always happy to have more. If you know someone (of any age) who loves Jesus and enjoys working with children and young people – do tell them about SWYM. The one year Be Transformed programme is a great way to learn to serve and be equipped to communicate God’s love to children and young people while based in a local placement.

Love Eleanor (SWYM Area Co-ordinator for Guernsey)

SWYM Update from Sarah

This past year has flown by and I can’t believe we are approaching our last conference in June! I’ve learnt so much doing the Be Transformed course with SWYM. I have seen my confidence grow, my faith deepen and my understanding of the Bible develop through assignments and teaching. I’ve found myself stepping out in faith more than I have done previously. I’ve also loved having such a fantastic support base through the SWYM staff, my mentor, line manager, PACE, my church and Eleanor plus going through it all with wonderful friends. Our weekly cluster is always fun, filled with encouragement and prayer. In September I will be stepping out in faith to begin the degree in Applied Theology, a step I never thought I’d take! Working with PACE and studying alongside gives me a great mix of learning and practical experience. I’m so thankful to be able to continue doing what I love in schools and pursue further education at the same time.

PACE Update

This term Lisa, Sarah and Jo have been doing primary school assemblies on the topic of Noah and perseverance.

The assembly starts with asking the children what sporting event is happening this summer. Many children knew that it was the Olympics and had a favourite sport and athlete to share.

We took turns at various schools presenting and told the children that athletes prepare and persevere, they have a professional person advising them what to do and how to do it. We then made the link that Noah had to prepare and persevere, he didn’t do it alone, he had God telling him what to do and how to do it.

With the help of a very clever fabric change bag that changes scenes each time it is unfolded, Lisa or Sarah told the story of Noah. The children especially enjoyed making the sound of rain by patting their knees.

It was very interactive with the children being asked about their favourite athlete, what perseverance means and who helps them to persevere. 

In the conclusion the children were encouraged to persevere in life just like Noah. They were told that Christians believe that God is still helping all of us to persevere today.

The teachers appreciated the encouragement the children received to persevere. They thought the topic was very timely as schools are preparing for their sports day. One school was delighted at the topic as they had perseverance certificates to hand out to some children during that assembly.

The response from children and staff has been positive and it is also a good reminder for us all to remember to persevere and that we aren’t doing it alone. God is there to tell us what to do and how to do it and to help us each step of the way.

Lisa, Jo and Tom Saddington have also recently been taking Prayer lessons for students in Year 9 at Blanchelande College.

Prayer stations were set up in a classroom, based on the Lord’s Prayer.

Some of the stations we set up included:

A map of the world, post it notes and pens and news headlines. Students were encouraged to write a prayer for a person or country in the world and stick it to the map.

A bowl of pebbles, bowl of water, headphones and mp3 players. The students listened to a recording of Lisa’s voice encouraging them to hold a pebble and talked them through thoughts on holding onto anger and letting anger go. When they felt ready to, they could release the stone into the water and watch it sink, signifying letting go of their anger. 

Another station had pieces of bread to eat while thinking of the line “give us our daily bread”. We provided some large plastic ears and tissue paper for students to write down prayers and put them in the ears to signify God hearing our prayers. 

The most popular station was the one with pipe cleaners. This was to think of someone to pray for and make this person out of pipe cleaners as a reminder to think of them and pray for them. 

Discussion was opened up about prayer and why we pray. There was opportunity for the students to ask questions too.

Lots of questions were asked leading to deep conversations. Students asked questions such as : “Does God still do miracles?” “Why do bad things still happen?”, “Does prayer work?”. 

The students all said they appreciated approaching prayer in a way which was different to what they were used to and many had never approached prayer in a creative way before. The teachers enjoyed having PACE to lead their RE lessons and we really enjoyed delivering these lessons!

PACE Update

Lisa, Sarah and Jo enjoyed a quiet day at Rock Community Church with Phil Baldock after Easter. It was a time of refreshing for body and soul as we were treated to fresh fruit filled smoothies and an in depth study on the book of Genesis.

We looked at introductions in films and thought about the introduction of the Bible. Lisa, Sarah and Jo looked at many words representing core values and thought about which values resonated with us. 

It was a time to look at how we work together as a team, how we can serve others and a reminder of the vastness of creation and what a wonderful God that we serve who is able to do above and beyond all we could ask or seek. Thank you Phil for leading this for us!

Recently Lisa and Jo have been leading ASDAN lessons at Le Murier with Year 9 students. 

ASDAN is a qualification that the students can achieve through different modules. ASDAN helps each student to live as independently as possible and helps them gain skills that they will need for employment. 

The module that we have been helping them with is to work together to put on a spiritually based assembly to perform to Years 7 and 8. 

The theme that was chosen was forgiveness and the Bible story used for this was ‘The Prodigal Son’. 

Lisa and Jo worked with two different classes separately who then joined together for the performance. 

The format was for the first group of students to start with an introduction where they introduced themselves, and gave an ice breaker quiz on forgiveness. One question was:

Your brother loses your favourite toy. Do you :

A – forgive him 

B – Argue with him – stay mad 

C – Ask him to buy you another one 

This was followed by the second group of students acting out the story of the Prodigal Son. Followed by a conclusion from the first group. All in front of an audience of Year 7 and 8 students. 

Lisa and Jo worked with the students to help them grow in confidence ready for the performance. They saw great talent in their acting and presentation and highly praised them as they practiced each week. They all did the final performance brilliantly and have spent time reflecting on their achievement.

We really enjoy these courses and being able to be involved with the students qualification.

SWYM Youth and Children’s Training Day

At the beginning of March, Paul Friend – Director of SWYM (South West Youth Ministries) came to Guernsey. Alongside Eleanor White, they put together a youth and children’s training day at St Peters Church. Youth and Children’s workers from across Guernsey attended.

There was a lovely selection of breakfast pastries and refreshments to start, followed by prayer and worship and a word from Paul. There were a choice of workshops in the morning with a promo for each one so you could decide which one you wanted to attend. 

Jo attended a workshop run by Eleanor White and Abbie Coleman called ‘Faith at Home’ exploring ways to talk about your faith at home from the viewpoint of parents and also youth leaders and how we can encourage parents on their journey as they seek to share faith with their families. 

Lisa attended “Build the Youth and Children’s Ministry you Always Wanted” by Matt Gregor. They looked at our vision for our Ministry and dreamed about what could be. They talked about our frustrations and what can hinder us from having the Ministry we would like. Lisa found that it was really good, interactive and challenging!

Sarah went to the “In it for the Long Haul” where there was a panel of Paul Friend, Keith Le Parmentier and Paula Le Poidevin. Daniel Foot was hosting and there were discussions about not always seeing the fruit of our work but how that can be humbling, how to not be afraid to fail and not everything we try will work and that that’s ok! They also learnt to draw on others abilities and skills and not to try and do everything ourselves. It was really inspirational and interesting. Sarah enjoyed learning from those that have gone before and two of them were her youth leaders growing up so she loved being inspired by them!

A delicious lunch was kindly provided by the Rector of St Pierre Du Bois, Reverend Datta and his wife and family, showing that hospitality certainly is the centre of what they do.

In the afternoon there were a choice of workshops to attend. Lisa, Sarah and Jo led the PACE workshop and showed examples of prayer spaces and explained the ministry of PACE.

The day was a great time of fellowship, opportunity to grow and a reminder that we are not alone. 

“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up”. (Galatians Chapter 6 verse 9).

Easter in a Box!

This term Lisa, Sarah and Jo and a number of our wonderful volunteers have been leading Easter in a box at Blanchelande, Melrose, St Mary and St Michael, La Mare, Hautes Capelles and Forest and we will be visiting Notre Dame and Vale (after Easter).

Easter in a Box is led in the format of ‘Easter the Movie’. There are six boxes unpacked including movie trailer and then scenes 1-5, which contain props so that the children can come to the front of the class to act out the Easter Story scene by scene. 

This movie approach brings the story to life and helps the children to understand it. They each receive a scene map which helps them to remember what they have learnt as well as being a great tool to be able to retell the story to others at a later date. 

The children also have an egg box each to decorate and inside are the crafts and items that they collect along the way which will also help them to retell the story and remember what they have learnt. 

The children have the opportunity to express their feelings and emotions after watching each scene which opens up interesting discussions and gives them time to pause and reflect. 

Some of the comments from the children have been :

“This has been the best Wednesday ever!”

“I chose this emoji which is crying with happiness” (When choosing the emoji to best describe their emotions after watching the Resurrection scene) 

“I would say to Jesus – I thought you had died! Don’t scare me like that!” (when writing down what the would say to Jesus after the resurrection). 

One teacher commented that the style and format of Easter in a Box really brought the story to life. This has inspired her when she is teaching not just to read or talk from the front, but to get the students involved in acting out parts of the story.

A wonderful resource from Bristol Schools Connection. Thank you to all who have been involved!

Wishing you a blessed and joyous Easter season, filled with the peace of Christ.

Please also enjoy reading through our termly Newsletter which you can find here!

OT Mini

Jo has written up an overview of OT Mini as she has been watching sessions and learning how the course works.

OT Mini is a wonderful way to bring the Bible to life.

The Old Testament is presented in hour sessions in a visual way with props and PowerPoint slides and live action storytelling.

There are actions (like sign language signs) for the children to learn which helps them remember the chronological order of the Old Testament.

Last half term Frances, Bryan and Mark led OT Mini at Beechwood where 42 students attended 5 sessions. At La Hougette Sarah-Jayne and Eleanor brought OT Mini to 42 students across 10 sessions. At Melrose Tom and Eleanor presented to 24 students over 5 sessions.

This half term Sarah and Eleanor will be leading at Forest to 20 students across 5 sessions. Lisa, Bryan, Frances and Mark will be leading at Vale with 61 students being led over 15 sessions. There will be 28 students reached at Le Rondin over 10 sessions. 

We are delighted that Term 2 of the school term brings us to a total of 50 OT mini sessions reaching 217 students. 

We are very grateful to our volunteers and supporters to enable us to reach so many students and having the opportunity to breathe new life into the storytelling of the Old Testament. 

The children have learned what they have heard so well, often saying what signs come next even before the presenter has said or remembering names like Abraham and where he comes into the story. This shows that OT Mini is easy for the children to follow and learn and is being presented well. 

At the end of the five weeks, comments from pupils were : “OT Mini shows us that God is kind”. “We can see that God loves us”. “We loved the props and the slides”. The children also had their favourite Bible characters at the end of the five weeks. One teacher said “I have certainly learned a lot over the past five weeks and I find that I learn something new every time”. 

Quiet Morning – February 2024

Mark Chapter 6, part of verse 31 says  “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.”

God knows the importance of rest. How often do we?

In Ministry there is a lot of giving. Giving is expected whilst looking happy and joyful. You want to give of your absolute best, you want to convey the love and compassion and sheer joy of Jesus Christ to those you are ministering to. If there are struggles or sadness in your life, you put that to one side and focus on encouraging and building up others.

Do we use our phone when it is flat? Do we drink from an empty cup?

It is so important for us to recharge and to refill ourselves with living water from the well that never runs dry. If we are to go with Jesus to a quiet place and to get some rest then we need to plan this time, we need to schedule it in the diary.

PACE sees the importance of this verse and knows that to be our best to help others we need to schedule time in the diary to follow Jesus to a quiet place.

This term we were blessed to have our quiet morning with Reverend Mark Charmley.

We spoke freely in this safe space about our daily lives, blessings and struggles.

We looked at a Bible reading of when ‘John the Baptist prepares the way’, had a time of prayer then reflected on this passage as we walked through the lanes of St Saviours.

Returning to the rectory we looked at the ‘baptism and temptation of Jesus’ passage then were invited to climb the St Saviours Parish Church tower whilst reflecting on seeing life from a different perspective. Jo’s faith was tested as we climbed approximately 65 of the narrowest winding stairs that we had ever seen in a very narrow stairwell. As we finally reached the top, the fog was so thick we couldn’t see any further than the cemetery. Reverend Charmley was apologetic that the weather wasn’t clearer for our view. Jo smiled as she thought of our contemplation of seeing life from a different perspective. We felt like God was reminding us that sometimes life feels full of fog, we can barely see our hand in front of our face. We cannot see how things are going to work out and we can’t imagine the fog never being there. But the fog does lift and our perspective does change. Yes the plan was for us to have a better view from the tower, but God often changes our plans and we felt that He did speak to us through that.

We looked at our final passage and refection of ‘the calling of the first disciples’ within the small tower room.

Relieved to have made it back down the stairs and feeling immensely grateful for the opportunity to visit the tower we sat in the church sanctuary for a time of prayer. 

The time flew by and it was a truly beneficial visit, memories of which we will treasure. 

 “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.”

May we all realise again the importance of this and schedule regular time to recharge and be refilled. 

PACE Update

This term we have been teaching Year 7 classes the Mad, Bad, God lesson. We thought you might be interested in a bit more of a detailed overview of the lesson which Jo watched as part of her new role!

Looking at evidence of the life of Jesus, including records of his existence documented by well known historians, we can see that the fact a man called Jesus existed and did miracles is not up for debate but was He who He claimed to be? Was He mad, bad or God? 

The evidence was presented by Lisa and Howard in a very engaging way with ice breaker games, visual illustrations and video clips from Alpha Youth. 

It was really interesting to watch the reaction of the students. At the start of the lesson some sniggered and giggled but as the lesson went on they became more and more engrossed in what was being presented and were genuinely interested to learn more, as well as thinking about information that they have possibly never had to think about or consider before. 

The students had the opportunity to voice their thoughts and questions, they had to learn to base their conclusion on the evidence presented rather than on their opinion. Likewise we were presenting the evidence rather than our own personal opinions.

The teachers were very pleased with the lesson as they said usually they don’t have time for the students to ask questions or fully discuss what they have learned, so they were pleased that the students have the opportunity to do this in the Mad, Bad, God lesson. 

We have also been busy presenting the Parable of the Lost Sheep in our primary school assemblies. 

This starts with a ‘pin the tail on the sheep’ game which the children loved.

We showed on the large screen a cartoon video story of The Lost Sheep which was very much enjoyed. Lisa and Sarah talked about lost things and asked the children if they can remember losing something precious, how did they feel when it was lost? How did they feel when it was found?

There was lots of opportunity for participation which helped the children make the concept of the parable their own, easy to understand and remember. 

We reminded the children that they are special, and that the lost sheep was very special to the Shepherd and that we are very special to God. 

We also talked about helping other people feel special and the importance of including others and reminding ourselves of the support we have surrounding us daily. The children said who they feel is there to help them. 

At one school, the teacher asked the children what they will remember from the parable of The Lost Sheep and from the assembly. Children said that they would remember that they are special and to include people.