Christmas is fast approaching which means Christmas in a Box lesson preparation is in full swing! We’re starting our first lessons next week and we can’t wait!
Our volunteers are and will be folding, counting, cutting and sorting all the resources so we are ready to go!
On Saturday 18th November, we had our Walk Through The Bible OT Live day with visiting speaker Tom Greene. We had a great day! Nearly 40 people joined with us to learn the Old Testament story line and dive into Bible stories. We’ve had some really positive feedback and people keen for a New Testament day too! Watch this space! Here are some pictures from the day.
Following on from that, Tom stayed on island to train up 3 new OT Mini presenters; our very own Mark Le Tissier, Rev Jacky Cotterell and Natasha Luggar. They will be joining our current wonderful team of OT Mini presenters and be supported as they begin the journey of teaching in schools.
This week has also seen a Prayer Spaces event at Blanchelande, this time for their senior students. Tom Saddington was invited to host an event and asked PACE to assist and together we ran a two day event for those in Year 7 -11. We looked at self worth, conflict in the world, worries and being thankful for those who lift us up when we are down or need protecting. There were some really deep responses to the activities and all students were amazing! We pray that it was a helpful time for the school and students.
It’s been a busy few weeks! Sarah attended her second SWYM conference at Lee Abbey in Devon where she spent 4 days in lectures! The theme of the week was Radical Welcome and there were some fantastic, thought-provoking speakers.
Eleanor (Guernsey’s Area Coordinator) has written up a little about the week. Our Guernsey SWYM cluster have just been away to conference where it was great to catch up with all the other trainees and compare notes about how things are going. Teaching topics included Child Development, Old Testament overview and Biblical themes. The sessions on the Old Testament were fab and reinforced what a great way of communicating God’s word OT Mini is and how fantastic it is to be able to share the story of God’s love for his world in schools – we’re looking forward even more to Tom Greene coming over even more now!
We’ve also started a new OT Mini course at Notre Dame for their Year 5’s and Year 6’s. Frances, Bryan and Sarah-Jane are taking these on which is fantastic. We love that we have a team that can confidently run these courses. We’re very excited to train some new presenters too when Tom Greene comes over for our OT Live day on 18th November.
Christmas is fast approaching now that we are into November, so we have started our preparation for Christmas in a Box 2023! This year we are aiming to be delivering this 2 hour lesson to 7 schools reaching 250-300 children. We love these lessons because we get to dive into the Christmas story and characters and discuss with the children their response to how it can be relevant to us today.
The last few weeks have been a bit of a whirlwind so we are very much looking forward to half term!
This week we were invited to take part in a Retreat Day at Blanchelande College with their juniors. We set up a Prayer Spaces room in a Year 6 classroom and throughout the day children came and visited us, spending 35 minutes going around prayer stations. One of the popular stations was a new one for us – Pipe Cleaner People. We asked the children to make a cross or a person to remind them to pray for other people. They loved getting creative and made some amazing things! We also had a quiet area with some calming colours and space to lie or sit next to our bubble tube. We encouraged the children to really be quiet and still in this section. The Our Prayers station was also popular with the children being very reflective and writing some lovely prayers for themselves and others all over the world.
We were so pleased to have been a part of this wonderful day and very much enjoyed seeing all the children that visited us.
Last week Sarah travelled over the Jersey to see Life Exhibition which is a multi-media experience designed for primary school children. Set up in Town Church, Sarah got to see first hand and up close what this looked like and how it might work in Guernsey. The children all seemed to love the experience and the feedback from teachers was very positive. They had over 530 children from across Jersey schools visit. The exhibition consists of going through different sections looking at Parables, Prophecy and Miracles before watching a short video on the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus. We would love to do this in Guernsey. Watch this space!
Update from the Guernsey SWYM Cluster
It has been a busy first half term for our new SWYM trainees. They were away for the first two weeks of September in the UK for SWYM induction and conference, a full-on time of making new friends, worshipping and learning together. Since then they’ve been back on island working in their churches and in local schools. Sophie is based at Shiloh, Natasha at St. Martin’s and Sarah at PACE and Les Camps.
We always get together on Tuesday afternoons to support each other as we reflect on the week, pray and eat biscuits. Yesterday afternoon we helped out together at the Blanchelande Retreat Day with the Prayer Spaces. After we’d packed down, we had a cup of tea while we reflected on the experience and thought about how we could use the prayer spaces idea in other contexts before praying for each other.
It’s been a good start to the year. It’s great to grow and learn together, and all sorts of ideas are popping up for ways to work together across churches and schools. After half term, we’ll be back in Devon for another week of SWYM conference and then the few weeks before Christmas are always busy ones. Do keep praying for Sophie, Natasha, Sarah and me – we really appreciate it.
We are back, after a lovely summer break, we’re back for another fantastic year working in the schools of Guernsey.
The term started with Sarah going off to the UK to begin her SWYM journey (with a broken ankle…). She spent the first week at Hill House Christian Centre for Induction Week where she met with the team and her fellow SWYM trainees. There are 23 of them doing the Be Transformed course 2023-2024. Sarah has written up a summary of her time away.
Induction week was spent getting to know each other and hearing one another’s testimonies and how they got to SWYM. Everyone had an incredible story and it was so clear to see Gods hand in each person’s journey there. Sessions introduced the course to the trainees and included looking at personal and professional boundaries, what makes us who we are and healthy relationships. We also had training in safeguarding, risk assessments, public speaking and planning sessions. The final day was spent writing and filming our testimonies for our first assignment.
After a weekend break, we had our first Conference, which is four days where the whole of SWYM get together at Lee Abbey in Devon for a time of devotion, fellowship and teaching. This will happen six times over the year. This week we started our lectures, looking into The Gospel, breaking down the beginning of Genesis and learning about our human purpose being image bearers. It was amazing to dive into the Bible more and learn so much in a short time. Other lectures included looking at moments of Encounter with God and showed us creative ways we could run sessions with children and young people. We spent time outside in the beautiful setting of Lee Abbey, just being in God’s presence.
These first two weeks were an amazing start to the year and makes me very excited to see all that God is going to do. I’m now back starting my placements at both PACE and Les Camps Methodist Church and looking forward to the year ahead.
Meanwhile in Guernsey, Lisa has been busy making bookings, writing assemblies, preparing lunch clubs, meeting with various people and all the busyness that comes with a new school year!
Finally we would like to remind you of our upcoming OT Live event. We would love to see as many people there as possible! It’s a fantastic day learning the storyline of the Old Testament together in a fun and engaging way. Please book your place by visiting https://www.bible.org.uk/wtb_event_tickets.php and typing in your postcode! Lunch will be provided. Tom Greene has put together a new video for us too.
Today is the last day of term before the summer holidays. As we have reflected over the last year we are so incredibly grateful for all the work that we have done in the schools of Guernsey. We thank God for all the opportunities we have had with the children and young people across the island. We are also so thankful for your support, financially, prayerfully and through volunteering.
Please find below our Summer Newsletter detailing this term and our exciting upcoming OT Live event in November.
This week we also had a lovely Quiet Morning with Rev’d Claire Claxton at Forest Parish Church. We spent time reflecting on 1 Kings 19:9-13, walking the lanes and resting in the presence of God. These mornings are so valuable for us as a team and we also come away feeling refreshed!
We hope you have a wonderful summer with your friends and family, see you in September!
Last week we held our AGM at Trinity Church. We had a great number of supporters, some new to our work, attend and hear all that we have been doing over the past year. After giving an update on the work, we had some time where those attending could wander around and look at each area of our work. We had set up stations for Prayer Spaces, OT Mini, Primary Assemblies, Secondary Work and Christmas in a Box/Easter in a Box. Our wonderful volunteers led these stations and chatted to supporters explaining what they did, what they enjoyed about the work and allowing people to explore the props and resources we use. It was a great event, a highlight of our year and we thank those that came to support us!
We have also been very busy delivering our 17 Leavers Lessons to all schools across the island. With a fantastic team joining us we have really enjoyed speaking to all the Year 6’s who are getting ready to move to secondary school. We met up as a team to go through the lesson and enjoy some Iced Tea in the sunshine. During these lessons we hand out each child an “It’s Your Move” book created by Scripture Union and donated generously by the local churches of Guernsey. These books are full of advice, puzzles, and stories to encourage the children that it’s an exciting move but also allowing them to explore that it’s ok to feel anxious and worried. Part of our lesson tells the children that PACE will be at their new school and that we are a friendly face they can look out for. We are looking forward to September when we can see them again. Please do pray for all students moving to new schools, new classes and new adventures over the next few months.
This is our final reminder for our AGM coming up this Monday 26th June, 7.30-9pm at Trinity Church. We would love to see you there! Please come and support us and the work we do in local schools.
Last week we held another Prayer Spaces event at La Mare de Carteret Primary School. This has become a yearly event and we love going back! We spent three mornings with the children of Years 2,3 and 4 guiding them through stations and talking with them about prayer and God. It was a lovely few days. We chose these stations:
These children really thought about their questions and it was very interesting and quite emotional to read some of them. These children were about 7-9 years old and already have lots of questions about the world! “Why are people so mean?”, “Why do I have to grow up?”, “Can you help me make more friends?”, “How do you know what everyone is thinking?” What an amazing opportunity it was to hear their thoughts.
Prayer Spaces are always so special and we wish we could do more. We would not have been able to do this one or any of the others we do without our volunteers. If you think you might be interested in volunteering with PACE and helping during these events please do email us at email@example.com.
This week Lisa, Howard and Tom have been back in action delivering lessons to Year 10 students at Blanchelande School. The sessions were on ‘Jesus: was he mad, bad or was he God?’ The team spent the lesson discussing questions like ‘Did Jesus really exist?’ ‘Who did Jesus claim to be?’ ‘What evidence is there for his resurrection?’ and ‘What is salvation?’. What an incredible opportunity to share with students about some of the key beliefs of the Christian faith. The students had a lot of questions and particularly enjoyed investigating the evidence for who Jesus said he was.
This term we have also said goodbye to some of our long-standing members of PACE club now they have reached Year 11. In two schools we had one final party and wished them well on their future adventures. We have really enjoyed journeying through school with them and will miss seeing them every week! Please pray for all Year 11’s as they continue to take their exams.
We are now hiring, looking for someone to join our team in September! If you are passionate about sharing the Bible with young people and working in schools we’d love to have you join us! Please do share this poster with anyone you feel may be suitable for the job. We would also ask that you remember this in your prayers for PACE. Thank you!
Last week Lisa, Tom Saddington (Catholic Youth Leader) and Howard Davenport (Eldad Elim Minister) were very busy delivering a variety of lessons in schools. They delivered 3 lessons to Year 9 students at Blanchelande on ‘Christian Views on Creation’ where they discussed at length whether you can believe in God and in The Big Bang Theory. The students engaged well in all aspects of the lesson, particularly enjoying the game involving Play-doh!
They also delivered 3 lessons to Year 8 students at La Mare High School on ‘The Problem of Evil and Suffering’. The students had so many questions about Adam and Eve, Who Jesus was, the afterlife and much more that the sessions weren’t long enough to get to the bottom of all their questions! It was an incredible opportunity to share on a really difficult topic and to see the students grapple with some big questions. They particularly enjoyed the ‘playing God’ activity where they got to pretend to be God in different situations to see what they would do. For example, ‘a car is speeding down the road’ – what do you do as God? The answers ranged from ‘stop the car’ to ‘bring in the superheroes’ to ‘create a hole for the car to fall into’!! They let their imaginations flow!
It is a real privilege to go in and represent the Church in Schools and these sessions remind us of what a great opportunity we have to communicate Christian beliefs with students in schools.
We have two events coming up that we would love to see you attend if you are able to! The first is our AGM on Monday 26th June, 7.30-9pm at Trinity Church. Here we’ll be presenting what we’ve achieved over the last year and updating you about our partnership with SWYM. Plus there will be cake! This is a fun, informative evening, a must for any PACE supporter!
We also have OT Live coming up in November. It may seem a while away but book now to avoid missing out! This course will guide you through learning the whole storyline of the Old Testament, so you’ll be able to confidently retell it. It’s a very enjoyable day! If you would like to expand your Bible knowledge this is perfect for you! Book online here https://www.bible.org.uk/wtb_event_tickets.php
We hope you all had a lovely Bank Holiday weekend enjoying the celebrations of King Charles and Liberation Day. We may have had a short week but we were busy! We have held a three day Prayer Spaces event at Notre Dame. We transformed their library into a special prayer room and spent time looking at what we can talk to God about, how we can be thankful and think about others.
The stations we had were: Thankful Ribbons – being thankful for what we have today, particularly thinking about Liberation Day.
Cardboard Home – it’s important we think about others in our prayers. There are many people who are not as fortunate as us and may not have a home, perhaps all they have is a cardboard box to lean on or tent. We encouraged the children to write a prayer or a positive message to these people.
Seeds of Hope – God has great hopes for us! Talking to him about our hopes and dreams is like watering a seed, it helps them to grow. God wants to hear from us. The children planted cress seeds and were encouraged to look after them and watch them grow.
Prayer Wall – The children spent a lot of time carefully writing their prayers for the prayer wall. Some were thank you prayers, some were asking for help. It was lovely to see them really think about what they wanted to talk to God about.
Our final station was a favourite – Fingerprints – Each one of us are special and created by God! There is no one in the whole world just like us. We celebrated this by adding our fingerprint to a poster to show each individual in the school!
We’ve really enjoyed our time this week with the children at Notre Dame. Thank you to all of our wonderful volunteers who helped make this possible!
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