Archive for the ‘Youth Group and Sunday School’ Category

Mini camp

Sunday, October 1st, 2017

This year we are trying something different in the children’s ministry, with four “mini camps” during the year – instead of doing the usual Sunday School, we will try to mimic a camp in the space of an hour. This aims to create excitement in the children for the activities, strengthen relationships (especially between the classes, that are usually separated), and give other people an opportunity to serve in the children’s ministry. Always with an eye on the growth of the children as disciples. Today there was the first such mini camp. The idea was to go to a nearby park for the hour, but the rain washed out that possibility. So we fell back on Plan B, adjusted our activities a bit , and held the camp in our usual hall. It was a great success, as we did various activities together (across the age groups, it was good to see the older children learning to help the younger ones rather than putting them down), a lesson based on the activities, and a bit of food and free play. I don’t know about the children, but I’m looking forward to the next mini camp!

End of the year

Monday, June 12th, 2017

The school year has finished, although Pinuccia at the preschool and Luca and Mattia at the nursery keep going until the end of June. With the end of the school year, the Sunday School as well has finished, so yesterday there was the presentation of the year’s ministry with the children. It worked well in showing how the children had grown in their relationship with God over the past 9 months.

Now instead it is time for our major ministry commitment for the year, at least for how much time we put into it. From Friday until Sunday there will be the church children’s camp that Pinuccia and I organise and run (with help from various other adults and teenagers), with 13 children from 7 to 11 years old. Pray for a good weekend, that the teaching will help them to understand better their faith, and that we will be able to teach and model Christianity during the non teaching time of the camp as well.

Preparing for ministry

Friday, January 13th, 2017

Last night we continued our program for the integration of and help for the refugees, with the working group meeting for the first time. The group, with a few other interested people, are looking at meeting and listening to the refugees at the end of the month. We shall see where to go from there, when we have heard their stories. It was good to work with this group – apart from myself, there are Ruben and Mary, Brazilian missionaries with a vision for refugee work who are leading the church in this integration process, Maddalena who is a social worker, and Cassia. We have been trying to get her involved in the life of the church for some time, and it is good to see her finally mobilised in a ministry. As she said herself at the end of the meeting, “I enjoyed this time together. I was missing being useful to others”.

On Saturday afternoon there will be a training meeting for the Sunday School teachers. Pinuccia is organising it, but it will be run by Enrica and Daniela, two members of the church who work in the area of training and coaching. The meeting will not be so much on how to teach the children, but how can we serve and work together better. There have been some difficulties recently in the relationships between the teachers, so we hope to improve this.

End of an era

Sunday, May 15th, 2016

This morning I taught my last lesson in the Sunday School for this school year. (There are still three Sundays to go, but the 2 other teachers of the class will look after those.) We were up to chapter 4 in James, and it turned out to be a good opportunity to think back at what we have done together over the last three years (or seven years in the case of one of the girls), and what we want them to remember as the whole class heads off to Youth Group and High School after the summer:

- Be thankful for what you have, not complaining about what others have

- Don’t be friends of the world – be in it and critical of it, evaluating what it teaches, as we have done discussing together films and music

- We draw near to God through repentance – mourning for our sin and purifying ourselves from it, not reading the Bible, praying and going to church which are the usual answers from church children

- Think about your future (as they all are, having to make big decisions now about schooling that will determine what work they will be able to do) with humility before God.

So it was a good way to wrap up our lessons together, although I will still be spending some time with them in the next couple of months, and then more in the years ahead as well.

Upcoming events

Sunday, January 24th, 2016

Next Sunday there will be a couple of special occasions you could pray for. During the service, the Sunday School class I help teach (10-12 years old) will be doing the lesson for the youngest class (4-6 years old). We did it for the first time last year, and we wanted to repeat the experience to give lessons in Christian service and help them to mature as disciples. Later in the day there will be a sports afternoon (with an evangelistic talk) for teenagers and young adults from our church, a few nearby churches, the camps we have run for the past few years, and any friends that are invited. This is something new for the church, as a few of the members have a vision to develop a ministry through sports.

Coming to Australia

Monday, June 1st, 2015

Pinuccia was not in the top 10% of the candidates, so will not be going on to the next phase of the exams for a  permanent teaching position. So we have closed that phase of our life, and another has opened up: we have finally been able to decide to come to Australia and make plans. In fact, I have just booked the tickets, and we will be arriving on June 25 and leaving on August 17. So we are looking forward to seeing many of you in that time! We already have some bookings for various churches, but if you would like to see us or visit your group, please let me know. In the meantime, we are still looking for 2 cots, strollers, and high chairs, and car seats for the children that need them. If you can help, get in contact with us.

One little highlight from yesterday: Although we did not explicitly encourage people to invite children not from the churches of Trento and Rovereto to the children’s camp last month, to keep it small and simple to begin with, one of the children did invite a friend from school. The friend seemed to enjoy herself and fitted in. In fact, she came to church and Sunday School yesterday, so it was great to see her and see the work of the camp continuing.

Back from camp

Monday, May 4th, 2015

We all arrived safely at home after the children’s camp, which was in itself an achievement. Daniele managed to get hit three times in the same place on his face, by a frisbee, by a chair, and by another children, but there was no lasting damage. Outwardly, it went well, with just the usual conflicts between children, that often gave better opportunities for teaching that the formal lessons did. It is of course harder to say what was going on inwardly, but we trust God that he will bring out the fruit of this camp over the next 70 or so years of their lives. The children certainly enjoyed themselves and are already looking forward to next year. Their major complaint about the camp was that it was too short! Pinuccia managed to survive with the twins as well, and even managed to take them outside once, even though it was a major undertaking for her by herself. So thanks again for your prayers for this weekend.

Church camp reboot

Monday, April 27th, 2015

Next weekend is my biggest event of the year in church, at least in terms of how much of my time I put into it. From Friday to Sunday there will be a church children’s camp that I will be leading. This is actually a “reboot” of the camp ministry. In July there will be the 8th edition of the classic series, where the participants have all become teenagers or almost by now. So we will be starting again with a new group of leaders, and with the next generation of children. We are starting small, as we did 7 years ago, with 10 children (including Stefania and Daniele) and only 3 days, and the idea is to grow in number and length over the coming years. You could pray for this camp, for the children and for the leaders. Pray also for the half of the family that will stay at home. It will be our children’s first time sleeping away from their mother, although it will probably be harder for Pinuccia to cope with than for them. Looking after Luca and Mattia by herself will not be easy either.

The family highlight this week was getting back the results of Daniele’s radiography. His spine, which 18 months ago was quite badly both bent and twisted, now shows no sign of problems. So he will be having a break from his back brace that he has been wearing for more than a year, at least until August when he will have his next check up. Since it is very uncomfortable to wear in summer, it was good timing. We are very thankful to God for this unexpected development.

A day in church

Monday, December 8th, 2014

Yesterday we had our first whole day out together. It did not start well, as we forget the babies’ bag with everything they need to survive more than a couple of hours, so I had to go back home to get it before arriving in church almost an hour late. Apart from that, Mattia and Luca went well: when they were not being passed around everyone in the church, they just slept quietly in a corner in their double stroller.

The reason for this long day was the monthly lunch after church, which this time included the Sunday School’s work to raise funds for a school in India – they made and served crepes for everybody, which kept us all busy. Then there was a quick clean up and transformation of the hall, followed by a surprise 50th birthday party for one of the church members. Apart from the long day, there was a lot of eating that day!

An event to pray for this week is the next edition of Kids Club, the children’s evangelistic program, which will be on Saturday afternoon, thinking especially of Christmas.

New Year

Monday, September 8th, 2014

In the northern hemisphere, the summer is in the middle of the year, and in September we get back to the normal life. This week is the big week for restarting. School starts on Wednesday for Stefania and Daniele, which means the Sunday School as well on the 14th. Yesterday we started the signing up process for the small groups in the church, and the ones I am involved in will be starting next week or the one after. Back to our regular programming. Although it will not be so normal for us this year, as at the check-up last week Pinuccia and the twins were all well, but Pinuccia is getting rather big (especially with respect to her usual size). So the doctor is thinking of bringing the birth forward a couple of weeks, sometime between the 19th and October 12th. We are getting close.