At Home Children's and Families Resources Support during Covid-19
The links below will provide helpful information to support you with parish church children's and family work at home during the current Covid-19 crisis.
Ministry in lockdown and beyond
19th May 2-5 pm & 21st May 9:30-12:30 via Zoom.
Book your ticket on the Faith in Kids website.
You do not need to have been at a BDO before to ‘join us’ this time.
This is a strange season of ministry. We have struggled to do ministry with our leaders and families, while also seeing new opportunities for those we love to grow in their dependence on Christ. Let us plan together how we can be looking ahead to returning to our ministry teams and church families.
Encouraging and supporting parents: Parents have found these months difficult as they have juggled jobs and home schooling without time to rest. This time has brought stresses to some families, whether through anxiety about the effects of lockdown, less money or strained relationships. As we look ahead to a time when we will meet together again, how can we encourage them in the Lord and support them as they raise their children trusting Christ?
Encouraging and equipping leaders: Some of our leaders have missed being a part of families lives, while others have been so affected by this situation that they haven’t had time to consider their groups. As we start to plan for meeting together, how can we involve the whole of our teams in that preparation? How can we emerge from lockdown with enthusiastic teams who are ready to bring Christ to bear in the lives of the children they love?
The National Safeguarding Team have produced a short ‘Think Safeguarding’ advice note for parishes, PSOs and clergy when contacting those that may be vulnerable during COVID-19. You may find it useful on the link below:
Here’s the link to the Illustrated Ministries free resources for this weekend:
You might want to forward the colouring sheets to your children. I particularly liked the ‘Thinking of You’ sheet that children could colour and send to a grandparent or put up in a window.
The Bible reading and reflection is a useful discussion starter for families on Sunday: Describe a time when you were expecting something you had high hopes for to happen and suddenly fell through, but then you received a surprise that made what you were hoping for became a reality. Scripture Reading: Luke 24:13-35 – The Road to Emmaus - As we are in the midst of suffering and grief, much like the disciples were when they were walking down the road to Emmaus, many of our expectations and hopes have been broken or even shattered. Some of us have felt the deep pain from the death of loved ones because of the novel coronavirus. We don’t quite know when the end of the COVID-19 pandemic will be in sight. What we do know is that from suffering comes new life and transformation. In our suffering, let us remember that new life appeared to the disciples, and it will appear to us as well.
Resources to Guide Children in Bereavement
I watched the C of E Sunday service with Canon Leah Vasey-Saunders and her family HERE
They prayed the Examen together which is a lovely method of praying as a family you can learn more about the Examen if you click on the picture above.
A great way to pray is to look for God’s presence in your life. More than 400 years ago St. Ignatius Loyola encouraged prayer-filled mindfulness by proposing what has been called the Daily Examen. The Examen is a technique of prayerful reflection on the events of the day in order to detect God’s presence and to discern his direction for us. Try this version of St. Ignatius’s prayer.
1. Become aware of God’s presence. Look back on the events of the day in the company of the Holy Spirit. The day may seem confusing to you—a blur, a jumble, a muddle. Ask God to bring clarity and understanding.
2. Review the day with gratitude. Gratitude is the foundation of our relationship with God. Walk through your day in the presence of God and note its joys and delights. Focus on the day’s gifts. Look at the work you did, the people you interacted with. What did you receive from these people? What did you give them? Pay attention to small things—the food you ate, the sights you saw, and other seemingly small pleasures. God is in the details.
3. Pay attention to your emotions. One of St. Ignatius’s great insights was that we detect the presence of the Spirit of God in the movements of our emotions. Reflect on the feelings you experienced during the day. Boredom? Elation? Resentment? Compassion? Anger? Confidence? What is God saying through these feelings?
God will most likely show you some ways that you fell short. Make note of these sins and faults. But look deeply for other implications. Does a feeling of frustration perhaps mean that God wants you consider a new direction in some area of your work? Are you concerned about a friend? Perhaps you should reach out to her in some way.
4. Choose one feature of the day and pray from it. Ask the Holy Spirit to direct you to something during the day that God thinks is particularly important. It may involve a feeling—positive or negative. It may be a significant encounter with another person or a vivid moment of pleasure or peace. Or it may be something that seems rather insignificant. Look at it. Pray about it. Allow the prayer to arise spontaneously from your heart—whether intercession, praise, repentance, or gratitude.
5. Look toward tomorrow. Ask God to give you light for tomorrow’s challenges. Pay attention to the feelings that surface as you survey what’s coming up. Are you doubtful? Cheerful? Apprehensive? Full of delighted anticipation? Allow these feelings to turn into prayer. Seek God’s guidance. Ask him for help and understanding. Pray for hope.
St. Ignatius encouraged people to talk to Jesus like a friend. End the Daily Examen with a conversation with Jesus. Ask forgiveness for your sins. Ask for his protection and help. Ask for his wisdom about the questions you have and the problems you face. Do all this in the spirit of gratitude. Your life is a gift, and it is adorned with gifts from God. End the Daily Examen with the Our Father.
The prayers for use during the coronavirus section on the Church of England website
This has been one of the most widely-used areas of the site the last four weeks.
Working with Matthew Salisbury (National Worship Officer), Church House Publishing recently produced a downloadable/printable version of the prayers (which include prayers for children, as well as a simple form of morning and night prayer) designed for individuals and groups to use at home. The files can be freely downloaded, e-mailed or printed by anyone via the website – with versions suited to sharing digitally, printing at home, or printing professionally.
To draw attention to the booklet’s availability, we included a copy as an insert in 19,000 copies of Church Times sent out last week, and have had a large number of expressions of thanks and requests for printed copies to be made available for those who don’t have facilities to print locally and who want to be able offer resources to those not able to access online materials.
I am pleased to say that we now have a first printing underway, with stock expected to be available within a week (by Friday 24 April). We’re tried to keep the prices as low as we possibly can.
Copies are available to order now as follows:
Packs of 10 for £4 (i.e. 40p per copy) with free UK P&P: https://www.chpublishing.co.uk/books/PCO10/prayers-for-use-during-the-coronavirus-outbreak---pack-of-10
Packs of 50 for £15 (i.e. 30p per copy) with free UK P&P: https://www.chpublishing.co.uk/books/PCO50/prayers-for-use-during-the-coronavirus-outbreak---pack-of-50
Orders can now be placed online using the links above, or by calling our distributor, Norwich Books and Music on 01603 785925
It’s important to note that the description on our site (below) highlights the need to consult the main Church of England COVID-19 Guidance on the distribution of printed communications. Most parishes are hopefully aware by now of the need to use the postal service, and use this resource specifically to reach those not able to access the materials digitally.
We have printed an initial quantity, but expect that demand may be substantial and will take a decision on a further printing within a couple of days.
To that end, it would be very helpful if colleagues in dioceses were able to place any bulk orders/expressions of interest by the start of business on Tuesday 21 April
(if at all possible) ahead of an expected decision on a second printing on Tuesday morning.
Holy Week at Home
Great YouTube resources for 5 - 11's children's work from Josh at Trent Kids Vineyard Nottingham HERE
Scripture Union are providing lots of resources during the current lockdown HERE
Holy Week Reflections from the Diocese of Norwich HERE
In Christ Alone by Virtual Worship Orchestra All Souls as shown on BBC News yesterday HERE
From Revd Dr Sharon Moughtin-Mumby creator of Diddy Disciples
This Holy Week and beyond, Diddy Disciples is providing free audio storytelling and prayer resources HERE
- audio storytelling for babies and toddlers during Holy Week and Easter
- audio storytelling for children aged 3-9 during Holy Week and Easter
- stories for strange times including home based memorial services (coming soon)
Our hope is to support families at this time and to provide resources that will make praying together easy, accessible, and sustainable.
Holy Week and Easter Prayer Card Activities Diocese Of Durham HERE
Lots of ideas streaming for Holy Week from Engage HERE
Lent and Holy Week at Home HERE
From Diocese of Bath and Wells Palm Sunday and Easter HERE
We just wanted to let you know that we have a Palm Sunday and Easter Bible Chat Mat ready to go and freely downloadable from our website. We hope households can enjoy using them over the next few weeks. For those of you who are interested, most of the Chat Mat’s have a bunch of hidden theology within them, many referencing some of the Old Testament parallels or they include images that hopefully provoke a conversation, our aim being, to produce a resource that can engage all ages on different levels. Our vision is for this resource to be far more than a colouring sheet, but rather something that encourages households to read the Bible, have a conversation, pray together and explore together.
Please feel free to share the Bible Chat Mats in your networks.
Also, the Bible Chat Mat ‘Jesus the Chef’ could be useful in the next few weeks, in that it is based on John 21: 1-14 – Jesus and Miraculous Catch of fish.
Lots of Ideas, songs and videos from Alastair Ghinn (Youth Children and Family Leader Selsey Churches) HERE
The Donkey's Day Out by Michael Forster read by Lauren from Bosham Church HERE
Downloadable Spreadsheet of a Huge List of Resources from Church of England National Advisers Network HERE
Church of England Safety Advice on Video Conferencing HERE
Links to Guidelines for Parent and Toddler, Playgroups, Early Years Provision and Churches:
A Prayer for Coronavirus by Dorothy Moore Brooks, Chaplain at Great Ormond Street Hospital
When I feel worried about what is happening in the world,
Blow my worries away like the wind blows leaves on an autumn day.
When I feel sad about how this virus is making so many people sick,
Wash my tears away like a waterfall washes over rocks and makes them smooth.
When I feel scared that I might get this horrible virus,
Calm my fears like the dawn makes a dark night fade away and I feel safe again.
Thank you that you are with me and everyone I am worried about.
Thank you that you love me and will always be with me.
Family Worship at Home
Please click on the Going for Growth logo below for resources for Family Worship at Home
Lots more to follow - watch this space...
Ideas and Resources from other Dioceses below
Pilgrimage at Home
by Tony Cook Director of Education at Diocese of Bath and Wells has designed a great way to journey round your home with creative prayer stations as you go.
“Faith Formation Every Week at Church and Every Night in Every Home”
There is a simple faith practice built into the core of every Faith Inkubators system, resource, and product. It is a powerful framework that deeply connects people to God and one another, connects church to home, and connects faith to daily life. We call this practice FAITH5™.
When modeled every week at church and practiced every night at home, FAITH5 carries the power to enrich communication, deepen understanding, and promote mental, physical and spiritual health.
The five steps are:
STEP 1: SHARE your highs and lows
STEP 2: READ a Bible verse or story
STEP 3: TALK about how the Bible reading might relate to your highs and lows
STEP 4: PRAY for one another’s highs and lows
STEP 5: BLESS one another
A Prayer for the World by Mary Hawes
God of love and hope
You made the world and care for all creation. But the world feels strange right now. The news is full of stories about Coronavirus. Many people are anxious because of it. Many people are anxious that they might get ill. Many people are anxious about their family and friends. Be with them in their worries and help them to find some peace.
We pray for the doctors and nurses and scientists who are working to discover the right medicines to give hope to those who are ill.
Thank you that even in these strange and worrying times, you are with us. Help us to look for the signs of your goodness and love towards us. Amen.
A prayer for when a friend is ill by Mary Hawes
Dear God, (name of friend) is ill. They are not allowed to go to school or come over to play. I’m sad because I miss them. They must be feeling miserable and lonely as well. Please be close to him/her. Please be with the people who are looking after him/her. Please help him/her to get better and to know that you love him/her. Amen.
A Prayer Remembering God is With Us by Mary Hawes
Lord God, you are always with me. You are with me in the day and in the night. You are with me when I’m happy and when I’m sad. You are with me when I’m healthy and when I am ill. You are with me when I am peaceful and when I am anxious. Today I am feeling ………… because …………… Help me to remember that you love me and are with me in everything today.
A prayer at bedtime
Before the ending of the day,
Creator of the World, we pray
That you, with steadfast love, would keep
Your watch around us while we sleep.
Tonight we pray especially for
(names family or friends who are affected by Coronavirus)
and the people of
(country or place which is affected by Coronavirus).
Give skill and wisdom to all who are caring for them.