WELCOME to the Purbeck Deanery’s blog for Children’s and Young People’s leaders, for sharing ideas and experience in providing ministry for young people and their families in our communities. We hope you’ll find something interesting and useful here as together we work to communicate God’s love to a new generation.

Please pray for this ministry – may God bless you for your interest.

John Wood, Rural Dean of Purbeck

"Lord Jesus Christ, you taught us that we must become like children in order to enter God’s kingdom, and you took children in your arms to bless them; guide us as we work to bring your special blessing to the young people in our communities in Purbeck; through your Spirit, give us wisdom to know how to do this; give us strength to undertake the task; give us compassion and a caring heart to reach out with your love, that your kingdom may grow and all rejoice in your blessing; for your glory’s sake. Amen"

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Presents for a Real Christmas

We’re all busy at this time of year and sometimes you just need something that will work with all ages or in school. Here is a simple interactive idea that went down well in both church service and collective worship in school but I’m sure it would also work really well at Messy Church, Sunday School or an after school club.

With my thanks for all the work you do with children and families especially at Christmas 
Barbara Meardon
Adviser for Work with Children and Families for Salisbury Diocese

* * *
Wrap four Christmas presents and hide/place them round the church/school hall:
A beautiful candle
A Flying dove cut out of card or a model
A balloon blown up
Lots of fair trade chocolate hearts

I started by talking about the giving and receiving of presents at Christmas then explained that God’s great gift to us at Christmas is Jesus and the gifts that he brings to us . . . Explain that there are four parcels hidden in the church/hall.
I sent children off to search for the first parcel, perhaps point them in the right direction. The first parcel is found and unwrappedInside is a beautiful candle.  Ask a child to light it from the Christmas or Advent candle - 
I wonder what this candle reminds us about Jesus that Jesus brings light to the world.
Set the candle on a small table.
I then sent the children off to search for the second parcelpointing them in the right direction.  It was found and unwrapped and inside they found the flying dove decoration.  I held it up for all to see and asked: 
I wonder what  the dove is a symbol for?The Holy Spirit, peaceJesus brings peace to the world.
I set it on the table but you could hang it on the tree if there is one.
I sent the children off to search for the third parcel, pointing them in the right direction. The third parcel is very bigThe children found it and unwrapped it carefully.  Inside was a blown up balloon that popped out as they unwrapped it.   
I wonder when we have balloons?we are celebrating Jesus’ birthday - Happy Birthday Jesus! The balloon is filled with airit took energy to blow it upJesus brings us life.
I finally sent the children off to search for the fourth parcel, pointing them in the right direction. The fourth parcel was found and unwrapped.  Inside were red foil-covered chocolate hearts (if possible use fair trade and provide enough for everyone in the church) –  
I wonder what gift that Jesus gives us all is represented by the hearts?  Jesus brings us love.
I finished by getting the children to give out the chocolate hearts - a gift from Jesus – but you could invite them up to the from or the altar to receive them.


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  2. I used this with my in school kids clubs just before Christmas.
    For each parcel we played hunt the parcel, sending two children out while two others hid a parcel, then we all joined in with shouting "hotter" and "colder."
    I couldn't find fair trade hearts so I used heart shaped lebkuchen biscuits from Tesco.
    The activity worked very well and created a lot of excitement!