Ideas for harvest and remembrance, and BRF's new family Bible

Barnabas in Churches E-News - September 2014

We hope you have had a good summer and that any special children's or family events went well, especially those planned outdoors. September is a time of change and new beginnings for many children and their families, and possibly for some of you involved in children's and family ministry. Perhaps there are members of your church taking on working with children or families for the first time. It also heralds the coming of harvest and remembrance - and such special services give us opportunities to open up our Bible and share its treasure chest of stories with the children and families in our communities. We pray that this month's ideas and resources from BRF's Barnabas Children's Ministry will encourage, inspire and equip you to tell our Christian story to as many as possible both within the church family and beyond.

Harvest - new ideas

Harvest services and harvest suppers are among the most attended and popular church events of the Christian year. Here are some new suggestions for all-age activities that could be part of a church family celebration, as well as some craft ideas for groups. And check out the barn-loads of other harvest ideas already on the Barnabas in Churches website.

Ideas for remembrance

Special events and services are already under way in this centenary year to commemorate the start of the First World War. You will find plenty of ideas on our various websites to help your groups or your whole church explore stories of remembrance and peacemaking. And there is a whole Messy Church session available for free on the theme of remembrance, which includes ten creative activities as well as an outline for a celebration story.

You will also find some powerful stories for services in BRF's latest project What Price Peace? with additional free materials available online. A short DVD clip is available on this theme.

Ideas to help explore change and new beginnings

September sees the start of a new school year with new classes and even new schools for children at your church. God does not change and some of the following resources may help you explore Jesus Christ - the same yesterday, today and forever with your groups: Many of you find the style of storytelling pioneered by Godly Play a useful way to share the Bible with children and families. This month, we are adding a new story in this style about the life of Joshua, who also faced new beginnings as he took over from his friend and mentor Moses. Photographs are included in the idea to help you visualise how the story works. And there are many more reflective stories for you to try out in our store of ideas.

Prayer ideas

If you are looking for some new ways of praying together in your Sunday or midweek groups, then do check out our Faith in Homes website.

Celebrating Festivals

Celebrating Festivals
Sally Welch offers a range of ideas that will resource both children and adults as they explore church festivals and tap into their creativity as each festival is unpacked. Sally also helps churches use the buildings available to them to develop an awareness of sacred space and the way it can feed into our everyday lives.

The material is suitable for all-age use during Sunday services, but also for one-off activity days or midweek events and Messy Churches.

£8.99 | Find out more | View sample pages

A new family Bible

Drawing on the creative skills of Martyn Payne and Jane Butcher, The Barnabas Family Bible is a groundbreaking new approach to bring the tradition of a family Bible into modern homes and lives. There are 110 stories that span the Bible narrative from Genesis to Revelation, with ideas for families to enjoy as they explore together. Talk-together questions and activity suggestions create times of closeness that need not take long and can fit into busy family lives. 
Barnabas Family Bible
This family resource has an accessible, pick-up-and-use feel that could be part of the spiritual growth and memory-making of any family.

£9.99 | Find out more | View sample pages

Bible stories for small children - My Very First Bible Stories

My Very First Bible Stories
This first book of short Bible stories covers creation, the flood, baby Moses, Elijah, Daniel, Jesus and more. It comes with its very own carrying handle so that even young children need never be far from a good book.
£6.99 | Find out more | View sample pages

Messy Readings: The Jesus Story - new for Messy Church

The Jesus Story
This short book offers a way into reading the Bible that feels engaging and relevant. The story of Jesus unfolds through 25 readings and Lucy's style cuts through any preconceived ideas that Bible stories are dull. The book is priced to help churches buy in bulk, as a way of helping adults and teenagers enjoy Bible reading and grow in faith.

£1.99 | Find out more | View sample pages

Forthcoming events

  • Who Let The Dads Out? at CRE, Manchester: Tony Sharp and Mark Chester will be running a workshop 'Does your church want to reach out to dads?' on 8 October 2014, 11-11.45 am at CRE, Manchester. More information is available on the website.
  • Connect conference: A day of encouragement, ideas and inspiration for churches near Lichfield developing connections with local schools - 18 October 2014, Sir Graham Balfour School, Stafford, ST16 1NJ. More information is available on the website.

Support Barnabas in Churches and keep the ideas flowing!

BRF's Barnabas in Churches is a UK home mission, sharing the good news of Jesus creatively with children and families. By God's grace we are finding ourselves more and more in demand and we would welcome your support. This ministry is largely funded by grants and donations. Could you help us with a regular or one-off personal donation? Could you encourage your church to support our Barnabas Children's Ministry as part of its regular giving? Whatever you're able to do, thank you for your support.

And finally...

Like many of you this summer, I was involved with a local holiday club and our story for the week was Joseph. I discovered to my delight that he was given a new name by the Pharaoh - one the children loved to get their tongues around: it was Zaph-enath-paneah! And listen to what it means: 'the one who is alive to God's voice.' May our resources, news and ideas help both you and those you work with to be 'alive to God's voice.'

With prayers for your ministry in the coming months.

The Barnabas Children's Ministry Team |
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