All Saints Community Church- not so much a building, more a way of life


for children and young people

 



We have a lively Childrens group/ Sunday school every Sunday 10.15am
ask Pat Killey for more information.


We currently do not have a 11+ group for young people,at the moment, but will happily put you in touch with groups and activities in neighbouring churches
All Saints is part of the West Derby Deanery Network of churches
we are always on the lookout for fun and interesting  Christian based websites for different age groups
can you help suggest any sites? let us know at allsaintscommunitychurch@hotmail.co.uk   

duggydugdug      follow link to his website    duggydugdug world  
   Doug Horley is an amazing childrens worker who travels the UK with Praise parties, music, dance, puppets and fun!


 

Messy Rocket Church St David’s Church, Rocky Lane L16 1JA

Saturday 10th June Time 4pm to 6pm


 
Messy Rocket Church is a partnership between All Saints, Stoneycroft  and St Davids, Childwall.

learn more about Messy Church on the national website.
Messy Church, and perhaps think about getting involved with our local Messy Church.







comments from previous Messy church events    "fabulous time together"
" a brilliant afternoon for all ages, all together, thankyou"

get this  next one in your diary!

Songs
We like to do lively songs at Messy Church.
Here is a selection of songs we have done previously,.... and may do again, or may do in the future.
!
They can often be found on You Tube, so you can sit/ stand at home in front of your computer screen, turn up the volume and learn the words and actions!
or just sing your socks off with the 'shampoo bottle or Hair Brush' microphone!
 Just follow the Links below.......

Wonderful Lord Wonderful God by Doug Horley

Our God is a great big God

Superhero by Hillsong Kids

I am incredible - Doug Horley

Nothings too Big- Doug Horley

 Messy Church preparation meetings
  Be part of a great team putting together crafts, art, food and musical worship time that make up Messy Church.
 Any new enthusiastic recruits to help would be most welcome, please speak to Claudia Johnson, a contact at All Saints Church for more information or phone her on 0151 259 2326.




CHILDREN GROWING WITH GOD

 

For infant-aged children, God is often tied into a positive home
environment, a source of love and security. Many children at around five years
old clearly articulate what they think God is like. They also believe that
those who have died live on, although in what form varies:

AMY LOOKED UP AT THE BRIGHT SHINING SUN. ‘HELLO GRANDDAD’ AMY, 5

‘I THOUGHT ABOUT GOD WHEN MY GRANDPA DIED AND I WAS SAD’ TAMAS, 6

As they grow older, the old man with a beard is the image of God,
for a good number of children. This is possibly confused with Father Christmas,
(or even the former Archbishop of Canterbury). This image sometimes carries
through for quite a few years:

‘A HELPFUL, CARING MAN’ CHARLIE, 8

‘I THINK OF AN OLD MAN IN THE CLOUDS’ JOSEPH, 8

‘I THINK OF GOD SITTING HIGH ON HIS THRONE WATCHING DOWN ON US’
ISOBEL, 9

Charlie, Isobel and Joseph articulate the classic, perhaps
expected child’s view of God. Where does this view come from? These examples
don’t mention the beard, but we have the old man on the throne. This stage
reflects a distance between us and God. In this stage, children will also say
that heaven is ‘up there’. Perhaps from images of God seen in pictures – the
Sistine chapel, Blake’s God creating Adam – or perhaps the most powerful people
that they know are kings and queens, who tend to be imagined as older, on
thrones. Helpful and caring give us the classic ‘grandfather’ concept of God.

Notice that these children don’t seem to have heard about the God
who sits in judgement, although a distant God could be read in these comments.
He is a God who is watching rather than acting.

During the middle primary years, children can have some remarkable
things to say about God:

‘I THINK THAT HE IS STRONG AND LOVELY AND CARES FOR ALL OF US’
KAMRAN, 7

‘THERE IS NOTHING WRONG OR BAD ABOUT GOD’ CALLUM, 8

’I PICTURE ANGELS GLIDING AROUND A LIGHT IN A DARK AND STARRY
PLACE’ EMELYE, 8

‘I SEE A KING ON A THRONE BUT HE DOESN’T HAVE A THRONE OR A CLOAK,
HE IS JUST DRESSED THE SAME AS THE OTHER PEOPLE’ RYAN, 9

‘I IMAGINE WHAT HE LOOKS LIKE AND THINK IF HE IS A LADY OR A MAN
OR EVEN A THING, (BUT NOT AN ANIMAL), GREGOR, 9

‘I THINK THAT HE IS NOT IN THE SKY, HE IS IN THE WORLD’ MITCHELL,
9

Can you hear the thinking processes going on in this selection?
These are children who are all about the same age, and we clearly see that some
of them have lost the image of God in the sky, whilst for others it’s still
there. The simple view of heaven as up in the sky, the king on the throne but
dressed as other people, shows the idea of God’s kingship being different. If
God isn’t a king like a regular king, then what is God like? Children of this
age often describe people by their exterior, so we have the comment about
cloaks and crowns. Gregor is still puzzled by the bodily appearance of God –
everyone else he knows is either male or female, and while God can be a thing,
God can’t be an animal. It’s worth saying with Gregor - this is a really honest
comment, clearly showing his concepts being ratcheted into the next stage of
cognitive (thinking) theory. Gregor understands that God cannot be categorised
in the same way as everything else that we come across. And this is the only
comment where God could be either male or female, but is probably neither.

Ryan and Gregor are both in the process of moving from the king on
the throne towards what we see in Mitchell’s comment – he’s not in the sky, he
is in the world. Mitchell’s God is omnipresent.

‘I THINK ABOUT WHETHER HE IS REAL OR NOT AND IF HE IS WHAT DOES HE
LOOK LIKE’ ELEANOR, 9

Eleanor is displaying the classic existential thought – does God
actually exist? Some would say that the fact

that Eleanor is wondering whether God exists tells us that actually, God must
do, as we clearly spend a lot of time wondering about this thing we call God.
(This reasoning for God’s existence is called the ontological argument.) Yet
she still wonders what God looks like. Is this reflective of our society, where
appearances are so important?

As children move towards the end of their primary school life,
their conceptual development (how their thinking is changing as they grow older
and experience more) can change quite radically. From thinking in a very
concrete way (so although their imaginations work in a stunning way, they can’t
predict outcomes in say, maths in the same way that (some) adults can), they
begin to have abstract thoughts (and so (some) can do reversible equations, for
example) and this can cause a real questioning about the very existence of God.

‘I DON’T BELIEVE IN GOD’ LOUIE, 10

‘I DON’T BELIEVE IN GOD, BECAUSE HE WOULD HAVE STOPPED ALL WAR.’
MIKIEL, 10

‘I DON’T REALLY BELIEVE IN HIM BECAUSE I THINK, HOW WAS GOD MADE,
HOW DID GOD COME TO BE?’ ELLIS, 10

‘WELL I DON’T THINK ABOUT GOD. IN ASSEMBLY I DON’T SAY THE PRAYER’
ARUN, 10

‘IF GOD IS ALMIGHTY WHY DOESN’T HE ANSWER OUR PRAYERS OR HELP?’
ALEX, 10

So we arrive at a group of children who have decided to give up
childish ways and childish thinking. They have decided, for reasons that we
hear all around us, that God doesn’t exist at all. Ellis’s wondering about who
made God is a classic in adults as well as children.

These children have now arrived at a faith that excludes God.
Bearing in mind the school they attend is strongly Christian, it’s great that
these children have come to a real questioning of God, and felt able to reflect
that. How they will describe God in the future is unknown, but their thinking
will hopefully not stop at writing off God as fantasy, but change again as they
emerge from their teenage years into adulthood.

I wonder how you would describe God if asked today?

When I ask adults this, they often tell me their testimony, and
leave out the description of God for me, today. Take a moment and think about
this question – how would you answer: ‘What is God like?’

There are two main theories about how faith develops and grows.
The first is from John Fowler, who sees faith growing very much in the way that
psychologist Piaget described children’s cognitive development taking place –
in discreet stages. You leave a stage as you move into the next, and you can’t
go back. It’s as if you put the jigsaw puzzle together, then it gets broken up,
and when you put it together again: bingo! The image is slightly different.
Fowler says we go through a time of questioning faith and its implications (you
might call it being teenaged) and then we emerge with a faith of our own, not
the same as that our family or teachers gave us. We own our faith.

John Westerhoff (III) has a different plan for faith: he likens
our faith to a tree trunk. As we grow older, more rings are laid down and our
faith becomes more adult. If we have a crisis of faith (where Fowler can leave
us in existential depression), Westerhoff says we revert to childhood faith,
and hang onto that. He says developing faith is like moving from holding hands
as a child with an adult, to holding hands as equals, on the same eye level.
For me, the truth probably lies in a combination of these two tools.

WHAT DO WE DO WITH THESE INSIGHTS?

The most important thing we can do for children is to listen and take what they
give us with gratitude and respect. Encourage the children to whom you minister
to talk about God; how they see and experience him and their growing
relationship with him.

If this is going to happen, you will have to talk about your
relationship with God too – but in a way that doesn’t imply ‘this is the proper
way to do this thing’. Try ‘this is how it is for me, how is it for you?’ Once
children enter the mad hormone stage, everything gets more complex, so enjoy
every moment that you have with your children as they share their developing
insights.

PRACTICAL SUGGESTIONS FOR YOUR CHILDREN/ GRANDCHILDREN

• Ask the children to write about or draw God

• Give each child a large Post-it note and ask them to write one word about God
on it. Use the Post-it notes together to make a larger image, which is chosen
by the group

 Full acknowledgements to Ronni
 Lamont  who became fascinated by children’s
spirituality as a response to what she observed in her own children’s faith
journey. She is an Anglican priest, author and trainer. Ronni edits www.assemblies.org.uk  





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