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This excellent post was on Worshiping with children’s facebook page – or rather, it wasn’t a post but a photo, and I couldn’t bookmark it for some reason, so reposting it not to lose – with all credits/apologies to http://worshipingwithchildren.blogspot.com/ & https://www.facebook.com/worshipingwithchildren/

Worshiping with a child is a team sport, i.e. something you do together. And, like all sports having a collection of strategies and tricks to pull out as you play makes worship more interesting, fun and satisfying for all the players – including the parent/coach. So, here is a list of strategies with which even not-very-musical parents can draw children into singing with their congregation. It is far from complete. Add strategies that have worked for you in the Comments section.

- As soon as they are comfortable with three digit numbers children enjoy the responsibility of finding the hymns by their numbers for the family to sing. They become the “keeper of the hymnbook.”

- In the child’s worship bag, provide bookmarks with which a child can find and mark the hymns you will sing.

- Insist they sing with the congregation. Pull them away from anything else they are working on during worship, if needed.

- While the musical introduction is playing, tell your child something you like about this hymn. (Last week my 90 year old mother whispered, “this is one of my favorites!” and I paid attention to it in a new way as we sang.)

- Position their heads so they can hear and feel their voices in the middle of the singing. Younger children enjoy standing on the pew, being as tall everyone else, and singing in the middle of the music rather than hearing it somewhere above them. When children get too tall to stand on the pew, sit beside your standing child or simply scrunch over so that your voice is near your child’s ear.

- Don’t sing all the time. Occasionally, hum or la-la, even whistle a hymn together. (Yes, in the sanctuary!) This is especially welcome by early or non-readers. They can participate and begin learning the tunes without the words.

- As they begin to read, use a paper on its side or your finger to help children follow the words. They will brush you aside when they are ready to keep up on their own.

- Emphasize repeated phrases or choruses in a hymn with a nudge and wink encouraging young readers to sing at least those phrases even before they can read all the verses.

- Invest in a hymnal to keep in a worship bag. With your child underline important words. Write the date of each time you sing each hymn. Add star stickers or dog ear the ones you really like. Encourage your child to make notes or draw illustrations in the margins. Add some of your own.

- Write a key phrase in a hymn you just sang on a piece of paper or a page in a worship journal. Urge your child to illustrate or write about it during rest of worship. Make your own page or add a note or drawing to your child’s page.

Photo: Worshiping with a child is a team sport, i.e. something you do together.  And, like all sports having a collection of strategies and tricks to pull out as you play makes worship more interesting, fun and satisfying for all the players – including the parent/coach.  So, here is a list of strategies with which even not-very-musical parents can draw children into singing with their congregation.  It is far from complete.  Add strategies that have worked for you in the Comments section.</p>
<p>- As soon as they are comfortable with three digit numbers children enjoy the responsibility of finding the hymns by their numbers for the family to sing.   They become the “keeper of the hymnbook.”</p>
<p>- In the child’s worship bag, provide bookmarks with which a child can find and mark the hymns you will sing.</p>
<p>- Insist they sing with the congregation.  Pull them away from anything else they are working on during worship, if needed.</p>
<p>- While the musical introduction is playing, tell your child something you like about this hymn.  (Last week my 90 year old mother whispered, “this is one of my favorites!” and I paid attention to it in a new way as we sang.)</p>
<p>- Position their heads so they can hear and feel their voices in the middle of the singing.  Younger children enjoy standing on the pew, being as tall everyone else, and singing in the middle of the music rather than hearing it somewhere above them.  When children get too tall to stand on the pew, sit beside your standing child or simply scrunch over so that your voice is near your child’s ear.</p>
<p>- Don’t sing all the time.  Occasionally, hum or la-la, even whistle a hymn together.  (Yes, in the sanctuary!)  This is especially welcome by early or non-readers.  They can participate and begin learning the tunes without the words.</p>
<p>- As they begin to read, use a paper on its side or your finger to help children follow the words.  They will brush you aside when they are ready to keep up on their own.</p>
<p>- Emphasize repeated phrases or choruses in a hymn with a nudge and wink encouraging young readers to sing at least those phrases even before they can read all the verses.</p>
<p>- Invest in a hymnal to keep in a worship bag.  With your child underline important words.  Write the date of each time you sing each hymn.  Add star stickers or dog ear the ones you really like.  Encourage your child to make notes or draw illustrations in the margins.  Add some of your own.</p>
<p>- Write a key phrase in a hymn you just sang on a piece of paper or a page in a worship journal.  Urge your child to illustrate or write about it during rest of worship.  Make your own page or add a note or drawing to your child’s page.

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Yes, I know you want a photo. No, I’m not emptying them all out of the bag tonight. But you can get the idea by reading the original post, since I repurposed most…

I took the resurrection eggs into school this week, working with reception and years 1/2. I had changed one or two contents, so this year’s list of 17 eggs looks like this:

palm leaves – I fell over the plastic top of a palm tree at toddlers the day I was going, which I cut up rather than cut from felt. very handy

plate and cup – that would be the knitted chalice from the in-progress last supper and a small wooden bowl. plus a pinch of bread that turned increasingly cardboardy during the sessions

coins – 3 x 5p

rope – last years’ was a tiny knotted piece that fitted Jesus’ hands, this year I found a bigger loop which looked more like rope and less similar to the crown of ‘thorns’

sticky plaster – we discussed that after the bad people came and tied Jesus up, then they kicked him and beat him up

purple robe

crown of thorns

cross

nails

King of the Jews sign

dice

crucifix

white cloth – lining material

smooth round flat stone

spices – small wooden ‘jar’ – and the same pyx full of rosa mystica they saw at Christmas that baby Jesus got as a present

-empty egg-

angel – also reprised the angel from the Christmas set that years 1 & 2 remembered and loved, so that we could talk about being told that Jesus was risen

With years 1 & 2 I let them pick an egg out of a basket then lined them up and they opened one at a time. With reception, I left them arrayed round a low table in order, and after telling the story they came in groups and played with the pieces.

Last time I was in Hobbycraft, they had the plastic eggs on special offer…

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I mentally wrote this post in the shower this morning (if that isn’t too much information for you) and I still want to write it, even though the day has intervened and popped any sense of delight which I might have had standing in the shower. Sadly, it will no longer sound quite the same as it did in my head, as my sense of wonder and amazement has been swept away by other things. But, that keeps me humble, so I guess those couple of hours of delight will [have to] be enough.

Saturday evening was such a lovely service – much more relaxed than last year, and though I have genuinely no idea who stretched out their arms towards me, it’s wonderful to be able to see my sending ‘vicar’, the cathedral chaplain and my incumbent on the photo.

Keith Blundy photoThere were plenty of friends and others I knew in the clergy coven, some who I hadn’t realised were going to be there, so I’m guessing and hoping there were a few others reaching out for me too. So many more…

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Well I haven’t written anything up on Mirfield at Easter yet and I’m already running the same way on the long ‘pre-curacy’ placement that we do at Westcott, in most of our cases, in Manchester or Salford. This is a concentrated 8 week engagement with an incumbent in which the lectures and lecture halls are long-forgotten and the reality of daily ministry becomes truly a reality. In our case, possibly a little too real more…

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Do we not have
the courage
of our conviction?
What is it about
our 20-strong
congregations
(or 20-frail
congregations)
that keeps the yoof
away?
No prizes…

But what draws them
to other places? more…

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Last night I went on a course run as part of a Fresh Expressions mission training for the North West. I was thinking about the content, the people, the kinds of things that are defined as missional or ‘fresh expressions’ as I got home and was getting ready for bed, while trying to keep an eye on the twitter stream from Vegas. And I found myself thinking how much some of the thinking about mission was similar to good scaffolding of learning in LMS/VLEs. more…

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I remember
the opulence
of the place;
the fountains,
the slots,
the extravagance,
the dull addiction.

This time more…

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…these seem to constitute the majority of my bookshelf here (only the tiniest fraction brought, honest), along with 2 books on bereavement and ‘The Deafening Sound of Silent Tears’ plus John Pritchard’s new book ‘God Lost & Found’ that I picked up en route here. There are no prizes whatsoever for what this may say about me (and I may need to emphasise that the adjoining shelf does have DP, BCP, Lectionary and a Bible) but it does say something about the things I’m probably going to be writing over the summer. more…

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I’m glad it’s me asking this, now, not my friends all resplendent in new facebook photos beautifully collared. (tonsure-collared, in all but about 3 cases) As I read fb updates that say Monday morning, first day of new job: school worship, diary meeting, home visit, funeral, setting up for a play and then see a stream of comments along the lines of gosh, hard work to start off with, I can’t help but think more…

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A two-way title, as they sometimes are. I’m conscious that someone said to me earlier this week ‘at least you’re a girl’, because tomorrow morning the bishop of jarrow will ordain 5 boys and no women in my diocese. But I don’t mean ministry by men but to men. (although, more…

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