Maintaining youth and children’s work online
In these unprecedented times it is maybe the young who are most able to adapt to the forced use of technology to stay connected.
The challenge comes when we think how we as adults can connect and support young people in their faith at this time. We have spent so long avoiding connecting online through social media because of all its safeguarding pitfalls that we might now be in a position where we have no way of connecting. For many of the groups I have spoken with the main challenge has been finding ways to contact young people to let them know what resources and activities are available to them – for many it has involved sending handwritten cards, dropping activities through the door or trying to connect through parents – but they have been bombarded with emails from schools and organisations trying to get their attention so we often get lost in the long list of unread emails.
It is encouraging to see how many churches have been able to adapt and adopt online tools for streaming services via YouTube and Facebook or doing church via Zoom, Teams or Google Hangouts– all of these methods are familiar to young people and many will find it easier to engage online than maybe they did physically in your buildings. As we come out of the lockdown we need to make sure we hold on to some of these new ways of working. One of the great things about streaming is that other people can catch up later – and that includes seeing what others are doing to borrow ideas. Here are a few you might want to check out.
Kidz Klub at home Mid Norfolk Kidz Klub have gone online with regular live streams and recorded sessions with activities, challenges, Bible stories and reflections for young people on their YouTube channel. www.youtube.com/channel/UCcxdQiPDuETrF6wDdqviKrw
Sports Factory The Diocese of Norwich’s Sport Ministry team have been busy putting together all sorts or prayer, reflection, Bible study and fitness activities that can be used with all ages www.sportsfactory.org.uk
Here are just a few the other resources we think have been most helpful:
Church of England: guidance for the safe use of video-calling with young people www.churchofengland.org/sites/default/files/202003/Video%20Calling.pdf
Messy Church at home www.DofN.org/messy-church
Prayer Spaces at home www.DofN.org/prayer-spaces
Youth for Christ Youth Work Online A collection of resources covering safeguarding, best practice and resources, including video discussions, downloadable resources and ideas. www.yfc.co.uk/youthworkonline
This article is from...
Articles in this issue...
Age has been no barrier
St Luke’s Church, on Aylsham Road, Norwich has been running both a Sunday morning service and a virtual coffee morning every week since the middle of April, using Zoom.More
And relax…the voice
When the lockdown began, I knew it was vital to find ways to try and keep our community together.More
Supporting those who are housebound
I am Laura and founded YouBelong, an organisation aiming to connect and support people with chronic illness and/or disability through the online community.More
Dig down into the scriptures
We have always produced a podcast at STN, predominantly featuring our Sunday talks, as a way for those who wish to engage from a distance or catch up on Sunday.More
Receiving donations online has never been more crucial
In the step-by-step article, we look practically at different payment platforms/companies, creating an online giving page on your website, and adding a giving button to A Church Near You.More
Light a candle
Lighting a candle can be a helpful way to pray for someone. An online candle will help you think about someone who has died and pray for all those who miss them.More
Anyone for coffee?
One of the many new experiences, in these COVID-19 times, are the proliferation of socially-distant coffee mornings online.More
Rich tapestry of church
After a few weeks of COVID-19 lockdown, we realised how much church family members missed seeing each other, so we set up a ‘Church, Coffee and Chat’ for those on our church email list and invited everyone by email.More
Supporting our life together despite the financial impact of COVID-19
I want to begin by thanking so many of you – parishioners, PCC members, churchwardens, lay ministers, clergy and others – for the incredible way in which you are continuing to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic and the effect it is having on our local communities.More
A long-term solution for live-streaming in church
When the COVID-19 lockdown restrictions came into force, audio and visual specialist Darren Butler, owner of south Norfolk based Audio Electronic Design (AED), knew straight away that many churches would be facing a big problem.More