And a Happy New Year- free Liturgical calendar and kniting patterns

Yes, you read that correctly it is the start of another Liturgical Year.

For a video explaining the liturgical calendar watch this one from Godly Play

How are you celebrating the beginning of the year?

Many will start a Christmas Countdown, like this one from The Uniting Chruch in Australia (where you might see a small contribution of mine),

Or an Advent Study such as this free one from Sally Lloyd-Jones the author of The Jesus Storybook Bible

Maybe a Colouring in Calender like these from Praying in Color might encourage your prayer pattern this Advent

If music is your thing, you might like to try a Spotify Advent collection or Listen to the Advent specific album by Liturgical Folk.

If after a Socially responsible Advent Calendar try this one from BRF

Just for you, I have created a Liturgical year Calendar for you to download. Each Liturgical season is shown in Colour. If you want the Revised Common Lectionary Readings for each week you can download one here. If you want some suggestions to help the readings come alive each week subscribe to this blog and get them in your inbox each week.

Another way to mark the Liturgical year is to create some Intergenerational knitted objects, which you can do as a congregation or create individually. Those who can knit can teach those who need to learn. Use these ideas and patterns to decorate the family Worship space or for your own worship space.

A friend suggested that the whole congregation can get involed and create a large scarf, with each person or family contributing a couple of rows.

I have created 3 objects for you or your congregation to make

  1. an individual worship space mat
  2. a toy’s scarf
  3. a knitted cushion.

All quick and easy to complete.

By counting the knitted rows anyone can work out where they are in the liturgical circle, useful for those with sight impairments. Also wonderful to settle or soothe some neurodivergent thinkers. Great for encouraging counting skills and understanding the continual nature of the cycle of the year.

I used 8 ply wool and size 5mm knitting needles. You can use cotton, or acrylic, and if you change the ply make sure to use the appropriate needle size, BE MINDFUL THAT IT WILL ALSO CHANGE THE SIZE OF THE ITEM.

I used simple plain knit stitch for the mat and back of the cushion, and I used stocking stitch – alternating one row plain, then one row purl, for the toy’s scarf.

I counted only the Sunday’s in the year (except for Good Friday) and used the colours of the liturgical season.

The liturgical colours for the seasons are

Advent, Purple (closer to the blue spectrum) or Royal Blue

Christmas, Easter and Special Occassions without their own colours, White (though some are prefering to use Gold)

Ordinary Time, Green

Lent, Purple (closer to the red spectrum)

Good Friday Black or Red

Pentecost, Red

For the key below use the first letter in Bold to decide the season/colour

A standard Ball of yarn will more than cover each item.

Here are the instructions for each item

  1. An Individual worship mat.

Start with Purple or Blue for Advent, cast on 15 stitches work 2 rows in plain knitting for each Sunday

A 4 weeks = 8 rows

C 3 weeks = 6 rows

O 5 weeks = 10 rows

C 1 week = 2 rows

L 7 weeks = 14 rows

G 1 day = 2 rows

C 7 days = 14 rows

P 1 week = 2 rows

C 1 week = 2 rows

O 23 weeks = 46 rows

C 1 week = 2 rows

Cast off

2. A toy’s scarf

Start with Purple or Blue for Advent, cast on 10 stitches work 4 rows in stocking stitch for each Sunday

A 4 weeks = 16 rows

C 3 weeks = 12 rows

O 5 weeks = 20 rows

C 1 week = 4 rows

L 7 weeks = 28 rows

G 1 day = 4 rows

C 7 days = 28 rows

P 1 week = 4 rows

C 1 week = 4 rows

O 23 weeks = 92 rows

C 1 week = 4 rows

Cast off

3. Cushion,

this cushion should be able to take a 41×41 cushion insert, and will need 2 buttons.

Cast on 75 stiches of any colour you wish (i prefer not to use a colour from a season)

Knit in plain stitch for 23 cm

Switch to stocking stich

A 4 weeks = 12 rows

C 3 weeks = 9 rows

O 5 weeks = 15 rows

C 1 week = 3 rows

L 7 weeks = 21 rows

G 1 day = 3 rows

C 7 days = 21 rows

P 1 week = 3 rows

C 1 week = 3 rows

O 23 weeks = 69 rows

C 1 week = 3 rows

Switch to plain kniting and knit for 21cm create two button holes ( knit 2 together in one row at 20 stitches and 45 stiches then create a stitch in the next row to make the hole)

Cast off when 23 cm from the last Seasonal Row.

Sew the sides up and sew on buttons

A Happy New Year

Blessings Wendy L.

I am writing this on Wurundjeri land and wish to pay respect to all Elders, past, present and emerging.


Sunday Reflection: Where do the kids see themselves?

I live in the city with the longest lockdown in the world in this pandemic. Today we learnt that we will be leaving lockdown later this week. It seems to have bought joy to many struggling with the restrictions.

During this time we have learnt to have internet services, school at home (different to the more frequently used term “home schooled” which it hasn’t been), use face time to catch up with friends and family and even to celebrate special occasions with a Zoom party.

Families have learnt how to share faith at home, and congregations have found many ingenious ways of keeping children and families, connected informed and prepared during this pandemic.

In my part of the world, one of the things I have noticed is there has been an increased interest in what it means to be Intergenerational, and how to engage children in faith on line during this time of lockdown.

Now this may sound picky, but what do our internet generation see of themselves when they look at “their” church’s internet presence, be it the web page or other social media formats “their” congregation may use.

So, I am not talking about what they use to find faith on line, but rather about what they see on line regarding their congregation or more broadly their Denomination.

Most of these spaces are inherently adult only, if not in classification, in content.

Now I can understand those for whom safety on the net is an issue, it certainly should be, but these children have used the internet their whole life, they are taught about cyber safety from birth by almost native cyber parents. Often these safety messages are for the older cohorts, as the younger ones are very safety aware. So, let’s put that aside and ask what they would find if they were to make it, safely supervised onto the web or social network sites of the congregation that has nurtured them.

I am asking you to think of this space as being an extension of your Intergenerational expression.

When I started my studies in children’s spirituality and a little later when I was Godly Play trained, I spent time crawling, yes you read that correctly, on the floor of my church and other churches. Try it sometime if you are allowed in your church, and if not try it at home, it is interesting how things changed when viewed from that perspective. Today I am asking you to look at your congregations or denominations sites through those of a child. I am not asking you to see if it has bright colours or cute drawings or photos or page information for the adults to help understand faith formation. 

I am asking you to look at the sites as your child might. What is familiar to them? Is it presented on your pages

For example, children visiting our church are drawn to the fountain, a fountain designed and made by the children of the congregation. These children are now young adults but their handiwork has excited the generation following behind, but it is not on our website. 

A photo by the Minister at my home church

What might your children want to see?

Another thing almost every child and most children have found in our church is that the stained glass can look like a teddy bear staring at you. You cannot see this on our website.

Nor will our children find Quokka, a friendly toy marsupial, that appears around our church drawing children’s attention to different aspects of the church and what it is used for. In our family, friendly area at the front of the church there is a book we wrote that tells of his adventures in the church. This story is not on the website, for our children to find and read while we are closed. 

If we are to be truly intergenerational then we need to consider our cyber space as also needing to be intergenerational too. Will our children feel that this space belongs to them or only to the adults? Is this the last unaddressed issue of Intergenerational change?

Let me know your thoughts?


Wendy L.

I am writing this on Wurundjeri land and wish to pay respect to all Elders, past, present and emerging.

Sunday Reflection: Mark 9:30-37

I have been contemplating the Mark 9 reading further, if you look back you will find a blog I wrote on two of this week’s Revised Common Lectionary (RCL) reading from three years ago where you will find a predominantly Child Theology view. I have been taking my thoughts in different directions. Alongside my thoughts on Mark this week I have also been considering the effect of culture on our faith formation, the Intergenerational Movement, as well as going back and rereading the Mark passage both with and without the Child Theology lens.

Putting these thoughts in the mixmaster called my mind has lead me to dig a little deeper, and come up with these thoughts. Now I am more than happy for others to jump in, think about or make other suggestions, as I truly would say that these thoughts are in production, possibly not my finished product, but definitely worth a run through, especially if there are others out there that might help me birth them.

Let’s start with the Mark Passage, and more importantly the Greek word used for child. In all of the passages that involved Jesus and children, different Gospels have used different Greek words for child, in Mark’s version it is a word used for an older child or a servant.

This story and its companion stories in the 3 other Gospels are one of the few teachings where we are told that Jesus uses a prop, a baby/child/slave depending on which of the versions we look at. To me this is significant, of course the physical presence of a child can be extended by metaphor, in just the same way as the written or verbal word can be, but this is one of the few examples that we have of Jesus teaching by using more than just words. 

Why? Does the object lend more weight to the words? If so is this story not to be extended into metaphor and thus are we meant to take this teaching literally? (I accept that there are many that take the teachings as literal, but there are also scholars who extend the literal to the metaphor, heavily crafted by using other methods of exegesis).

If we take the weight of the words literally then we are being asked to make the least first, and value the child. Written in an era where children’s value was in their survival, the Greek would suggest this is a child who has already survived. Slaves could be children, children could be slaves, could it be that this child is already running errands, fetching food and drink for those assembled, be it an actual slave or a child of the disciples, is it not too fanciful of me to think that maybe the disciples may not have been treating the child/slaves well. Embedded into adjoining passages regarding who is important and what do we really understand of the teacher’s teaching, this seems very much a telling off to the disciples, a reminder that they are not as important as they think they are.

This analysis sits nicely with traditional exegesis which, though a child is mentioned, jump off too quickly into a morals lesson on how to treat those who are unlike you, quickly leaving the idea of the child to one side. If we take this moral argument, but keep the emphasis on the child then what is this passage saying to us today, in thinking about this, my mind turned to the Intergenerational Movement. The intergenerational Movement understand Christian community in terms of intentionally including more than 2 generations but preferably more, be it in worship, fellowship, governance or any other aspect of a worshipping community’s life. So, unlike the child theology movement where the child is placed in the centre, of all thought and activity, the Intergenerational Movement’s concern is that many generations are intentionally part of the community, all generations are important and by extension because generations include diverse people, that all diversities of gender, cultures and ability etc are also catered for. We could say that the Mark reading is supportive of an Intergenerational viewpoint, that all generations are needed to help each generation grow and adapt, so that no-one feels superior. There is no serving of one generation to the other but of all generations to each other, and one generation does not control, but each generation is needed to guide and lead. Power, or dominance in the hands of a few who feel entitled is not what the Intergenerational movement is about, nor is it about what Jesus is trying to teach his disciples here.

This is the point where I considered cultural influence on Biblical text. Where the power base has been hierarchical and dare I say even male orientated, should we be looking at this text to query if that entitlement view has come from culture or theology? Many cultures were altered by, or justified by the dominant power of a colonising power. Sometimes we all fail to measure our structures by the Christian principles we are meant to be forming.

What a mix of thoughts I have poured out.

I really have been wrestling with the text this week, hope you may find something inspiring within my wanderings


Wendy L.

Sunday Reflection: Connection

One of the things that has come out of lockdown for me, has been the time spent with the family. We are now a family of adults, and as is the majority experience in Australia where I live, they live at home. Lockdowns have meant that we have all been spending a lot more time together, working from home, not being allowed out except for 2 hrs of exercise, or to do the grocery shopping (surprisingly no rush for that out). We have been eating together more frequently, no one is running in after an extend time at work, or running out to see friends, see movies, eat out etc. Though we usually regularly come together and dine out, giving everyone the opportunity to relax and just share. I have found that at home we have been sharing on a much deeper level. It has given me the opportunity to understand my children’s faith development better.

For quite a few years I have been saying that my children have no faith, but during this time I have had the opportunity to hear what they have taken on into adulthood, yes, they only attend church 3 times a year, but they do so not to please me but because it makes sense of the season better for them.

They pray.

They can explain what Christianity is. 

They know the Bible well.

They just don’t attend church regularly.

This knowledge has helped me rethink, not just the way I see my faith parenting, but also to broaden my questioning of why my children don’t want to attend church more regularly than 3 times a year.

Within the family, we can have faith discussions, now I am not saying that these table time discussions are even close to worship, but it does have that first century feel. Assembled together sharing food, information ( ie: a disciples letter in the first century) a You tube clip, a song, a tik tok post, a meme, and ourselves.

So, what is wrong with church? Yes, they can nit pick at this or that element, but I get the strong sense it is actually not what we do in the service, but rather who is at the service, or rather not at the service.

Their peers, are also only at church 3 times a year. My children I’ve discovered will have conversations with friends outside the church community about faith and spirituality in their day to day conversations. I admire this, I only have these types of discussions with churched people. 

What is missing is connection, not to God, but to churched people.


This is where I feel the Intergen movement has something to offer. Intergenerational worship is about inclusion and connection. Not just in their peer levels but across the ages.

When I stop to think about my children’s experience of church, I only see this type of connection in the church we attended when my eldest child was younger. But no such connections were made with either their peers or other adults in the other two congregations we attended as they grew.

Personally, I always had strong adults in my life and in our congregations that I felt valued and led me. This has not been my children’s experience. Even now I am struggling as I find that those people are not in my congregation anymore and neither is there anyone whom I might influence. I, like my children, am struggling with personal connection, and though my pull for church is a response to God’s influence in my life, at present I am finding more of that connection at home than in the pews.

Today’s Old Testament reading (2 Samuel 7:1-14a) shares David’s excitement at wanting to give God a home. We learn in the Ephesians reading(Ephesians 2:11-22) that God is in us all. Call it Intergenerational worship but what we all need is not bricks and mortar but CONNECTION.

To God and then to other’s.



Wendy L.

I am writing this on Wurundjeri land and wish to pay respect to all Elders, past, present and emerging.

Sunday Reflection: Preaching’s not for Children?

During the week, I had the good fortune to attended a local preaching conference.It was well run, had great speakers, motivated us and was an absolute delight to participate in. I should have been on the other side of the world, but as these things happen the fires that are heavily affecting two countries, America and Australia, put paid to business/social plans and so I was able to attend this instead. And I was excited, still am, but there was one thing, that niggles at me for the two days, this conference, for Ministers of the Word, assumed that their audience was over 18 years of age, understood English, and were educated to Tertiary level at a time when listening and contemplation were necessary skills for learning.

It did throw a nod to the mentally ill, first generation Australians, and a brief reference by one of the key note speakers to the fact that there is only one reference to mass gatherings and preaching while most other references of Jesus’s teaching in the Gospels was through stories and small group discussions.

Given that the convener was an ex-teacher and Chaplain at that, I was surprised by this oversight. I found the response that it was the responsibility of another department of the Church, unsatisfying. It perpetuates the idea that children are not part of ministry. Yet if we take the view that Preaching is more than the sermon, the whole construct of the service, children are still present for a third of the time in a traditional format, ie leaving through the service to attend Sunday School. These little jugs have ears, they see, hear, feel, even if the ecclesiastical arguments are beyond them. Failing to include the worshipping child in a conference on Preaching is an oversight, a mistake of history, but one that could so easily be addressed. Is it really, too hard to invite the presence of another department? Aren’t we in the business of integration!

And it is not just an issue with this conference, I spoke to some of our Minister’s that had attended an American Preaching conference earlier in the year, not one, recounted in their experience of the example of preaching with children.

Until the walls come down between child learning and faith formation, and adult worship the divide that exists between children and adults in the worshipping community will continue, while we still see that it is not important to give our best leaders to the children, we are not being true to Matthew 18: 1-5. We can do better, it takes a bit of thought and effort, but we are really close, if we just think a bit more broadly.


Wendy L.

Sunday Reflection: School Holidays

When I was teaching in the classroom, this was the break I was most desperate for. Yes, I know it was only 10 weeks since the last break but maybe it was because this term is the coldest, the one filled with the most germs, coughing kids, flu, sore throats, etc, all I wanted was a break, and not to catch up with prep or marking but a break for me, no classes, no prep, no alarm clock.

So, I really get it that this is the term break when most families disappear from church, even when they are not going anywhere. Give me a break.

But when I was working in an inner city church, it surprised me that this was the break where we saw the largest increase in children, and not just our own members, we would see more travellers and their children, though of course the Christmas break and it’s luxurious 6 weeks was always the one where we had more non-community children present. Having come from the Suburbs, where universally the Sunday School program would end with term, the 3 weekends of the break would see the congregations average age increase dramatically as the children and their parents/caregivers disappeared.

It has always intrigued me that congregations, particularly congregations still running the Sunday School at the same time as church, a 250 year old model, don’t think outside the square and make these term breaks an occasion for experimentation. Make it a goal to run Intergenerational Services, or try Messy Church consistently each school break, or at the very least supply material that can help younger worshippers understand and participate in a traditional service.

Ok, I hear you say well what about the Sunday School Teachers? This is their chance to worship with the rest of the congregation. True, but I also find they are missing in action during these breaks.

OR if your congregation is happy to let the youngest members of your community rest away from Worship for 10 weeks of the year. Then the least you can do is use this time to encourage Family Faith Formation, by supplying programs that they can do as home worship. Some resources you might find useful are


Use your websites to give out suggestions for the Break,

or supply your families with websites or books that give good Family Faith Formation ideas.

At the very least start a lending Library so that Families and Grandparents can borrow beautiful Bibles, story book Bibles and storybooks that allow them to share the faith with a new generation.


Oh by the way, did I say I need a break!

Safe travels, safe downtime


Wendy L.

Sunday’s Reflection: 19/5/2019 Stats, Stats and ??

Not only does the Northern hemisphere seem to be warming up with conferences interesting anyone involved in Child and Family Ministry. In the past few weeks we have had Orange, http://orangeblogs.orgin the USA, though generously available to anyone “upside down” who is able to be sleep deprived with live internet sessions; Messy Church, in the UK, and InterGenerate 2019

USA, about to start. Such a collection of people and ideas involved in Children’s or Intergenerational ministry, is indicative of how important Ministry with children is now.


But there is something else emerging with the warming weather, a collection of long needed statistics.


were the first stats out of the northern winter, followed by the publishing of a paper in the Journal of Research on Christian Education on the Impact of a Paid Children, Youth or Family Worker on Anglican Congregations in England ://, and then the publishing of the data from the Gen On questionnaire completed by congregations, worldwide.


Before we hurry, and we should with great excitement, towards the statistics, we should also stop and ask a few questions. It is important to be aware of the aims of the studies and where they are from. Does data coming from the Northern Hemisphere reflect the social realities of the Southern Hemisphere? What of these statistics is universal, and what are cultural? really must be one of the first questions we ask ourselves in the Southern Hemisphere. Also, we should ask ourselves Who produced the statistic? under what conditions? and we need to ask ourselves if we believe we would get similar results in our own culture.

Unfortunately, Australia lags with statistical research around Child and Family Ministry and there would appear to be several reasons for this. The first is that getting research trials involving children through values committees is harder, more complicated than in any other time in Australian history. Second, We don’t have access to data banks with the types of statistics required, though you can put in a request to to see, but as many Uniting Church in Australia have not replied to their questionnaires, there is little, especially Victorian data available. Also, to access what is available requires money.

When we combine with the Northern hemisphere our data is minute and makes no difference to the statistics. For example, only 32 Australian churches and 5 New Zealand churches are represented in the Gen On data, less than 3 %.

But it is Data, and I have been asking for data for a few years now, primarily because Ministers and congregations have been asking for proof of the need to move away from the Sunday School model that most church council members grew up with. Until now, all I and others involved in Child and Family Ministry, have had available to us is Theory, primarily borrowed from educational and spirituality theorists, and Biblical basis grown out of the Child Theology Movement. A form of theological analysis not encountered in the traditional form and structure exegesis.[1] and Child Theology a Theological Response by Francis Young in  Anvil Vol.35 Issue 1

Asking congregations to trust, to have faith in a new structure has been difficult for many. It has worn out many involved in Child and Family Ministry. I am not saying that the incoming statistics will solve our capacity to sell change, but that it is another resource available to congregations to help guide social and structural changes in the education of our young. But we also need to be wary of using data without due consideration and which may not reflect our cultural experience. And may I encourage more garden variety data of our own. And we have had some

Dr Vivien Mountain, Children’s Prayer: Multi-faith Perspectives (2016, Christian Research Association, Nunawading)



Wendy L.

[1]Bunge, Marcia J. (ed), The Child in the Bible, (2008, William B. Eerdmans, Grand Rapids)


This 4thSunday of Lent is an abundance of RCL (Revised Common Lectionary) readings that are wonderful for Intergenerational faith formation, or children and family ministry.


So why Intergenerational Faith Formation, because these readings can easily be understood by all making them easily fit the definition “spirit of God is at work formatively-through the community’s worship, through the teaching, modelling and mentoring relationships, and through spiritually empowered and gifted roles –in special and unique ways when believers across the lifespan are present and participating together” [1]

And why Child and Family Ministry, because it is ministry to families especially where children are 18 years of age or younger, which includes equipping them to live out their faith with their children, which is important because faith formation infamilies has been shown to have the largest, and lengthiest influence.[2]


Of this week’s readings, the most obvious is the Gospel Reading, from Luke 15:11-32, often labelled as the Prodigal son story. This story can be interpreted in many ways and from many perspectives, it can be understood by the most literal of learner, and dissected by the most academic of minds.


I find it interesting during my own reflection on this reading that this year I am thinking of the piece from the viewpoint of none of the mentioned players but wonder what would the women in the family have been seeing in the story. Until now I had related to the oldest son, even though I’m female. I relate as the eldest, my younger siblings arriving and making greater demands on my parents. My feelings of jealously are expressed and possibly vindicated in this story. I then reflect not from my perspective as a Christian that came to Christ as a child, I see my confusion when others are embraced back into the worshipping community who have not stayed true to the faith. Have I been taken advantage of by my faith community? As I plodded on with my studies believing in a misdirected idea of “call”, I have watched others newer to the race find “callings” while I have not. Yes, I see a message in this story for this situation too. I am also understanding the theological depths of God’s love and Kingdom, as we bring to being God’s Kingdom on earth.

I’m sharing my thoughts on this passage, not just as a faith journal diary viewpoint but to express how intense this passage can be for one person, imagine this played out for many worshipping or sharing together.


How wonderful it is to be introduced to the notion that this passage can last a lifetime, that each 3rdyear we get an opportunity to revisit and hear how others are travelling by sharing this story, and that each time we share it we can find a different touch stone to our own lives, faith community experience and theological experience.

To take this passage into our homes and share it as family devotion time too is a privilege.  As the lived reality extends into the week and our 24/7 lives is a wonderful opportunity, especially when Intergenerational Faith Worship is not a part of your faith communities worshipping experience.

But it must be shared, it requires an exchange of experience not a top down example of learning. So how can we extend that into our families worship time. Not everyone can speak elegantly, let everyone contemplate this passage their way.

SO Write about it,

OR speak about it,

OR build a Lego model about it,

OR draw about it,

OR create a multimedia about it,

OR  Sing about it.

And listen, observe, be open and share in a safe and valued manner.Who of us understands the totality of God!


But we are not done. There is another passage this week that contributes to Child and Family Ministry and Intergenerational Faith Formation, it is the First Reading, taken from Joshua 5:9-12. Passover. A unifying ritual of the wandering community. And as communities and families we too experience the importance of coming together. In Congregations, this is in the rituals of significant days such as Good Friday, Easter Sunday, Christmas, Annunciation etc. In families, we join for birthday’s, anniversaries, deaths, engagements, graduations etc. This coming together defines the community and reinforces the idea of who we are and with whom we belong. Create it, collect together and build family and faith communities. At home, start with a gathering of the clan, generational gathering on a regular basis, and if single or separated from biological groupings create your own, invite friends or possible friends, and don’t just stick to generational friends expand it out and invite the sticky nose from down the road for a meal too! and add grace, or a blessing or a reading to the agenda. Why be afraid of making a faith statement? Someone else may be wanting to do it too!


Wendy L



[1]Allen, Holly Catterton and Ross, Christine Lawton, Intergenerational Christian Formation: bringing the Whole Church Together in Ministry, Community and Worship. (2012, Intervarsity Press, Illanois) p. 20. For a broader set of definitions see pp.18-21


[2]One such study

What does a Quokka have to do with worship?

Please meet our QuokkaIMG_2629

a toy version of an Australian marsupial

You may well ask “what are you showing us that for?  then even ask ” But he belongs on the other side of the country anyway?” if you know a little something about Quokka’s and where I write from, Melbourne, Australia.

He is our latest attempt to satisfy Church Councils Outreach objectives.

I have been working with an amazing group of people, everyone blessed with a different skill set, but everyone focused on finding ways to engage the community in which we live. They are also unique in that they all implicitly have an understanding of spiritual formation.

My favourite book  on  Children’s Spirituality is one by Rebecca Nye ( Children’s Spirituality- What is it and Why it matters, 2000, Church house London). It explains why such a diverse bunch as our group could understand it so well, even when being blessed with very different skill sets. And though Nye differentiates Adult spirituality as being about particular experiences (p.7) and children’s as being more holistic (p.8), she does concede that they are connected in two ways, “first, a key task for adult spiritual maturity is to “become like a child” —–Secondly, children become adults and so carry forward their spiritual formation.(p.11). Speaking for my self I would be honoured if you think I’m spiritually “Childish”.

So though Methodism started with an outreach to the worker, we, in what could be defined as an “affluent suburb”, saw our mission as reengaging the community with the idea of worship. The thing that is missing from their lives.

Don’t get me wrong we do participate in some traditional forms of mission. But we have a steady stream of community who use our facilities everyday for everything other than the purpose they were built for, too worship.

Now I don’t think Quokka, chosen because he is Australia’s most photogenic marsupial, after a few alternative suggestions, can do that on his own.

We have employed him to hold signs up around the sanctuary during the week to educate anyone curious about what happens in that space.

Here is our Minister in one of the signs In Church Pulpit, I have his permission to use this one (that’s trust!). We have used simple words and a picture of the area of the church in use, so that all may understand.

We have also used the signs to make a book.

We have created a families worship space at the front of the church, IMG_2619IMG_2619and are creating a children’s activity space in the foyer, where caregivers who feel that they need to leave the service can go, and where our youngest visitors during the week will always be welcome to read, play or rest.

Many of our parishioners, take the time to smile or say hello to those that use our facilities, we have a new website, multimedia slide presentations. We have a fountain made for an anniversary by the children of the congregation that attracts all visitors.

We don’t have a child and family minister, ( just an ex one).

We are still a missional church our outreach audience and methods are a little different, that’s all. But hey, wasn’t Jesus, a little different too, and encouraging of the children in the communities he preached! We hope that we have followed in that.

So what is your mission, and how does that include children’s spirituality.


Wendy L.

Does being Intergenerational mean some topics are off limits?

Looking ahead at the lectionary I noticed there are a few difficult topics coming up in the next few week.

How do we deal with the difficult issues or stories when there are children in the congregation. Do we put the ideas or stories aside and fail to address them because they are not socially acceptable or may be disturbing for some members of the congregation.

Or do we plough on indiscriminately. And what do we do if there are children listening in?  If we do not address, unsavoury issues, unsocial or difficult issues than whose voice will our children be hearing about these topics?

With all the buzz about intergenerational and worshipping with children, do we only deal with the “kid friendly” topics when we are being intergenerational?

Or by discriminating between child and adult friendly topics and ideas are we all ready distorting the concept of intergenerational worship?

With all the talk about protecting our children, surely what they are listening too becomes part of that area of protection.

As is often the case there is no easy or one size fits all answer. Having worked in a fully integrated traditional intergenerational worship situation, my experience has told me that children will hear what interests them, and very successfully screen out the rest of the service. But this does not allow us to discuss all topics freely. We, as adults, also need to be discriminating when we talk with children around us.

We know that children can become desensitised, or stressed easily and it is not in anyone’s interest for that to happen. The age and stage of the child makes a huge difference too in knowing what to say. The under 3’s are learning language and are not ready yet to understand the pro’s and con’s of a situation.

While it may be important that a teenager or young adult has the space to explore new ideas and disturbing content, but never without the consent of their parent or guardian.

Nor do we want our young to feel that morality does not have a faith component.

As we tip toe through this fast running current of ideas and stories, it is difficult not to be splashed by the fallback of opinion surrounding our decisions. We have to be confident that we have not closed doors that should be open or disturbed or distressed unnecessarily, those we need to care for. Being able to explain your reasons is a small outcome for the privilege of sharing deeply our faith, and the rules of conduct and child safety are scaffolding necessary to protect us all and guide our decisions.


Wendy L.