Happy New Year, <<First Name>>

Which one are you: a ninja New Year's resolution maker - "of course I'm going to cycle the length of New Zealand, and get my Doctorate in 2017" - or someone who just coasts into another new year without blinking?

Sometimes we can sway from one to the other, often in the same day! After all, nothing had really changed - or has it?

A Strategy Matters - more than you think
What about our children's ministry? Do you just carry on as normal, or take time to make some 'new years resolutions' for your church?

We can often coast into January, barely recovered from the Christmas chaos of December, and wincing at the thought of starting over again in Term 1. However, if we don't take time to reflect on our ministry, pray and discern the priorities for the year ahead, we could miss out on some great opportunities and risk dropping the ball entirely. 

Where are you leading your kids?
So the question is: what's your strategy for 2017? What's the goal? What do you want to accomplish in the life of a child this year? What leaders, resources, material, and events do you need? It doesn't need to be complicated. We can have the best vision and mission statement, but if you don't have a strategy for how that will unfold this year, then maybe you aren't leading your kids anywhere. 

Before Nehemiah went about rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem and gathering a team, he made a plan. Then we created a team of elders and families who could carry out that plan. 

Help them tell their story
Each year we get to help kids mark their milestones, as they transition to another school year, another age group, another celebration. We can hold that big picture and see where the kids have come from, who they are now, and where they're heading. We can help shape and write their stories, and influence the faith and character they will have by the time they leave church. 

So love and lead your kids well in 2017. Make the most of it! We're praying for you! 
The Strandz Team

The Strandz Network

The Strandz Network is made up of some great people around the country. If you want to talk to someone about your local children's ministry and how the Anglican dioceses could best support you, then these are the people to hunt down! 

Auckland - Jacolize Becker
Waikato - Ellen Bernstein
Taranaki - Catherine Whaley
Waiapu - Jocelyn Czerwonka
Wellington - Colette Stevens (North)
and Debbie Smith (South)
Nelson - Sue Fallow
Christchurch - Paul Hegglun
Dunedin - Andrea McDougall
Church Army - Glennis Bisset
Anglican Schools - Anne van Gend
Strandz Enabler - Diana Langdon
Strandz Administrator - Jess Weichler

Summer fun

Check out these summer ideas from the Anglican Diocese of Wellington
Some fun summer games to play outside include - as part of your childrens ministry or at a family fun day:

Maia and the
Worry Bug

The experiences of the children of Canterbury first inspired a set of resources available from the Worry Bug website. They can be used by any children, parents and teachers who wish to support children experiencing mild to moderate anxiety in a low-intensity way in times of change and stress and to support the worries that come with navigating family and school life. 

We have set up a 'Kia Kaha' page on our website with links and resources to best support our kids and families affected by earthquakes and sudden traumatic events.

A prayer for a child starting school

May God bless you, in the time you will spend at school, 
and equip you through it
with the resources you need for the journey of life. 
May you find pleasure in learning,
enrichment through friendships,
and fun through shared activities, 
your education helping you to grow
not only in knowledge but also as a person.
God protect you from harm,
equip you with wisdom 
and enfold you in love,
granting you joy now
and fulfilment in the years to come,
through Jesus Christ our Lord

By Nick Fawcett, in Prayers for families. 
Kia Kaha Resources

Happy 1st Birthday Connectible!

Connectible has been up and running for nearly a year, and we have loved your feedback and ideas. Strandz is always sourcing content to go on this website, so please share your ideas! Please get in touch with Diana to get involved in this great NZ project

Training & Events

There are so many great opportunities for training next year! All info is on our website and

Andrew Root
A day looking at 'Encountering Christ in community together' in Dunedin, 11 Feb

Godly Play Core Training
In Auckland and Wellington this March 

Mark Griffiths
New Wine is touring with Mark Griffiths from the UK, with teaching and ministry for church leaders and children's ministry leaders. More info to come but save the dates in May
New Zealand Children's Ministry Network

Don't lose them
this summer

Church statistics show, quite alarmingly, that we are losing thousands of children as they transition from children's ministry to intermediate or youth group. Please journey with them through this summer well, pray for the kids in your church and community, and be intentional about inviting them into the next chapter of their faith. They are too precious to fall through the gaps. 
Not this summer. Not on our watch.

Photos and stories

From Starship Hospital to the UK - our Christmas on the Move nativity set and material certainly had an adventure! Thank you for all your great feedback and photos. We will be creating some more material later this year, so if you did anything this Christmas that went well, let us know, and we'll add it to the pack!

Check out our YouTube playlists with media clips galore
Contact: Strandz Enabler Diana Langdon and Administrator Jess Weichler
Copyright © 2017 Strandz, All rights reserved.

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