Advent is upon us and Christmas is in full swing. We hope that you are enjoying this season of the church calendar, and are excited about welcoming and engaging with your community this Christmas.
A lot has happened in New Zealand over the last 10 years
A Flag referendum, the return of Caramilk, 3 Prime Ministers, 14 Air NZ flight videos, and we won and lost some rugby. We said goodbye to Blockbuster, and ditched our cds and DVDs in favour of online streaming platforms like Netflix, Spotify and Youtube. We have enjoyed the ease of travelling with Airbnb, Uber, and E-bikes. Our consumer habits have been impacted by our growing awareness of sugar, plastic, global vs local, and food miles. Bargain Box changed how families ate, rising petrol prices changed how we use our vehicles, and earthquakes changed the way we "do church" when our sacred buildings are not fit for purpose. And if you don't know something, you just ask Google.
As we pause to reflect on a decade, it may be perfectly normal to have mixed feelings. Our children's ministry has rediscovered the importance of connecting with the whole family, and the value of intergenerational relationships. Some things went to plan, some were amazing, and some were a complete fail. As an Anglican church, we have changed, grown, made mistakes, welcomed and farewelled family, and asked for forgiveness.
As our Night prayer in A New Zealand Prayer Book He Karakia Mihinare o Aotearoa reminds us:
"What has been done has been done;
what has not been done has not been done;
let it be."
May you know God's abundant love, joy, hope and peace this Advent Season. May you trust in Jesus Emmanuel, and be a light to the world in 2020.
We are so thankful for you, see you next year friends,
Diana and the Strandz Team
Kiwi Advent IllustrationsWe hope that you are enjoying our Kiwi Advent Illustrations, which have been viewed and downloaded hundreds of times since they were launched a couple of weeks ago. Please email us some photos of them filled in or used in your christmas and Advent activities!
*NEW* Scope Communities of PracticeThis year we tried something new, and connected up children and families ministry enablers across the country for 12 sessions of learning, connecting, fun, and community. It surpassed everything we'd hoped it would be, and was the real highlight of our Strandz ministry this year.
In 2020, we're sharing Scope with the rest of the Anglican Dioceses of New Zealand, and would love you to be involved. We will be running three streams focusing on:
Child and Family Theology
Family faith formation
And Registrations are open!Never before have CFM leaders in NZ been connected up like this, and we're pretty excited. Check out strandz.org.nz/scope for more details. You're not going to want to miss it!
Summer Sundays - we've got you coveredOften our children's ministries take a break or the summer, but don't worry, this year we've got you covered.
With special permission granted from Illustrated Ministry (formerly Illustrated Children's Ministry), we are able to share a folder of resources with our Anglican churches for the four Sundays of January. These resources are based on the lectionary reading of the day, and would be a great way to incorporate some intergenerational material or ideas into the service, to ensure kids felt included and welcome.
You are personally welcome to download this folder and use them for your church, but please do not share this link outside of the Strandz network or further afield, as we purchased these under a generous license from Illustrated Ministry, and we want to honour them in how we use these resources. Otherwise, go wild!
Family on Mission JournalLast week we launched our new 'Family on Mission Journal', created and designed by Strandz Enabler, Diana, and our Strandz Bishop Eleanor. It's been 6 months in the making, and we're excited to trial it with some churches next year. While it's not widely available just yet, we are excited to have a resource that supports family discipleship at home, and strengthens the bonds of connection for better mental health and wellbeing. We thought you'd like a sneak peek! Contact Diana if you'd like to know more
Messy Church 2020 ConferencesMessy Church are hosting two conferences in Feburary, in Rotorua and Christchurch. We are excited to have Dr Dave Gregory from the UK, editor of ‘Messy Church does Science’, and the Rev’d Greg Ross from Western Australia as our keynote speakers. Diana (Strandz) and Jacolize (Auckland Diocese) are also presenting workshops at both conferences, so get your teams along!