It's hard to believe that 2017 is nearly over. For some, it may have been a great year of important milestones and joyful celebrations. For some it might have been particularly tough.
Thank you for your faithful commitment to sharing the gospel with the young people in your churches and community. For your willingness to love them like Jesus does, week after week, and being the light of Christ in a changing and challenging world. What you do for the life of a child, over time, matters! Each week matters, each year matters - and as we reflect on 2017, we entrust it all into God's hands and pray that we will continue to see fruit in years to come.
May you know God's "never stopping, never giving up, unbreaking, always and forever love" this Christmas. Rest well, play well, laugh, sleep, soak up the summer break, and we'll see you on the other side.
Meri Kirihimete The Strandz team
Welcoming kids this Christmas
Our Christmas project this year, Joy to the World, was all about welcoming kids well over this Christmas and Advent season. We wanted to ensure that every kid has the opportunity to discover the story of Jesus, and receive generous manaakitanga when they spend time with us this year.
We sold 2,000 christmas packs, 1,000 activity sheets, and 2,500 stickers! We still have a few activity sheets and stickers left, so get in your last minute orders before Monday 18th to get them in time for Christmas.
We have partnered with Connectible to design some FREE (yes, free!) Connectible wall planners, to help you plan out 2018. They are a great resource to help plan out your year well, and strategically plan your ministry with children and families.
The wall planner It includes dates for school holidays, liturgical colours and special days, and space for you to make planning notes. Order your wall planners here and we'll send you as many as you need. Half our stock has flown out the door, so don't miss out!
Bible Society UK have dyslexic-friendly copies of the gospels, Romans and Psalms in the English Standard Version (ESV) translation and follows the principles for dyslexia-friendly formatting. You can order from their website and they can post to New Zealand.
The Strandz team will be taking a break over Christmas and New Year, and will be back on board on the 8th January with some back to school resources and lent ideas. (Lent begins on 14th February in 2018!). You can also check out these fun summer ideas from the Anglican Diocese of Wellington, otherwise go and relax!
The words of our night prayer in the ANZPB seem poignant as the year comes to a close. As you finish up the year, remember to take stock, give thanks to God for all He has done in and through your ministry - and be at peace with the things you have not done.
Lord, it is night.
The night is for stillness.
Let us be still in the presence of God.
It is night after a long day/year.
What has been done has been done;
what has not been done has not been done;
let it be.
The night is dark.
Let our fears of the darkness of the world and of our own lives
rest in you.
The night is quiet.
Let the quietness of your peace enfold us,
all dear to us,
and all who have no peace.
The night heralds the dawn.
Let us look expectantly to a new day/year,
In your name we pray.
As we walk through the last few weeks of Advent, may you encounter the miracle of the incarnation afresh, and dwell in the peace, love, joy and hope that this brings us all.