It has been a busy month for Strandz, collaborating with our friends in the New Zealand Children's Ministry Network to run Advent and Christmas workshops in Dunedin, Cromwell, Invercargill, Wellington and New Plymouth. We have loved hearing your ideas and inspiration - and do email us with any Advent ideas that work well this year!
And in all this busyness and end of year projects, we are mindful that Advent is a season of hope, expectancy and waiting as we prepare for the birth of Christ. Your to-do-list may be long, your family expectations heavy, your bank balance low, and your energy levels depleted - but may you know God's love, joy, hope and peace this year, as we journey towards Christmas with an expectant heart.
We have included some of our favourite Christmas resources in this newsletter, and will be praying that you all as we journey through advent together.
Blessings 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.
Our 2,000 christmas packs flew off the shelf, and we are so encouraged by your great feedback and how much you enjoy them. We have lots of multifold activity sheets, which comes in bundles of 10, which are great for giving out to families in your children's ministry, church groups, visiting families, grandkids, and kids in your community. There are also some stickers available, including a 'mere kirihimete' pohutakawa design.
The multifold and stickers were designed by Diana Langdon, Strandz Enabler.
We have loved sharing our favourite resources and ideas with you this season, partnering with others in the New Zealand Children's Ministry Network. We have collected some good ideas and put them on our website, but here are a few of our favourites:
We have some FREE (yes, free!) Connectible wall planners, to help you plan out 2018. It includes dates for school holidays, liturgical colours and special days, and space for you to make planning notes. Sign up for your wall planner here and we'll send you one/or some!
Bible Society Christmas videos
These have been loved by everyone at our Advent and Christmas workshops. With creative and fun scripting, and beautiful illustrations, these videos bring alive the Christmas story and show how Jesus the baby became the Jesus the man, who died on the cross for us all. Great for helping kids see the big picture. The Greatest Journey is in the style of 'Going on a Bearhunt' and Well Good News of Christmas is their beautiful video from last year. There are also impromptu nativity plays and powerpoint images you can download.
The Story of Martin Luther
A stop motion animation that uses Playmobil to tell the story of Martin Luther, and the Reformation. What a great testimony of a a brave, courageous and faithful man who changed the church with truths about the Bible, and God's forgiveness.
There are lots of family adventures and kids camps happening this Summer. Here are some of our favourites!