Back to business

It has been a while since I last posted anything… It was very nice to get people complaining that I hadn’t posted – people are actually reading it!

It has been an incredibly busy, but rewarding time since starting at Trinity. I am loving the opportunities that I am getting, the friends I am making and, what appears to be a creative side of me, that is getting a chance to release itself. From visual work to crafting words, the time I am no longer spending preparing for essays or dissertation work is freeing my mind to put pen to paper for prayers and even some song writing (more on that at a later time!).

Since my last post, I have been working with the Calderside Learning Community Chaplaincy Team, which Karen, my supervisor (or ‘bishop’), is a part of. For the second year running, we ran a Rights Respecting Week called R.E.S.P.E.C.T, which can only be described as a rewarding, although tiring, week with first-year pupils. This was to help promote and participate in UNICEF’s Rights Respecting School Award programme.

The Convention on the Rights of the Child is the first legally binding international instrument to incorporate the full range of human rights—civil, cultural, economic, political and social rights. We had four workshops looking at four of the 54 articles found in this Convention:

  • An arts, crafts & music workshop to allow children to develop their personality, talents and skills to the full.
  • A games workshop to allow children to relax and play. In some parts of the world, children live their entire life working.
  • A workshop dedicated to discussing disabilities – both obvious and not so obvious – and how children, irrespective of such disabilities, should be given what is needed to ensure that they can lead full and independent lives.
  • A drama workshop, which used the medium of drama to help children understand that they have a right to think and believe what they want and practice their religion freely as long as they allow others to do the same.

At the end of the week, we brought everyone and everything together at a Friday morning assembly, where each workshop got to showcase their article and what the pupils had done and learned in them. From singing verses written by pupils to the tune of ‘True Colours’ with other pupils using sign language to sign the chorus to a drama sketch about Sectarianism being acted out by one of the groups, everyone got a chance to laugh
and to reflect on the issues raised throughout the week. On the topic of colour, we also hung a piece of coloured paper, which every pupil had designed, along ‘The Street’ – a central area in the school building, which looked as beautiful and vibrant as the one from last year.

Each pupil was also given a multi-coloured wristband as a memento, which we hope they will look at and remember their call to respect others around them.

Our Cosy Café was held at the end of each day from Monday to Thursday, which was a great success.

 

As we continue to do this every Thursday in Calderside, your prayers of support would be greatly appreciated.

We are also involved in running Cosy Café Sundays, which is now reaching out to approximately 50 children in the area, which is amazing! We run it in a relaxed café atmosphere with hot chocolate, games and opportunities for young people to express themselves simply through a chat, a group discussion or something more creative. We are focussing on the theme of being ‘imitators of God’ (Ephesians 5) and what that entails according to the words of Paul.
From personalised packets of Love Hearts for our ‘living by love’ week to serving burgers from a barbecue dressed as waiters (complete with bow ties!) to stories from the Timbuctoo series by Roger Hargreaves in our Storytime with Auntie Karen, we have explored these themes with humour whilst offering space for reflection and response.
The fun doesn’t stop there however! Over the October break, we held a Holiday Club for Primary School kids called The Academy of Amazing Things, which explored the story of Moses from his birth through to the parting of the Red Sea in order that the Hebrews may be led to freedom and safety from Egypt. By means of games, crafts, some singing, video clips from The Prince of Egypt and experiments, which I performed under the guise of Professor A.M.A.Zing, we not only had a ball, but all the children were incredibly well behaved and contributed a great deal to the week.
Alongside all of these wonderful opportunities (with many more to come), my experiences of worship and pastoral work continue to grow and develop as the days roll on. With two primary schools in the Parish, school assemblies have been a pleasure to be a part of as well as doing assemblies in Calderside Academy! Looking out to a sea of a couple of hundred faces was a shock to the system for my first S6 assembly, but you simply get on with it!
What is also a big shock to the system (well, for me anyway) is when you wake up as a Probationer and realise that the couple of days or so you would spend a week at your placement has become full time! I mean this in a positive way, because in some ways you feel that the finish line is in sight. The experiences are intensifying; you are only going to get as much as you put into the placement and the opportunities you get to explore as a Probationer with the support of experienced colleagues and patient parishioners are something that I have embraced to the full and will continue to do for the remainder.
So, that’s us pretty much caught up! Oh, and I have booked my flights to the States for my trip to Calvin College for the 2012 Worship Symposium! Karen and David, a fellow Minister in training are coming along too so I am sure it will be great!
I do hope to keep this up to date now so thanks for your patience and for surviving to the end of the post!
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