September is always the start of a new school year, and this one perhaps with more hopes than the last. Alex Wolvers, the diocese’s Mission in Schools Enabler certainly has:
As a member of both the diocese board of education and the mission team my role has looked very different since Covid hit. One of my main jobs over the last 19 months has been the writing of ‘bubble’ worship material, alongside the rest of our team. These resources have been used by church workers as part of their outreach to schools and directly by schools for the use in their class bubbles and it has even been adapted as part of their home learning packs. Writing the worships has been fun and it has been a privilege to serve our schools in this way, but nothing truly beats being in school with the children.
Thankfully things are beginning to change.
I had a fantastic opportunity last week to share one of outdoor ‘Blue Sky Worships’ with a group of children in a local school not far from where I live. It was an amazing time as we spent a warm morning in the forest reflecting on the creation poem that can be found in Genesis 1, the very first chapter of the Bible.
The opening words of the Bible are perhaps the most famous ever written. ‘In the beginning, God created…’ The rest of the chapter unfolds as a picture of every part of creation being carefully made to fulfil its own purpose. There's a refrain that runs through it all, 'And God saw that it was good' that is until it comes to human beings when God announces that these are, ‘very good.’
It was great fun spending time with the children exploring God’s creation, imagining that this was the first time that we had ever seen it. We looked at all the shades of green there were surrounding us, we looked for the smallest living thing that we could find, and we looked at one thing that truly made us go, ‘WOW!’ We also looked for something that was mentioned in the Bible verses and seeing as we had an Adam and an Eve in the class that one was easy.
The Bible teaches us that we need to become ‘like little children’ – spending that morning with those group of children gave me a real insight into what that verse actually means. The joy, the laughter, the fun, and amazement with which they approached God’s world were all a real blessing to me.
My encouragement for you would be, either as individuals or as a church community, if you are not already, get involved in worship at your local school. This could be through Open the Book biblesociety.org.uk/get-involved/open-the-book/ or by using our worship material www.ldbe.co.uk/ or even consider how your church grounds could be used as a resource in itself.