Dear friends and supporters,
We kicked off in September with the launch of "It's Jesus", our new resource that is being so well received in all the schools we visit in and around Eastbourne. Chrissie and I currently visit 14 schools (5 of which are church schools) every fortnight to deliver assemblies/collective worship that put Jesus front and centre.
Usually, this second half of the autumn term is exciting to me; mostly because of my birthday, falling leaves, crisp cold air and the build up to Christmas. However, this term we have started something - which in my humble opinion trumps the lot. Spinnaker Eastbourne are piloting two after school clubs, each running for six weeks up until Christmas. Creative Worship Club (CWC for short).
The idea behind CWC is to give children the opportunity to explore a more personal expressions of worship.
Each week we take time to talk and share ideas. Using a Psalm as a starting point, we explore ways of responding with a selection of music, movement, drama, painting, poetry, prayer son, play and song.
We have also started a Christmas Drama Club, at Willingdon Primary school. This a seasonal club with an RE focus that engages children with games and activities; time to read from the Gospel narratives; to ask questions and discuss their ideas. Each week we use a variety of drama techniques to enter into the Christmas story, the characters, the context, it's meaning and implications. An example of this was recently, during an improvised role play activity, in pairs children imagined a conversation between God and Gabriel before the incarnation:
God: I want to create something called Christmas; it will be contained in this bible that I am writing
Gabriel: What will you do?
God: I'm going to become a baby
Gabriel: who will look after you
God: These nice people called Joseph and Mary
Gabriel: Will you come back?
As with all that Spinnaker does, our clubs are intended for children of all faiths or none, while maintaining a distinct Christian focus. It is so exciting to explore what possibilities there are when it comes to supporting schools with the RE curriculum, collective worship and community engagement. In doing so, we have endless opportunities to present who Jesus is to us, as Christians and demonstrate what that can mean for everyone. We would love to build on what has been started after some incredibly positive feedback, one girl said:
She now understood something that she wasn't sure about before. That it was God who became a baby.
So, in the future we are planning to offer these clubs to more of our schools.
If you feel like getting involved in any way (praying, resourcing, helping, leading) please do get in touch for more information or with any questions you might have. We are also eager to partner with churches and Christian agencies working locally to find ways in which we can support one another. If you or your church would like to explore more ways of working in your local primary school do get in touch.
With thanks and blessings,
Sam Oakes and the Spinnaker team