The Inside Column 12/7

Posted in: The Inside Column- Jul 12, 2015 No Comments

Good morning and a warm welcome to all. If you are visiting with us we would love to get to know you. Please feel free to stay for a hot drink after the service.

What is happening with the youth programmes?

Over the last two and a half years ‘Stoke Community Youth’ or simply ‘Youth’ as it is informally referred to by many who attend, has created a place for young people in Stoke to meet and have fun together. Each afternoon during the week we have had activities running for college aged youth based out of St Barnabas Church in Stoke.

This work has been supported by the congregation. Many have provided yummy meals, prayed for us, washed tea towels and dropped by to say hello. Thank you! One thing you have not always seen is the smiles and gratitude on a young person’s face when I tell them the name of who provided a meal and they made this meal especially for them. It’s priceless!

During this community project we have seen the youth develop in many ways. There has been a growing sense of community built during the programmes. Those who have attended have grown in personal confidence, self-respect and respecting those around them. There has been noticeably less vandalism of the church grounds since running these programmes.

The project has been run by a team of five   social/youth workers including myself, and supported financially primarily by the Nelson City Council, Canterbury Community Trust and St Barnabas Parish.

During next term (term three), we intend to reduce the services we are providing to one afternoon drop in programme a week only (Thursdays), instead of five. We are doing this because we have come to the end of our agreed funding period with the NCC. We will re-apply for funding and hope to resume some similar youth work in term four of this year.

Please pray for us during this season of change for the youth work at the church, pray for the leaders and attendees alike, that God would lead them through this time.

There are also changes for our church youth meetings. We are going to be meeting in at St Barnabas church hall 4:30pm7.00pm on Sunday afternoons during term three (instead of Wednesday and Friday evenings). This will be for youth school years 7-13. This is happening for two main reasons. Firstly, it can be hard for parents to drop children into youth meetings on week nights and  secondly it provides an opportunity for shared leadership of the group. So every Sunday from 4:30pm-7.00pm during term three we will have fun games, youth alpha and bible teaching with a shared meal.


Yours in Christ


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