Peter Freeman (Children and Family Worker) [May 2018]
As I start writing this article ( 8th April), Dawn and I have just spotted the first swallow of the year. Maybe spring has at last arrived! This indicates that FIREFEST is just around the corner and I am sure, elsewhere in the magazine, Rob will be telling you all about the wonderful weekend planned here at KMC.
I was pleased to host, along with my brilliant team of helpers, the Easter experience for the local schools. It is always a lot of work for Brenda and Steve Wilkinson, Dawn and me to put together but always worth every second with the response from the children. The children go around six stations that depict Christ’s experiences that first ‘Holy Week’. The children visit ‘Hopes and Dreams’ where they learn about Palm Sunday; ‘The Servant King’, where they learn about Jesus washing his disciples’ feet; ‘Remember Me’ when they experience the Last Supper; ‘Alone’, the garden of Gethsemane; ‘Sharing our Sorrows’ when the crucifixion is discussed; and finally we all come together to talk about the ‘Resurrection’.
Afterwards the children take away a small Easter egg and, this year, we also gave them a palm cross.
During the journey, the children have an opportunity to talk about Christianity and their personal feelings. At the station ‘Sharing our Sorrows’ some of the children were asking ‘What is the Holy Spirit?’ and ‘Why did Jesus ride into Jerusalem on a donkey?’. At the station ‘Hopes and Dreams’, the children have an opportunity to write, on stones, their hopes for the future. One child wrote, ‘My hope is my Mum and Dad will be friends again’, another ‘My hope is my Dad will come back again’ and another ‘My hope for the future is that my five year old cousin will be cured of cancer.’ At the station ‘Alone’ one child said that his Dad felt very alone because he was in prison. At the end of the experience one girl asked if we, the adult helpers, would pray over the stones.
It is always fascinating watching how the children engage with the activities, perhaps by initially being excited by being out of school, then becoming engrossed in the activities and finally being reflective about their own circumstances and the stories they were hearing.
During the KMC AGM, I was with the children in the hall. Whilst we were together we discussed the 2020 vision and how Paddington Bear had become the UNICEF official champion for children. We watched ‘Paddington 2’ together, but also discussed the changes made to the 10:45 service. The children were of the opinion that the ‘All In’ section had been really good, particularly the science and puppets. It was pleasing to hear this and to be able to report back.
On Easter Sunday we also had a fun time when we were all decorating top hats, bonnets and boaters and it was great that we were able to wear them at the end of the service. I particularly enjoyed watching the children taking communion with their families, donned in their hats.
Please continue to pray for the children and all who work with them. Peter