This term we've been meeting lots of new young people in our Secondary Schools and enjoying fun activities, including Nativity Photo Booths and Christmas themed games! At the Alun School and Ysgol Maes Garmon we're leading pop-up style activities using school halls and other spaces, with different themes and activities each week. Working with Lowri Mitton, our Welsh Prebyterian church partner, at Ysgol Maes Garmon we've explored identity, values and character using games and music / video (Lowri's great at creating video content around themes!). Throughout December we explored the Nativity story from the points of view of the shepherds, the bewildered young couple, the magi and the angels. The immaculate conception of Jesus threw up a lot of questions - some even searched Gooogle to check if we were pulling their legs! ("What do you mean Mary was still a virgin???? But that's just not possible!" "That would be a miracle birth....oh, wait!)
Tim Byram of King's Church came and help with what proved to be a very popular photo booth for Years 7 and 8 at the Alun - we were stampeded by camels, swamped by shepherds, awed by all the angels and left on our knees along with the Wise Men!!!
It was all a huge amount of fun - but also gave some fantastic opportunities for conversation about faith, how young people feel about the many pressures of our constantly connected culture and to explore some of their questions about God and religion.
Agathos is an Associate Trust of Scripture Union England and Wales, which means we have a great network of co-workers to share ideas with and be supported by. SU also provide us with valuable organisational advice and great resources.
Earlier this week I visited SU HQ in Bletchley for a 2-day Schools Ministry Forum which was extremely valuable. It was great to hear from workers with decades of experience as Christians supporting schools, and also to hear the latest thinking and challenges that the ever-changing Education System presents. The session were creative, interactive and full of inspiration. Working in schools varies in so many ways from other Christian youth work, and it's very encouraging to be able to pray, discuss and learn with others who minister in similar settings and are familiar with the structures, regulations and needs of educational settings.
We discussed legislation, resource development, quirky ideas, successes and failures, the rise of chaplaincy and much more. Oh, and drank lots of tea and coffee, of course!
The only downside - over two hours of delays on the motorways!
written by Wendy Swan
<<<<<<It's true isn't it?! I can't believe it! It's gone so fast! I now only have 3 days left! I've had a great year, but it seems to have flown by. I've now already had some of my last visits into a few of the schools. My enable coursework is just about all finished! Yay!! :D with our deadline in 2 weeks. Everything is starting to wind down ready for the summer holidays, although many of the schools still want us in for our usual assemblies on the last week, which is such a privilege! (Hannah)
Wendy's been crying in the office as I worked out I'm already over half way through my year and two thirds of the way through in two weeks time! I can't believe how quickly time has gone, I guess time flies when your having fun! We're always busy too, so I'm sure that contributes! :P It's been really good getting involved in the great variety of work here at Agathos! From lunch time clubs, to after school clubs, assemblies and a youth club! Oh and even the odd lesson thrown in there!
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