New Academic Year, the Highlights So Far
From the start of the New Academic year in September, things have felt like a bit of a whirlwind. Fortunately, I thrive on being busy but it has meant that I haven’t been as regular in updating you. With this in mind, let me take you on a bit of a whistle stop tour on some of the highlights from what I have been up to over the last few months.
With schools going back we were also able to start up our Sunday club during our morning services. Rather than meeting every week, we meet twice a month, on the 2nd and 4th Sundays of the month. With the younger group (primary school age) we have started working our way through the Bible, starting with creation and working through some of the key events in the Old Testament.
Our other services during the month (1st and 3rd Sundays) we have All Age worship, with the service on the 3rd Sunday including Communion.
At the end of September, we were also thrilled to be able to restart our Babies and Toddlers group on a Wednesday morning after 18months. We were thrilled to welcome parents/carers and the children back and they were delighted to gather once again. As part of our Babies and Toddlers group we have started doing mini services on the 3rd week of the month. During this time, we read a Bible story, sing some songs and do a mini craft relating to the story. For our first one we looked at the things God made and had a go at creating things ourselves out of play-dough as you can see below.
There are two highlights that stand out for me from October – the launch of our Create and Celebrate services at Hatfield Road and the Holiday Club.
On the first Sunday of the month, our All Age Worship took a different format at Hatfield Road. From 10am we join together in the hall to participate in discussions, crafts, quizzes and other activities. There are a number to choose from and you can try and do all of them or only one. At 11am we then gather in the church for a shorter service where we bring together all we have created. We have delighted with how these have gone so far and they have been enjoyed by people of all ages. These services continue to happen the first Sunday of the month.
During the October half term, Marlborough Road and Hatfield Road Methodist Churches came together to host a holiday club for children in school years 1-6 at Hatfield Road. We had great fun exploring some of the stories Jesus told during His ministry through crafts, activities, games and story times. We had lots of fun and so did the kids.
Figure 1 Some of the things the children created during the Holiday Club
Towards the end of November, I was invited to St Peter’s Primary school to do an Assembly about being thankful in the lead up to Thanksgiving. This is
something I have been able to do a few times this term at St Peter’s and it has been great to spend just 30mins once a month with the children, getting to know them and building a good relationship with the school.
As the month drew to a close it was time for me to once again make some visits to our church families with a very important delivery – Advent Calendars. It was great to have some door step conversations and finding out how people are getting on.
December, as with any other ministry was busy and eventful. I did a Christingle service at each of the churches, a Nativity Create and Celebrate at Hatfield Road. There was a Christmas themed assembly at St Peter’s primary and an afternoon delivering Christmas themed lessons to years 5/6 at Oakwood Primary, to name a few. Among this though there was the joy of celebrating the birth of Christ in a more personal way than we were perhaps able to last year.
Then, just like that we were into a new year. Unfortunately, the realities of the ongoing pandemic have followed us into 2022 and we have disappointingly
needed to change our plans and stop our groups in an attempt to play our part. Church services have been able to continue however, our Babies and Toddlers groups have remained closed although we are hoping to start up again in the coming weeks. I also haven’t been able to go into the schools as they are doing what they can to minimise the spread of the virus in the schools.
As you can see there has been a lot going on over the last few months and these are just some of the highlights. Things may be slow at the moment but we do have things in the pipeline for the next few weeks so watch this space. I hope you can forgive my lack of input and updates. I will do my best this year to keep you up to date more frequently.
As a church we remain thankful for the generous funding from the Joseph Rank Trust, the Herts, Beds and Essex District and the St Albans and Welwyn Circuit