Children and Family workers retreat

Piecing together the bigger picture 
Children and family ministry workers enjoyed an overnight retreat in mid-August where they spent time reflecting on their roles and sharing with one another.

The ministry workers form a cluster group of about ten people who meet four times a year for mutual support. The retreat, held at Whakata Country Retreat in Coatesville, created space for leaders to step aside, take time out for themselves, reflect on where they were at and pray for one another.

Children & Family Ministries Facilitator, Jacolize Becker, says working in Children’s Ministry can sometimes be an extremely lonely role.

“Children and family ministries often sit to the side of the life of the church because they’re seen as something to keep kids busy while the adults ‘do’ church. The cluster group is creating a community that gives leaders a place and a voice and provides a sounding-board – an opportunity to grapple with things together,” she says.

Jacolize and her team are passionate about intergenerational faith formation, which means much more than including children in church for part of the Sunday service.

“The very young and the very old are the most likely to be excluded from the life of a church, but they have so much to offer each other. It’s not just about what happens on Sunday morning but how we live, and relate to one another, during the week too. It all starts with relationships. Older people – you have so much to offer in time, wisdom, life experiences. You are what our young people and families need,” Jacolize says.

Events coming up over the next six months have this intergenerational focus. The Junior Youth Camp (6 to 8 October) is designed to connect Year 6 to 9 students and help them build relationships with each other. Parents, caregivers, and siblings are invited to join in an afternoon of games and activities on the first day. You can view a video of last year’s camp here.

The Summer Adventure Weekend (17 to 19 January 2020) aims to bring all types of families together to enjoy community and outdoor activities across the generations. Registrations are now open for both these camps. For more information, contact wendy.leitch@aucklandanglican.org.nz