CTM News & Debate

To contribute your own news item please go to our Facebook page – this means that information is being more widely disseminated through the social media platform as well as on this website

CTM Facebook Page

Comments Box SVG iconsUsed for the like, share, comment, and reaction icons

Facebook Posts

23 hours ago

Looking for a great way to engage children and youth in early conversations with God, check out the Pebbles and Stones website for these books. I Heard You Whisper and Finding God in Ordinary Things. [www.peb](l.facebook.com/l.php?u=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.pebblesandstones.com%2FResources%2FBooks%3Ffbclid%3DIwAR...[0]=AT07xxC-jiUG3vdaumzyVoTpypYoX3hCFDfaR6cfGZIxMM6SKm_nrxFwAOD0lNcUe-HHKEMPxsHOOe6njXSxSA2LE6UiF0ndOPipUOLtpsvjSD8TJzdkE65vzbrVwWu1UyYAQAMle_0mkjGM-u5mdhFjGs0JMk6F4D97CtenG41XHVUxPkOHL43pieB6PBsz5EYxU4YZtqGl0PPFkIQ)…

See more
... See MoreSee Less

Looking for a great way to engage children and youth in early conversations with God, check out the Pebbles and Stones website for these books.  I Heard You Whisper and Finding God in Ordinary Things.   [https://www.peb](https://l.facebook.com/l.php?u=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.pebblesandstones.com%2FResources%2FBooks%3Ffbclid%3DIwAR24RgJw4O7DLlZAt-4stpHT1Aejzl1maAAM9lrmsfqzhHmvccjkP5ZKpCs&h=AT1QnhWJhwPOkDMD6Hvn0un2QE1Z-HpArXlFeN1yLQonCIUOi2lGxJI1tIDn0um_QCuRgUZ54qOLXNSsrJQytDuYQHgqOggjdxk4b2B62Sbz2VVxbqd8dN0Q-wVg9WIdig&__tn__=-UK-y-R&c[0]=AT07xxC-jiUG3vdaumzyVoTpypYoX3hCFDfaR6cfGZIxMM6SKm_nrxFwAOD0lNcUe-HHKEMPxsHOOe6njXSxSA2LE6UiF0ndOPipUOLtpsvjSD8TJzdkE65vzbrVwWu1UyYAQAMle_0mkjGM-u5mdhFjGs0JMk6F4D97CtenG41XHVUxPkOHL43pieB6PBsz5EYxU4YZtqGl0PPFkIQ)…

See moreImage attachment
1 day ago

Liturgy, Tradition and Sacrament - Fresh Discoveries to shape what is next.

Liturgy – The Work of the People?

That is pretty much what liturgy means : the work of the people. Isn’t that wonderful. I would imagine if your church is anything like mine it has been stretched and challenged for the last three months in considering the what and the how and who when it comes to creating services and enabling people to meet together via zoom, Facebook or Youtube.

Many more people have been involved in making church happen online. Yes, the usual suspects are in there – but we have had a more diverse range of preachers, contributors, editors and guests – In many churches, children and families have been more engaged in helping make things happen by hosting services, sharing craft they have made and bringing their energy to an “all age” experience of weekly church.

How, when we start returning to church buildings, will we keep this diverse range of voices engaged and involved in shaping our worship? The work of the people has come to the fore, let’s keep it there.

Tradition – What we pass on?

Another word, like liturgy, we might be familiar with, but forget it’s root meaning. Basically it means “to pass on” or “cross over”. I’ve referred to Psalm 78 a number of times in previous posts and, as I’m keeping this short, I’m not going to bang on about it here – other than to say it is all about what we need to tell the next generation.

What have we passed on during this time? Gone is the 40 minute preach – our teaching has been distilled to a few minutes. Has it been a surprise how rich a ten minute sermon can be when compared to 40? We’ve had to strip things back to what really matters – what do I need to say? How will I say that clearly in the next 10 minutes? I’m not saying that every 40 minutes sermon dilutes the Word of God, but we have perhaps needed to be more intentional about ensuring what we set out to say and do in our online activity is what happens!

In youth and children’s work, what has been a "sacred cow" group meeting or an activity we just couldn’t imagine not having has gone out the window for the last year. Yes, we might be sensing the loss of being in the same space together – but what have we gained?

Sustaining relationships have become more important than sustaining the programme or set of activities that constitute the “external” marks of children’s and youth work. Connection over content. People over programmes. Passion over perfection.

How, when we start returning to church buildings, will we keep that focus on relationships mattering more than what we do when we are together? Simple and essential things need to not be lost amidst trying to “do” MORE now that we can.

Sacrament – Grace Gift Stories?

The word sacrament means a holy mystery. We most often associate the word sacrament with the Eucharist or communion. We’ve had a challenging time in the church – some have found it too hard or contentious an issue to have communion remotely where those watching can’t join in. Others have kept the practice of breaking bread and encouraging others to do similar but not call it communion. I don’t want to get in to how we’ve done that – but simply want to ask what are the gifts of grace we’ve received during this time?

Are there digital stories of grace that seem to us a holy mystery? We’ve had more people attending worship remotely than we would have if we were still meeting in the building. There are, apparently, more people praying during this time – an upsurge of interest in the spiritual and reaching out towards God in prayer and petition. There have been fantastic examples of collaboration across the church in the UK. It has been wonderful watching Spring Harvest and New Wine seek to bless each other and what they are trying to do in the midst of the sadness at not being able to run their events as normal in 2020 (and again in 2021).

What grace gift stories can you tell from your experience of these past months? What has God been doing in your street, church community, school or town? How might you hold those stories and continue to share them – How might they become a way of remembering the goodness and grace of God in the midst of the tough times we have had? Each of us is a story of grace! How might we allow that to shape our direction and our values as we move forward together?
... See MoreSee Less

4 weeks ago

Westminster Presbyterian Church in Dayton, OH is hiring a Director of Children and Family Ministries (DCFM)! This is an exciting time for the congregation, and the right person will have the skills and energy to build and grow this ministry area. The complete job description can be found below.

[www.westminsterdayton.org/dcfm-openposition](www.westminsterdayton.org/dcfm-openposition)

We are a vibrant, downtown congregation committed to a vision where loving God and loving neighbor is transforming lives. Known for a tradition of excellent preaching, a deep musical heritage, and hands-on service to the community, Westminster is looking for an enthusiastic, kind, and knowledgeable Director of Children and Family Ministries equipped to deepen the care and nurture of our children and their families.

This professional position is for 30 hours a week and includes benefits. The new DCFM
will round out a collaborative and accomplished staff in a warm and welcoming church community. Interested parties can upload their resumes via this Google Form [forms.gle/Ybt5vtjbB5UGLFxz9](forms.gle/Ybt5vtjbB5UGLFxz9)and questions can be directed to the search committee at [westminsterdaytondcfm@gmail.com](mailto:westminsterdaytondcfm@gmail.com).
... See MoreSee Less

Westminster Presbyterian Church in Dayton, OH is hiring a Director of Children and Family Ministries (DCFM)! This is an exciting time for the congregation, and the right person will have the skills and energy to build and grow this ministry area. The complete job description can be found below.

[https://www.westminsterdayton.org/dcfm-openposition](https://www.westminsterdayton.org/dcfm-openposition)

We are a vibrant, downtown congregation committed to a vision where loving God and loving neighbor is transforming lives. Known for a tradition of excellent preaching, a deep musical heritage, and hands-on service to the community, Westminster is looking for an enthusiastic, kind, and knowledgeable Director of Children and Family Ministries equipped to deepen the care and nurture of our children and their families.

This professional position is for 30 hours a week and includes benefits. The new DCFM
will round out a collaborative and accomplished staff in a warm and welcoming church community. Interested parties can upload their resumes via this Google Form [https://forms.gle/Ybt5vtjbB5UGLFxz9](https://forms.gle/Ybt5vtjbB5UGLFxz9)and questions can be directed to the search committee at [westminsterdaytondcfm@gmail.com](mailto:westminsterdaytondcfm@gmail.com).
4 weeks ago

Westminster Presbyterian Church in Dayton, OH is hiring a Director of Children and Family Ministries (DCFM)! This is an exciting time for the congregation, and the right person will have the skills and energy to build and grow this ministry area. The complete job description can be found below.

[www.westminsterdayton.org/dcfm-openposition](www.westminsterdayton.org/dcfm-openposition)

We are a vibrant, downtown congregation committed to a vision where loving God and loving neighbor is transforming lives. Known for a tradition of excellent preaching, a deep musical heritage, and hands-on service to the community, Westminster is looking for an enthusiastic, kind, and knowledgeable Director of Children and Family Ministries equipped to deepen the care and nurture of our children and their families.

This professional position is for 30 hours a week and includes benefits. The new DCFM
will round out a collaborative and accomplished staff in a warm and welcoming church community. Interested parties can upload their resumes via this Google Form [forms.gle/Ybt5vtjbB5UGLFxz9](forms.gle/Ybt5vtjbB5UGLFxz9)and questions can be directed to the search committee at [westminsterdaytondcfm@gmail.com](mailto:westminsterdaytondcfm@gmail.com).
... See MoreSee Less

Westminster Presbyterian Church in Dayton, OH is hiring a Director of Children and Family Ministries (DCFM)! This is an exciting time for the congregation, and the right person will have the skills and energy to build and grow this ministry area. The complete job description can be found below.

[https://www.westminsterdayton.org/dcfm-openposition](https://www.westminsterdayton.org/dcfm-openposition)

We are a vibrant, downtown congregation committed to a vision where loving God and loving neighbor is transforming lives. Known for a tradition of excellent preaching, a deep musical heritage, and hands-on service to the community, Westminster is looking for an enthusiastic, kind, and knowledgeable Director of Children and Family Ministries equipped to deepen the care and nurture of our children and their families.

This professional position is for 30 hours a week and includes benefits. The new DCFM
will round out a collaborative and accomplished staff in a warm and welcoming church community. Interested parties can upload their resumes via this Google Form [https://forms.gle/Ybt5vtjbB5UGLFxz9](https://forms.gle/Ybt5vtjbB5UGLFxz9)and questions can be directed to the search committee at [westminsterdaytondcfm@gmail.com](mailto:westminsterdaytondcfm@gmail.com).
3 months ago

What are the implications for faith formation and transmission?‘Children are not simply passive consumers of theology; they actively generate theological meaning for themselves. As they do, they take information and experiences from their contexts as raw material and tools for building theology.’

Csinos, Little Theologians (McGill Queens, 2020)
... See MoreSee Less

What are the implications for faith formation and transmission?

Comment on Facebook

Covid 19 has highlighted that church is not a building. Children are the church too.

Would be interesting to connect with the developments of the so called "Kindertheologie" in the German discourse. The immediate implications are to consider what we offer them (theology FOR children), how we build learning processes with them (theologizing WITH children) and how we can learn from them (theology OF children). And finally: how this challenges and reshapes our adult theologies!

Yes agree Bert Roebben. The power that we as adults hold in this process should also be acknowledged and named for this to be an authentic reflection

3 months ago

Faith in the Nexus.

Report Launch Event.

This should make for a fascinating day - looking at the interplay between church, home and school when it comes to faith development and formation for children. Hope to see you there 🙂Faith in the Nexus - Research Report Launch Event.

18th November 2020.

Hey everyone, I'm very excited about the launch of "Faith in the Nexus". Over the last couple of years I have been part of some national conversations around the interplay between church, school and home when it comes to children's faith development and formation. A ton of research has gone in to this project and the launch event should be a fascinating window on what has been discovered!

I'm privileged to play a small part in the day - "In Conversation" with a few people during one of the afternoon breakout sessions, "Where are the barriers to collaborative working within the Nexus?".

If you can, do join us for the day - if you can't be there, make sure you download the report!

www.canterbury.ac.uk/education/our-work/research-enterprise/national-institute-christian-educatio...
... See MoreSee Less

Faith in the Nexus.

Report Launch Event. 

This should make for a fascinating day - looking at the interplay between church, home and school when it comes to faith development and formation for children.  Hope to see you there :)
5 months ago

Five Things To avoid When Working With Children.

Confession . . . I still do some of these, what about you? ASLO written for those who talk to children infrequently . . . hopefully helpful for some (and a painful reminder for others!)Five Things To Avoid When Working With Children.

I first wrote this for a creative arts website called "Ideas Tap" which, sadly, no longer exists. I've re-worked it slightly and posted in on my website for the first time.

It is slightly tongue in cheek - but, mostly based on things I have NOT avoided and so had a few disasters! Apparently, 30 + years in childrens and youth ministry does not stop me occasionally doing some of these even now - who knew?!

theresource.org.uk/five-things-to-avoid-when-working-with-children/
... See MoreSee Less

Five Things To avoid When Working With Children.

Confession . . . I still do some of these, what about you? ASLO written for those who talk to children infrequently . . . hopefully helpful for some (and a painful reminder for others!)
5 months ago

Thanks Pastor Allison and Deacon Tim and Caroline for this precious little glimpse into your highs and lows and lives!

There'll be another FAITH5 every Tuesday for 11 more weeks from some good folks in Nebraska.

Pass it on to your friends if you find it helpful.
... See MoreSee Less

Video image

Comment on Facebook

7 months ago

It's my birthday . . . so been a bit quiet on here.

HOWEVER, as a special TREAT ::

LEARNING TOOL BOX from PROJECT ZERO.

I have just been looking at the Learning Toolbox from Project Zero - an amazing array of tools to help you encourage thinking and exploration with children and young people. FREE pdf's to download which explain each tool (and there are LOADS) - easy to adapt and explore.

Check them out here :: pz.harvard.edu/thinking-routines#CoreThinkingRoutines
... See MoreSee Less

8 months ago

Timeline PhotosAfter seeing the amazing responses to our recent post about Michael Rosen's Sad Book we've planned a special event examining how picturebooks can be used to explore grief and loss with children. On Tuesday 14 July at 4pm join award-winning Wendy Meddour Children's Author for an hour long workshop to explore these themes.

Wendy is a University of Exeter academic researching the role picture books have on children’s mental health and wellbeing. This event is for adults only and will take place on Zoom. Tickets are £5 per person and can be booked here 👉 ow.ly/YA5B50AtOG3.
... See MoreSee Less

9 months ago

A beautiful thought for the night from Aruna Prasad, and a song by her brother Benny and sister-in-law Zanbeni on God carrying you when you can't carry yourself . We're doing 30 nights of these from around the world leading up to Pentecost at AGX2020.com. Invite your youth group and advisors and families to join us? youtu.be/XuYR7i5izoU ... See MoreSee Less

Video image

Comment on Facebook

10 months ago

My article that was published in July 2019 in International Bulletin of Mission Research. I would appreciate your comments please. ... See MoreSee Less

My article that was published in July 2019 in International Bulletin of Mission Research. I would appreciate your comments please.

Comment on Facebook

Prasad Phillips, can you share the rest of the article?

well done

10 months ago
Lesley R Wells

... See MoreSee Less

Load more