We recently interviewed Morgane about her experience of being involved in TGI Kidz Klub
Can you describe TGI Kidz Klub in a few words for us?
Fun, fun, fun! It's every Friday (TGI Friday = Thank God It's Friday) from 6.15-8pm at Ebe church and is for school kids from 5 -11 years old. Every Friday we, the adults and the kids, have fun and we put God at the centre of it! We play exciting games, learn interactive Bible stories, make creative crafts, dance and sing to catchy songs, play competitive games and win prizes and so and so on.
How did you get involved?
I was fairly new at Ebe and wanted to get more involved. They're always looking for volunteers at TGI and Rachel invited me one Friday to see if I'd like to help out there.
What did you think of it?
I’d never been to a church kids club before so didn’t know what to expect, but from the first Friday I went I had lots of fun! Rachel or another team member are up front at the start leading games and teaching about God, then we split into age groups and do activities together. We always make inventive crafts related to a Bible story we've seen and we chat about it while we create.
What's your favourite part?
I'm in charge of Squad 5, which means children in year 5, and every week when we split into groups I get to ask them how their week was and about their plans for the weekend. They love sharing and they always have more and more stories to tell. It's good to build relationships with children from the community, a lot of what we do as volunteers is being role models, and I'd like them to remember when they're older that you can be young and cool and love Jesus!
Would you recommend it?
Yes! We're keen to see more kids and more leaders taking part. Apparently the TGI Mission Statement is to give children the best hour and a half of their week and that God will be the centre of it. I didn't even know that but that's how it feels every Friday, and not just for the kids!
At Ebenezer Church, we are really pleased to have good relationships with all our local schools in Horfield, Lockleaze and Filton. Our puppet team are going into almost all the local primary schools for a Christmas tour at the end of November/beginning of December.
We want to let you know about the Christmas and Winter Fayres that are happening over the next few weeks in some of the local schools, so check out the posters here (scroll through). Get along and support these fayres and share the posters to invite friends.
STOP PRESS! The Prisons Christmas Gift Project. We are joining other Churches in Bristol to pay for, pack, and distribute a Christmas gift bag to every prisoner in the greater Bristol area. Ebe Church family - join us for bring and share lunch on this Sunday (22nd) at 1pm to get involved and hear more.
SixtyOne is a group of Bristol based charities, churches, businesses and individuals who have come together to work co-operatively to help ex-prisoners lead meaningful lives that are free from crime.
They aim to achieve this by working together to create more connected support, not only amongst its members, but also with churches, businesses and individuals across the city. They will do this by:
- Acting as an information hub
- Connecting ex-prisoners with charities, churches and businesses who may be able to support them; and
- Training mentors, primarily but not exclusively, from the church community through the MentorMe. This is an ongoing initiative, which has already generated significant interest from the National Offender Management Service (NOMS), many of the church leaders based in the Bristol area, charitable trusts and influential individuals.
The founding organisations of SixtyOne are:
Find out more about Sixty-One on their website or speak to our Community Champion, Andy Smith, or contact the Church Office.
The majority of offenders, 97%, expressed a desire to stop offending. When prisoners are asked what factors would be important in their rehabilitation most stressed the importance of ‘having a job, somewhere to live and support on release’.
MentorMe is one of the lead organisations of the SixtyOne Partnership. It is a mentoring organisation which offers ex-offenders support on release from prison. Its aim is reduce reoffending by offering support, encouragement and care to those wishing to make positive changes to their lives. Support is offered prior to and on release from prison, and we also work with men and women who have been on the outside for some time but would value additional support to carry out those changes.
A couple of people from Ebe have been trained to be MentorMe mentors and it would be great to see more involved. Find out details here or speak to Andy Smith (Ebe's Sixty-One Community Champion)
God calls us to the work we are doing. He’s interested not only in what we do but how we do it. Yet, finding purpose at work is one of the greatest challenges in our world today.
We asked Jonathan and Jeannie Reynolds a few questions about their work and living out their faith in amongst it.
Tell us a bit about your work?
Jeannie: I am a nurse but mostly prioritising working as a mum at the moment.
Jonathan: I'm an Urban Designer, advising a range of clients, mainly in the residential sector.
What do you enjoy the most about your job?
Jeannie: It's a massive privilege (and a bit of a cliché to say it) to watch three little guys achieve things, get stuff wrong, learn and grow. I love watching them learn how to be friends with each other - they laugh a lot.
Jonathan: I always wanted to have a creative job working with creative types, and it is satisfying when a scheme is well designed and provides homes for local people.
What's the hardest thing?
Jeannie: Seriously I find it difficult to not feel as though I'm getting things wrong all the time. It's a temptation to put everyone on a bit of a ladder - other mums seem to do things better. I know this isn't right and can get in the way of having honest, down-to-earth friendships as they require making yourself vulnerable in some ways. Work in progress!
Jonathan: Sometimes there is a lot of pressure, and then there's hours, and the paperwork ...
How do you find being a Christian/living out your faith in your workplace?
Jeannie: I'm pretty sure my family would know the difference in me on the days I begin my day with Jesus at the centre and the days I don't. I'm rubbish at 'quiet time' in this phase of life but grab chunks of time to listen to a talk or something. What I am trying to do is walk and talk with God as I go along. This is the brilliant thing about our amazing God as He is interested in sharing every detail. I'm blown away by Him again and again and relearn again and again to involve Him.
Jonathan: I remember being struck by the verse in Mark 8 that challenges us not to be ashamed of Jesus in this world. Too often I find myself opting to believe the lie that Jesus cannot make a difference in my colleagues' lives. He changed mine completely after all ... using a work colleague!
How would you encourage others in this?
Jeannie: I grew up in an Anglican Church and went to a catholic high school. I guess there are some good things about prayer books and liturgy but maybe at times they stop us from just chatting, being real and down-to-earth in our relationship with our Father God. It might be a start to just say 'good morning Dad' at the start of the day and go from there? I'm talking to myself to here too.
Jonathan: Trust in Him. He said we can do nothing without Him. Not, 'we can do quite a lot', or 'come on you can do better'. No, He said we can do 'nothing' without Him living in us and being allowed to live through us. I have to keep relearning the lesson that the Christian life is His life lived in me.
Any other thoughts... ?
Jonathan: Just go for it prayerfully ... how's about setting up a prayer meeting at work! You might be amazed how open people are to it, and who turns up. Ask God to point you to a colleague who would like to go on the Alpha course. I need to remind myself to be open and honest with God in prayer, His shoulders are way bigger than mine! If you haven't got a prayer partner, pray for one - we're not 'designed' to be lone rangers!
God at Work Conversations
What does it take to live each day with purpose? A new resource is available for use in small groups or with a few friends. Twelve essential conversations that can be watched on a laptop to inspire the way you work. Contact Ebe Church Office to be sent a link to the videos.