Youth and children’s leaders get ‘Equipped’ at training event

Monday May 15th 2017

Puppet fun in a workshop led by Karen Webb.

A training event jointly organised by Connor Children’s Council and Connor Youth Council was held in Randalstown Parish on May 6.

Equipped Training offered workshops for leaders working in both children’s and youth ministry.

The first session offered two workshop choices, one led by Chris Neilands, Ross Jonas and Karen Webb and the other led by Connor Youth Officer Christina Bailie.

Drama fun with Play It By Ear.

Chris and Ross are from the drama company Play It By Ear and Karen is a skilled puppeteer, so they joined forces to give leaders some ideas for drama activities with all ages as well as some basic skills to get started with using puppets or starting a puppet team in church.

One of the ideas from Chris and Ross was working in groups to do three freeze frame scenes from a well-known story or film that the others had to guess. This prompted lots of laughter and showed how creative the leaders were in coming up with ideas.

Karen had everyone manipulating their puppet to sing along to a song by the end of her part of the session with everybody realising that holding a puppet up high on the end of your arm throughout an entire song was really hard work. One great tip was practise with your puppet as you watch the news.

Christina’s workshop dealt with how to work with rather than against your teens’ desire to be on their phones ALL THE TIME! Instead of fighting with them Christina shared some ideas on how to work things to your advantage! She also gave lots of practical tips on using technology to organise things such as sign-ups for trips etc. and much more.

Participants stopped for brunch after the first round of workshops and thanks to Edith and Sandra who cooked bacon and sausage baps. There was also fruit, yoghurt, granola and soda and wheaten bread on offer.

During the second session of the day there were three workshops led by Wilson Beare from Urban Saints, Andrew Neill, and Victoria Jackson along with Connor Children’s Project Development Officer Jill Hamilton.

Practical tips on making technology work for you from Youth Officer Christina Baillie.

Wilson looked at ideas for connecting with teenage lads and how to build those relationships and encourage them in their Christian faith. Andrew Neill did a session on games suitable for children and youth and got the leaders involved in trying them all out. Victoria and Jill led a session on working with the under 7s.

The session was split up with ideas for babies and toddlers (0-3yrs), pre-schoolers (3-4yrs) and P1-3 (4-7yrs) with lots of practical ideas to try out in toddlers’ groups, creches and Sunday school and children’s groups and organisations.

Jill said: “We really hope that everyone enjoyed the morning and found some useful ideas to take away with them.

“Our thanks to Canon Derek Kerr for welcoming us so warmly and opening up his church and church hall to us to use for the training.”

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