Explorers is for children aged 3 to 9. They meet in the Abbey Hall Lounge on Sunday mornings, after joining with the congregation at 10.30. The aim of the group is to learn Bible Stories and the basis of Christian living while having fun.
For further details contact Susan Lord (02380 695972) or Wai Chan (07794 361570)
On Palm Sunday, the congregation had a treat. Puppeteers Callum, Georgia, Hannah and Warren with donkey ‘Cecil’ and sheep ‘Ma-a-avis’ gave us a different perspective on the traditional story and left us with the message, ‘Be sure to carry Jesus with you as you go about’.
The Explorers and Pioneers took a very active part in the Nativity Service on 17 December. Their theme was that the real gift of Christmas, the birth of Jesus, gets lost in all the celebrations. Their presentation was enjoyed by the congregation. They also sang at the Candlelight service.
The Pioneers and Explorers filled 8 boxes for Operation Christmas Child. Thank you for your donations. They also visited the warehouse in Romsey and helped with the checking of the boxes. They watched a video which showed them what they were looking for. They were very excited to open the boxes and see what had been put in them. They had to remove anything that could be dangerous or scary and make sure it was 'full and fun' with a mixture of practical items, toys and sweets. We will be tracking our boxes and we should know which country they go to. We also took to the warehouse items we had left over so they will be used as fillers for boxes where there is still some space.
The Explorers planted daffodil bulbs to sell for Christmas, raising funds for their 2017 charity, Canine Partners. The bulbs and fibre were kindly sponsored by Scats. These will be on sale in December but there will be a list at the back of the church if you want to reserve one.
On 10 September, we celebrated the Explorers' birthday and gave them another item of equipment. So far they have received a lantern, a compass and a ball with the 'world' on it. This year they received binoculars, and two Explorers were presented with their Good News bible. We all enjoyed the wonderful cake baked by Val.
On 2 April the young people were excited to be joined by 2 dogs from Canine Partners. Susan sees Jenni, in her wheelchair, at the school gate with her dog LB and she brought along a friend, from the charity's local satellite, with a demo dog, called Humphrey. Jenni told the congregation about the difference LB has made to her life and that of her family.
In their session the Explorers and Pioneers were shown how they train the dogs by encouraging them little by little until the dog works out for itself what is required. The children were fascinated to hear that the dogs have to 'toilet' on command, as people in wheelchairs cannot pick up behind them. The explorers and pioneers will share what they learned with the church.
Our Easter Egg raffle was very successful and raised £86. If you would like to collect your coins for Canine Partners, this year, labels for jars/pots etc are available at the back of the church.
In February the Explorers explored the Lord's Prayer and 5 they shared their thoughts with the congregation. They realised that, although they said it every week, they did not know what it all meant. Once they had worked it out, they decided to write it in simple language and rearrange it a little so it made sense to them. Since prayer is a conversation with God, they wanted to sound friendly. Here is their version.
"Dear God - wow, even your name is special
You are everywhere and everything belongs to you
Please make sure we have what we need to survive
We will try to live the way you want us to
but please forgive us when we get it wrong
We will forgive people for what they have done wrong
Help us to make the right choices and keep us safe
You are the ruler of the world, and you are in charge.
Thank you always and forever.
I agree, the end."
Now they understand what they are saying, but they like the traditional version used in church because it is special and it joins them with friends across the world when they say it.
In September we celebrated the Explorers' anniversary. Over the years they have been adding to their items of equipment, a lantern, a magnifying glass and a compass. This year it was an inflatable globe. Unfortunately these turned out to be not exactly round, or perhaps we needed more puff! In accordance with tradition our eight year olds were given a Good News Bible.
The Easter Fun Club was very successful with 20 children on both days and had very good feedback from the parents and children. One child even suggested an improvement - bring sleeping bags and have a sleep over! Not one we will be implementing! This event would not be possible without the help of many people from the congregation and we are very grateful for their continued support of this event.