Hope Journey Epiphany – Journey with the Kings

Hope Journey Epiphany – Journey with the Kings

What a joy to be able to share Epiphany – Journey with the Kings with Year 1 children at Brookdale Primary School and Greasby Infant School this week using Microsoft Teams

We continue to deliver an adapted programme so this time, we delivered Journey to School maps for the children to prepare prior to the event and we are grateful to both schools for facilitating this

Team works at a social distance – very different from our normal practice!

Following my welcome we

  • talked about all the things we come across on our journey to school, in order to create the context of journeying
  • Introduced my three ‘very special friends’ who had travelled a long, long way to share their story
  • Watched the puppet sketch of the three magi retelling their experiences of travelling and meeting the baby Jesus
  • We talked about the significance of gold, frankincense and myrrh as gifts to the future King
  • and about gifts which would be suitable to give to a baby and what we can give Jesus as our gift (being kind, looking after each other eg helping someone who falls over, sharing toys and sweets, donating to FoodBank, even helping parents by keeping our bedroom tidy!)
  • The children wrote or drew their gift on a star whilst we listened to and sang Our God is a Great Big God and Shine from the Inside out
  • And just as the kings changed their direction, we committed ourselves to being the kind of people God wants us to be
Display of work in foyer

Some of the children’s’ work is displayed in the foyer, please do call in and admire the wonderful artwork when you are passing

God Became like Me (Scripture Union)

During the plenary the children told us what they had committed to on the star.  We gave the children gifts too – a story book God Became Like Me (Scripture Union) and an Epiphany prayer card to share with the family at home. 

Our next Hope Journey is Cross Factor (Easter story) which will take place in March when we look forward to welcoming Year 5 children from Brookdale Primary School and Greasby Junior School

Sue Elliott

Hope Journey co-ordinator

Hope Journey Meet The Characters

Hope Journey Meet The Characters

This week we shared Meet The Characters via Microsoft Teams with a class of 30 Year 2 children at Brookdale Primary School on Wednesday 2nd December and with 2 classes of 30 children at Greasby Infant School on Thursday 3rd December

The team…working at a social distance!

Following my welcome and introduction, we shared three workshops

  • Marys experience – from the message from the Angel Gabriel, the census, travelling to Bethlehem, arriving at the Inn where there was no space, the arrival of Jesus and the amazing visitors – the shepherds and three Magi – who recognised Jesus as the King of Kings
  • The Angel Gabriel – Gods messenger to fulfil Gods plan.  The appearance and message ‘Do not be afraid….’ to Mary and then Joseph, also the shepherds and Magi. 
  • The Innkeeper and donkey – who explained his job as an innkeeper, why Bethlehem was so busy due to the census, the arrival of Mary and Joseph followed by the birth of a baby. The children engaged enthusiastically in waking the donkey up so that the donkey could tell them his story, carrying Mary to Bethlehem and all the commotion in the stable!

At the end of each story, the children asked lots of questions including whether Mary and Joseph were married and asking the Angel Gabriel if he could fly!

God Became like Me (Scripture Union)

God Became Like Me – The Christmas message from Scripture Union

During the plenary the children shared what they had learnt from this Hope Journey.  They also received the usual take home gifts of a story book (God Became Like Me), a colouring sheet to explain to families the characters they had met today, a candle prayer to share with the family on Christmas Day, a Happy Birthday to Jesus sticker and an invite to the Christmas services. 

Our next Hope Journey is Epiphany –Journey with the Kings, which will take place on Tuesday 12th and Wednesday 13th January.  

Sue Elliott

Hope Journey co-ordinator

Steps of Hope

Steps of Hope is a voluntary group of Christians from different Churches, who work as a team to provide food, toiletries, and clothes to the homeless in Liverpool City Centre.  The team have, over the years, also provided emotional support, through letters (for the ones in hostels) and phone calls, and prayer through building relationships with our friends.

Before Covid-19, we were called the trolley dollies, as everything for our friends, such as toiletries, clothes, drinks, and food such, as sandwiches, crisps, biscuits and lots of chocolate, were all in pull-along trolleys.  We followed a certain route which our friends soon got to know.   Some of them used the night shelter called Labre House, where, once a month the team cooked a meal for as many as 75/80 for which the staff, and the recipients were grateful.  A Sunday afternoon bible study was also set up for our friends to meet at the Tree of Life Christian Book Shop in Slater Street in Liverpool.  There was lots of cake, drinks and a place for them to meet and listen to short bible messages and testimonies.   The work has evolved to accommodate the needs of our friends on the streets.

All this changed as the country went into lockdown at the end of March.  At the start of Covid-19 lockdown, The Whitechapel Centre moved the rough sleepers into self- contained accommodation and our visits to Liverpool were cancelled in line with Government guidelines.

There is definitely a spirituality among the homeless, some of them are open to reading literature and gospels, which we provide for those who want them, a lady has joined the team after being homeless herself, she is now in her own house and has given her life to the Lord.

After risk assessments were prepared, at the end of June, it was decided to work from the Tree of Life bookshop.  We offer hot stew, sandwiches, fruit, cake and chocolate biscuits in take away bags each week on a Tuesday 4.30 – 6.00 pm. Downstairs in the basement all the toiletries and clothes are kept.  There are about 8/9 people each week.  Two people take orders for food and drinks outside, with tables between shop and friends, runners take food and drink to them, one person ladles the stew into take away cups and is served with a spoon.  One person sorts the drinks out, one person is given orders for toiletries and clothes.  We are fortunate to have a couple join our team who are outside conversing, listening, and offering prayer to all our friends, this has been amazing as they are truly gifted, and we in turn can learn more about their hardships and concerns.

A prayer chain receives all the names of the people we meet and pray for them each week, we are also covered in prayer each week.

Steps of Hope would like to thank Greasby Methodist Church for all their donations of money and clothing to support this outreach work.  We will continue to work from Tree of Life bookshop during this second lockdown as the café will be open for takeaway only.  It is amazing how God has provided, and blessed this work, and it is a privilege to be part of it.

June Boardman

Hope Journey Remembering

We continue to deliver a programme of Hope Journeys with children and staff at our three local schools – however we continue to work differently! This week we thoroughly enjoyed sharing a virtual Hope Journey Remembering via Microsoft Teams. On Tuesday 17th November we met with two Year 6 classes of 30 children each and staff at Greasby Junior School and on Wednesday 18th November we met with the Year 6 class and staff at Brookdale.

The team…working at a social distance!

Following my introduction and welcome, we shared three workshops

  • What and why we remember – a look at a clip from Horrible Histories and a reflection on Armistice Day, what we should be remembering, why and the symbolism of different coloured poppies
  • A Wartime Experience – delivered whilst sitting in an ‘anderson shelter’, it was such a pity the children could not join us this year.  We thought about the different types of shelters, listened to various recorded stories from those who survived WW2 and thought about how we would feel in such conditions
  • The Anne Frank story – we considered the traumatic experiences of Anne Frank, thought about what Christians are remembering through Communion, wrote prayers which will be offered at Sunday worship on Sunday and prepared a wreath of hope – hopes and dreams for ourselves and the community/world around us.  The schools will display the wreath in classrooms
The Wreath of Hope at Brookdale Primary School

During the plenary the children shared what they had learnt from this Hope Journey.  They also received the usual take home gifts of a replica WW1 St Johns gospel, issued to men in active service; the Jelly Babies and Jesus story and a weekly ration of sweets (equivalent to 5 jelly babies) to share between the entire family for one week – if you could even get hold of some sweets!

Our next Meet The Characters sessions will take place week beginning 6th December for Year 2 children at Brookdale and Greasby Infant School.  This continues to complement the assemblies which are now regularly video recorded to send into school.  It is a great privilege that the schools are so willing to engage with us.  Please join with me in prayer as we continue to share the gospel with over 700 members of the Greasby community this year

Sue Elliott

Hope Journey co-ordinator and E A T

Hope Journey Cre-8

We continue to deliver a programme of Hope Journeys for children and staff at our three local schools.

Sadly, under current restrictions, we are unable to invite the children and staff into church, so this year we are working differently!

What a joy to share Hope Journey Cre-8 with a class of Year 4 children at Brookdale Primary School on Wednesday 14th October via Google Meet.  Following our introduction and welcome, we shared the Images of God workshop and the children drew what God is like on jigsaw pieces.  The jigsaw is now displayed in the foyer for your interest. 

We told the Parable of the Sower, then the children were able to retell the story enthusiastically with actions eg the farmer sowing his seed, the birds eating seed up, some plants withering in sun, some plants growing but choking and, most important, the plants growing tall and flourishing which Christians aspire to as followers of Jesus.

Using pre-delivered resource packs, the children made musical instruments to use during the story of Jesus Calms the Storm, one of the first signs of who Jesus really is.  The Parable of the Good Samaritan was shared using Godly Play style and the children wrote poems ‘Who Is My Neighbour’ which are also displayed for you to read.  Why not pop along and have a look?  The children also received the usual take home leaflet so they can share the stories with families at home. 

Cre-8 sessions will take place on Monday 2nd November and Wednesday 4th November for Greasby Junior School.  We are now planning virtual Hope Journey events for Remembering in November and the very popular Meet The Characters in December.