For four days, from the 30th of August to the 2nd of September, Christ Church ran our Razzamatazz Robots holiday club! It was the first time we’d been able to run our ‘annual’ holiday club in three years due to covid, and therefore it was also my first holiday club as Children and Families worker too. What an exciting event!
Before the club began, we all tried to deck out our corners with various ‘robots’. I was on team ‘fishybots’ and had lots of fun covering our little area with various ocean themed decor! By the end of Monday, the church and the centre looked great, with Chris Nix’s giant robot being the jewel in our crown.
The club kicked off to a great start. Although we were a bit thin on the ground, likely due the effect of our three-year forced hiatus, the children seemed to have a great time! We spent each day enjoying lots of games and crafts, all themed around Genesis and God’s wonderful creation (which did NOT include robots!). We sang songs, heard Bible stories, and listened to several short talks about what God’s awesome creation means for all of us, and what exactly went wrong in the garden of Eden.
A couple of highlights for me were our daily puppet shows (performed masterfully by Hannah and Grace Kelly), and the daily ‘Watt family drama’, in which I got to play the ‘young’ boy Rick. My role was largely spent shooting a bubble gun and offering the other characters some of my Rolos, which unfortunately I left in my pocket one evening post-club, resulting in a bit of a sticky mess! By the end of the Watt family saga, we got to see the villain, Professor Rolo (Rev. P Kingman in dazzling red wig), choose to turn from his evil ways and do what’s right. He even took a Rolo from Rick!
After our four days of holiday club, the children and their families were invited to a special Razzamatazz Robots Sunday service (with breakfast!). It was fantastic to see some new faces on Sunday, and I really enjoyed the chance to talk about the amazing truth of what Jesus did for all of us when he died on the cross. All in all, the end to a great week!
I really hope all who came enjoyed themselves, learnt a bit more about God and Jesus, and went home itching for more! A big thank you to all our helpers for their work in making Razzamatazz Robots so great! Bring on next Easter!
Peter Cuthbert (Children and Families Worker)
I was asked to write an account of the Children’s Summer Holiday programme at Christ Church but it was less as a participant…more of an earwig overhearing all the activity around the church. All the sights from the group corners and the space age electronic sounds creeping towards the front desk from the church sounded intriguing, so I had to employ a bit of guesswork into the full content of the programme which had been so carefully planned and put together for these four days, I was assigned registration, badge pinning and squash duty but it wasn’t long before I was drawn in!
It was lovely to see so many of the congregation working together as a team with full royal blue colours and from the moment the children arrived, everything had been thought out carefully so that individual badges were ready and waiting, groups with colourful corners and banners had been set up welcoming each child individually. Even Group property boxes meant that nobody lost anything during the afternoon sessions.
We certainly have some arty crafty members of the church. A huge robot stood on guard at the door of the church and the interior of the main body of the church itself was decorated with colourful and sparkly robots hanging above the pews like paper chains. With the help of music, puppets, crafts and games, the children were encouraged to think about God’s creation and how very special each and every form of life was important in the scheme of things. The groups – Florabots, the Faunabots, the Fishybots, the Fuzzybots and the Buzzybots created colourful wall-hangings, artwork and models to illustrate the theme or bible verse of the day.
Children obviously got involved with the ideas because a collection box of drawings, models and prayers began to fill up day by day with work from the scheme or done at home.
Through the week, the point of the robot theme started to become clear… God did not want his children to be like obedient robots just mindlessly carrying out a limited function … God had designed his children to recognise and enjoy the love which surrounded them and the freedom to choose wisely. Stories, quizzes, drama and work in groups underpinned the message “we are not robots; we are created by God, lovingly made and designed to share that love around. We need to learn from Jesus all that this entails.”
We enjoyed songs, drama, dances, robotic movements and happy noise from the children who were there. The prayerful planning and attention to detail was masterful. We are indeed very lucky to have such a dedicated team overseeing our outreach to children. This is always a sign to me that a church is moving along the right lines and passing on the vitally important message. “God loves us so much, there is nothing He would not sacrifice to win us back to his presence.”
As a fairly new arrival to Christchurch, I am sorry not to be able to mention all the team members by name. They did a brilliant job and the children seemed to have a great time learning and playing.
The finale to the Holiday Scheme was a parish breakfast on Sunday morning to which all the children, parents and congregation were invited. The Church Centre was full of people who were chatting noisily and getting to know new arrivals over coffee, rolls and other goodies. Then the crowds moved into church and much enjoyed the lively service to rehear the message that the children had been learning, playing and enjoying all week.
God is good, his creation is wonderful but human beings seem unable to keep from going astray. All was well until evil and darkness entered the created world illustrated by Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. God sent Noah to save his created order and attempt to put things right again, but throughout history, humankind always seemed to forget God and lose their way instead of being faithful to God’s ways. After the flood, after the rainbow of forgiveness, humankind continued to stray. God loved his world and his children so much, he was prepared to send his son Jesus to the world to show us the way to go, and be a sacrifice for the whole world. The thoughtful, faltering children’s prayers offered for the church as a whole were particularly meaningful and touching.
Please say a little prayer of thanks for all the leaders involved for their prayerful organisation, kindness and skill with young children. We should also pray for our youngsters … they are the church of today and our leaders of tomorrow!