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Gospel centred sermons, based on the lectionary often in advance.

New Christian Education initiative. Stations

Jan 17, 2012

Saturday, 31 December 2011


Dear Friends,


I write to you as parents, elders, visitors, and others who may be interested in being involved in a new way of doing Christian Education which is different from a traditional Sunday School and which could appeal to all ages. To do this I need help! 


What is it?

The new format of Christian education is something called “Stations”. These are work areas which will be set up in the Ben Shultz room (Kindy Room) and in my office.  The stations will include prayer, story telling, craft, drawing and other creative stuff. People can spend their whole time at one station or they can move from one to another. There will be at least three Stations each week and the activities will be based on the Bible reading and theme which will be the main focus of the Sunday service.  


How is it different?

·         The stations are for all ages so it’s not just for children.

·         Rather than have teachers and classes – it will be self directed and everyone can engage at their own level.

·         At least one parent or guardian will be expected to accompany children although adult helpers with “blue cards” will be present. (More about this below.)


Why do it this way?

·         Last year we could not run a Sunday School because there were too few teachers and student numbers varied between 0 and 12 with ages from 4 to 15. We trialled a  family evening service but it was not a success.

·         I like to think I’m a pretty good preacher, but as a trained teacher, I know that even the best sermon is not a very effective way for people to learn whereas something interactive is much more effective for children, young people and adults.

·         The biggest factor in Education and faith development, is not schools or teachers or curriculum, it is parents, and other significant adult role models in that order. This approach will give our children those role models and help their parents and guardians to model faith too. This is why we ask that children should always be accompanied by a parent or guardian.

·         It is partly selfish. I want my children – Eli, Parker, and the one on the way to have faith and to have other children around them as they grow up in the church. Unless there is something in the church which engages children and families this will not happen.


When will it start?

·         I’m proposing a trial on the 15th and 22nd of January followed by a meeting on the 29th of January to decide where we will go from there. If enough people are available to take part and to help we will start on the 12th of February.

·         The Stations will happen on Sundays and begin at 9.30 and finish at 10.15 – this means that they will finish at around the same time or before morning tea is over, and that those doing the stations can get a cuppa if they like and those who come over from church for morning tea can see what’s happening. At this stage I’m proposing that the Stations would happen every week except on communion Sundays.  (First Sunday of the month.)


What help is needed?

·         I would like two elders to take part in the stations each week on a roster basis. They will need to have blue cards. Ideally I would like all elders to take part and this would mean that each elder would have to have a blue card. I would like four volunteers for the two trial weeks.

·         Other adult volunteers with “blue cards” who would be happy to take part each week and keep an eye on child safety. (At least one per week – these could also be parents/guardians.)

·         I need people to prepare materials.

·         I need people to volunteer to setup and tidy away the stations.

·         Most of all we need children, parents, young people and adults to take part in the stations. Anyone, young or old can be part of this.

·         We need people to donate materials. (Eg old magazines and other stuff for craft.)

·         We need people to pray for the growth in faith of members of our church.


Please ring or email me if you can help especially in the first two weeks.


I hope this all makes sense. If it doesn’t please get in contact and I can explain more.


Yours faithfully





Rev. Andrew Gillies

St Stephen’s Toowoomba City Uniting Church

A City Church with a heart for all.

Ph w. 07 46322971 h. 4613 5878 Fax 07 4632 6530

Mob 04 4861 7136

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