Yesterday I received a ‘new friend’ request on Facebook, sent by a former pupil of mine from around twenty–five years ago. He wondered whether I would remember him, quoting an instance of a very comical happening during the time that he was in my care. Yes, I did remember him and was able to remind him of another very happy instance of those years. It set me to thinking about childhood memories.
I can recall several flashes from the past concerning my own early days; some easily being called to mind at will and others which suddenly burst into my mind for no known reason.
Each Tuesday as I observe Little Dragons busying themselves during our sessions, I wonder whether they will, in years to come, have recollections of their time spent playing, learning, listening and enjoying these times together alongside others. Will they recall the joy of learning to pedal the tiny tricycles up and down the wide aisle; the fascination of rolling and cutting play doh; the fun and excitement of sticking or painting a picture especially when glittery things are included? Will they, as they sing nursery rhymes to their own future children, remember the actions they learned at Little Dragons and will the tune of ‘The Grand Old Duke of York’ rekindle the sense of fun and laughter they themselves have experienced?
When Little Dragons was initiated in September 2006 it was with the intention of providing a service which would encourage Outreach within and around our church community – not with expectation on our users to necessarily to become members but important to us that they would know that, if need arose, we would be there for them in their particular need and if that need involved them in church life then that would be a bonus for us and, hopefully, for them.
Considering the above, plus the impact of Friday Club, monthly Breakout, annual Holiday Club, Open the Book Assemblies and Reverend Margaret’s Assemblies, it is interesting to note that:
- Many of our Baptisms involve Little Dragon babies
- In our local primary school each class up to Y5 contains former Little Dragons, with Friday Club and Breakout members in all year groups
- Several children are hoping to be take part in training in order to receive Communion
- A growing number of young people attend choir practice and take an increasing part in services, in particular All Age Worship
These points indicate much time, effort and enthusiasm being put into Children’s Ministry in our church. This is heart-warming as these children are, hopefully, the future of this place that we hold dear. It also underlines that we, the oldies, need to continue to worship with whole hearts, upholding past traditions whilst being ready to give new innovations a fair trial, that we may continue together to make this place a ‘still, holy, centre’.