Bridgebuilder News Report
Autumn/Winter Term 2015
Thanks to you…and all those who have supported our work this term, we have been involved with lots of schools and pupils and have had a great term.
This term our team of 4 schools work staff and 1 voluntary schools worker have delivered 39 secondary school assemblies and 161 primary school assemblies. During the first half term our theme was ‘Making the most of it’. Using a hula hooping challenge, we inspired young people to think about how our attitude helps to overcome problems and negative circumstances. We looked at the story of Robby Novak, a boy with brittle bone syndrome, who despite his long term health problems records positive YouTube videos to inspire others. Our theme for the second half-term was ‘Judging others’. We asked students to guess what was inside containers during an interactive game, and encouraged them to stop and think before judging others based on assumptions and first impressions. We shared the Bible verse “Man looks at the outward appearance but God looks at the heart” to challenge students, regardless of their belief, to consider what their hearts looked like and how they treated others.
Our Christmas primary assembly starts with a noisy game of ‘Guess the Disney film’ using props as clues. The children then listen to a story about Cinderella and children who visit her castle. She makes a special effort to welcome a child who is disfigured and stands on the edge because he’s afraid others will stare, mock him and reject him. He feels isolated and unlovable. When Cinderella looks him in the eye, smiles and gives him a huge hug, his fear melts away because of her love. We help the children to reflect on why God sent Jesus, the love he has for all of us, and his choice to mend the relationship between us and him.
Since September we’ve engaged with around 180 young people across 4 retreat days at Thornton College School for Girls looking at the act of compassion. We explored what compassion and empathy mean, and how and why we might be more caring to all of those around us.
Our team of dedicated volunteers have delivered JesusQuest in 3 primary schools this term, helping children explore who Jesus is using a time travelling character. JQ have recently had more people join the team, and have 3 schools booked for next term.
Tim has been delivering workshops for 40 students over 4 sessions in Shenley Brook End School who have been struggling with academic performance. He’s been looking at personal awareness and encouraging students to understand more about who they are and what they have to offer.
Hope MK took place over October half-term. Becky was involved in the team planning and running the event, which saw over 150 young people from local churches & youth groups involved in 14 social action projects across the city. During one morning session around 40 young people made a commitment again, or for the first time, to follow Jesus & ‘get out of the boat’ to trust Jesus like Peter did in the Bible. Thanks to all those who gave up their time to run projects, cook meals or help lead teams of young people – we couldn’t have done it without you.
We’ve also been exploring some additional secondary work in MK Academy and hope to be involved in an RE day there exploring the theme “Is war ever justified?” through different workshops for year 9 in the summer term. We’ve also been pushing doors at two secondary schools we’re not involved in yet to try and book some appointments in the Spring term.
Topics for primary RE lessons this term have included Christians beliefs and traditions, dealing with difficult situations, trying not to judge others but to see the value in everyone and the real meaning of Christmas. Rachel also led a school staff twilight session on how to deliver creative and interactive collective worship in school.
Our Autumn appeal has raised £2820 so far! Huge thanks to all those who have given one off and new monthly gifts in response to our September appeal letter. We are so grateful for your support. We are still receiving gifts so it’s not too late to give in response to the appeal if you haven’t got around to it yet. Every penny helps us invest in children and young people.
In November we had our annual fundraising Barn Dance where we raised £180.15 for the ongoing work of Bridgebuilder Trust. Thanks to all who came and supported us. We had live music again from resident band Sleeping Moggy, yummy cakes and drinks for sale, a tombola, roll a pound and the chance to buy some early Christmas gifts from Traidcraft and Toucan Crafts. The jacket potatoes with salad were tasty and filling, and there were even free seconds for all those that wanted them! Overall it was a great night of dancing, eating, and being together.
In December we’ve been raising more funds for Bridgebuilder as part of a wider charity appeal led by Christ the Cornerstone. We are one of 14 local charities wrapping gifts for donations at INTU MK. The overall proceeds get counted and divided up per charity depending on how many slots you filled. We hope to raise approx. £800 for the work of Bridgebuilder across 30 wrapping slots. If you fancy getting your gifts wrapped for charity, the stand is located outside Debenhams and prices start from just £2 a gift including paper, ribbons and bows. It is well worth it – you get beautifully wrapped gifts and it saves you the time and effort!
In October we visited Milton Keynes Chinese Christian Church. Rachel spoke on ‘Running the Race’ at a combined service before talking about our ministry and mission as part of their Mission Sunday. We would like to thank them for their generous donation. We also visited St Lawrence’s, Bradwell Village, and had a warm welcome at both the early and family services. As well as talking about our work, Rachel demonstrated an assembly during the children’s talk and Becky encouraged individuals to look for lots of small ways to be a ‘light’ and serve young people in our communities. In November Tim went along to The Mission Partnership Fair to talk about connecting with schools. Tim and Becky also went along to the Christian Business Breakfast Christmas Fair where they manned a stand promoting Bridgebuilder and inspired a few people to sign up to receive our news. If you’d like us to come to speak at your church or group to lead a family style service or for a quick update for your members about Bridgebuilder, we’d love to book you in for the new year.
For those that pray, here a few helpful prayer points:
- For the right doors to open in new schools where God prepares the way.
- For our assemblies next half term on the theme of being an ordinary hero and caring for others.
- For our ongoing financial situation, that we would continue to make good efforts to reduce our annual deficit by increasing annual giving by £15,500.
- That our staff and volunteers have a great restful Christmas break with family and friends and return full of energy for the Spring term.
If you are able, why not join us for our next monthly prayer time on the 13th January 2016 at 10.15am and every second Wednesday of the month thereafter.
If we don’t see you before we hope you have a great Christmas filled with joy, hope and peace.
From the Bridgebuilder Staff, volunteers and trustees.