Hi, on this page I will be sharing, reviewing, and recommending resources for children’s, family, and all-age, church-based ministry. I love to explore and discover new ideas, and creative ways of supporting this fantastic ministry. It’s such a privilege to serve the church and to help make worship meaningful and fun for children and families. I hope you’ll find my ideas and recommendations helpful.
GOD’S AMAZING GARDEN
I’ve been enjoying the lovely warm weather and especially my garden. These photos show some flowers and herbs that I have grown in my garden. Several years ago I discovered a great book called Planting a Bible Garden by Frank Nigel Hepper. He was an English research botanist who worked at Kew Herbarium. Hepper’s Christian faith combined with his botanical expertise, and his research studies inspired him to write about the botany of the Bible and the Holy Land and he travelled around that region extensively. He designed the Bible Garden at St George’s Cathedral, Jerusalem. His book illustrates lots of different flowers, plants and herbs that are mentioned in the Bible and also what they were used for.
BIBLE PLANTS AND HERBS
Inspired by this book, I began to collect some of the herbs written about in the Bible and I also bought a couple of very small olive trees in plant pots which have now way outgrown my expectations since we transplanted them into the ground. I found it interesting to look up the various Bible plants, what they were used for and how they connected with Bible stories.
Obviously the herbs I grow I use mostly in cooking but I have been known to make up the odd bowl of potpourri with lavender, dried rose petals, etc. I use some of these in multi-sensory prayer activities. Next to some of the herbs in my garden I position wooden lollipop sticks with the Bible verses written on them to help me to remember where the plants are mentioned and why.
So, why not plant a Bible window box, or on your patio arrange some Bible pot plants, or make a quiet area in your garden if you have enough space, and plant some Bible flowers or a water feature. Children will love choosing and planting seeds, watering them and watching them grow.
CHURCHYARD GARDENS AND BIODIVERSITY
Churchyard Gardens by the Church of England offers some great ideas and downloadable resources for creating and enhancing churchyard gardens. Why not explore this with your whole church family, there is something creative for everyone to do.
CARING FOR GOD’S ACRE
Caring for God’s Acre works nationally to support groups and individuals to investigate, care for, and enjoy churchyards and burial grounds. There are over 20,000 burial grounds in England and Wales, ranging from small rural medieval churchyards to large Victorian city cemeteries, spanning different cultures, religions and centuries. Appealing to many who are interested in local history and the natural world, burial grounds encapsulate the history of communities and preserve native wildlife.
I’ll be back next week with more ideas and resources, in the meantime have fun and enjoy the summer 😊
Multi-Sensory Ideas For Worship (By Irene Smale)
Each of the 100 ideas in this book has alternatives that are better suited for an activity time or for inclusion in a more traditional style of service and each also has an accompanying prayer and song suggestion (all written by Ish, some especially for this book).