Children and Holy Communion

Recently I have been doing some reading about children and Holy Communion.  One of the most helpful things I read was this blog by Margaret Pritchard Houston:

As we were preparing to admit six children to Holy Communion before Confirmation, our curate turned to me and said, ‘So we admit them at age 7? Explain this to me theologically.’

And I had to explain that I couldn’t – that the only reason we do admission to Holy Communion at 7 is that we’re not allowed to do it from baptism, that our policy is more a compromise than a coherent theological principle.

She goes on to answer the following questions:

  • If we admit children to communion at baptism, then what is confirmation for?
  • Children are allowed to participate in other ways, aren’t they? They can come to Jesus through Sunday School and worship without receiving communion until they’re older.
  • Wanting it doesn’t mean they should have it. They don’t understand what it means, and that’s crucial to receiving the sacrament.

Empowering Children as Ministers

Empowering Children as Ministers was a day conference organised by Gill Ambrose and Ally Barrett (Reverendally), with help from the Praxis East Committee.

The notes from the day show it to have been a rich and thought provoking day with a diverse group of ministers and church representatives reflecting together on how they might empower our churches’ children and young people as ministers, and the impact that this may have on the children and young people themselves (both now and into adulthood) and on the church itself.

At a time when the Church of England is actively promoting the nurturing of young vocations, why not start in childhood?  Click here to read a full report on the day, including the full text of the speech given by 11 year old Joanna about her own experiences as a minister.

Global Connections conference: From where I’m sitting

I am excited to be one of the contributors at the Global Connections conference in May.  I find this a fascinating conference in comparison to many others I go to as this is one of the few conferences where I see not just training or abstract research being presented, but instead new agreements and partnerships are developed that impacts mission around the world.

Here’s the blurb for what’s going on at the conference this year, I’d love to see you there:

We are used to hearing mission leaders, typically European and American men in their fifties describing what the most important issues in mission are. But is this the full story? At the GC Conference in May 2016, we will have the opportunity to listen to a variety of voices; under thirties, women in mission, missionaries from the majority world and leaders of international networks sharing from their perspective on mission today. In a diverse world, it is important that we listen to a range of opinions to really understand what is going on. This conference is a start in that process and we hope will be challenging and inspirational.

Our Bible reflections will be given by Steve Timmis from Crowded House, and there will also be times of worship, prayer and reflection led by Luke Hamlyn.

Contributors include: Adam Lowe (WEC), Chris Kidd (All Saints Didben), Harvey Kwiyani (Missio Africanus),  Israel Oluwole Olofinjana (Centre for Missionaries from the Majority World), Lesley Cheesman (Agapé), Lucho Sanchez (Latin Link), Mark Oxbrow who will be bringing videos of leaders from around the world (Faith2Share), Philipa Kalungi (OMF), Ruth Wall (former All Nations), Sarah Brighton (Hope UK).

The programme will include plenary sessions led by the various groups above, opportunity for discussion and workshops as well as times of prayers and reflection to listen to what God might be saying to us.