Help! I’m a New Mum! By Pam Pointer

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Who shed more tears? My baby, or me? Probably me. I was pretty clueless on practicalities changing a nappy, for example. Could you fold a towelling nappy to fit a tiny bottom, then stick a giant safety pin in – to the nappy, not the baby…? The arrival of disposal nappies coincided with the arrival of my third baby, by which time I was a little more clued up and had less time to worry about whether I was doing things right. The toughest thing about being a new mum was probably the tiredness from interrupted sleep at night and not being able to interpret what my baby was trying to say through her crying. Hence my tears.

 
The thing is, it’s not the tears I remember now. I look at photos and dig into the recesses of my brain and what I see and recall are happy times – gummy grins, wobbly steps, first words. Baby isn’t baby for long. Her gummy grins evolve into hearty laughter, tentative steps into running and jumping, and from ‘Mumma’ and’Dadda’ new words are added and put into simple sentences. Before you know it you’re discussing climate change, space exploration, the best tennis player ever (Laver? Federer?) and whether the two pieces of a halved worm can grow into two new worms (no, in case you’re wondering.)

 
The first few days and weeks with a new baby may seem endless and exhausting at the time but are a tiny measure on the timeline of life. To some extent, I’ve relived my days as a new mum through the experiences of my daughters. On a shelf above my desk are photos of my five grandchildren. They range in age from 10 to 2 years and look at me with cheeky grins. Below them, on the desk, are photos of their parents who all look remarkably calm and happy though they’ve all had hair-tearing moments and testing times.

 
Two years or so ago I started writing down-to- earth prayers about being a new mum to give to one of my daughters. Scruffy scribbles were typed onto my laptop then sent as email hugs. My book, “Help! I’m a New Mum!” grew from there. If these short prayers encourage new mums to know that God is with them at every stage of life – when they’re confident and when they’re not, when they’re in tears and when they’re laughing, when they’re asleep and when they’re only half-asleep, then it’s been worthwhile. God gives life. He also sustains us through all the changing scenes. All we have to do is say, “Help!” My days as a new mum are long past. My days of calling, “Help!” to God continue. Hindsight shows that I can also say, “Thank you,” for his continuing presence in all circumstances.

 

Click here to view Pam’s website

Still Valued and Blessed Review

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This book is bursting with kindness. Its aim is to ‘highlight misconceptions about old age – from a biblical viewpoint’ and to ‘encourage older people, generally’.

Each chapter deals with a negative emotion – for example, regrets over past failures continues with relevant Bible passages and suggestions for addressing the situation and ends with prayer. The chapters are thoughtful and would help believers of any age. I found the title itself conflicting, because ‘still valued …’ has implications of ‘in spite of’, as with a car that has high mileage but is ‘still going well’. Yet God designed old age on purpose. His intention was that throughout our lives we would develop attributes and character that only come with a long life. God’s

purpose for older people was that they would become the elderhood of society. This is one of the reasons that we should rise in their presence (Leviticus 19.32). Pastor Coghlan acknowledges this when he writes: ‘Faithfully following Jesus will lead to acquiring great spiritual knowledge and wisdom. It is a call to respect older people. It is a call to value older people.’ So why do we not value old age and acknowledge the ‘elderhood’ of older people? Even worse, why do our seniors not see it themselves? Why the negative thinking
which this book so compassionately addresses? My research shows that it is ingrained, unrecognised, corrosive ageism. We have absorbed the world’s view of age, instead of the Bible’s. We look on the outer appearance instead of the inner and we do not give older people the position God intended. God’s design for older people and their purpose needs to be part of church teaching. All of us need to hear it. And seniors need to be intentionally released into the roles Pastor Coghlan mentions, such as mentoring, listening and teaching (see Paul’s advice to Timothy). ‘Look for the open windows,’ is the last sentence in the book’s narrative, but understanding God’s purpose means that, for His seniors, it is we who should be opening them.

Review was written by The Church’s Ageism

Louise Morse, media and communications manager for the Pilgrims’ Friend Society, a Christian
charity caring for older people. She is also a Cognitive Behavioural Therapist and author.

Exploring Emotional Health – **Review**

Review published in the August edition of  Life and ministry among young peopleLayout 1

How do you open up conversations with teens about difficult stuff like depression, emotions, self-harm or anxiety? More importantly, how do you support those who are experiencing these issues? Using creative workshops, Liz Edge gives youth leaders the tools they need to tackle some of the things young people face. She creates space where it’s safe to talk and develop the emotional literacy which will help build resilience in young people. Exploring Emotional Health isn’t the last answer, but it gives a very strong start to the conversation.

 http://bit.ly/2x014Zx

Still Vaued and Blessed (Review)

Still Valued and Blessed: Patrick Coghlan4 star

Kevin Mayhew In the growing number of books written to help those in their senior years, this will not be a standout addition, yet it does provide a useful resource for those who minister to this significant age group. Coghlan’s main purpose is to develop among seniors a mindset whereby they approach old age with a positive attitude and an expectation that God can still use them. Each chapter is short and to the point, with large-print text. There are many suggestions on how we can be used by God as we grow older: providing a listening ear and a word of encouragement, sharing our wisdom and experience setting a good example for our families, developing a ministry of prayer, and sharing our testimony. The impression given is that old age is not a time for slowing down or of losing focus because God can still use us. Coghlan seems to write for those who are still active, mentally alert and physically fit rather than for those who may be increasingly frail, in need of support and potentially housebound. This makes the book more suitable for the newly retired rather than for those who are true seniors. TH

Featured Composer of the Month

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Heather Hammond is a prolific and immensely popular composer whose work is published by Kevin Mayhew. She studied piano and clarinet at Leeds College of Music. Postgraduate studies followed in Education at Bretton Hall College, Wakefield and Music Technology at York University.

Heather currently lives in York where she divides her time between teaching and composing. She has a busy piano teaching practice and believes that it is important for young children to have fun in music and experience modern styles alongside the more traditional from an early age. She also teaches piano at Scarcroft Primary School in York.

Both The Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music and London College of Music have chosen Heather’s compositions for inclusion in their examination syllabuses.

Featured Author of the Month

Nicholas King

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Nicholas King SJ is a Jesuit Priest who taught for many years in South Africa, and then at Oxford University. After a sabbatical year as a Visiting Professor at the School of Theology and Ministry at Boston College, and another year as Academic Director of Theology at St Mary’s University, Twickenham, he is now Lecturer in Biblical Studies at Heythrop College, University of London, and Provincial’s Delegate for Formation for the British Jesuit Province.

In 2014 Kevin Mayhew published his translation of the entire Greek Bible; and in the same year, Nicholas also produced The Helplessness of God (1501439), on how governance is done in the Bible. He is currently working on The Scandal of Christian Disunion – a biblical approach.

Nicholas King SJ was born into a strongly Catholic family in Bath, UK, and was educated at Stonyhurst College, Lancashire, and St John’s College, Oxford, where he studied Classics. He had always enjoyed the study of Latin and Greek; in those days in the (perhaps rather odd) British educational system, it seemed quite normal that he started Latin and French at the age of 8 and Greek two years later. A series of good teachers made it natural to apply to read the subject at Oxford (as far as he can recall, he never thought of anything else).

‘Exploring Emotional Health’ Kevin Mayhew Blog

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During my teenage years, I felt a void in discussions between my Christian faith and being diagnosed with both depression and anxiety. It was as if emotional health and God didn’t mix; no one seemed to want to talk about both in the same conversation.

As I got older, I knew that there must be others out there having similar thoughts like me. Surely I couldn’t be the only teenage Christian living in the void. Over the years, I would ask myself questions such as;

How can I be a Christian and be diagnosed with depression?

 If the Bible tells me not to worry, then why am I so anxious all the time?

 Does God still love me, even though I self-harm?

 It wasn’t until I became more knowledgeable in the area of mental and emotional health that I realised Christian’s aren’t exempt from experiencing poor mental health. Being a Christian is a lived experience, and that includes living with illnesses of all kinds.

Let’s pause for a moment and see the reality that we’re currently facing:

Globally, an estimated 350 million people of all ages suffer from depression and it is the leading cause of disability worldwide. (WHO, 2015)

In the UK, anxiety disorders are estimated to affect 5-19% of all children and adolescents. (NHS, 2014)

The majority of people who are reported to self-harm are aged between 11 and 25. (Mental Health Foundation, 2017)

These are just three of the many mental and emotional health challenges young people face in our society today.

The great news is that research shows young people want to talk about these challenges with trusted adults; they no longer want them to be ‘taboo’ topics. Whether it’s because they’re facing these adversities themselves or because friends/family are struggling, young people want to talk and therefore we must listen.

So, as youth leaders, how do we even begin to effectively support the young people we work with in exploring their emotional health and Christian faith? Where does the conversation begin in this vast field?

Exploring Emotional Health: Six workshop outlines for youth leaders will enable you to begin these much-needed conversations. This practical resource breaks open the void in exploring these challenges with young people. The book covers six key topics and includes ready to go workshops on self-esteem, anxiety, depression, self-harm, identifying and coping with emotions.

Every chapter provides an essential understanding of each topic so you are equipped to run the creative workshops. They could be used as a series during term-time or simply as a one-off at a residential.

Ten years on since my experience, there are still young people today asking the same questions. By using Exploring Emotional Health you’ll be helping to close the void in openly discussing emotional health and Christian faith. Start the conversation now!

 

 References:

Mental Health Foundation (2017), Self-harm [online]. Available at: <https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/a-to-z/s/self-harm> [Accessed 7 February 2017]

 NHS (2014), Anxiety [online]. Available at http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/anxiety-children/Pages/Introduction.aspx [Accessed 27 June 2017]

 

Facebook: @LizEdgeYouthWorker

Twitter: @LizEdge_

Website: Liz-Edge.co.uk

 

 

Review And Author Q&A : Exploring Emotional Health by Liz Edge

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Exploring Emotional Health” is a fantastic blend of wisdom, vital information and sensitively structured workshop sessions for young people.  Youth workers, who might be wary or unsure about tackling topics like anxiety and depression are gently led through some introductory sessions about identifying and coping with emotions – myths are debunked, stereotypes are challenged and your confidence in tackling this subject will grow.

I’d go so far as to say that all youth work where there is a “teaching” aspect should be shaped like this.  A workshop style approach as adopted by Liz, helps young people explore the topics in their own way – space to reflect, space to ask questions, space to interact with the thoughts, feelings and comments of others.  A key question many  young people ask as they face the regular emotional upheavals of adolescence is, “am I normal?”  To unpack each subject in a way that makes it accessible, less scary and without putting young people on the spot is a real skill – Liz achieves that here.

What is a bonus, and sets this resource book apart from many others, is the holistic way that Liz approaches the whole subject and each section.  It is so important to be a reflective practitioner, but what is rare is to see questions for the youth workers to ask of themselves – as well as their young people.  This might be a tool for a youth group – and in fact, you could draw on different elements in numerous work contexts – but, it is also a tool for the youth worker.  In work and ministry, one of the best things we can offer young people is a “healthy us” – that doesn’t mean we are emotionally “sorted”, but it does mean we are prepared to go on a journey and explore our own emotions as well as those of our young people and become more emotionally literate ourselves.  This book is a gift to the Church, and a gift to youth work – if you want to see young people live life to the full (and “full” means our whole selves, everything we are – including our emotions) – then I encourage you to get it.

What follows is a brief Q&A with Liz which I hope gives you more insight to the book than my words above can, I’m looking forward to what Liz produces next!

Click Here

Exploring Emotional Health

 

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On average, three children in every class at school are affected by a mental health issue

Did you know …

  • It is estimated that half of all mental health problems manifest before the age of 14 years old

  • Child and adolescent mental health services are turning away approximately 25% of children referred to them for treatment

  • Only 0.7% of the NHS budget is spent on children’s mental health

  • 2 in 5 young carers have a mental health problem

  • 1 in 12 young people self-harm

Youth leaders recognise that issues around emotional health are growing and research shows that young people want to talk about it!

In her debut book, Exploring Emotional Health, author Liz Edge provides key information and six ready-to-go workshops covering: self-esteem; anxiety; depression; self-harm; and identify and coping with emotions, to enable even the busiest of youth leaders to provide effective support in building resilient young people.

Liz says: “This book was born out of identifying personally and professionally the need to support youth leaders and young people in exploring emotional health and faith. Each workshop is the start of an ongoing conversation that we must engage with in our practice.”

Liz Edge is a professionally qualified youth work practitioner, holding a first-class degree in Youth Work and Ministry. She has worked with young people across a wide range of Christian and other settings and now delivers innovative youth work through education, training and intervention.

To contact Liz for interviews and enquiries please email her at Liz.Edge@mail.com. Alternatively, head over to her website www.Liz-Edge.co.uk or follow her on Twitter: @LizEdge_

The Bumper Book of Resources: Instant Youth Group (Volume 8)

 

 

Imagine if you had in one place material from some of the most well-respected writers for young people!
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Anyone who works with young people knows how difficult it is to come up with something fresh and exciting that will keep them interested. And in today’s increasingly busy world, time is shorter than ever.Now imagine if there was a book that you could just dip into to help you with prayers, services, sermon ideas and illustrative material, both for general and all-age worship, that covers the major festivals of the Christian year …

Well here it is! The Bumper Book of Resources: Instant Youth Group!

Topics covered include:

Weekends away, All-age worship, Getting teenagers to talk, Club sessions, Ice breakers, Quizzes, Sessions for 9-14 year olds, Sessions for 11-16 year olds, The Church Year, Prayers, Dramas

Contributors include: David Adam; Tony Bower; Philip Eley; Nick Fawcett; Michael Forster; David Gatward; Phil Green; Nick Harding; Rob Hurd; Ray Jackson; Susan Sayers; Tim Storey, and Pete Townsend.

 

 

Downloadable Clip art resources available