Posts tagged Pathwayz
Be strong and courageous: obey all the laws Moses gave you and you will be successful in everything you do.
Do not be afreaid or discouraged, for the Lord you God will be with you wherever you go’
Paraphrased: Joshua 1: 7-9
This term, Pathwayz has travelled to Egypt to investigate the story of Moses. Three weeks of hard work brought us to a very exciting part of the story: the Ten Plagues! We pieced together a puzzle showing us the ten different plagues and then acted them out, hopping like frogs, buzzing like locusts and pretending to be thunder and lightning! We made string phones as we learnt how important it is to listen to God and how important it is that we listen to each other too.
The following week, we learnt about one of the most important parts of the book of Exodus: the Passover of the Lord. We were given a coded message to crack which revealed bit by bit what happened during the final plague. As we thought about God’s protection for the Israelites, we made worlds held in hands to show how God looks after us all. On a picture of a door frame, we wrote the names of those people we wanted God to look after such as our Mums, Dads, Nans, friends, pets and, oddly, Peppa Pig! We then learnt about the unleavened bread and the importance of always being ready for what God wants us to do.
Last week, our investigation took us underwater to the Parting of the Red Sea. We made archaeological goggles with straws and acted out freeze frames of the story. As we learnt about the bravery of Moses and the Israelites, we thought about the ways in which we can be brave; sticking up for our friends, telling our friends about God and always telling the truth.
Our archaeological dig will last for two more weeks as we track the Israelites through the desert. The story of Moses has shown us the ways in which God can affect our lives and the importance of following his plan for us. Our Pathwayz song, ‘This is the Day’, contains the lyrics:
‘It doesn’t matter what I face,
it doesn’t matter what comes my way.
I know that He cares for me, so it’s alright’.
As long as we know this, and we hold onto this, it doesn’t matter what troubles or worries we face. Just as Moses trusted in God, we too must trust in Him.
‘If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there’, and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.’
Pathwayz opened its doors once again on 6th November to eleven children and twelve leaders. Four weeks later, thirty-five children turned up as word spread that we had returned. This is testament to how much the children of Caerau enjoy their evenings at Pathwayz and how much of a difference we make by welcoming them all in.
This term, St Tim’s has been transformed into Space Academy! Based on the opening chapters of Daniel, the theme focuses on Daniel being sent by God to Babylon, a place so completely different from Israel (so different he could be on another planet!). Daniel 1 introduces us to Daniel and his friends Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. When they arrive in Babylon, they are blessed with great wisdom and become the King’s advisors. We thought about the things we are good at and how we can show our love for God by doing the best we can. As we thought about how scary it must have been for Daniel to move to Babylon, we talked about the things that scare us and how Mums, Dads, Nans, teachers, doctors and, of course, God can help us to overcome our fears.
The following week, we heard about King Nebuchadnezzar’s dream where he sees a giant statue. Unable to interpret the dream, he calls upon Daniel who, with God’s help, is able to tell the King what the dream means. We made our own dream-catchers and did some listening exercises as we learnt about the importance of listening out for God’s voice.
Our trainee astronauts were then faced with a rather perplexing event in Daniel’s life. When Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego refuse to worship King Nebuchadnezzar’s statue, they are put in a roaring furnace. As the King peers into the furnace, he sees four figures instead of three. When the men emerge unscathed, the King declares Daniel’s God as the real God. We made our own fiery pictures and learnt that, just like the King, we can sometimes love material things, such as x-boxes, iphones, blackberries and toys too much. We realised that it is our families and friends who should mean more to us.
Our new song, ‘Supernatural God’, contains the lyrics ‘These are the days when we can see miracles, your wonders everywhere. Here is my life, Lord, you can use me to show the world you care…’ This song could not be more appropriate as we contemplate how far we have come since July. Pathwayz is one of God’s wonders, one of his little miracles, one of our mountains which we have been able to move with your help and your kindness. St Matthew’s words, our memory verse, remind us of the little battles we face and how anything is possible if we believe in ourselves, in each other and in God.
‘Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there’, and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.’
Well, we did it! Three months after the last Pathwayz session (which many of us feared would be the last one ever), we are preparing ourselves for a brand new term with a brand new team!
It is nothing short of a miracle that we have found enough new leaders to start Pathwayz again and, for all those who were involved last year and have been involved since the beginning, Tuesday 6th November will be both exciting and a major relief. When I spoke to both congregations way back in July, I reminded you all of David and Goliath. At the time, Pathwayz had become our Goliath: a task which was too big and too difficult to deal with. With your help, we have overcome many of our difficulties and are ready to open our doors once again.
We cannot claim that all of our problems have disappeared. We will always be on the look-out for new helpers so if you feel moved to help out in any way possible please don’t hesitate to talk to us.
When we begin on Tuesday, we will be opening the doors of St Timothy’s, tentatively triumphant that we can continue our work. For six years, Pathwayz has been dedicated to welcoming children from all backgrounds to a club which cultivates friendship and laughter while sharing the Good News. Every term, whatever our theme, one fundamental message repeats itself: nothing is impossible with God. By re-starting Pathwayz, we have proven that nothing is impossible with God and with God’s people. We have moved our mountain, defeated our Goliath, and are ready and waiting to welcome back our wonderful kids.
So, I shall leave you with a little spoiler. This term, the children of Pathwayz will become trainee astronauts in our very own Space Academy!!! As we explore the early chapters of the Book of Daniel, we will once again show them that nothing is impossible if you believe in the power of God.
In July, I made a plea to both congregations asking for volunteers to help out with Pathwayz to ensure that we could actually keep it going.
Last term, we lost many of our volunteers to university and new jobs and were uncertain whether we could continue in September. The response we received was very encouraging and we will be able to start again in the Autumn.
Despite this, if any others might perhaps feel inspired by the 70,000 volunteers who supported the Olympics, feel as if they have something to offer the children of Caerau, we really are always looking for additional helpers. In fact at Pathwayz, we can never have enough help!
Due to administration reasons, we will be aiming to start back after the October half-term with a shorter 6-week term. This will enable us to look seriously at the work Pathwayz does and the ways in which we can move the club forward. We will be hoping to have a meeting in September for all potential volunteers so please keep checking the weekly Notices!
For all those who have already put their names forward or expressed an interest, thank you very, very much!
Word on the Street: Pathwayz Update
In everything you do, work with all your heart, as you are working for the Lord and not for other masters. It is from God that you will receive your reward. It is God you are serving. Colossians 3:23-24
This term, the children of Pathwayz have been going back in time to 776 BC and the birth of the Olympics. In training for our own Olympics in the last week of term, we have been studying what it is that makes a good athlete.
After six weeks during which we learnt about Performance, Responsibility and Unity, we moved onto Pride. After half-term, we focused on Gymnastics and the pride we must take in presenting ourselves in a graceful and polite manner. We made paper chains made up of different manners, played a game which involved thanking each other whilst passing a ball around a circle and learnt to say ‘hello’, ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ in sign language. We learnt how important it is to be polite and how much nicer we can be if we say please and thank you.
The following week, we looked at the Pride of the Spectator. It is not only the athletes who are on show at the Olympics but the supporters too. We made signs of support and learnt the famous Welsh rugby chant ‘Oggy, oggy, oggy’ and made team badges with the names of teams we support such as Man Utd, Liverpool, Wales and Cardiff City. We learnt that supporting each other is really important and can make all the difference in the performance of teams and individuals!
We have now moved on to the fifth and final Olympic Value: Respect. Last week, we looked at the importance of respecting ourselves. The sport we used to illustrate this is the Triathlon. Made up of three sports (swimming, cycling and running), the Triathlon requires the athlete to believe in themselves in the hope of being the best at three different sports. We took part in our own triathlon, made up of star-jumps, houla-hoops and bean-bag throwing, made butterflies with the verse ‘All things are possible for the one who believes’ (Mark 9:23), made our own Pathwayz Constellation with coloured stars with our names on and learnt all about David and Goliath. Inspired by David’s defeat of Goliath, the huge and strong soldier, we thought about things in our own lives which are difficult to do: maths, spelling, reading, breakdancing, gymnastics, making friends and learning a new language. We realised that if we believe in ourselves then difficult tasks become easier to do!
With just two weeks left, Pathwayz is preparing themselves for the Pathwayz Olympics. In the final week of term, we will compete against each other for the title of Pathwayz Olympic Champions! But we know that, even though we all would love to win, taking part is the most important and that by supporting each other, and with the support of God, we can do anything. As we contemplate our future, we ask that you pray for the club, for our children and the leaders. We ask for God’s blessing on our children as they embark on a long summer holiday and that the lessons they learn in the club will protect and support them wherever they are and whatever they may be doing.
Word on the Street: Pathwayz Update
In everything you do, work with all your heart, as you are working for the Lord and not for other masters. It is from God that you will receive your reward. It is God you are serving.
Having left Camelot behind, Pathwayz has gone back in time to ANCIENT GREECE!!! It is the year 776 BC and we are inventing the Olympics. Each week, we will be learning about what makes a good athlete and are focusing on Performance, Responsibility, Pride, Unity and Respect.
In our first week back, we met Zeus, a toga-wearing Ancient Greek who welcomed us to Olympia. He taught us all about the 100m sprint and how important it is to try your best. We made our own athlete’s vest with the verse ‘Do you not know that in a race all the runners run but only one gets the prize? Run so you may win!’ (1 Corinthians 9:24) and had our own little sprint races to see which one of us was the fastest. We talked about people on television who might be trying their best and winning (such as Usain Bolt, the Welsh rugby team and JLS) and those who may be trying their best but having some difficulties (such as Cardiff City or Liverpool (sorry to any of you who are fans!)). Finally we talked about all the things we could try our best at this term: making tea for Mum, tidying all our toys away, doing our homework or working hard at rugby and gymnastics. We learnt that it is always important to try your best – and usually we can always try just that little bit more!
In our second week, we met Olympia, a lovely toga-wearing friend of Zeus, who taught us all about the marathon. We discovered how important it is in a race of 26 miles to keep going and stick with difficult things. We made little men with movable arms and legs with the verse ‘Press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize’ (Philippians 3:14) and wrote down things which we find really difficult such as behaving ourselves and handwriting! We competed against each other in little endurance tests such as squatting against the wall, holding a heavy object and not-blinking and played a game involving a bar of chocolate, a knife and fork and a pair of socks! We learnt how important it is to endure difficult things, to keep going when we find things hard, and how wonderful we feel when we finally succeed!
As we continue to learn how to be good Olympians, we hope to learn our new song, ‘One Way’ by Hillsong. The middle passage, which involves quite complicated actions!, has our kids singing ‘He is the Way, the Truth and the Life, we see by faith and not by sight’. It is hard to explain the emotion felt by our leaders when we see twenty-five children singing this back to us at the end of our sessions but any stress, bad feelings or frustrations you might be dealing with on any given Tuesday melt away.
Finally, our new memory verse, taken from St Paul’s letter to the Colossians, teaches us to work with all our heart. At Pathwayz, we try our hardest to provide for the kids of Caerau and to give them an hour and a half of fun, friends and God. We ask that you continue to pray for us, the club and our children, and to help us serve God in any way you can.
Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armour of God, stand firm with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of justice in place, and with the shoes of readiness. Take up the shield of faith, the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit.
Ephesians 6 v.14-17 (paraphrased)
At the request of King Arthur, Pathwayz has been asked to provide new Knights for his Round Table in Camelot as all of his Knights are busy on their own adventures! In seven weeks, we have found ten Knights to join Arthur at his table and will be looking for many more as we continue on our quest.
Having studied three virtues (Honour, Camaraderie and Mercy), we moved onto the trickier virtue of Sacrifice. As we learnt about the ways in which people used to sacrifice animals to God, and burnt our own little pictures of cows and sheep, we discovered that the ultimate sacrifice was Jesus giving up his life for us. We talked about all the things we would struggle to give up for other people; the most difficult turning out to be giving up the Xbox!
In the following week, King Arthur was absent as he was stuck in Ireland after the rugby! We met Queen Guinevere who taught us all about Courage. We made our own super-heroes, thought of the good things we could do that may be a bit frightening (such as standing up to bullies!) and made our own Worry Webs. Based on the dream-catcher, the Worry Web was a little round web designed to catch all our worries and fears so that God could look after them for us.
After half-term, we learnt all about Humility. One of the more difficult virtues, we learnt that humility meant both being humble (admitting that we were wrong) and being modest (not always seeking recognition for good deeds). We built team Humble Pies made up of our apologies for things we did wrong, made little people which explained how God knows what we are like on the inside and not just on the outside and played a game in which we had to secretly give each other presents without anyone knowing who they were from. This taught us that it is important to do good things even if nobody knows we are doing them!
In the last week of February, we learnt all about how important it is to love God. We sang a song written for the session describing Luke 10:25-27 – in which a man asks Jesus what is the most important commandment. The words ‘You must love the Lord God with all your heart’ were sung to both ‘He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands’ and ‘What Makes You Beautiful’ by One Direction!
We made flowers to give to God as a symbol of our love and played a game which required asking for help in exchange for points. We learnt that loving God isn’t always easy but that with God’s help we can do anything.
With just four weeks of the term left, we will continue on our quest to find new Knights to join Arthur in Camelot. As we celebrated St David’s Day by making daffodils to give to God, our Knights of Pathwayz Code of Honour reflects St David’s message to do the little things. We know that by smiling, listening, being nice to others and having good manners, we can make our little world a better place. Over the next month, we will all become fully-fledged Knights of God as we learn the importance of wearing his armour wherever we are.
Word on the Street: Pathwayz Update
Jesus said: “I am the light of the world. Whoever believes in me will never walk in darkness but will have the light of life.”
After ten weeks of hard work, the closed sign has been turned over for the last time in our own little coffee shop, Central Perk, and we have waved good bye to Jesus’ friends.
Having met a whole host of heavenly people, from fishermen to tax collectors, the sick and dying to lonely women, our tenth visitor was a little more controversial. Judas Iscariot was welcomed on stage as a man who had made mistakes – someone whose greed had outweighed his friendships. He told us how he loved money and had been convinced to give important information to the priests in exchange for thirty pieces of silver; he had tried to give the money back but the damage was already done. We made our own silver coins, learnt how to share chocolate coins between our friends, wrote down all the things we had done which we were sorry for and played a game of snakes and ladders based around forgiving and forgetting. We learnt that God will always forgive us if we are prepared to say sorry.
Our eleventh visitor was John the Baptist, Jesus’ cousin, who taught us the importance of bravery. John told us how he had lived in the wilderness, eating only locusts and wild honey, and how he had spoken out about Jesus even though people might not have believed him. We thought about what we might like to take into the wilderness (playstations, chocolate and mobile phones were popular choices) before realising that, without electricity, candles and courage were the better choices. We made shields to remind ourselves that God is our armour and that, with Him, we will always be safe.
Our final guest was Mary, Jesus’ mother. She told us all about her visit from Gabriel; how scary it was to have an angel in her kitchen, how daunting it was to be chosen by God but how wonderful it was to be able to say yes. She taught us the importance of listening; to our Mums, our friends and most importantly to God. By saying yes to God, we are agreeing to the plan He has for us and living our lives in the best possible way.
Our cafe closed as Advent began and in these final weeks, we are joining Mary and Joseph on their journey. Beginning each session with prayers, we are lighting candles on the Advent crown, reminding us that Jesus is the light of the world. In our first week, we met Gabriel who told us his version of his encounter with Mary. As God’s number-one angel, he told us how he had been sent by God to deliver a message. We made our own little angels for the Christmas tree, made Christmas presents for different teams and pinned the halo on the angel!
At the beginning and at the end of each session, we are repeating a prayer which reminds us that Advent is not a countdown but a preparation for Christmas. We invite you to say, or think, these words with us as we continue our journey to Bethlehem:
God, Help us to get ready for Christmas. Help our heads to think of you, our eyes to look for you, our voices to talk to you and our hearts to welcome you. Help us to be ready for Jesus. Amen.
Having brought New York to Caerau, Central Perk (our own little coffee shop) is continuing to welcome a whole host of heavenly guests as we meet more of Jesus’ friends.
In the first three weeks, we met James, John, Matthew, Mary, Martha and Lazarus, listened to their stories and learnt how and why they became friends of Jesus. Following on from Lazarus, we met Thomas, who told us of his disbelief that Jesus had risen from the dead. We thought about our own doubts (whether it will rain tomorrow, whether Wales could win the world cup, whether Father Christmas was real!) and learnt that we don’t have to see things to believe in them: we can’t see gravity and yet we don’t all fly up into space!
After Thomas, we met Peter, one of Jesus’ best friends. He told us of how he had been afraid to tell people he knew Jesus but how Jesus had called him the ‘rock’. We made pet rocks (sticking googly eyes on pebbles and building a house for them to live in) and learnt the actions to the song ‘The wise man built his house upon the rock’.
One of our lesser known guests to the cafe was Simon the Zealot. He told us how he had believed that Jesus had come to lead an army against the Romans but Jesus had taught him “Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be children of God” (Matthew 5:9). We thought about all the little acts of peace we could do in our lives (talking to new friends in Pathwayz, trying to stop an argument between friends, being quiet so your Mum can have a rest) and made and decorated doves. We also learnt and performed a Pathwayz Peace Dance based on the New Zealand haka!
After a well-deserved half-term break, our cafe opened once again to welcome Mary Magdalene who told us how lonely and sad she was before she met Jesus. Jesus changed her life so much that she was the first person to see him after He rose from the dead. We decorated friendship crowns made out of two people holding hands and thought about all the people Jesus chose to be friends with: angry people, sad people, lonely people and sick people.
Our cafe will be open for another three weeks as we continue to meet and talk to more of Jesus’ friends. We have begun to realise that Jesus made friends with all sorts of people from lonely, ostracised women to tax collectors to simple fishermen. Accompanied by the Friends soundtrack and The Beatles song With a little help from my friends, we are learning that Jesus will always be there for us and, in return, we must help Him by sharing His good news with everyone we meet.