From Buffets to Banquets – A BIG THANK YOU!!

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Step’s current supporters gathered together last Saturday over a lovely meal at Beales Hotel in Hatfield, to hear the latest stories on how Step has impacted the lives of young people in St Albans and Harpenden.

Why the title “From Buffets to Banquets?”  It is to highlight not only the Dinner last week, but also our annual Barn Dance in January – that was accompanied by a sumptuous buffet!  These two events allowed Step to speak to a variety of people, some who champion and encourage us in various ways, and others who have no idea who we are.  

We were able to showcase and promote the work that we do in schools and talk about Jesus - there is something very powerful about sharing food and talking about Jesus together!  The Dinner and the Barn Dance has raised nearly £11,000 and we are very grateful for the generosity our guests offer Step.  

However, Step is still in the unfortunate position of having a projected deficit of £18,000 by the end of this academic year.  If you would like to help Step, here are the three ways you can:-

Giving

Praying 

Promoting Step.

Thank you everyone for all your efforts to ensure Step continues to offer all it can to the local secondary schools.

The grey matter behind iMatter

Each term our Schools Coordinators and admin staff take a day out of our usual routine to focus on God. This term, on Wednesday 20th March, we invited along our extended team of volunteers to share more about our iMatter theme and its impact in schools. 

We are often asked what inspires our ideas. It’s a very good question but not a simple answer, so on Wednesday we explained how our iMatter theme developed. Chris explained the juxtaposition he found himself in that created the discomfort and challenged him to look for the response Step should be offering, because of our faith, to mental health discussions. 

Coming soon: our brand new iMatter mat

Coming soon: our brand new iMatter mat

Helena went on to explain the resources we have developed because of our iMatter theme to address some of the issues faced by our students. 

Our guest speaker was Kate Middleton, a church leader from Hitchin who works with young people to support their mental health. Kate was very passionate about her role and talked a lot about expected behaviour of teens and how to build resilience in them. 

The conversations on the day were fascinating and very productive, resulting in volunteers signing up to join our lessons and Step Days. It was a wonderful opportunity to build friendships, especially with our newest volunteers who spent much of the day ooh-ing at our resources and cackling at tales of our antics in schools. Click here if you’d like to know more about becoming part of this magnificent volunteer team.

Going forward, some of what we learned on Wednesday will be the inspiration for our next resources. When the team sit to debrief (and the feedback comes in), there will be nuggets of wisdom that shape our thinking and we will certainly be better for them.

Terrie

Who is the most powerful? Who has the most influence? Who is the best leader?

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As some of the team walked down the tarmac to Verulam School to deliver Leadership Foundations, they discussed how so many young people have missed the point regarding leadership. Young people often believe leadership is simply delegated power and authority, probably because of their experiences and examples.  Step wrote a course called Leadership Foundations to address this attitude. Step’s intention for these sessions is to equip young people to be our next generation of leaders. Leaders we would respect, admire and trust. Leaders who have the skills for the job, but also are suitable for the job - full of integrity and positive values and of good character.

Leadership Foundations has just finished its third week. This week 12 students were faced with the three questions mentioned in the heading and many others. The students were presented with some of the best leaders known to mankind and were asked who is the most powerful, the most influential and the best leader. Their response was very millennial - they chose to measure leadership by counting who had the most followers. Jesus won each category. They voted Putin as second, so more work is needed…

The students are attending this after-school course to learn about leadership as they prepare to be Senior Officers at school. They will learn about Skills, Teamwork and Influence. But more importantly they will also learn about Identity, Character and Perseverance. Step provides scenarios for the students to lead in and then work with them to explore how they lead. The following week, students present what they learnt about each aspect of leadership.

If you would like to support Step’s courses or any of Step’s work, please do make contact to find out how.

Safe Haven

Increasingly we are hearing reports that young people’s lives are being wrecked by anxiety and stress-related problems. Recent government advice was that all schools should provide support to enable students to deal with their emotional wellbeing.

“Schools have an important role to play in supporting the mental health and wellbeing of children by developing whole school approaches tailored to their particular needs.”

- Department of Education, November 2018

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As Christians, we believe that our Heavenly Father cares a great deal about the state of our wellbeing, not only in an eternal sense but in terms of how we live our lives whilst here on Earth.

The Haven in Schools was launched as a joint initiative between STEP and the 2:67 Project in order to create a safe space for students to receive help with their anxiety and learn some basic but life-changing tools to help them overcome anxiety in their lives. The course lasts for 6 weekly sessions.

7 students from Year 11 have just completed the course. One student said: “I would recommend Haven because it helps you deal with the way you are feeling & it shows you how to calm yourself down when you are panicking.”

Another 9 students from Year 10 in Nicholas Breakspear school are now at week 3. We are also in the process of approaching other schools we have a relationship with to offer them The Haven.

Ultimate Questions Marathon

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We are nearing the end of a fortnight where our Ultimate Questions lesson is being taught in 3 schools. This means that by the end of this marathon, approximately 1,300 students will have been in one of these lessons since the school year started in September, which is a remarkable statistic. 

The lesson involves moving the tables to the side of the room to create a big space for students to sit in with the room divided by masking tape and 10 A3 laminated question cards placed on the ground.This in itself creates an environment that is so different to the norm that they enter with great anticipation (and on occasions, confusion). 

A volunteer is chosen from the class on the basis that they are open-minded and able to make judgements about the best arguments given. This volunteer reads out the first Ultimate Question, which is always ‘Is God real?’ The students then discuss this in groups before having to vote with their feet, as they move one side of the masking tape or the other, depending on whether they think the answer is yes or no. 

The volunteer then facilitates a debate with a variety of different arguments given, including a chance for the Step team to share the Christian response. Although the debates get a little lively and animated from time to time, I sometimes think Her Royal Highness should insist the Houses of Parliament take note of and learn from the general civility of discussions and respect given by the teenagers.

The chosen volunteer then needs to weigh up the arguments and decide which side gave the most persuasive reasons. This determines what Ultimate Question is asked next. The route is different in different lessons but we always get to debate several of life's big questions, such as 'Was the Universe an accident?', 'Does God allow suffering?', 'Is there a purpose to life?' and 'Is there an afterlife?'

It is always a privilege to spend an hour discussing these questions and helping young people process them for themselves, sometimes for the first time. Perhaps it’s something you would like to be involved in or you know someone who would thrive in this setting. Why not get in touch to find out how you can join the team.

Time to change

Well, it had to happen. These things have a way of creeping in and we're now at that point where something has to change (I realise some people reading this are worried about what is coming next!).

Atonement is often spoken about in terms of our faith; we talk about atoning for sin, for the reconciliation of humankind to God through Jesus as our atonement. 

Today I’m talking about atonement, but in a different context. There is an understanding in the Step office about my IT skills - or to be more specific, an understanding that my computer skills are not great, or even good, and in some cases completely absent! I have managed over the years, but the truth is that my attitude to learning these skills is poor. I don't understand the language most of the time and to be honest, I couldn't see the benefit of taking the time to learn as I was never convinced it would speed up the processes I use in Step in the long term. 

After years of resistance, Terrie finally gets to grips with Step’s database

After years of resistance, Terrie finally gets to grips with Step’s database

But now. Well. Now the diversity of what Step can offer each school is growing, the number of volunteers who help us to make all of this happen is bigger than ever and I'm in a position where unless I do something different, I will sink.

To atone for my bad attitude towards learning anything to do with my computer, I will now make a concerted effort to learn, understand and use the Step database (I have been putting this off for a long time). The old way of doing things won't work and something needs to change. I know I'm not the only one to have found themselves in this place like this. It is not comfortable - but it has to happen.

If you would like to join Step as a volunteer and journey with me, please do get in touch. If you would like to support us by praying for our work, you can join our prayer email.

Terrie

How much are you worth?

What is the value of a human being?

Science holds plenty of answers to this question. For example, if you were chopped up into different bits, your heart could sell for a hefty £425,000 on the black market. You’d get another £5,000 for your skeleton and £15,000 just for your corneas. All in all, as an illegal (and probably reluctant) donor of organs and other body parts, you’re worth rather a lot.*

The human mind: £2,500 or priceless?

The human mind: £2,500 or priceless?

Someone has calculated the value of our brains by working out that we can store about 100 terabytes of data. That’s the same as 25 4-terabyte hard drives, at a total cost of £2,500 - so we could argue that your brain is worth £2,500.

You wouldn’t be worth as much if we broke you down into your chemical elements, though. We all have a tiny bit of gold present in our bodies, but it would take 40,000 of us before we had enough gold for one UK sovereign coin. Not much value there. 

When students have the opportunity to discuss science and faith, a common assertion is that science holds all the answers we need. But when I presented the above question to a Year 10 class at Beaumont this week, they weren’t at all satisfied with the answers that science could provide. Students often tell me that they only trust what can be scientifically proven - yet they won’t hesitate to declare that human life is of infinite value. They look positively horrified when I suggest testing that hypothesis in a lab!

A chap called Professor John Lennox noticed that there can be many true explanations for things. For example, we can look at a kettle and ask, “Why is the water boiling?”

a) Because the heat is being conducted through the base of the kettle and that’s agitating the molecules of water

b) Because I’d love a cup of tea

One of these answers is a scientific explanation, and the other is a personal explanation. Both are true. Both are important.

Christians look to their faith for answers to life’s biggest questions. We may know for a fact that your organs are worth a lot of money, but our iMatter page holds a very different answer to the question, ‘What is the value of a human being?’.

Sir William Bragg won the Nobel prize for physics in 1915 and was one of many Christians who feel that the different answers offered by science and faith complement, rather than contradict, one another. When asked whether science and religion are opposed to one another, he said:

“They are: in the sense that the thumb and fingers of my hands are opposed to one another. It is an opposition by means of which anything can be grasped.”

*Please note that Step does not condone the illegal chopping up and sale of human beings.

Love Is All You Need

I am writing this article after “eating my frog’” as Terrie would say, and washing my car (even my dad was surprised to see me do it, it has been that long). My car, who I have named Tilly, has become an important part of my life as a schools worker. Without her I would be unable to get to all the different lessons and events in my school. 

I have begun to realise the importance of looking after my trusty little Tilly who I depend on to get me everywhere. The week before half term, despite having a nail in her tyre, she reliably got me to Townsend and back everyday so that I could run the I Am Loved Cafe for Feelin’ Good Week. I had a great time in the Discovery Centre each day running activities and speaking to the students about their lives.

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During the week we focused on two projects: making a Garden of Peace and a Wall of Love. Having projects to work towards helped the students to engage as they could see they were part of something bigger. 

The students loved making their flowers for the peace garden and it opened up some great conversations whilst they were thinking about what made them feel peaceful. For a lot of the students it was their friends, family or pets that made them feel most peaceful. 

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Later in the week the students began to draw and write things they wanted to add to the wall of love. Again we had some fab conversations from talking about family and friends to talking about beds and sleep!

During the week students could also design a mask. Whilst they were doing this they were encouraged to think about the masks they wear in life. A few students I spoke to admitted they act differently around their friends to how they act around their family. This is unsurprising as they are in a time of life where they are still trying to work out who they are, but it was great to be able to talk about why there were these differences. 

All in all we had a fantastic week creating, thinking and talking. I’m very grateful that my little car managed to get me there each day so I could continue to have these conversation (and in case you are wondering, she had a trip to the garage to fix her tyre after the cafe finished on Friday).

If you would be interested in getting involved in cafes we would love you to get in touch by clicking here.  

Helena :)

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Learning for life

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Over the past 6 weeks of deepest winter half term, a team of tenacious Step volunteers and workers descended upon Roundwood’s Year 12 with a carousel of 6 early morning sessions per week. The sessions are designed to bring salt and light to areas of life often contemplated less in an academic environment. Our sessions included: Love Languages, Ethical Shopping, Values, Myers-Briggs personality profile, understanding the male and female brain and iMatter.

In the church we are more familiar with teaching which speaks to our hearts about how we relate to ourselves, friends, God and the wider world around us. However, we were intrigued that many of the concepts that we set out to discuss with the students were alien to many of them and often things they had never considered previously.

Much of the content required engagement primarily on an emotional and relational level rather than being just theoretical. Some students were apathetic and not keen to spend energy discussing these topics, others were baffled and struggled to find a point of reference as they began to explore, and still others found the sessions informative and began to reflect more about their meaning and application.

Overall, we were reminded that these young people are worth infinitely more and are far more interesting than the educational achievements they so often measure themselves by. Our hope and prayer for them are that they will continue to discover the blueprint of God’s incredible and intentional design for them, and become aware of their immense value.

The power of talking

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This week marked the end of Step’s latest Tough Stuff Course at Nicholas Breakspear School. The Step facilitators sat watching smiles morph into sad faces and then back, as the 8 week journey concluded with a small party.

The students had joined us at the start with various mind sets, ranging from feeling overwhelmed all the way through to being emotionally locked down. 

These brave students had embarked on a journey together to consider their grief and loss and, as the Tough Stuff course encourages, to ‘grow through it’. Which they did! As they fed back what they had learnt during the course, every student acknowledged the power of talking. Accepting the truth of their situations and recognising that in time things would be different were also key discoveries. Each student in their own way made giant leaps. Some said ‘I have learnt to forgive myself’, others have realised ‘It wasn’t my fault’. They also said ‘I should be kinder to myself’, ‘I should focus on the good stuff’, ‘Being positive is better than being negative’, ‘I’ve realised others have it worse than me’ and ‘I’ve learnt to walk away and come back when it’s calmed down’. 

These young people haven’t just learnt skills to manage their loss; many also fed back an increase in confidence, self esteem, communication skills, empathy, positivity and managing their emotions. Step is so proud of each student and we look forward to seeing what these brave souls do with their new skills and qualities.

The increasing need of young people in the area of mental health is a huge cause for concern and Step is seeking to harness the treasures of the church to help young people navigate these issues. Step runs courses on relationships, loss and also leadership. We also work with The 267 Project to deliver a fabulous new course on anxiety.

If you would like to help young people through these courses, please contact us to find out how. There is a need for finances to run the courses, prayers for the brave young people seeking to change, and more team to enable us to offer these courses to any young person in St Albans and Harpenden.

Go Your Own Way

Since September we have interviewed 9 new volunteers. This is very exciting, as each of them will bring something new to Step. 

Whilst everyone has to fit into an existing pattern of the school day, they will each start their volunteer role in their own way, to suit their other commitments. 

Some volunteers systematically attend everything that Step does, which can take many months; they then choose to focus on a particular lesson, activity or school.

Other volunteers have one day a week that they can offer and so they will do whichever lesson in any school that is needed on that particular day.

Often our volunteers are already sure what they want to do; some want to commit to do the same thing every week such as leading a lunchtime group, or a single lesson a week, whereas others want to spend a whole day with us on an occasional basis when we run a retreat. 

Step benefits massively with each new volunteer because they see things we can do better or differently. They have experience and stories about their walk with God to share. Each also brings their own unique combination of abilities - whether in poetry, admin, prayer, pottery, maths, storytelling, IT or flower arranging - which hugely enriches what we can provide to the young people of St Albans and Harpenden.

When you pray, please thank God for these new volunteers. They really will make an enormous difference to Step. If you’d like to chat about what your unique role as a Step volunteer could look like, do get in touch: terrie@stepschoolswork.org.uk

Terrie

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Juggling A Difficult Topic

This week we have been teaching our Suffering lesson with Year 9s at Verulam, which, as you can imagine, can be a sensitive topic as we can easily get overwhelmed by the sheer amount and variety of suffering that we see in our own lives and in the news. The essence of the lesson is asking the question, how can Christians pray ‘hallowed be your name’ to an omnipotent (all-powerful) and all-loving God who allows suffering to exist in the world he created? 

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This dilemma is posed in the lesson by trying to teach a student to juggle, with the balls representing ‘God’s omnipotence’, ‘God being all-loving’ and ‘suffering still exists’. Although juggling is difficult, it is possible with a bit of practice and in the same way, Christians are able to juggle those 3 truths, despite there seemingly being a contradiction. There has been a lot of enthusiasm to learn to juggle, including some boys staying behind at lunch after a lesson to learn - I think I may need to set up a juggling club!

Fortunately, there has also been a lot of enthusiasm for the rest of the lesson too. To address the question at the heart of the lesson, the boys considered what a perfect parent would be like, why God giving humanity freewill was perhaps an immense act of love, how God comforts us through suffering, what the impact of The Fall and the existence of the devil is, how our actions make a difference to ourselves and others, what we can do to fix some of the problems in the world and respond to those who are suffering, how suffering can help grow our character, how Christians can have an eternal perspective and what God has done to ultimately solve the issue of suffering through Jesus suffering and dying on the cross. 

It’s a lot to get through but it’s such a powerful lesson and the conversations we’ve had this week have been amazing. 

The Snug Update: friendship, snacks and jellyfish chat

Give a girl a sofa, snacks and the right companions and the conversation will venture into realms you’d never have anticipated!

The Snug has been running at Loreto for three weeks and in that time the chat has covered everything from the profound to the mundane to the downright ridiculous. We’ve hotly debated the virtues of chocolate vs. crisps vs. popcorn and discussed whether mountains are better than the beach. We’ve wondered about extreme acts of forgiveness and shared advice on how to armour oneself against jellyfish. The students taught me what happens at a Catholic mass and I taught them the difference between a waffle brain and a spaghetti brain. We’ve talked exams, friendships, romance, religion and cake. Somehow, in the midst of all that, we’ve found time to consume many kilograms of biscuits. 

The room is feeling truly cosy now and several girls have asked where the decor has come from. They were genuinely touched when I explained how many people wanted to help make The Snug a welcoming place for them.

Thank you to everyone who has donated items or supported Step’s work in Loreto in other ways - the love and generosity you’ve demonstrated to these young people is already having an impact. 

A collection of jellyfish is known as a ‘bloom’ and can resemble a group of students descending on a packet of chocolate biscuits

A collection of jellyfish is known as a ‘bloom’ and can resemble a group of students descending on a packet of chocolate biscuits

A fool for Christ

Dancing isn’t my thing. I managed to avoid dancing at my own wedding. But somehow I ended up dancing at Step’s Barn dance on Friday night.

I say ended up - by that I mean some generous people donated lots of money to watch me dance. Not just dance, but to dress up as Wonder Woman and Do si Do and Strip the Willow in front of everyone. It was a rather discombobulating experience. Luckily I wasn’t alone and Hermione and Captain America joined in. Despite the ritual humiliation for charity, the evening was a great success with over 90 guests turning up to dance, eat and have fun together. This is our third Barn Dance and the best one yet. Don’t tell anyone, but I’m beginning to enjoy it. Do join us next year.

On reflection, this wasn’t the first time and won’t be the last that I’ve dressed up for Step, or more precisely for Jesus. I’ve dressed up as a scientist carrying ox tongues to illustrate what the Bible says about the power of the tongue. I’ve been a builder fixing the roof of the house which the paraplegic was lowered through. I’ve been the judge deciding if Jesus’ body was stolen. I’ve been guards, Goliath, Pharaoh, Adam, Eve, Moses, Samson and Ehud the Judge. I’ve even been a witch (from the Narnia stories) to demonstrate evil; Edmund, to explore the nature of sin and Aslan to explain substitution. To add to the spectacle, I even chose to walk from the office to the school, inciting a huge reaction from the students who saw me from the buses on their way to school. One responded by saying “You must really love Jesus to commit such social suicide!” Maybe he was just voicing a modern understanding of what it is to be ‘a fool for Christ’. 

God is still calling us to be fools for him.  To live in ways that are counter cultural. In what way is God calling you to be a fool for Christ? If you’d like us to provide you with some opportunities to achieve this, do get in touch.

If you’d prefer to pray, do join us to pray for the schools and Step on Tuesday 5th at High Street Methodist Church at 7.30.

It's Chapel - but not as you know it!

St George’s chapel has stood as a monument in the centre of the school’s life since it was founded in 1907. Throughout the years to present it has remained a constant centre for worship used weekly by students and staff alike.

To many students, attending chapel is a compulsory part of school life, a necessary ritual required as part of enrolment in such an outstanding school. But relating to God in school has recently taken on a fresh level for many students who chose to join in with the January week of prayer.

The zeitgeist is for personal connection and interaction, and so the genius of this week has been the move in St George’s to use this incredible space, historically dedicated to worship, and adorn it with opportunities for contemporary prayer to God, which would stimulate personal faith in the students.

6 prayer bases were set up around the chapel with colourful lighting surrounding some. This required moving a few chairs away from each base, but enabled the chapel to be used for normal services too.

The bases covered areas of interaction with God, such as seeking God’s forgiveness, lighting candles for praying for healing, a large map and post-it prayers for the world, and a wailing wall for prayer requests to be stuck in the cracks. Another was for celebrating the pilgrimage of life by building bead bracelets, and the pun-loving Rev’s favourite base was entitled “DRAW” near to God – worship through art corner.

About 50 students attended the chapel each day during their break and lunch times, adding up to around 200 through the whole week. Students were observed reflecting, taking their time, praying with each other and commenting on how uplifted they felt.

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A Chance to Shine Brighter in Our Schools

Sometimes the growing pressures in our society can make some Christian young people feel overwhelmed when explaining their faith to peers in school. How can young people shine their light whilst amongst their friends and peers?

At Revolution Day, an event run at The Vineyard Church, Step spoke to young people about how they can be salt and light in their schools. With a pile of glow sticks and several sacks of salt Chris and Sara got the young people to think about what Jesus meant when he asked us to be salt and light. Using this as inspiration they presented their ideas to each other and encouraged one another through prayer. (Have a look at their handiwork below)

Revolution Day is a activity packed day for young people to come and worship, hear teachings, play team games, play on inflatables and spend time with other young Christians their age from across the city and surrounding areas. As well as running the Salt and Light session we had also brought our Justice mat along for the young people to explore and enjoy.

It was lovely day and a great opportunity to spend some time with young people in a relaxed environment.

Put yourself in the picture

At our Step Day this week, we were able to invite adults who were keen to see first-hand how Step works, what the resources are like, how the team interacts with the students and how the students respond. 

The Step Days are simply the best way to see all of these things in practice. 

There are people who would love to work with Step, enabling them to go into their local community and share their faith to help young people engage with Jesus. But these same people have an amazing array of doubts about how they might fit into Step and the bigger picture. They can’t see themselves standing in a classroom full of students, let alone leading a lesson. They feel they don’t know how to do any of the things that Step does. 

The Step website has a section for volunteers. If you’re interested in what a Step volunteer can expect, do take a look at this section to find out what some of our volunteers say and watch a video of John, one of our current volunteers, explaining why he loves working with Step. You can also find the testimonies of past interns and volunteers under The Step Experience.

If you would like to discuss how you could work with Step, please contact terrie@stepschoolswork.org.uk.

Youth work is all about moving chairs!

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Why? Because youth work is about creating room for God. Whether physically, emotionally, spiritually or even chronologically. To do that you have to move things. You have to make space.

Regarding change and growth, some people say you should wait for a stroke of serendipity, but youth workers don’t. They aren’t content to wait and hope the universe cuts someone a break. They don’t sit back and watch others become overwhelmed by their situations. Youth workers intentionally make moments and spaces where young people can be changed forever. They support during hard times, they hang out during the normal times and cheerlead during good times. Christian youth workers go one step further and try and create space for God. They believe that Jesus is the best possible thing for young people and He is the one who is best positioned to help us experience life in all its fullness.

With this in mind, yesterday Step spent the day with 30 amazing sixth formers from Nicholas Breakspear School. The aim of a Step Day is to create a hallowed space for the students to reflect on how to move on from school and into what God has for them next. Through four diverse activities, 14 amazing volunteers enabled the students to consider God’s technicolour gift to them (think Joseph), to reflect through being creative, to practically challenge fears attached to change and finally, through using Dare to Engage’s OPEN activity, encounter some of Jesus’ thought regarding how we cope with liminal moments.

Do you move chairs and create space for God? Would you like to? If you’d like to do it with us, through physically moving chairs or praying for us as we make spaces for God, or you’d like to help support the growing work of Step, please do contact Terrie.

New year, same fabulous me

In their first week back at school after the Christmas holiday, students at Loreto had the delight of listening to me rant about why I can’t stand New Year. 

It’s not so much a new year itself that I don’t like (although when you have 45 minutes spare, I’ll happily elaborate on everything that’s wrong with the omnishambles that is New Year’s Eve). My biggest problem is with the phrase “New year, new me.”

I’m all for making positive, realistic, healthy changes. Of course we all have room to do better, whether that’s in the love we show to others or in the care we take for ourselves. We don’t need a new year to start a good habit, but it can be a useful prompt to reflect and begin afresh.

What isn’t good is when we set unrealistic or unhealthy goals in an effort to transform ourselves, because we think that we are inadequate and need to become something different. That’s why the phrase “New year, new me” drives me mad.

In their assemblies this week, each year group at Loreto were reminded that they are fearfully and wonderfully made. The Bible doesn’t say that you’ll be a fearfully and wonderfully made creation just as long as you can remain a sugar-and-carb-free, thrice-weekly gym attendee. It says that you have been a fearfully and wonderfully made creation since you were first knitted together, before you were even born and long before January 2019. 

Maybe this year will bring you some exciting changes and personal growth. But let’s not start 2019 by thinking we need to be something we’re not. Let’s do away with this ‘new year, new me’ nonsense and join with the Loreto students in saying, “New year, same fabulous me, maybe doing things differently.” 

Sara

Psalm 139

Psalm 139

Cheers to our Step Reps

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On Wednesday evening, we said a big thank you to our Step Reps with a lovely meal at Forest Town Church. It was a great evening of encouragement and fellowship. A special thank you needs to be said to Gillian, one of our Step Reps and volunteers, who helped organise the event, but alas, she wasn’t able to attend the evening due to illness.

For those of you who don’t know, Step Reps are members of church congregations who help us connect with their church through distributing and displaying promotional material, helping us arrange church visits and ensuring updates about Step are shared. Every Step Rep’s role will look slightly different to reflect their own situation and the nature of their church. You can find out more about the role by clicking here so please get in touch if you’d be interested in getting involved in this way. Even if your church already has a Step Rep, it may be possible and beneficial to share the role to be even more effective.