Today is Family Friday and your challenge….. To spend time with your family UNPLUGGED! No TV, no phones, no tablets. And yes, that goes for the grown ups too! What sort of things can you do as a family? We like to play games or bake. But maybe you’d like to go for a walk to see the Christmas lights, or do something creative together. Whilst you’re spending time together why don’t you talk about your hopes for the next year?
Today your challenge is to thank someone. And not just with a quick text or message. Spend the time to sit down, with a pen and paper, and write someone a card or letter saying why you’re thankful for them. Has someone restored your hope over the lockdown? Or maybe you know of someone who is in need of a bit of hope, who has helped you in the past? Whoever it might be, spend TIME thanking them today.
A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices.
This is a line from O Holy Night, one of the most loved Christmas Carols. It was written in 1847 but it’s truths ring as true today as they did 173 years ago. This world is weary and in need of a rescuer to bring hope.
I’ve heard lots of people say that they put up Christmas lights early this year because people need a bit of hope and sparkle. Because light brings hope in the darkness.
Jesus was called the Light of the World because he brought hope of a new way of living and loving into the world. He was love made flesh.
Your challenge today is to light a candle in your window and talk with your family or friends about how you can and already do bring light into a world of shadows. How can you bring hope and love into your community? We’d love to hear your thoughts and ideas, share them in the comments!
Below is one of Hannah’s favourite Christmas songs. You might like to play it and reflect on Jesus, the Light of the World, whilst you light your candle.
In the beginning the Word already existed. The Word was with God, and the Word was God. He existed in the beginning with God. God created everything through him, and nothing was created except through him. The Word gave life to everything that was created, and his life brought light to everyone. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it.
John 1:1-5 NLT
Over the next four Tuesdays we’re going to have four opportunities to treat some people! These could be the same people, or they could be different people. They could be someone you know, or a complete stranger. The treat could be small…. Like a chocolate bar. Or it could be much bigger… Like an overnight stay in a 5* hotel in the Bahamas?!
Today your challenge is to think of someone who might be needing a little extra hope this week. Do you know someone who has been struggling with feeling lonely? Perhaps you know someone who is really fed up. Or MAYBE you could treat your parents by cooking them a meal, making them a cup of tea… Or even, (I know… this is a weird one…) BY TIDYING YOUR ROOM!?
Whoever you choose to treat, and whatever you choose to treat them with, we pray that this small action will bring hope into their week.
Over the next few Mondays we’re going to look at some different mindfulness exercises to get our spirits prepared for Christmas. Mindfulness is a word that has been getting popular over the last few years, but it is not a new idea, meditation has been used by Christians for hundreds of years as a way of getting a deeper understanding of who God is. Today your challenge is to spend some time outside in nature, whatever the weather!
The advent theme for this week is hope. During the first lockdown we had such nice weather that it was easier to feel hopeful about the situation. Now that it has been going on for months, and the weather is rubbish, our hope seems to be dwindling. But I encourage you to go outside and look for the beauty in nature even through the rubbish weather. Do you see raindrops hanging from leaves? Can you hear the wind rustling through the trees? Make use of all your senses and feel connected to the world that God created around you.
Advent Wreath – HOPE
Hello! We’re starting our advent challenge two days early this year so that we can collectively light an advent candle in each of our homes. Advent wreaths are a way that churches have celebrated the countdown to Christmas for centuries. Check out the video to find out a little bit more and get involved with making your own. Happy Advent Challenging!
We start our advent challenge tomorrow by lighting our first candle of advent. Below are the details if you want to get involved!
This year has certainly been a challenging one for all, and we’re really sad that we’re not going to be able to celebrate Christmas in our usual Youth Project way. But we’re hoping that this year’s Advent Challenge will help to bring a little of our usual Christmassy joy!
Below you’ll find all the details you’ll need to begin the advent challenge; a calendar which has some of the details, a wreath that you can colour in as you complete the activities each day, and some ideas of how to create your own advent wreath at home.
Similarly to previous years, there’s no pressure to complete all the tasks, BUT please pay attention to the special dates on the calendar in this pack. The dates in bold are events that you need to remember, put them on the calendar/in your diary/on your phone/whatever you use to remember things!
If you want to take photos of the things you get up to, please upload them (or ask your parent to upload them) to social media and tag us, using the hashtag #hypadventchallenge2020.
We can’t wait to celebrate the lead up to Christmas with you! Keep an eye out for more info and resources as we go through the challenges!
Below is the November edition of our prayer letter. All prayers, big and small, are appreciated!
Hannah has been officially UNfurloughed and is back and ready to go! We’re spending the next couple of weeks figuring out what the Youth Project looks like in this new ever-changing normal, but keep your eyes peeled for updates on our plans.
In the mean time, we wanted to say a big HELLO and WE MISSED YOU LOADS!
What do you miss most about Harvington Youth Project? Let us know!