By Andrew McKaysmith, Synod Writer and Content Creator.
The 36th Synod was filled with colour and creativity, thanks to the artistic flair of the children from Uniting Early Learning.
In the lead-up to the event, cardboard hats and glasses were sent to childcare services by Jessica Pinkerton, Mission Integration Project Officer – Uniting Early Learning. The children were asked if they could colour and decorate them for people to wear during the Plenty Party celebrating our Life Together and honouring the Plentiful work of so many from across the life of the church.
Jessica had seen first-hand how much the children enjoy creating things during her visits to Early Learning services. She was thrilled when she received almost 200 elaborately decorated hats and glasses from services across the state.
“The sheer joy on the faces of the delegates when they put on their hats and entered the Plenty party was terrific and echoed the joy of the kids that created them,” she said. “I am so grateful to the children and staff at the services for the time and effort they put into decorating the hats and glasses. I know that it was a sacrifice for some of the children not to be able to take their creations home.”
Sharing Jesus’ love, grace and mercy with people in the communities will manifest in many ways. Jessica said she understands the significance of asking the children in Uniting Early Learning services to contribute to the life of the church. The 36th Synod is an excellent example of the philosophy in action, and Jessica is keen to explore many possibilities and opportunities for collaboration.
“I’m looking forward to working with congregations and services to explore and find more ways to connect the children and families in our services with our congregations and get them working together and for each other and their communities,” she said. “I was somewhat hesitant about how the delegates would respond and was so happy to see that so many embraced the spirit of the Plenty Party, as they proudly wore their hats and glasses all night.”
Forest Lake Child Care Centre is one Uniting Early Learning service that decorated the hats and glasses with gusto. Hao Nguyen is the Lead Educator at the service, and she saw first-hand how excited the children were to share their creations.
Hao said the children wanted their creations to look unique and original.
“The children tried hard to make their hats look beautiful. Everyone’s hat looked different, showing their creativity,” she said. “After doing this activity, we gave them a chance to show the group, which made them proud; we then talked about who will be wearing the hats and wondered how they would feel! It was a fun learning experience.”
Over the coming months, Jessica will be working with Paul Wetzig and the Discipleship Working Group to connect with, expand and strengthen Ministry networks to bring together people working and volunteering with young people and their families across our churches, and childcare services and communities. An invitation is extended to all interested in connecting with others to learn from and encourage each other in their ministry with children, youth, young adults, and families. Don’t hesitate to contact Jessica Pinkerton, Jessica.Pinkerton@ucaqld.com.au or Paul Wetzig, Paul.Wetzig@ucaqld.com.au to learn more.