Advent Day 9: Exploring Christmas and Advent alongside 400 school children

A church on the outskirts of Glasgow has worked with hundreds of school children to explore the Christmas story.

Around 400 local children took part
Around 400 local children took part.

Williamwood Parish Church, near Clarkston, used interactive sessions to help 400 pupils from Carolside Primary School to engage with Christian themes.

Rev Janet Mathieson, the minister at Williamwood Parish Church, said it was "a delight to have children in the church sharing the Christmas story".

Staff and volunteers welcomed the visitors over three days, with each group spread across three stations, where they collected either a donkey, sheep, or camel sticker.

At one station they looked at Advent calendars, including one created by Christian development charity Embrace the Middle East, which tells the story of Sami, a Syrian refugee in Lebanon.

The children learnt about lighting Advent candles as a reminder of the Christmas messages of hope, truth, peace, joy and love.

Christmas cards that have been decorated by local pupils will be sent to Lebanon and other areas where Embrace the Middle East operates
Christmas cards that have been decorated by local pupils will be sent to Lebanon and other areas where Embrace the Middle East operates

At another station they dressed up as characters from the Nativity, then acted it out at the 'stable' and wrote messages on stars to hang on their star tree with Christmas wishes.

The final area featured making and writing Christmas cards, which will be sent by Embrace the Middle East to Lebanon and elsewhere.

Each session ended with Christmas carols and a prayer.

Speaking about the activities, Ms Mathieson said "we're grateful to the school for partnering with us and to Embrace the Middle East for providing some of the materials for us.

"The fact the children know the cards will be going to Lebanon helps them to understand that Christmas is not just about presents and parties, but is about the love of God come amongst us and that's a love we share with people all around the world," she added.

Under-fives from a local nursery and toddler group were also included in a separate 'Getting Ready for Christmas' service.

Find out more about Wlliamwood Parish Church and Embrace the Middle East

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