The National Month of Prayer for toddler group ministries will again take place in June. This year’s theme is ‘Welcome one – welcome all’ with Luke 19v1-10 as the keynote scripture. This annual prayer focus encourages churches to pray for the work of their toddler groups as they reach out to serve the needs of families in the local community.
The story of Zacchaeus is a wonderful example of friendship and hospitality – 2 key elements to any toddler group. It involves a little man (lots of little ones at toddler groups) who wanted to be a friend of Jesus. As many groups offer an unconditional warm welcome to families in local communities, the love of Jesus is shared in practical ways. A life-giving experience for so many!
Roy Crowne, Executive Director of HOPE says, ‘During this month, as we pray for parentand toddler groups, let’s get close to the heart of God for children and their families and enable their spiritual wonder, love and trust to be flourishing. It is such a vital ministry within the church that will transform and effect generations to come.”
During the month, various activities are planned: making friendship trees with all the names of the group members on leaves; playdough mats involving making Zacchaeus climb up a tree; inviting people to visit the toddler group and share a cup of tea etc. Raising the profile of this vital ministry is so important and toddler groups up and down the country look forward to this annual event. The National Month of Prayer wants groups, the leaders, the children and their families to be supported in prayer.
‘Toddler groups are a precious gift offered by churches to the wider community. In a place ofwelcome, relationship, play, and care, toddlers and adults are invited to experience something of the character of the living God. In this National Month of Prayer, we pray that toddler groups will provide a space for children and adults to discover more of who they areand encounter the hope and love of Jesus Christ.’ The Rt. Revd. Rachel Treweek, Bishop of Gloucester
If you want to know more about Toddler Groups Dip into the ideas, activities and articles on the 1277 Facebook Group: facebook
What is 1277?
In the UK, a child has an average of 1277 days between birth and starting ‘nursery’. 1277 wants to make each of these days count, so in 2009 the1277 Network was formed. It is an ecumenical network, passionate about resourcing and supporting church-based toddler groups and the families whom they serve. It has a website www.1277.org.uk and active Facebook group www.facebook.com/groups/1277makethemcount/