Where do you you find a Regional Worker on the 1st day of term? On holiday? Desperately trying to finish their camp accounts? In bed sleeping off a 'camp hangover'?
Well in the east end of Glasgow we believe in hitting the ground running and so you would have found me at 8.50am in an assembly hall full of eager/nervous/petrified new first years in the local secondary school.
The theme of the assembly was 'choices', and with the help of a clip from the Adjustment Bureau (thanks to Assemblies Online for the idea) we challenged the young people to consider the choices they make and the implications these will have on their time at school and beyond. We also asked them to consider that we might be created and intended to live a life God planned for us, and how this would impact the choices they made. This assembly on its own is not much, even the series throughout the year with every year group will only form part of the picture.
The school like the link that this assembly provides between primary and secondary school - and to be honest, as chaplains so do we. Each chaplain is active in their local primary school and it's great to be able to continue that contact throughout their education. Three out of five of of the primary schools that feed into the secondary school have SU groups and the first year pupils from these groups have all been invited to join the SU group as they start the secondary school. The primary weekend away we held back in June was an excellent opportunity for P7s to meet pupils from other primary schools, and now many of them will recognise eachother as they join the SU group at the secondary school. These guys are also the lucky year as they very quickly receive an invite to the east end secondary weekend away in November where they will meet young people from other secondary schools in the east end of Glasgow who have had a similar journey to them. At the risk of getting carried away, these 1st year pupils - having grown up into big 4th years - may find that these people in the SU group are the same people they'll be meeting at Wannabe's, the senior's group for east end young people which meets on a Monday evening. This group has of course got its own residential trip too!
Our prayer is that God would use the relationships formed over the long term in this joined-up work to bring young people to a deeper understanding of and ultimately faith in him.