Holding a Back to School with God Sunday service is a fantastic opportunity to pray for and support your young people and school staff at the start of a new school year. It is an excellent link between church and school, and an encouragement to Christian pupils and staff. It communicates to children that the church family cares about them in the context of school life, and will commit to ongoing prayer for them and their schools.
Resources are currently being edited and will be available by the end of May. In the meantime, please email your interest to firstname.lastname@example.org.
All the resources you need to run and publicise a service are provided. For those who don't have space or opportunity to run a full service, a 10-minute children's talk is also available. Our 2018 theme is Read! Listen! Do! which resonates with schools and education as well as reading the Bible, listening to God, and doing something as a result. The service explores the Bible story of Philip and the Ethiopian found in Acts 8:26-39. It is suitable for all ages and can be adapted to suit your own needs. The following resources are FREE to download upon registration:
- All-age Service and accompanying PPT Slides
- A4 editable poster
- Bookmark (to order)
- Children's Talk and accompanying PPT slides
- Memory verse ideas
- Puppet Drama
What is encounter?
Encounter is a prayer event for young people from P7-S6 held in two locations - Central and North. It brings together youth groups from various different churches and provides a fast-moving programme which enables young people to both explore prayer and engage in prayer through workshops, prayer stations, quiet zones for personal prayer, prayer games. It also includes worship by a youth band and Bible teaching on prayer which motivates and inspires young people towards more confident prayer.
DATES for 2019
The 2018 events have already taken place! Dates have still to be confirmed for 2019, but normally Encounter takes place each March.
At Encounter we want to:
- motivate and equip young people towards a lifestyle of prayer
- create opportunities to pray – alone, with others, spoken out, creatively
- hear God’s voice and increase faith through Bible engagement, worship, and testimony of answered prayer
Young people love Encounter - particularly the prayer stations. The event is suitable for all young people, no matter what faith stage they are at.
'I feel like today I have learnt so much like trusting God and that I shouldn't be afraid to pray and talk about anything!' P7 girl
'Today has helped me feel closer to God; it has helped me realise I can have a personal encounter with God.' S2 girl
'I reckon God has been asking me to surrender my time to him, as there is a lot of stuff I want/need to do, and I find myself struggling to fit it all in. I shall have to be bold and comply.' S4 boy
'Many thanks for all the hard work that went into making encounter happen. Our young folks had a great day! They agreed the Bible message was really helpful and relevant. The praise band was well received and they all enjoyed the worship time. All left the event feeling they had grown in their understanding of prayer.' Youth leader
Interested in serving on the team?
If you are in S5 or S6 and within travelling distance of Glasgow, join us on the planning group - or in the team who serve as youth helpers at both events. Drop an email to email@example.com to volunteer. We also need willing volunteers to serve at the events as youth helpers (aged 16 to 18) and as stewards and on the tear-down team. (Please note that all helpers will be asked to apply for accreditation as an SU Scotland volunteer and to have a current PVG certificate.)
We would love you to keep on praying for your friends, family and school all year round. Why not hold your own "mini Encounter"?
- Speak to other youth groups in your town or area and see if they are interested in joining with you.
- Arrange a planning group.
- Choose a date and central location.
- Book a local praise band and speaker.
- Have a time of worship and pray out prayers of thanksgiving and praise.
- Share a testimony.
- Pray in small groups.
- Organise prayer stations similar to those you have seen at Encoutner.
- Come back together to worship and finish off.
- Start a pupil prayer group at your school
Pray Together! is a fun-filled, hands-on, two-hour Sunday afternoon prayer event, particularly aimed at families with primary school age children who can chat, read and write (although obviously older or younger siblings are welcome!). The vision of Pray Together! is to be
- a place for families to discover new, uncomplicated ways to pray together
- a place of fun, exploring as a family group what it means to talk with God
- a place where Jesus is at the centre.
Pray Together! events are now finished for 2018, however check out the Pray Together! Facebook page to find different family prayer ideas.
Pray Together where you live
Interested in hosting a family event, with prayer at the centre? Our vision is to see local events with Christians from different churches working together to run Pray Together! We hold programmes which are off-the-shelf, and we are available to come and support a local team. For further information, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Find out more about the programme...
Pray Together! is highly interactive, with families exploring the Bible together, chatting about what they read, and responding in prayer in a multi-sensory way. The programme appeals mainly to families with children in the 4-9 age range, and includes
- Bible reading
- snack time
- things to listen to
- things to do
- times to discuss and pray as a family
- take-home ideas
Here's what folks said following Pray Together! this past session:
'We came not sure what to expect at all but didn't leave disappointed! Firstly, we felt very welcome. I liked the quiet calm setting and the space you chose the venue in." Parent, after Inverness event
'Every morning my daughter takes something of hers to school for "Show and Tell." Yesterday morning she insisted she wanted to take her Pray Together pack. As soon as she got to the playground she whipped it out of her schoolbag and started telling her closest two pals about it. They were rapt in attention as she explained in detail everything she had enjoyed about it." Stuart, after Uphall event
'Thank you for all the work that went into Pray Together. I think the vision is absolutely fantastic and really important in the discipleship of children growing up within the church. I'd love to see more families engage with it' Karen, after East Kilbride event
Join is a special week of prayer for Scottish schools (19-23 November 2018), incorporating European Pray Day for Schools on Tuesday 20 November. We invite you to Join with us, wherever you are, to focus on and promote schools prayer during this week.
New! for 2018, there is a particular focus on praying for Shine in Schools (www.shininschools.com).
We have free resources suitable for school groups and adult groups. Check our events page to find out if there is a Pray Day or Join event happening near you – or let us know if you have one you would like to promote! Find out more here.
Every year we set aside time to pray together as supporters, volunteers and staff – to seek God and express our dependence on him for all our needs. A sheet of prayer topics for the Day of Prayer 2017 is available from Elizabeth.McDowall@suscotland.org.uk or by phoning 0141 352 7632 (Tues, Wed, Fri).
Our next SU Scotland Day of Prayer will be held in January 2019.
If we pray every day privately, why do we need a special day of prayer?
A Day of Prayer is about prioritizing time with God to hear from him as well as speak to him about our concerns and needs, and our strategy for the future. On that special day it is great to know the loving, prayerful support of the SU family. You might like to take part in one of the following ways:
- Our Church PowerPoint contains slides showing different aspects of SU Scotland ministry, including a prayer that people can join in to pray aloud. Obviously this is useful at any time, and not just on our Day of Prayer! Do consider using it in a church service at any point in the year, or at a midweek meeting.
- By using our Day of Prayer Topics Sheet, either individually, or perhaps in a wider prayer group, action group or SU prayer group.
- By joining us in person on the day: see our events page for where and when.
We would love to hear from you if you have taken part, and particular if you felt God saying something in particular with regard to SU ministry. Email email@example.com with your stories.
Pray for holidays & missions
Perhaps you can't physically go on an SU Holiday or Mission this year - but you can still join the team. We depend on our prayer partners just as much as those at the events!
If you would like to sign up to pray for camps and missions, you can do so here