dream3Children and young people of the URC’s Eastern Synod recently enjoyed the opportunity to meet together alongside the Synod’s Spring meeting for the first time.

Taking the theme of ‘Dream’, participants considered their dreams for children in the world today using the book ‘God’s Dream’, written by Archbishop Desmond Tutu, to them unpack the theme further.

‘We speak different languages; have different customs and think in different ways. Yet we are all God's children, and God dreams that, like any family, we will learn to love each other and to live in peace together.’

This theme came about due to a resolution which the Synod passed at its previous meeting concerning the plight of refugees and offering support to some of the projects designed to help their situation.

dream1The day began with some icebreaker games to get everyone acquainted, including the Duck Rescue Challenge (with the yellow, bath tub variety, not real ones!), before the group shared some of the stories from the book, ‘Where Children Sleep’, looking at different places, from around the world, where children sleep, including a tin hut, a rubbish tip, a pile of tyres and a single bed in a room filled with soft toys. The age range of the children in the book goes from 9 to 17 years, so there was much for everyone to think about, inspiring some thought-provoking conversations.

The young people went on to talk about what their dreams for these young people would be and what God's dream is for the world. The children created a collage of thought clouds to reflect their conversations during the morning.

Desmond Tutu’s book, along with 'Dreams of Freedom', from Amnesty International, added to the interesting conversations in both groups.

It was great to see all ages together, sharing a picnic lunch, conversations, crafts and games.

dream2After lunch, a small group of children reported back to Synod with their thought clouds and a member of the youth Synod, Aaron Wood, gave a report on the URC Youth Assembly 2016.

In the afternoon, everyone designed a T-Shirt about their dreams for children in the world today, ready to wear for the Closing Worship, which the children and young people led. The Children's Synod also made 150 bookmarks with rainbow fingerprints to hand out, including a quote from Desmond Tutu's book:

'Dear Child of God, do you know how to make God's dream come true? It really is quite easy. As easy as sharing, loving, caring. As easy as holding, playing, laughing. As easy as knowing we are family because we are all God's children. Will you help God's dream come true?'