Monday, 1 June, 2009

Playtime at Philadelphia is for mums of children under 5 in Sheffield that has evolved out of a flourishing mother and toddler ministry of a large church.

St Thomas' Philadelphia has three well-established Playtime groups meeting on different days of the week. Due to their popularity, the larger numbers mean that opportunities for prayer and discussion with those interested in finding out more about the Christian faith is limited.

In January 2009, Space4Me was begun as a joint venture between Playtime and Restore (the church's ministry to vulnerable people). Space4Me is aimed at women who are interested in exploring more about God but struggle to 'fit' into a usual church setting. Meeting weekly in term time, those with children are able to drop them at the crèche provided and enjoy an hour and a half exploring self-esteem through spirituality together. It is deliberately kept small to enable friendships to deepen and discussions to take place.

After an opening prayer, the group eat lunch together. This is followed by a craft activity on a theme relating to self-identity/esteem (through card-making, treasure box, jewellery-making, clay, photo frames) and chat. The group then turns to sharing time with the offer of prayer for those who would like it. To finish, there is 15 minutes of gentle input on a Christian theme relating to how God sees and values them. Mums and their children meet up once a term to have celebration time together.