As we approach the end of the school year and your children’s time as part of Children’s Ministries, we wanted to take a moment to communicate some important information to you. While we will miss your children being a part of children’s programming, we also recognize what an exciting time this is for them and for you. We have been blessed to see them grow into beautiful, young people with a curious and growing faith in God. Thank you for allowing us to partner with you and your children.
We wanted to let you know about a few dates to help facilitate the upcoming transition between Children’s and Youth Ministries. You should also have received a letter from Emily Felgenhauer, with more detailed Merge Youth information.
May 3: Emily Felgenhauer, Youth Director will be visiting Club 45 from 6:30–7 p.m. (Wesley Center 308). This will be a great opportunity for Emily to meet the 5th graders in an informal and fun environment.
May 7: Last 5th grade small group at 9:30 and 11 Sunday Morning Live. Also Emily Felgenhauer, Youth Director will be stopping by 5th grade Sunday Morning Live (Wesley Center 301 at 9:30 a.m. and Wesley Center 306/7 at 11:00 a.m.). This will be another great opportunity for the 5th graders and Emily to meet and get to know each other.
May 14: 5th grade Graduation Recognition and Family Reception. This is their last Sunday as a part of Children’s Ministries. (sniff! sniff!) There will not be 5th grade small group in Sunday Morning Live, as 5th graders and their families are invited to attend either the 9:30 or 11:00 Sanctuary service and be recognized during the service. 5th graders and their families are also invited to a reception from 10:30-11 a.m. in Wesley Center 308/9 to celebrate this milestone! Please RSVP and indicate which service you will be attending so we can reserve adequate space in the Sanctuary.
May 21: They’ve officially ‘graduated’ from Children’s Ministries (no more Wesley Center computer check in). They are now transitioning over to MERGE (youth) programming. Your rising 6th grader can either attend worship with you or if they are interested in serving as a committed volunteer in Children’s Ministries, please contact Melissa (to have your child serve with 3-4-K age group) or Melinda (to have your child serve with grades 1-5). Please contact Melissa or Melinda prior to May 21 so they can make arrangements with you and your child for scheduling, training and other details.
May 21 is also Merge Information Night for rising 6th graders and parents, 5:30 p.m. Magnolia, followed by “Messy Night” for students.
June 26-June 30: Vacation Bible School. Register here. Rising 5th and 6th graders *Includes an exciting program for rising 5th & 6th graders. Youth who are rising 7th grade and up are invited to volunteer for VBS.
We are looking forward to a wonderful morning of worship this Palm Sunday! We will celebrate with our wonderful children’s palm processional, representing Christ’s triumphant entry into Jerusalem, at the 9:30 and 11 a.m. Sanctuary Services.
Please read below for important information on the processional:
- Our preschool (3-4-K) and elementary (grades 1-5) children will process with their Sunday Morning Live (Sunday school) shepherds.
- Upon arrival, please check your child(ren) in on the computers in the Wesley Center (and put their nametag on). Greeters (in red vests) will be available if you need help with our check-in system.
- After check in, please escort your child(ren) to either the playground (3-4-K kids) or the Memorial Garden (grades 1-5), where our Children’s Ministries staff and their shepherds will be.
- If you have a child younger than 3 years old that you would like to participate, you are welcome to join in! We just ask that you remain with them at all times and process with them.
- After the processional, our preschool and elementary children will be escorted back to their Sunday Morning Live classrooms in the Wesley Center for regular programming and we will have our normal dismissal process.
Please also remember to bring a child-size palm branch from home for your child to wave during the processional.
On Sunday, Feb. 26, our two and three year old families that participated in the Picture Bible Faith Steps groups were blessed and presented a Picture Bible.
Faithsteps is a series of classes and groups that partner with parents to develop their child’s faith from birth to high school graduation. To learn more about the next Faithsteps class, contact Kristin Passath (Children’s Ministries) or Emily Felgenhauer (Merge Youth Ministries).
On Friday, Feb. 28 our families enjoyed quality time, fun snacks and the movie “Inside Out” at our Family Fun Night.
This event was hosted by our Children’s Ministries as a way for parents to have a fun, stress-free way to have a fun night out as a family. The children enjoyed fun snacks, a photo booth, crafts and more throughout the evening.
View photos from the event below:
Lent is a period of time (40 days, not including Sundays) leading up to Easter Sunday. The forty days represents the time Jesus spent in the wilderness, where he prayed and fasted, endured temptation and prepared to begin his ministry. We use this period of time to prepare for Easter, to re-focus our lives, so we can grow closer to God. Our lives are filled with distractions that take us away from living a life with Christ. Like Jesus, we all need to take time to pray and listen for God. Lent is a great time to “repent” — to return to God and re-focus our lives to be more in line with Jesus. It’s a 40 day trial run in changing your lifestyle and letting God change your heart. You and your family might try one of these practices for Lent:
FASTING: Some people have been known to go without food for days. But that’s not the only way to fast. You can fast by cutting out some of the things in your life that distract you from God. Some Christians use the whole 40 days to fast from sweets, television, soft drinks, or electronics as a way to purify their bodies and lives. You might skip one meal a day and use that time to pray instead. Or you can give up some activity like worry or reality tv to spend time outside enjoying God’s creation. What do you need to let go of or “fast” from in order to focus on God? What clutters your calendar and life? How can you simplify your life in terms of what you eat, wear or do? (Check out this article for ideas on Family Time Lenten Sacrifices.)
SERVICE: Some Christians take something on for Christ. You can collect food for the needy, volunteer, commit to help a different stranger, co-worker or friend everyday of Lent. Serving others is one way we serve God.
PRAYER: Christians also use Lent as a time of intentional prayer. You can pray while you walk, create music or art as a prayer to God, or savor a time of quiet listening. All can be ways of becoming more in tune with God.
Here’s a devotion you can do tonight with your family.
“Purify me with hyssop and I will be clean;
wash me and I will be whiter than snow.
Let me hear joy and celebration again;” Psalm 51:7-8a (CEB)
Guilt vs. Grace: We have all dealt with the feeling of guilt. Guilt is a feeling of knowing that you have done
wrong and there may be some type of punishment/consequence coming. But, God always offers us grace. Grace is God’s unearned and unconditional love, a gift given before we do anything good or bad. It is through God’s grace that we understand the guilt is not from God, and if we turn towards God’s love through grace we can move beyond our guilt and sin.
Have you ever been playing outside on a really hot day? You were sweaty, sticky, dirty and maybe even a little bit stinky! Or maybe you spent the day at the beach and you were full of sandy grit and sunscreen? You really were in need and wanted a shower or bath! Why was it so great to take that shower or bath and get clean? How is God’s forgiveness like that really great shower or bath? How do you feel knowing that God’s love and forgiveness are always with you even when you have done wrong?
Connect Activity: Sand Prayer
Supplies: Sand, tray or sandbox to hold sand (could also use salt if sand not available)
Using a sand box or a small tray with a layer of sand. Take time to write the things you feel guilty for in the
sand. As you are doing this, talk to God about why you feel the way that you do and ask for God’s grace to
wash over you. When you are ready, move your hand in the sand over your writing and watch your guilt be
washed away by “God’s grace.”