Family Game Night – 2020 Edition

Family Game Night – 2020 Edition

It’s time for Family Trivia!


Moms, Dads, Grandparents and Kids of all ages are invited!


Merge and Children’s Ministries can’t wait to see your whole family for a night of virtual trivia


6:30 p.m. on Sept. 16


We’ll get to connect and have fun together as a church family on Zoom. Each family will be joining other families to make teams of 2-5 families. Each team will create a team name, choose a team captain and will work together to answer general knowledge, pop culture and Bible trivia questions.

*If your family joins on separate devices, you may be on separate teams*

All ages are welcome!


RSVP here for the Zoom link and password. Questions? Ask Melissa!

Return to School Safely

Return to School Safely

In an effort to help our parents navigate through the many issues associated with in-person learning, we are sharing this information from the Florida Department of Health in Hillsborough County:

As in-person learning at schools resumes, everyone in their households should take steps to stay healthy and protect each other from getting sick. Practice everyday preventive actions, limit interactions with other people, and stay informed on COVID-19 updates.

Back to School Planning: How to protect your family and loved ones 

For many families, back to school planning will look different this year than it has in previous years. Your school will have new policies in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19. You may also be starting the school year with at-home learning. Whatever the situation, these tips are intended to help parents, guardians and caregivers plan and prepare for the upcoming school year.

  • Children should be advised to do the following:
    • Wash hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
    • If soap and water are not available, use a hand sanitizer comprised of at least 60% alcohol. Make sure you are using a safe product. FDA provides a list of hand sanitizers consumers should not use. Adults should monitor children while they use hand sanitizer.
    • Maintain a recommended physical distance from other people, including other students.
    • Avoid sharing objects with other students, including water bottles, devices, writing instruments and books.
    • Monitor how they feel and tell an adult if they are not feeling well.
  • Develop daily routines before and after school—for example, things to pack for school in the morning (like hand sanitizer and a backup mask) and things to do when you return home (like washing hands immediately and washing worn cloth masks). Wash your hands immediately after taking off a mask.
  • Be familiar with your school’s plan for how they will communicate with families when a positive case or exposure to someone with COVID-19 is identified and ensure student privacy is upheld.

Older adults and people with certain underlying medical conditions are at increased risk for serious illness from COVID-19. If your household includes anyone who is at increased risk, then all family members should exercise the appropriate precautions.

People who live in multi-generational households may find it difficult to take precautions to protect themselves from COVID-19 or isolate those who are sick, especially if space is limited. It is important to understand potential risks and how to adopt different types of prevention measures to protect your family and to help reduce the spread of COVID-19. The CDC recently created guidance for multi-generational households. Although the guidance was developed as part of the CDC’s outreach to tribal communities, the information could be useful for all families, including those with both children and older adults in the same home. You can also contact your local health department for guidance.

Back to School Pick-Up Party a Success!

Back to School Pick-Up Party a Success!

Our Back to School Pick-Up Party on Aug. 16 and Aug. 19 was a total success! Thank you to everyone who came out and saw our Children’s and Youth Ministries Teams. It filled our souls to see so many of our families’ faces. We had 74 cars come through Sunday and Wednesday – with 240 people in total show up! WOW! We handed out “Spread Love” masks for children, youth and adults with some goodies for the school year, too. We hope to do another drive-through experience with our families in the coming months.

Back-to-School Pick-up Party

Back-to-School Pick-up Party

Back-to-School Pick-up Party

Join us for a Back-to-School Pick-up Party in the Magnolia Parking Lot!

1-2 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 16


6:30- 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 19

Drive through and pick up some frozen treats and fun back to school giveaways!


The Children’s Ministries and Merge Staff will have stations set up for you to drive through and pick up fun back to school giveaways (like masks and backpack tags) as well as a frozen treat for those in the car!

Enter the parking lot from Magnolia St. and follow the signs. 

  • Please stay in your car and wear a mask.
  • Drive slowly through the marked route
  • Pull up to each station
  • Make sure to put your car in park at each station  


We can’t wait to see you! Questions? Email Kristin

Back 2 School Blessing Event

Back 2 School Blessing Event

Students! Parents! Educators! School employees! 


A new school year is an exciting time! And no matter what it’s going to look like for you and your family, we want you to go into the 2020-21 school year with the confidence of God’s love, presence and promises!


Elementary, Middle, High School, and College students as well as school teachers and staff are invited to send us a picture to be a part of this year’s blessing event:

Attending school in person? Take a photo of you with your backpack!

Virtual or E-learning? Take a photo of you in your “school space.”

Whatever ‘back to school’ looks like for you this year, we want to celebrate it!

And if you picked up a face mask or backpack tag from our pick-up party, we’d love to see that in your photo too!


Then, join us for 9:30 or 11 a.m. online worship on Aug. 23 for the Back 2 School Blessing as we pray for peace to surround each person. May we make God’s love real as we begin a new school year.


Submit a ‘Back to School’ photo by Wednesday, Aug. 19 to be featured during 9:30 and 11 a.m. online worship on Aug. 23!


Questions? Email Kristin

Summer Faith Builders for Families

Summer Faith Builders for Families

Fancy trips and high-tech gadgets aren’t required for first-rate family memories. In fact, some of the best experiences occur during “down time,” when you can have quiet conversations about family and faith. Encourage kids to share thoughts about how you spend time together. Use these questions as a springboard for insightful conversations: “What are family times that are most special to you, and why? What do you wish we did more of together? What do our favorite things to do as a family say about us? How can we demonstrate our faith in God during these times together? Why does Jesus like us to spend time with him?”

Summer Faith Builder #1: Nature Hunt
For younger children, make picture-based checklists of things found in nature, and go outside to find each item listed. Kids can mark off the items with a pencil. Afterward, talk about what you noticed about God’s creation. Then take some time to praise God together for making all the things you found.

Summer Faith Builder #2: Express Yourself
Use sidewalk chalk to declare your love for one another and for God. Fill your driveway or sidewalk with special messages, family “portraits,” and short Bible passages.

Summer Faith Builder #3: Swim, Jonah, Swim!
If your kids are good swimmers, play a game of Tag. The person who’s It is the Big Fish and tries to tag someone else. Afterward, talk about Jonah and why it’s important to obey and follow God.

Summer Faith Builder #4: Go for “Some More”
Set out ingredients for s’mores and make them together, assembly-line fashion. As you eat, ask: “When has God done ‘some more’ for you? Why do you think God wants us to do ‘some more’ for others?”

Summer Faith Builder #5: Let It Shine
Place floating candles in a kiddie pool, and then use squirt guns to try to extinguish the candles. Talk about how we can shine our light for God, no matter what tries to put it out.

Summer Faith Builder #6: Come to the Water
Experience Jesus’ forgiveness by having family members stretch out their hands and think about anything they need to confess to God. Pour some water from a bucket onto all the outstretched hands, and then gently dry them with a towel. Pray together, thanking Jesus for always forgiving us.

Summer Faith Builder #7: Bubblin’ Over
On a sidewalk (or tarp), place plastic bowls of bubble solution mixed with washable paint. Give each family member a straw to blow bubbles in the mixtures. Then place paper atop the colored bubbles to create designs. When dry, fold the papers in half to make cards, and write the message “God’s love is bubbling over for you” on the outside. Give the cards to people who need encouragement this summer.

Summer Faith Builder #8: Seed, Seed, Grow!
Play a game similar to Duck, Duck, Goose. The person who walks around the circle is the Gardener and carries a full watering can. He or she taps heads and says “seed”—until sprinkling someone’s head with water and saying “grow.” Afterward, talk about the parable of the growing seed (Mark 4:26-29).

Our thanks to

Pin It on Pinterest