Our children love to take part in a program, which becomes evident every time we plan a special program.
Our Christmas program during Advent 2015 was called “A Child is Born: What Did the Animals Think?” We began with traditional pageant roles, reading the Christmas story from Luke and Matthew as angels, shepherds, wise men and Mary and Joseph walked down the aisle to the manger. However, the children then shifted into a more imaginative mode as they began to wonder, through verse, what the cow, the goat, the dog and all the animals were thinking as they, too, witnessed the wonder of Jesus’ birth. Of course, they did this in animal costumes, which added to the fun.
The next time the children rallied to put on a program during worship was Children’s Day. We began by reading Beautiful Hands by Kathryn Otoshi and Bret Baumgarten, learning what our own “beautiful hands” can do and wondering what our hands will do in the future. We then used our hands and finger paint to create a giant tree under a rainbow that became the central backdrop for our worship program. We looked at Bible verses about hands and concluded by telling a story that emphasized that we are Christ’s hands in the world.
As we entered summer when many families go away on vacation, some of those families took “Take-out Church” boxes with them. The box was filled with activities, some just for fun, but others focused on faith and prayers. Central to this was “flat Jesus,” a cardboard picture of Jesus, representative of our belief that Jesus is always with us, even when we are on vacation. Children took photos of themselves on vacation with “Flat Jesus,” and these photos were posted on the church Face Book page.
As summer ended and plans were being made for Sunday School, we decided to begin with a festive first day. The children loved having their faces painted, receiving balloon animals and marveling at a juggler on a unicycle. It was a joyous start to Sunday School for a new school year.
During this year, we have the potential for thirteen children in the Children and Worship class and eighteen students in the KFC (Kids for Christ) class. The Children and Worship class continues to use their curriculum focusing on Bible stories that are acted out using wooden figures that represent the people and things in the stories. The KFC class is using more of the Harry Potter stories and comparing them to Bible verses to explore some of the great mysteries of our faith. The KFC students remain in worship on most Sundays when we have communion. To help them better understand what is taking place in our worship services, we spend a few minutes pointing out elements of worship to watch for during the class in the week prior to the Sunday they will stay in church. They receive some questions and if they can answer them the week after communion, they earn a coupon for a free ice cream cone. Lyn Farrell and Ellen Ratmeyer teach the Children and Worship class, while Mary Jane Brown and Katy Staats teach the KFC class.
As our year draws to a close, we are planning our Christmas program again and will repeat “A Child is Born: What Did the Animals Think?” The children enjoyed presenting this last year and are eager to try different parts this year. We are grateful to the congregation for your support of our children and our Sunday School! Thank you!
Mary Jane Brown
New students? Call 767-2243 for information about our Sunday School!