Thursday, August 15, 2013

ENews - Upcoming Stuff

How are you doing this week?  Is back-to-school preparing going okay?  Such an exciting and daunting time of year!  Please know that we are praying for you as you prepare to launch your kiddos into another school year.

We are still in need of teachers and faith friends for the upcoming Sunday School year:
  • Teachers:  Do you want to be a part of teaching kiddos the Gospel message, engage the kiddos with the Bible stories, and walk with the children in new ways to approach an old book?  Think about teaching!  You will get to teach either art, science, cooking, or games - all stations that get at the theme in a new way.  It's a lot of fun, and very rewarding!  Teachers leave service with the Sunday School children after Children's Time every Sunday and are expected to commit to at least one unit (5 weeks) of service to our precious children.
  • Faith Friends: Do you want to help out with Sunday School but don't necessarily want to teach?  Do you want to form relationships with the kids that lead to awesome conversations about God, life, and how this Gospel connects with our daily lives?  Consider being a Faith Friend - the person who travels with the students to the different stations each week.  Faith Friends leave with the Sunday School children after Children's Time every Sunday and are expected to commit to at least 2 units (10 weeks) of service to our precious children.
If you are able to serve the children by being a teacher of Faith Friend, please join us a 10:30 on Sunday the 25th of August for a Sunday School volunteer training.  If you cannot make that meeting, then please join us at 5:30 on Wednesday the 28th.  It is awesome to join with God in what he is doing in the lives of our little ones!  Please connect with me if you are interested.  :)

  • August 24th at 2:00: Critter Sketch!  We are partnering with the Humane Society and Art Reach to help tend God's four-legged creations.  There will be live animals, time to hang out, and lots of fun!  Learn how to draw an animal from someone from Art Reach, then draw animals currently at the Humane Society who are up for adoption!  The drawings will be given to the Humane Society to use to help get the animals adopted.  Bring a friend, draw a creature, and partner with God in tending his furry critters!
  • August 25th at 10:30: Sunday School volunteer meeting
  • August 28th at 5:30: Sunday School volunteer meeting
  • Sheldon Theater volunteering: the lovely people at Sheldon Theater let us use some royal costumes during VBS to dress up the event!  In return, they are asking for our help in the costume shop.  Are you willing/able to help out?  Details TBD.
  • Leaf raking: as we did last fall, there will be a day where we gather together to help rake leaves of people in our community.  Details TBD.
  • Rally Sunday/ First day of Sunday School: September 8th!!!!!!!!  Yay, first day of Sunday School!!  Please note that on this day, the kiddos need to be at church by 8:30 as we will be singing some of the songs from this year's VBS during service...and Pastor Greg is dying his hair a fun color since the kiddos raised over $300 for Imagine No Malaria during VBS!!!!!!!  AND next year's VBS theme will be announced!!  God is doing great things!
If we live, we live for the Lord; and if we die, we die for the Lord. So, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord. Romans 14:8 NIV

...1 in 4 children in the U.S. (according to recent estimates) have been diagnosed with a psychological disorder of some kind.  Chances are that you know a child who lives with one or more of these diagnoses.  Did you know that people who lived with psychological disorders are in the Bible?  Some say King David had major depression, etc.  

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

ENews - Fun in the Son

     Can you believe we are halfway through July already?  My goodness where does the time go?  What have you and your amazing family been up to this summer?  Have you caught any of our movies in the park? Okay, that was far too many questions in a row...   :)

     I came across a wonderful video today that I'd like to share with you all.  Statistics show that approximately 1 in 4 of our children can be diagnosed with a psychological disorder.  If you know 10 kids, chances are 2 to 3 of them are or will be diagnosed with something.  This video was made by a young woman named Carly.  Carly has autism.  Carly wants the world to know what life is like for her, and has coauthored a book about living with autism with her father.  CLICK THIS LINK TO SEE "CARLY'S CAFE" (It's about 3 minutes long).


Versese to Ponder
The stone the builders rejected
    has become the cornerstone;
23 the Lord has done this,
    and it is marvelous in our eyes.
24 The Lord has done it this very day;
    let us rejoice today and be glad.
--Psalms 118:22-24

Did you know...
In Hebrew, Namaan's name literally means "pleasantness".  

May you pause today, look up, and listen for the voice of the Lord in your life. 

Thursday, June 27, 2013

ENews - Sun, fun, and summer

     How are your summers going?  It has been awesome to hear how you all have been enjoying the beauty of God's creation as we pick the first fruits of gardens, stop to smell the petunias, and generally enjoy each other's company!  A few things you should know about:
  • Lunches:  We have been partnering with the YMCA, United Way, and other local churches to provide food to families in local parks on Mondays/Wednesdays.  Do you want to bring food to a park, and hang out with some cool kiddos and their families while sharing a mealtime?  Let us know! 
  • July 5: Movie Night! - "When the evil spirit Pitch launches an assault on Earth, the Immortal Guardians team up to protect the innocence of children all around the world."  We will be showing "Rise of the Guardians" in the park on July 5th!  Come on out to watch a cool movie, hang out with some awesome folks, and munch on nummy popcorn!
  • July 14: Curriculum Test-Drive - As mentioned in the newsletter, we are changing some things about how the Sunday School is structured.  Part of the change means that 5th - 7th graders are going to be in their own group with their own curriculum that better addresses their needs at this age.  All kiddos going into 5th - 7th grade are welcome to join us at 10:30 on the 14th to go through the curriculum to give their feedback!  After the test drive, we will go to...
  • July 14: Beach Party!! - Ann Correll and her husband have graciously volunteered to host a beach party at their house!  All kiddos and their families 5th-12th grade are invited to kick off the new youth groups!  Come enjoy wonderful company, eat good food, spend some time in the will be awesome!  :)
  • July 22 - 26th: Vacation Bible School - Have you signed up your kids yet?  (Do so HERE!) Registrations are coming in for Vacation Bible School 2013: Kingdom Rock!  Are your kids ready to have a royally fun time learning about standing strong for God?  During the Thursday of that week, there were be a cookout in the park in the evening, and a singing performance by an awesome band, as well as by our kiddos!

Verse to ponder: For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it. Matthew 16:25NIV

Fun Biblical Fact: The verse in the very center of the Bible is Psalms 118:8.  

Thursday, May 16, 2013

ENews - Nearing the end...

Hello all!

     Can you believe this upcoming Sunday is the last meeting of Sunday School for the 2012-2013 school year?  My goodness, how times flies!  It seems like just yesterday we were rolling out a new year full of potential and excitement...and now that year is full of memories and lots of lessons learned  :)

     I don't really have a station spotlight this week, just wanted to check in with you and let you know a few things:

  • We do not have regularly scheduled Sunday School next week.  However, we will have a short gathering during the regularly scheduled time so that the children can receive their gifts from the church for this Sunday (I spent all day working on them today...they're pretty neat!).
  • This Sunday is "Sundae Sunday", so be sure to stick around to celebrate the past Sunday School year with yummy ice cream sundaes!  
  • You will be getting registration forms for the upcoming Vacation Bible School (VBS) in the mail soon.  Please fill those out and get them back to us asap.
  • These emails will continue through the summer weeks - keep your eyes open for news about a June event for the kids!
  • God loves you!

Did You KnowA number of verses in the Bible (KJV) contain all but 1 letter of the alphabet:-- Ezra 7:21 contains all but the letter j; Joshua 7:24, 1 Kings 1:9, 1 Chronicles 12:40, 2 Chronicles 36:10, Ezekiel 28:13, Daniel 4:37, and Haggai 1:1 contain all but q; 2 Kings 16:15 and 1 Chronicles 4:10 contain all but z; and Galatians 1:14 contains all but k.

Verse to Ponder: "The Lord your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing.” Zephaniah 3:17 NIV"

Thursday, May 9, 2013

ENews: Balancing Act

     First, I'm sorry for the missing post last Thursday.  My family was just a tad snow-bound and lacking power, so emailing did not happen.  Hopefully more snow won't clobber us this spring!  It has, however, been rather unique to drive past snow berms this past week while the thermometer in my car read 70 degrees F.  :)  God sure created a unique world that we live in, that snow and heat can co-exist (though not for long!)  What are your favorite snow-bound activities to do?  My son Drexel likes to eat the snow (I think he thinks it is like ice cream) and will eat whatever snow is in front of him, even if it is on the floor.  He was, however, very happy to be able to play outside again once the snow was gone.  I wonder what Jesus did to play when he was a child during his life here on this Earth?

Station Spotlight - God's Canvas (Art)
     It takes a variety of people and talents to do God’s work.  The early church chose seven wise and good helpers to assist the apostles and take care of those in need.  Today, each of us plays an important role in serving others and helping with the work of God’s church.
     Alexander Calder (1898 – 1976) is remembered as one of the most prolific and innovative American artists of the 20th century.  Calder’s parents were both artists, and they encouraged their children’s artistic interests.  Even though he had been interested in art from an early age, Calder was educated as an engineer and had a variety of jobs.  While he was a fireman on a ship, he had an experience that changed his career and his life.  While his ship was off the coast of Guatemala, Calder saw a beautiful sunset on one horizon and an equally beautiful full moon on the other horizon. Within a few months of this experience, Calder became an artist.  Calder was best known as a sculptor, but he worked in new ways.  He made giant sculptures to be displayed outdoors.  He also liked to bend and twist wire to “draw” figures in space. 
     The kids during art this unit are making mobiles in Calder’s tradition, hanging seven bits of art that contain ideas for service to others, in the spirit of the seven helpers appointed to oversee the charity functions of the early church. Balance is part of any mobile.  Can you talk with your child about where balance is found in their life?  How can they balance helping others with other things they need to do?

Business-y Items
  • The current unit in Sunday school is a week shorter than the previous units.  Thus, we will be ending the Sunday School year on May 19th....Sundae Sunday!  There will be a celebration of Sunday School and the wonderful time spent with the children in the past year.  Please make sure your child will be there on that Sunday in particular (I love seeing them every Sunday) as I have a special gift for all of the kids...and Sunday School leaders!!
  • VBS: You are going to keep getting emails from me about VBS (last full week of July).  Soon you will receive the registration excited for the summer!  We still need hands to help, so if you are interested in helping, please let me know ASAP!  :)
Verses to Ponder
"During this time, as the disciples were increasing in numbers by leaps and bounds, hard feelings developed among the Greek-speaking believers—“Hellenists”—toward the Hebrew-speaking believers because their widows were being discriminated against in the daily food lines. So the Twelve called a meeting of the disciples. They said, “It wouldn’t be right for us to abandon our responsibilities for preaching and teaching the Word of God to help with the care of the poor. So, friends, choose seven men from among you whom everyone trusts, men full of the Holy Spirit and good sense, and we’ll assign them this task. Meanwhile, we’ll stick to our assigned tasks of prayer and speaking God’s Word.”
The congregation thought this was a great idea. They went ahead and chose—
Stephen, a man full of faith and the Holy Spirit,
Nicolas, a convert from Antioch.
Then they presented them to the apostles. Praying, the apostles laid on hands and commissioned them for their task.
The Word of God prospered. The number of disciples in Jerusalem increased dramatically..."  Acts 6:1-7 (The Message translation)
Did you know...
Stephen, the man noted as "a man full of faith and the Holy Spirit", was the first documented martyr of the Christian faith.  Paul/Saul, who we studied earlier this year, was present at his martyrdom, which consisted of stoning.  
    May you refuse auto-pilot Christianity and experience the blessing of serving others, just as God serves us.

    Love love love!!

    Thursday, April 25, 2013

    ENews: Jesus says...

         Have you ever seen weather fluctuations like we've had in the last week?  Tuesday snow storm (gosh, it was pretty in the morning!), Wednesday rain w/ slushy snow in it, Thursday is t-shirt weather, and Friday/Saturday it is supposed to be really warm!  Goodness.  :)  I know some people who are missionaries in Haiti (the Livesay family... and they posted something recently about 65-70 degree weather meant sweaters and hoodies for their children as they went to school, while in MN it meant t-shirts and tank tops.  :)  What a wonderful, varied world we live in!  God has such an imagination.  :)

         We do not have a station to spotlight this week as this past week was the wrap-up from the previous unit.  It was a pure joy to see the kiddos engaging with the Easter story as Brenda Blair had a neat dye experiment for them in Beakers and the Bible, David Woolley helped them create footprints to remind them to that God walks with them and we are to go and tell people of His love, Katie Bystrom showed them an illustration of the tomb with biscuits  and Krista Early led them through games which engaged the Easter story.  Easter is so important!  There are those who say Easter is more important than Christmas as it is the fulfillment of the salvation promise.  During this past week, we walked through several activities, including a "Jesus says..."game (Simon says, but with Jesus instead), as well as doing the relay game as a whole Sunday School (curious?  ask your child!).

         You guys are so incredibly loved, do you know that?

         A few things to note this week: 
    • We are beginning the final unit of this year of Sunday School.  During the summer, there will be events and activities for you all - keep your eyes peeled for details!  There will be things on certain Sundays for the children to engage with the does not go away just because School is over.  :)  The last day is May 19 and we will have a special gift for each family at that time!
    • VBS: don't forget that VBS is the final week of July!  We are busy with preparations.  If you are able and willing to help, please let me know.  :)  Many hands make light work, and this is going to be an awesome VBS!

    May God shine his light into your day and richly bless your sleep this night. 

    Verse to ponder: "To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. He is the one we proclaim, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone fully mature in Christ." Colossians 1:27-28 NIV

    Did you know...  They are saying that on average, we are spending 9 years in front of the television in our lifetime.  9 years!  Jesus survived without television just fine.  What if we turned off the TV and played a game with our children?

    Thursday, April 18, 2013

    ENews: Bendy Science

         As we stand together in prayer for those affected by the bombs at the Boston Marathon, it is important to remember that God is light and love.  With these kinds of stories that hit close to home for one reason or another (I have run a marathon and periodically run structured runs such as these, and I personally know of others in our congregation who run regularly), and with so much tragedy flooding our news sources as of late, it is critical to remember that God is present and is love in the midst of the darkness.  It just takes one little candle to light up a whole room.

        Station spotlight: Beakers and the Bible - The science behind the resurrection does not make sense.  Scientifically it does not make sense that a man who had died would be able to live again three days later.  Yet God made science and can bend its "rules" as he needs to in order to accomplish whatever he needs to.  Yes, Jesus died.  Yes, Jesus was stuffed in a tomb.  Yes, he rose again 3 days later.  That is the Good News!!  Death cannot overtake our Lord – Hallelujah!!
         When Jesus died, his body was placed inside a tomb.  The tomb was sealed by a huge round stone.  The stone moved in a narrow stone trough along the ground in front of the tomb.  The women went to the tomb to give Jesus’ body a proper burial.  They were expecting to find the opening of the tomb closed with the huge stone.  But when they got there, something exciting had happened.  The stone had been rolled away, and their friend Jesus wasn’t there.  God had raised him from the dead.  Children in the science station during this unit have done something related to this with rocks and food sure to ask your child what they did!

    • Are you and your child able to help with the Spring Clean up day on the 27th?  Let us know if you are!  There are several projects to be done.
    May you and your children be blessed with the supernatural peace from God that surpasses all human understanding.

    Verse to ponder:  "Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." (Philippians 4:4-7)

    Fact about the Bible: The longest chapter if the Bible is Psalm 119 with 176 verses. The shortest chapter is Psalm 117 with only 2 verses.  The longest book of the Bible is Psalms with 150 chapters, or psalms. It contains 43,743 words. The shortest book is 3 John with only 1 chapter and 299 words.  The longest verse in the Bible is Esther 8:9 with 90 words. The shortest verse is John 11:35 with only 2 words, “Jesus wept.”