Thursday, March 26, 2015
Easter Egg Hunt Rescheduled
Due to the wet weather and cold temperatures we are rescheduling the Annual Easter Egg Hunt to Sunday afternoon at 3:30 pm. The Egg Hunt will be at Creekside Park, Congleton Shelter.
Children are encouraged to bring food items for the Kennedy Home Food Drive. Flyers with suggested items are available at church or online at http://www.bchfamily.org/foodroundup
The Hunt is for preschool through fourth grade. Preteens are invited to help hide the eggs at 2:30 pm and stay for the Egg Hunt and refreshments.
We look forward to seeing your family on Sunday!
Sunday, March 29
Monday, March 16, 2015
Last year I shared the following article in our April Newsletter. In preparing our kids for Easter 2015, I thought it was worth repeating. From "Sharing the Easter Faith with Children” by Carolyn C. Brown this article helps parents, grandparents, and children’s leaders better explain Easter to our children.
A good starting point is to realize that Easter is bigger than any of us ever fully understand so we do not have to know all the answers. (big sigh of relief). NO one ever does. Easter is new life, an empty tomb, forgiveness, resurrection and more. That is not something to understand. It is a reality we have to grow in to. The truth is that we understand different aspects of Easter better at different times of our lives.
Adults respond enthusiastically to the Easter claim and promise of victory over death because the reality, especially the finality of death. Children however, have a hard time grasping the reality, especially the finality of death. Even after attending Granddad’s funeral a young child will often ask, at unexpected times, when Granddad will be visiting. This natural inability to grasp the finality of death is supported by fairy tale princesses who awake after “sleeping” for years and cartoon characters who, flattened by steamrollers, peel themselves off the road. Given all this, it’s not surprising that children can’t get too excited by victory over death.
Many books and people, and I’m afraid I must admit that I have tried to get around this by focusing on new life, paying attention to eggs, bulbs, and butterflies as new life symbols. I have found that while children are vaguely interested in these symbols, “New life” strikes few of them (for whom all of life is “New”) as particularly significant or exciting.
What I have learned this year in preparing for Easter is that for younger children, the empty tomb is the ultimate victory of the good guys (God/Jesus) over the bad guys (Judas, the priests, Pilate, the soldiers). On Good Friday the bad guys thought they had won. They killed Jesus and sealed His body into a guarded tomb. On Easter morning, God/Jesus blasted right out of that tomb and proved one and for all that God is more powerful than even the worst evil the worst bad guys can inflict. The natural response to such a victory is to yell “hooray for God and Jesus!” and to celebrate belonging to God who is the most powerful power there is in the universe!
To older elementary children, who are focused on friendships and have clear expectations of “best friends,” the most significant resurrection story is the story of Peter’s breakfast conversation with Jesus (John 21:1-19). Peter had been Jesus’ best friend. He had promised to stick with Jesus no matter what. And he had been caught three times on the same night pretending he did not even know Jesus. As a betrayed “best friend,” Jesus would have been justified in ignoring or punishing Peter of his denials. But Jesus did not. For Peter, the resurrection happened when Jesus forgave him, welcomed him back as a friend, and put him to work building God’s Kingdom. For older children, Easter holds the promise that Jesus will forgive them and welcome them back when and if they betray their friendship with him. Such Easter forgiveness is worth celebrating!
One final reminder – remember the starting point of this article – Easter is bigger than we can understand. We probably do the most harm when we fail to talk with our children about our Easter faith out of fear that we will not get it right."
May we use the remaining days of March to prepare ourselves, our hearts, our homes, our church, and our children for the wonderful celebration of Easter.
Wednesday, March 11, 2015
Preparing Our Kids for Easter - Step Four"Israel, listen to me. The Lord is our God. The Lord is the one and only God. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul. Love him with all your strength. The commandments I give you today must be in your hearts. Make sure your children learn them. Talk about them when you are at home. Talk about them when you walk along the road. Speak about them when you go to bed. And speak about them when you get up." Deuteronomy 6: 4-7
4. Bedtime BlessingThe final time God specifies is “when you lie down.” Kids are fantastic stallers for bedtime. Wouldn’t it be great if you got them at their own game and turned their stall time into a time for discussion and blessing?
For young children, check out “The Jesus Storybook Bible” which tells the stories of Scripture in a unique way and points out where Jesus can be found in every story. For older kids, before they go to bed, simply ask them if anything is on their mind that they need to talk about before bed so they can sleep well. It will shock you what they are willing to share in that safe place with you. These moments will be the last thoughts before your cherub slips off to sleep; can you think of a better sendoff?
Once these four practices become habitual for you, you will find it much easier to put Christ in the center of your family activities. Your kids won’t think it’s “weird” when you take time to schedule a Family Faith Talk because you’ve already invited Jesus to the dinner table. It won’t feel difficult to turn to Scripture in everyday moments because you’ve been listening to it in the car and reading it before bed. And before you know it, your baby steps will become faith-forming strides as discipleship happens … at home.
“Do not despise these small beginnings, for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin.” Zechariah 4:10. In other words, God loves us and He loves our baby steps.
Thursday, March 5, 2015
Preparing Our Kids for Easter - Step Three"Israel, listen to me. The Lord is our God. The Lord is the one and only God. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul. Love him with all your strength. The commandments I give you today must be in your hearts. Make sure your children learn them. Talk about them when you are at home. Talk about them when you walk along the road. Speak about them when you go to bed. And speak about them when you get up." Deuteronomy 6: 4-7
3. Drive time
God tells parents to share with their kids as they “walk along the road.” This doesn’t happen as much as it did but we do drive along the road an awful lot. If you have to travel frequently, might I suggest downloading or purchasing some “Adventures in Odyssey” programs from Focus on the Family? These dramas provide a great platform for discussion with kids and they will love listening / watching them (you will too — they’re pretty great!) These episodes bring on many conversations with our children brought on by topics discussed in the episode and as an added bonus, the episodes all have Scriptures to go with them so you don’t have to figure it out yourself!
Tuesday, March 3, 2015
Wednesday Nights @ FirstDuring the month of March our Preteen, Youth, and Adults will meet in the sanctuary for Lenten Worship. The service will be from 6:00 -6:45pm. There will be a children's time for our first through fourth graders at the beginning of the service. Following, the children will be dismissed to Missions with their Mission Leaders. At 6:30 pm they will go to Children's Choir with Rev. Templeton.
Our Preschoolers will continue their regular Wednesday Night schedule with Mission Friends and Preschool Choir from 6:00 - 7:00 pm. As always, there is childcare for our babies and toddlers.
One special announcement - our Preschool Choir will lead in worship at the 8:45 Worship Service on Sunday, March 8th.
We hope to see you all Wednesday evening and Sunday morning.