M.E. Steelman • Children’s ministry coordinator

Derry Church artists work on their creations at the Tuesday night Kids in Christ Club.

It’s always fun when you come across a line of scripture and it speaks right to you. Years ago I wrote down the following words as I was working on Sunday School lesson plans…

Commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be established. (Proverbs 16:3)

I often find myself reciting these when I hit a roadblock in life.  You know, those times when you think you have a great idea, one that will surely be loved, only to find that the timing for such an idea is all off.  Or maybe during times when circumstances are outside of your control and cause you to rethink and rework all your plans.  Or maybe you just don’t have all the pieces needed, but you don’t realize that and it makes you want to simply give up. No matter what the reason, these words bring me comfort and remind me to focus on what is most important: if I am committed to living and sharing the works of God and Jesus, I will be led to where I am needed.

As Sunday approaches,, I can’t help but give thanks for these words from Proverbs, “Commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be established.”  After years of questioning, trying, struggling and praying, I am excited to share that Art in the Grove will celebrate our very first art show for the congregation on Sunday in the Narthex! The Art in the Grove ministry was established in 2018 and has been a trying ministry to establish at Derry for many reasons, but one that Elizabeth Gawron and I are passionate about and knew could be amazing once we found the right starting place.

You might be asking yourself, “What is Art in the Grove?”  In 2016 Elizabeth Gawron visited the church one Tuesday evening and Debbie Hough and I were blessed to bump into her and talk briefly about the art that is all around our building. That conversation led to the creation of an art program here at Derry, called Art in the Grove. This program was created on three principals… Rooted, Giving and Growing.  In the beginning we thought this would be a wonderful new intergenerational ministry here at Derry and for the first summer it was.  We then tried a variety of different programming options from Friday Night Women’s Bible Study & Art to paint nights, but we struggled to find a true path to follow.

Fast forward to 2021 and our hope to rebuild some of Derry’s beloved programming after more than a year apart from one another. The programming team began talking about Terrific Tuesdays and children’s music and we quickly realized it would take more than choir practice to bring kids back together on Tuesday evenings. This led to the creation of K.I.C. Club (Kids In Christ Club). We decided to make our Tuesday evening programming a collection of Derry’s creative ministries, which includes music, creation and fellowship.  We invited Elizabeth Gawron, Claire Folts and Debbi Kees-Folts to join us, along with members of our inclusion team to help make this night enjoyable for all children. After a few weeks we realized we were creating something special. We had community friends joining with children of Derry Church and together they were creating and connecting in ways that were inspiring to us all.

We have loved watching each child become ROOTED in God’s love as they express their faith through their creations in art and music. We helped the children learn the joy of GIVING as they led us in worship with their music and we turned their artwork into cards to lift one another up.  And it will be amazing to see them GROWING over the coming years as they continue to learn more about God’s love through creative expressions.

Life will certainly present us with struggles, hard times, temptations and choices to make, but committing our work to God and Jesus will help us overcome and persevere.  I hope you will help us celebrate the years of patience, trials and errors, and determination this weekend as we display a beautiful collection of artwork made by many of the 1st-5th grade kiddos of the church.