M.E. Steelman • Director of Church Life and ConnectionFebruary 9, 2023
For where two or three are gathered in my name, I am there among them. Matthew 18:20
I love this scripture verse and the truth of these words. One of the great blessings Derry Church offers is the ability to gather. Yes, we gather for weekly worship, but we also gather to eat, talk, play, plan, create and dream. Our times together lead us to wonderful discussions, learning experiences, stories we never knew, and a chance to pause, reflect and maybe even see things from another perspective. This is true not only for the adults of our church, but for the children as well. Derry’s Children’s Ministry programs have so many of these amazing moments happening, and I am excited to share some of them with you.
Our Sunday mornings are full of energy and excitement as we gather together with friends to sing, learn, explore, share and play. We begin our morning with songs of praise and thanksgiving. This time gets the blood flowing through fun sounds and movements and paves the way for our story of the day. We then move to our classrooms…
Preschool (ages 2-5) gather in the Nursery Suite
Kindergarten – 2nd gather in Room 3
Grades 3 – 5 gather in Room 5
…where the learning continues through story, creative exploration and games.
Our KIWI (Kids In Worship Instruction) class has had a wonderful time learning more about worship through exploring common symbols of faith, the words and meaning of the Lord’s Prayer, and the importance of confessing our sins and giving thanks for our many blessings. This time together also allows this group (ages 4-6) the opportunity to build friendships with their peers.
Our Kids’ Fellowship (grades 2-5) has been so fun to work with! These kids have a wonderful connection with one another and enjoy all kinds of activities as they simply love hanging out together. Our gatherings have included a “beach party,” a chair volleyball tournament, and a mission project day. Later this month we’ll have a pancake breakfast and silly fun in our PJs. This time together lets us continue to build relationships, something that helps make our faith journey stronger and more meaningful.
Terrific Tuesday is back and better than ever! Fellowship Hall is packed with families and friends of all ages enjoying the opportunity to eat and have fellowship. Adults have the chance to talk and get to know one another better, and the children are filling our classrooms and making Tuesday evenings fun and engaging for all. Our Tuesday evening programs of music and creative arts are designed to help the children connect more with one another as the evening gathering is more relaxed than Sunday mornings, but it also offers the children a chance to dig deeper and learn through a variety of creative techniques. It is truly a wonderful evening for all ages!
Now that I share about all the excitement and fun, I also need to share that we are looking for more helping hands to keep it going! We have wonderful leaders for all our programs, but need volunteers to help in each classroom and support the children. I would love to welcome more adults into our Childrens’ Ministry spaces as I know you will love joining our faith filled adventures! Each volunteer will need to complete the following before working with our children or youth…
- PA Child Abuse History Clearance
- PA State Police Criminal Record Check
- FBI Criminal Background Check and History Record, required if the volunteer has lived in PA for less than 10 consecutive years; this also includes fingerprinting
- Derry Church Safe Children Training class (approx. 45 min and can be done in person or via Zoom)
- Children Volunteer Application and Disclosure Statement every five years, which needs to be signed and witnessed by someone other than a direct relative. This form also satisfies the requirement for volunteers who have been residents of PA for 10 consecutive years or more to affirm that they are not disqualified from service based upon a conviction of an offense under Pennsylvania Title 23 Chapter 63 Section 6344(c)
I encourage you to join us. Please email me with any questions or to get started with your clearance paperwork.
Now that our programs are running strong, our Christian Education committee and Children’s Ministry Team members have discussed the Sunday morning schedule and how to structure it moving forward.
Starting Sunday, February 26 (as Lent begins), Sunday School for ALL AGES will be held 9:15-10:15 am.
- Children will gather in Room 4 (then proceed to their classrooms after music time)
- Youth will gather in the Youth Room
- Issues Class in Room 7 and on Zoom
- Bible Study in Room 2
**Coffee is always available in the coffee nook just outside the church kitchen**
I look forward to watching our programs continue to grow. I look forward to welcoming many more children into our spaces to learn and grow closer to God. And I look forward to having more adults join us to help our programs continue to meet the needs of this growing ministry.
I hope to hear from many of you soon!