I imagine most of us are familiar with the beautiful “Footprints” poem that many have hanging in their homes, have shared with others during troubled times, have heard in song form on a Christian music station, or simply remember reading at some point. The words in this poem are a wonderful reminder of how special it is to have relationships with God and Jesus. We can all find comfort in these words as they give us hope when we need it most…during those hard and challenging times. These words also serve as a guide to help me with my job in the Children’s Ministry here at church.
One night I dreamed a dream. I was walking along the beach with my Lord. Across the dark sky flashed scenes from my life. For each scene, I noticed two sets of footprints in the sand, one belonging to me and one to my Lord.
When the last scene of my life shot before me I looked back at the footprints in the sand. There was only one set of footprints. I realized that this was at the lowest and saddest times of my life. This always bothered me and I questioned the Lord about my dilemma.
“Lord, You told me when I decided to follow You, You would walk and talk with me all the way. But I’m aware that during the most troublesome times of my life there is only one set of footprints. I just don’t understand why, when I need You most, You leave me.”
He whispered, “My precious child, I love you and will never leave you, never, ever, during your trials and testings. When you saw only one set of footprints, it was then that I carried you.”
This coming school year the children will have the opportunity to continue “Trekking Through the Bible” which we started this summer during camp week. Our stories will present us with moments of thanksgiving, teachable situations, times of great sadness, lessons about friendship and true love for others, and most importantly, stories that remind us that we never have to walk alone if we invite our Lord to be with us.
I look forward to the excitement and energy that comes with the start of a new program year. We will kick off our programming on Sunday, September 12 from 9:00-10:15 am with our Rally Day fun. Families will be invited to come together with their children to get a taste of what to expect in the coming months during Sunday School. We will meet in Fellowship Hall and enjoy games, activities and fun snacks that will prepare us for “Trekking through the Bible”.
September 12 will also be our first Sunday for the return of our KIWI class (Kids In Worship Instruction). Children age 4 through Kindergarten are invited to join Mrs. Steelman in the Chapel after the Conversation with Children. We will enjoy our time together learning more about Worship, explore the common symbols we find in Holy spaces that help us on our faith journey, and we will learn The Lord’s Prayer and Doxology so that the children can participate during worship and feel even more connected to their church family.
Children in grades 1 & 2 are invited to attend a special new class that we will run for the fall semester called RECONNECT. This class is designed to help the children adjust to worship again. This class will be led by our pastors and will offer the children the opportunity to learn more about worship, ways they can participate in worship and ultimately be ready to sit with their families after the winter break.
During the month of September we will begin Pilgrim Fellowship gatherings. Pilgrim Fellowship is for children in grades 3-5 and meets twice each month after the 10:30 am worship service. Our time together includes a meal (lunch) and time for fun, learning and mission work. This program is a wonderful opportunity for the children in grades 3-5 to make stronger connections with their peers. These connections and friendships are priceless and often lead to the children asking when they will get to see their church friends again. This becomes even more important as the kids head into middle school and high school… those times we can all remember valuing true friendship.
Sunday School and KIWI are not only fun for the children of the church: this time is a wonderful chance for parents to participate and show their children that God and Jesus are important to you. I welcome parents to get involved. Our Sunday School classrooms, our church nursery and our KIWI and RECONNECT programs require volunteer helpers to serve as an extra pair of hands and a second adult so that we can be sure to keep all of the children safe. Offering to help in one of these areas is not only a big help to our church staff, it is also a way to help your children see that you want to continue to grow your own faith as you serve your church family.
If you would like to talk more about these opportunities, have questions about what is involved, or are ready to help now, please email me and I will happily connect with you to make sure you have all your questions answered. Please note that all volunteers will need to have their clearances up to date and on file with the church.
With a world that keeps changing each day, it brings me great joy to know that we can still find fun ways to grow our faith and deepen our relationships with God, Jesus and one another. I hope that your family will join us for the upcoming program year.