The 2023-2024 St. John’s Program year has brought creative changes to the schedule as well as new opportunities for families with children. We have a new cohort of Sunday School teachers who are helping us to bring Bible stories to the children in a way that is relevant and meaningful to them. Children are given opportunities to interact with the stories in a variety of ways such as science experiments, cooking projects and challenges, as well as taking part in discussions that help them to connect the stories to their own lives and allow them to wonder. Godly Play (ages 3 – K) has been full of new children learning the Bible stories through wonder and play at the hands of talented leaders and storytellers. We have seen an increase in attendance and participation in both programs this year and are so grateful for the opportunity to educate our children in such meaningful ways!
As anyone with children knows, education comes in many forms. When the decision was made to offer a Christmas pageant outside of the Christmas Eve service, kids were invited to present the Christmas story through acting out the story based on the texts from both Matthew and Luke. During our Avent lessons, the kids had a deeper understanding of the Christmas story which led to more complex discussions as well as conversations about how the Christmas story is relevant to our lives today. We are so grateful to everyone who participated in the pageant and to all of the congregation members who attended! Having a connected and intergenerational community is what keeps family participation strong at our church!
Connection and community are at the heart of what makes our church able to teach children about Jesus’ way of love. For the fourth year, we will offer a camp at St. John’s called Peace Frogs – which is a peace and social justice camp for kids with teen and adult leaders. The camp focuses on how kids can make positive choices and connect with their world in a peaceful way while creating meaningful change and working towards justice. This will be my 14th year of creating and running Peace Frogs, and the secret to what makes this camp so powerful is the connections that are made between the campers and the teen leaders. When we work together on creating peace and justice, there is a bond that forms even after only a week. Relationships carry into the year and help us feel connected and loved as we learn and work together. We would LOVE for you to be a part of this program this summer!
Thank you for supporting our kids through your prayers, by showing up and by volunteering! We ALWAYS need more adults in our kids’ lives – how can you help our kids make new bonds and connections? We are always looking for Godly Play and Sunday School volunteers. Do you have a gift you can share with our children? Is there a skill you can teach? Can you help with service projects throughout the year? Please know that the children’s program is so grateful for our congregation. Your connections and support will help our children feel cared and loved as they grow in God’s grace at St. John’s.