Sunday Morning - 9:30 Worship begins... About 10:15 the children are dismissed for classes.
During the School Year we offer the Awana program on Wednesday Nights
5:45 - 6:25 - A meal for anyone who would like to join us
6:30 - 7:45 - Awana Meeting
6:45 - 7:45 - Adult Bible Discussion
There are also various other classes offered.
We have talked a lot about the needs we have in the area of children's ministry. I want to take a minute and outline the basic approach we have decided to try. We feel it is a good way to go because it provides a balance of learning and excitement for all. The truth is we have tried many different variations of teaching formats and they are all going to have the same basic elements. Yet no plan will work without people who are willing to commit to making in work. This is a real need in the life of this church. If we desire to grow this is going to become a bigger issue as we have more children. We already have a larger than usual ratio of children to adults. So this is both to inform and to ask you to seriously consider the future of our church.
We are going to continue with our practice of conducting the children's class/learning time to the same time as the sermon message is presented. The basic time division is 5-10 minutes of singing and prayer time. Then two 15 minute periods of teaching and activities. A brief closing time and it's time to go home. We realize that the age span is large so we are going to divide them into couple of smaller age focused groups. The same lesson will be presented to all but by keeping similar ages together they can be taught at their own level. So the "teacher" has to prepare a 15 minute lesson that touches both groups. The teaching time will be consistent. The variable will be during the activity time. Again a 15 minute time period will be planned for activities. We would love for their to be lots of variety in the activity time. Play time, computer lab time, craft time and many others could be planned. as with the Bible story teacher the activity teacher would have to prepare a 15 minute activity that could be tailored to the two age divisions. And if a craft took longer it could be done in stages over a period of weeks. As long as the weather permits we could have periodic Sundays where they entire time is spend playing an organized game or games to help build community. Divide them into teams and devise races and so on.
Of you are willing to help in this way please see Tony or talk to me and I can help you find your place to fit your abilities. We have teaching lessons to be changed and adapted to your teaching style. The key to all of this is becoming involved. I know you will be the better for helping the kids grow.
I know that so often we hear about projects to be done for the church and while school is going on we just don't have time. Might I suggest that during the summer you think about takling up some of the projects that need to be done. If you let me know what you can and or want to do we can provide the materials and direction. There are going to be a couple of major things to be worked thru this summer and the details will be released as soon as possible. I am going to list a few here but I am also going to place a sort of "job jar" up in the coffee room. Some of the projects take a little skill and some simply your willingness to help.
Yard Work - Yes I mow the 5 acres each week but that is just the mowing. We have a couple of people who help with the trimming and do a great job but there is so much to do that they can never keep up. This is one of those if you see it do it projects. I can also direct you to some areas that largely get neglected. Consider when you are working on your own yard to either start ealier or keep going once you are done and come up here to knock out some of the things that need to be done. Leaves to be removed, bushes and trees that need trimming etc etc.
Painting - There are always areas that could use a little freshening up. The bathrooms need to be painted. Some of the class rooms could stand freshening up. If you let me know you are going to take on and finish a painting project let me know. This is one you need to see thru to the end which includes cleaning up.
Flooring - We have a littel bit of flooring on the first floor that needs to be finished.
Family Bathroom - It needs a stall built and prehaps a toilet replaced with a higher handicapped one.
Bathrooms - The main ones need doors. We could replace the doors on the ones in the center of the hall with a type better used for a family bathroom and place the doors on the two main rooms. An even bigger project would be to replace the low sinks with vanities to update the space.
Lighting - We have some lights that need the ballast replaced.
This is a partial list but you get the idea. We have a big older building that needs a little TLC. These do not include several major projects we will need some help doing. Yhis is what it means to be a part of a family, we pull together and get things done.
As school winds down we are entering the time for "summer vacation: from school. It is also the time activities like baseball, swimming, camps etc get into full swing. As you plan your summer might I suggest that since vacations are coming that this year you plan ahead to make it relaxing and a time of growth. For some vacation is a whirl wind of activities that leave little or no room for anything. If that is your plan take your vitamins and plan to get some rest when you get home. But if there is time for some rest and reading why not make one of the books something to feed your soul as well as getting some relaxation time. There are so many choices of books to help your walk with God that regardless what catches your attention there is a book out there for you. Not a reader? Download an audio book or suscribe to a podcast to listen to and enjoy.
Churches almost always experience a dip in attendance and involvement during the summer. Let's not make that something that happens here. Just because learning is on hold in the ABC's does not mean it has to in the spiritual part of us. In fact make a choice that you are going to make this a summer where you come out stronger and closer to God than ever before in your life.
We have been able to solve the needs we have been facing for our Easter service. We have found a young man that is going to join us for that Sunday. There might even be another different face with the team.
The next Sunday will be our Graduating High Senior recognition day. There are several good things planned for that Sunday as well. It will begin with the breakfast Potluck fellowship. During the service we will be praying for our seniors and presenting them with Bibles. I also think they have something in mind for us as well.
On top of all of that on Sunday, April 27th Danielle returns from her time away after having their baby. We are so grateful to all who have filled in over the last few months we were truly blessed by all they did for us. We are also grateful for the rest of the worship team and how they continued to lead us and were willing to work with the various people that came in to help. We are excited to have Danielle back as she is a vital part of the Sunday morning experience at Fresh Encounter.
I know traditionally a church begins to have a let down about this time of year but it does not have to happen. Let's show how different we really and grow over the summer. I do not accept that we have to do anything but grow in every way possible.