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Children’s Ministry

 

We have a lot of exciting programs for children to develop and grow in their faith by learning about God and His Word through a variety of engaging activities. Bible stories, songs, games, and crafts all serve to teach our children more about God’s Word and their relationship with God.

  • Sunday School meets at 9:45AM on Sundays, and is focused on planting seeds of faith in the youngest of hearts.
  • On Sunday evenings, children 4th grade and up are invited to join us for Sunday Night Live, each Sunday from 6:30-7:45.
  • For newborns through 2 years old, we have a nursery available during the worship service.
  • Our children join us for the first half of the worship service (which begins at 11:00AM), then head to Children’s Church after the Time for Young Disciples where they have an opportunity to worship God in age- and developmentally-appropriate ways.
  • Each summer, the children of the church and community are invited to join us for Vacation Bible School (more information on next year’s VBS coming soon!)
  • Keep your eye on the News & Announcements page for other special events throughout the year!

The Latest News & Info for the Children’s Ministry

What Is Sunday Night Live?

For the past several years, we have had a strong and healthy youth ministry (grades 6th-12th) meeting on Sunday nights.  But we got to thinking: Why should the teenagers be the only ones to have all the fun?! On Sunday nights we are looking to provide opportunities for everyone in the church to learn more about who Jesus is, grow as disciples of Jesus Christ, and build strong, healthy relationships with each other.  Sunday Night Live provides age- and developmentally-appropriate programming, games and lessons to meet Christians of all ages wherever they may be in their walk with Jesus Christ.
 

Who is Sunday Night Live for?

Sunday Night Live is for anyone who wants to learn more about who Jesus Christ is and the life He offers each of us, and those who want to grow deeper in their relationship with Christ.  Right now, we are offering two programs at Sunday Night Live.  As more people plug in and express interest, we will expand the opportunities accordingly.  If you’re looking for a Sunday Night Live program, but don’t fit in the groups we’re already offering, just ask!
 
F.A.S.T (Fourth, Fifth And Sixth, Seventh Together)
Our late elementary & early middle school group is called FAST and is for all students in 4th through 7th grades.
 
Youth Group 
The late middle school and high school group is called Youth Group (because we’re just creative like that) and is for all students in 8th through 12th grades.
 

When is Sunday Night Live?

Sunday Night Live is (somewhat obviously) every Sunday night, from 6:30-7:45pm.  We will take some Sundays off for holidays and special events.
 

What Happens at Sunday Night Live?

Over the course of the evening, we’ll play games, study the Bible, build relationships with each other, and share the good news of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  
 

Not Just Sunday Nights, Though

While our “program time” will be on Sunday evenings, we believe that we grow as followers of Christ throughout the week.  A couple of  key components of Sunday Night Live are devotionals for the students to use throughout the week, and emails for parents to help them connect with and grow alongside their students.  We firmly believe that no one has more impact on the life of a student than his or her parents, and we want to come alongside parents as they grow with their children in their relationship with Jesus Christ!
 
Weekly Student Devotionals
Weekly student devotionals can be found by downloading the YouVersion Bible app (it’s free!) from your phone’s App Store.
 
Parent Cue Emails
Parent Cue emails are sent out at the beginning of each series.  Simply let us know you’d like to receive these emails, and we’ll be sure to add you to the list!
 
If you can’t tell, we’re really excited about Sunday Night Live.  Whether you are a regular worshipper at Northminster or not, you and your student are welcome to join us.  If you have questions that we didn’t answer above, be sure to let us know!

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Sunday Night Live Kicks Off September 19!

SUNDAY NIGHT LIVE is finally here!

For All Students in 4th-12th Grades

Mark your calendars and plan to join us on Sunday, September 19 at 6:30pm for the kickoff of Sunday Night Live! This is a brand new opportunity to teach our children and youth about the fulness of life offered by Jesus Christ and how to live as disciples of Christ. With age-appropriate and focused lessons and games, we’re really excited to see how Sunday Night Live encourages our children and youth in their walk with the Lord and their families as well. Want to know more? Plan to join us September 19!

**Note: Feeling left out? Wish there was a Sunday Night Live opportunity for your younger children or perhaps for adults? Talk to Sharon Bryant, chair of CE, or David Garrison. While we’re starting out focused on 4th-12th grades, we’d love to expand beyond that. All you have to do is let us know you’re interested!


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February 2021 Pastor’s Corner – The Power of Love

If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing. (1 Cor. 13:1–3)
 

The Longest Shortest Month of the Year

There isn’t much in February to celebrate. For most of us, by the time February rolls around we’re tired of winter and ready for spring, and that makes the shortest month of the year feel all that much longer. Of course, sports fans get the Super Bowl and Daytona 500, and baseball fans start to get excited because pitchers and catchers report to spring training. Outside of that, though, pretty much all there is in February to look forward to is Valentine’s Day. This is a day in which we celebrate romantic love, named after a 3rd century saint who was martyred for his care of the faithful during times of persecution. How a ‘holy day’ commemorating him became associated with romantic love is something of a historical question, but nevertheless, that’s what’s happened. Interestingly, this year Valentine’s Day falls on a Sunday, and is also the same date as the Daytona 500, which means my wife can look forward to a romantic afternoon watching a car race…but that’s beside the point… however you might want to pray for her.. or me…
 

It All Boils Down To…

As I’ve been thinking about Saint Valentine, and Valentine’s Day, and all that’s going on around us this year and last, I’m reminded of what Jesus said when asked what the greatest commandment is: ‘“The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.”’ (Mark 12:29–31) Love. That’s what it all boils down to for us. Many of us have grown up singing the hymn, They’ll Know We Are Christians By Our Love. Unfortunately, that doesn’t seem to be what Christians are known for these days. Mostly we seem to either be known for what we fear or what makes us angry. Maybe this Valentine’s Day (and month) we would do well to get back to the way of love.
 

“Full Of Sound and Fury, Signifying Nothing” — Macbeth

As Paul writes in the passage quoted at the start of this article, if we don’t have love, we’re just making noise, having nothing, gaining nothing. The way to truly experience and share the love of God in our homes, neighborhoods and world is through love. Loving God (Mark 12:30), loving one another (John 15:12), loving our neighbors (Mark 12:31; “Who is my neighbor?”: Luke 10:25-37), even loving our enemies (Matthew 5:44). Pretty sure that covers most everyone in our lives…at least, I can’t find any exceptions in there. Loving others day in and day out is hard…but the path of love is relatively straightforward. Simply ask yourself, in each conversation and action, “Is this word or deed a way to show the love of Christ to this person?” Again, it’s an easy thing to think and ask ourselves — it’s in the doing it that becomes more difficult. But wouldn’t it be nice if we were known for our love rather than our anger and fear? That might just be enough to change the world.
 
We love because he first loved us. If anyone says, “I love God,” yet hates his brother, he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen. And he has given us this command: Whoever loves God must also love his brother. (1 John 4:19–21)
 
Blessings,
Rev. David Garrison

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June 2020 Pastor’s Corner – How’s This for Unexpected Irony?

Pentecost brings to a close the first half of the Christian year.  The seasons of Advent, Christmas, Epiphany, Lent, and Easter trace the grand arc of God’s saving action in Jesus Christ.  In addition to that rhythm, we have spent the past 90 days reading through the entire Bible.  It’s felt something like a whirlwind.  Then add in the chaos we’ve all experienced in our lives and our world with the coronavirus pandemic, and it’s enough to leave you dizzy, confused and probably a little overwhelmed.  At this point, most all of us are yearning for just a little bit of ordinary. 

The second half of the Christian year is one long season called Ordinary Time. This year, Ordinary Time begins today, June 1. As Philip Reindeers explains, ‘“Ordinary” doesn’t mean boring or second-rate but simply “every­day.” The Christian faith is not an otherworldly faith; it’s about this creation, your life, these days. Ordinary Time gives us the space to consider all the implications of God’s salvation in Jesus Christ for our day by day, week-in, week-out lives.’  As we find ourselves yearning for something of the ordinary in these very extraordinary times, the Christian calendar offers an invitation to consider the implications not just of all that God’s salvation in Christ means for our daily lives, but also how this pandemic is impacting us as well — and perhaps even to ask how does the Gospel inform and affect our understanding of the pandemic’s impact?

So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you. (Rom. 12:1–2 MESSAGE)

Blessings,

Rev. David Garrison


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Operation Christmas Child 2019 is Underway!

The Sunday School classes will be taking up items for our shoeboxes through Sunday, November 17.  We will put together as many shoeboxes as we can during SS on November 17.  However, we will continue to put boxes together during that week should we have more items come in later.
 
Operation Christmas Child suggests that we have one WOW item per box such as a doll, a stuffed animal, an outfit of clothes, a small musical instrument, or a backpack.  Our boxes are divided by gender and the following age groups:  2 – 4, 5 – 9, 10 – 14.
 
Some suggested items are: combs, hairbrushes, chapstick, bandages, toothbrush, watch, packaged soap, washcloth, stick deodorant, reusable plastic containers (cups, plates, bowls), blunt edged utensils, blanket, nail clipper, finger nail file, shirts/pants, loose fitting sundress, underwear, shoes, socks, flip-flops, hat, scarf, mittens, sunglasses, tote bag/purse, hair bows, pencils, manual pencil sharpener, colored pencils, pencil case, crayons, markers, pens, ruler, scissors, coloring pads/books, picture books, notebooks, glue sticks, tape, water color set, play doh with plastic cookie cutters, sewing kit, stickers, chalkboard and chalk, jump rope, foam ball, finger puppets, slinky, etch a sketch, yo-yo, marbles, costume jewelry, small Frisbee, small kite, solar powered calculator, puzzles, binoculars, plastic tools, plastic dinosaurs, small cars/trucks/boats, flashlight (if battery powered – an extra set of batteries), and compact mirror.
 
The things that are not allowed in the shoeboxes are as follows:  candy, toothpaste, gum, used or damaged items, war-related items such as toy guns, knives, or military figures, chocolate or food, seeds, fruit rolls or other fruit snacks, drink mixes (powdered or liquid), liquids or lotions, medications or vitamins, breakable items such as snow globes, or glass containers, and aerosol cans.
Please bring any donations to church by Sunday, November 17. There will be a collection bin in the church foyer for your donations. If you choose to pack your own shoebox, please bring it to church that Sunday morning as well.
 
If you have any questions, please contact Sharon Bryant.

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Parenting in the Pew – A New Sunday school class beginning 10/6

One of the questions we’re asked on a regular basis is, “How do I teach my children how to worship?  How do we help them understand what the different parts of the worship service mean and why they matter?”  These are great questions, so we’re offering this new Sunday School class to help find some answers together.  
 
Karey Garrison will be leading a study of the book, Parenting in the Pew, by Robbie Castleman.  From the back cover:

“Daddy, I’d like you to meet my children.” That’s Robbie Castleman’s attitude about taking her children to church. She believes that Sunday morning isn’t a success if she has only managed to keep the kids quiet. And she knows there’s more to church for kids than trying out their new coloring books. Children are at church for the same reason as their parents: for the privilege of worshiping God. Worship, Castleman writes, is “the most important thing you can ever train your child to do.” So with infectious passion, nitty-gritty advice and a touch of humor, she shows you how to help your children (from toddlers to teenagers) enter into worship. In this significantly revised and updated edition Castleman includes a new preface and two new appendices that provide new perspectives on children’s sermons and intergenerational community. She also provides a study guide for personal reflection or group discussion. More than ever, Parenting in the Pew is essential reading for parents and worship leaders who want to help children make joyful noises unto the Lord.

 
This class is open to all parents, grandparents and great-grandparents – anyone who would like to help their children, grandchildren or even nieces and nephews learn how to love and worship God will all of their heart, mind, soul and strength.
 
Books cost $10 each.  Please click here to RSVP if you plan to attend or would like a book so we order the proper amount.
 

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Halloween Trunk or Treat!

Join us on Halloween (Tuesday, October 31) from 6-8 PM for a fun, safe place to share your awesome costumes, enjoy one another’s company and (of course) receive a lot of candy! Cars will be parked in the front parking lot.
 
For the safety of the children, please have your car parked by 6 PM. This event is open to all folks, of any age, whether you are a member of Northminster or not. Folks from the community are more than welcome!

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