Sunday School - called "Formation"
For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness. I will create rivers in the dry wasteland.
Isaiah 43:19 NLT
CHURCH SCHOOL continues with stories and videos from our Whirl! curriculum that our kids love. Brandon will be working on special music with the kids for Palm Sunday during music time (9:30 – 10). Volunteers are always welcome and needed in our Sunday School – contact Pastor Tiffany or Meg Waddell if you have time and talents to contribute to nurturing our children.
Our LENTEN PRAYER STATIONS have begun to grow! As we move forward through this Easter season, you’ll have the opportunity to engage in our new interactive prayer stations. There will be a new station every week. Plant a bulb? Paint a promise? Build a blessing? Join our youth as they plant and build and paint our way into Spring.
ANIMAL RESCUE PROJECT, March 11, 2018 after church. Middle and High school students are invited to an outing to the Animal Rescue Project of Kalamazoo. Gentleness, goodness, patience and joy will all come to play as our teens share their spirit with some of our area’s most unfortunate furry friends. We’ll go to lunch together after worship and then head op to ARP – permission slips can be picked up in the youth room and will go out by e-mail.
LUMM SCHOLARSHIP The family of Marian Handley Lumm established this scholarship to honor Marne’s love of music, education and children by fostering and encouraging a life-long love of music. Scholarships of up to $500 may be awarded to graduating seniors who have demonstrated a passion for music, plan to continue music-related activates in college (but need not major in music), and have actively participated in the congregation of our church during her or his High School years. Applications will be sent out by e-mail or can be picked up at church – completed applications due by April 8th. Contributions to this fund are always welcome and can be made by check to First Presbyterian Church, with “Lumm Scholarship” in the memo line.
GRADUATION SUNDAY Save the date for Sunday June 3, 2018 – Graduating Seniors will be honored in worship and presented with a special gift. Please contact the church office to let us know of graduating Seniors who will attend, and let us know of college or other post-graduation plans that we can share in our bulletin.
CAMP GREENWOOD offers week-long summer programs for ages 7-18 and families. Camp programs run June 16 – July 30th.Stay tuned for more information on camp scholarships! Register now to receive $25 off at http://campgreenwood.org. Scholarships available.
ALMA INTERFAITH CONFERENCE (formerly the Alma Youth Mix). Mark your calendars for May 5, 2018. Our high schoolers will be envisioning and crafting the interfaith community of the future! Further details available at https://www.alma.edu/offices/chaplain/spiritual-life/alma-interfaith-youth-mix.
JULY YOUTH MISSION TRIP TO THE UP. This year’s Presbytery of Lake Michigan summer youth mission trip will be to Marquette, Michigan in the UP July 16 - 22. We’ll stay at a church and learn about the local Native American culture while serving the community, worshipping together and enjoying the beautiful Northern Michigan setting. Cost for the trip is approximately $450 including transportation meals and lodging. E-mail Pastor Tiffany (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you are interested – much of the cost may be covered by scholarships and fundraisers (anyone up for a car wash?).
Pat Conner, Chair
It is such a joy to have your children singing, dancing, and playing instruments at the start of worship! I hope that your family can be part of some special music and worship services.
Thank you all for making church a part of your family’s life, and let Pat Conner or any member of the Formation Commission, know if there is more we can do to nurture faith for children and families.
Church School/Music Time (age 4 – 5th grade) also begins at 9:30 in a NEW place – we’ll meet in the Choir Room for music time with Brandon. Then we head into worship until after the children’s sermon. Children are then invited to go downstairs for story and crafts or remain in worship if they choose.
Parents can grab a cup of coffee off the hospitality cart in the Narthex (just follow the signs).
Brandon and other adult leaders will bring the children into the sanctuary for our opening worship songs. Kids will then have the option to stay with their families for worship or go with our teachers for a story and craft. Kids will be brought back up to the sanctuary at the close of worship.
Middle and High School Youth also gather at 9:15. Youth also have outings every month.
This is YOUR YEAR to shape our program and help our church discover ways to worship for generations to come!
Activities are also being planned for different times throughout the week including movie discussions, youth mission activities and family events. Do you have an idea for something to learn or do? Please contact Pat Conner at 657-2705, or Pastor Tiffany (email@example.com), or come the monthly Formation Commission meeting on the first Wednesday at 6:30 p.m.
We welcome new leadership this year - Chester Hamrick, a parent and member of our church, will be guiding this time, along with other adult leaders who will join him each Sunday.
Don't know Chester? See his message to youth below:
Youth vs. Adulthood:
Maybe you don't have to make many "growed up" decisions You don't pay for the family's bills or have to struggle getting to soccer practice while juggling grocery shopping and meal preparation. Still, you're probably more responsible for a lot of things that you used to not be. You may wash your own laundry, or buy your own clothes with money you earn from mowing lawns or babysitting. You're probably all being asked to do more around the house, like dishes, floors (yuck!) or cleaning the toilet. Each day you take another step toward owning all the "growed up" responsibilities of a household. It is in this time that those nagging, annoying chores are designed to teach you a little more about the one day when you will kiss Mom and Dad goodbye. If you're like me, Mom and Dad didn't really explain that. It just felt like more and more work.
Hopefully, these Sunday morning gatherings and the additional projects and events we share will build your spiritual life into being spiritually "growed up." This won't be your typical "Sunday School" experience. We are going to look at stories like Noah with a "growed up" spirit-mind. It might be more fun to think of how Noah got to play with all the cute fuzzy animals, or speak of this story in terms of the cruise that God sent Noah on. But, we will remember that this story was also about waters that were sent to purge the world. All the while, we are going to point to our Savior, Jesus, who also came to purge the world. We are going to concentrate on what it means to be in His Love, His grace, His Family, and His plans by being one of His, "growed-ups."
It is a privilege to work for Him to this end.
Since I'm not a familiar face, let me give you a brief answer to the question, "who is this guy?!" I'm kinda new to our church, but not new to church. I've had times when I didn't even attend church. I did, however, grow up in church. At a young age I fell in Love with Jesus. Not to sound disrespectful, but it's the love I have for Jesus, more than the love of the church, that brings me back to church Sunday mornings.
At one point or another, my own kids have asked me, "Do I have to go to church today?" Even though my reply sounds like a "Dad" thing to say, I really meant it when I said, "No, you don't have to go to church, you get to go to church." Of course, I may have asked that same question to my parents on one or more occasions!
I look forward to exploring all of this with you, and sharing more of who I am and who you are in the family of Jesus.
Palm Sunday Singing - So much fun!
Click here to view the video of Palm Sunday and singing!
It’s always a blessing to share this time with our children! Our little ones have been singing, prancing, dancing, tip-toeing, marching, and giggling and otherwise celebrating with their bodies and voices each Sunday.
On PALM SUNDAY, the children led us into worship by “entering Jerusalem” with joy and singing.
Past Click here for a video of the Bethlehem Marketplace!
It opened immediately following the worship service (10:00) on December 21st! The children led us from the worship service to the Marketplace, where we all experienced wonderful sights, sounds and smells.
See the video by clicking here.
All designed to give everyone the feeling of a Bethlehem Marketplace prior to the birth of Jesus.
A little Bethlehem background: When Quirinius was governor of Syria, Caesar Augustus ordered a census to be taken throughout the Empire. Everyone had to travel to his own ancestral hometown to be accounted for. So Joseph went from Nazareth up to Bethlehem in Judah, David’s town, for the census. He went with Mary, his fiancée, who was pregnant.
Journey to Bethlehem with Joseph and Mary. Travel back in time to those dusty streets during the days just before Jesus’ birth. Experience the sights, tastes and smells of everyday life that surrounded Jesus’ family in Bethlehem. Sense the excitement and anticipation felt by the shepherds and everyone who heard their strange and disturbing story of light and music— yes, angels – in the sky. What did it mean? And there was that bright, bright star!
Journey to Bethlehem for a Christmas experience this year. We hope that you’ll come by yourself, invite a friend or bring the whole family. Activities will be appropriate for all ages.
Church School Teachers Wanted!
Parents and Friends are encouraged to support our faith formation programs for children and youth. All adults leaders agree to background checks and our trained on our Child Safety Policy. Materials and activities are provided and led by our Christian Education Directors, Just look at the smiles on the faces of our teachers pictured here to see the joy that comes from volunteering in our children's ministries!
Sue Miller and friends