lent trees!

Today is a beautiful day to go for a walk with your child in search of the prefect bare branch for your Lent tree!

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We are encouraging every family to make a Lent tree during this 2017 Lenten Season.

Every week on Wednesday night, the children in Bright Beginnings will make a new Lenten symbol to take home and hang on their Lent tree (Unable to make it to Wednesday nights?  We’ll have a few extra symbols available to take home on Sundays each week).

Last week, we made hearts to remind us that Lent is all about Jesus’ love for us.

The symbols are simple and make it easy for children to remember some core Truths as they begin their own journey of Lent.

So get outside this weekend with your child and find a bare branch.  Bring it inside and place it in a pot with some gravel to hold it in place.  You can get creative and use whatever you have around the house; an empty milk jug filled with rocks, a Christmas tree stand, a bucket filled with dirt, whatever (we also have a few empty animal cracker containers at church that anyone is welcome to use)!  Maybe you already have a large plant in your home that could work.  Don’t have any trees in your yard?  You are welcome to stop on your way out of church tomorrow and take one of our many branches laying on the property!  You could even make a tree out of paper to tape on your wall.  It doesn’t matter how you do it; the idea is to have a special spot in your home to hang the Lent symbols where everyone will see them often.  This will help facilitate questions, conversations and reminders all throughout Lent!

My kiddo helped me pick out a branch for the Bright Beginnings Lent Tree.  We’d love to see pictures of your children doing the same on our facebook page!

If you have not yet received your 2017 Lent Activity Calendar, be sure to pick one up tomorrow at church!

The Lord’s Prayer | video of signs

Here’s the video of the signs we are using in Bright Beginnings to help us memorize The Lord’s Prayer this Lent.

Have fun practicing at home!

 

Week of March 1st :  Our Father in heaven, Holy is Your name.

Week of March 8th:  Your kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.

Week of March 15th:  Give us today our daily bread.

Week of March 22nd:  And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.

Week of March 29th:  Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.

Week of April 5th:  For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.

lent | heart

Your kids rocked it on our first Wednesday night of Lent!

Each week on Wednesday nights during Lent, we will be making a symbol to hang on our Lent trees.  This week our symbol is a heart because Lent is all about Jesus’ love for us!

Our Garden Friends making hearts for their Lent trees.img_20170301_190810559_censored

Backyard Friends making their hearts.img_20170301_191055310_censoredimg_20170301_192409076img_20170301_192417624_censored

Our Bright Beginnings Lent Tree

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These kids worked hard to learn the first part of The Lord’s Prayer and they nailed it!  Check back tomorrow to see the video of the signs we are learning for The Lord’s Prayer. img_20170301_192909155_censored

If you did not receive a 2017 Lent Calendar last night and would like one for your family, please let me know.  We have a few left and would love to get you one!

lent 2017

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Dear Parents,

Today is Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent.

“We join Christians around the world in honoring the Season of Lent. Lent is the forty-day season of reflection and preparation for the death and resurrection of Jesus. It leads us to the reality of Good Friday and the joy of Easter. Lent is a time to consider Christ’s sufferings and rethink how we are called to take up his cross in our world today. We usually associate Lent with repentance. But sometimes we forget what repentance really means. To repent is to change. It means that we allow God to change our minds and our hearts. It means we open ourselves up to the resurrected life.

People often talk about “giving something up” for Lent. But we want this season to be more than simply letting go of something. We want to drop some things, so we can pick up what God wants us to carry. Jesus set the pattern. He laid down his power and picked up his cross.”  Pastor Phil

So what does that look like for Bright Beginnings Kids?

This Lenten season in Bright Beginnings, your child will be given three opportunities to begin their own journey of preparing their little heart for the miracle of Easter.

  1. Memorizing the Lord’s Prayer
  2. Scripture Memory Program
  3. Lent Calendar

Memorizing the Lord’s Prayer:

This will be our fifth Lenten season of learning The Lord’s Prayer in Bright Beginnings!  It is amazing that such young children can memorize so much.  Each week during Lent we will be focusing on a different section of the prayer and working to memorize it.  You can help by reviewing each section at home with your child.  To help our little ones remember the words, we will also be learning how to sign the prayer.  Check back on this blog later this week for a video of the signs we will be using so that you can practice along with your child at home!

  • Week of March 1st :  Our Father in heaven, Holy is Your name.
  • Week of March 8th:  Your kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
  • Week of March 15th:  Give us today our daily bread.
  • Week of March 22nd:  And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
  • Week of March 29th:  Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
  • Week of April 5th:  For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.

Scripture Memory Program:

“I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.” Psalm 119:11  What a powerful verse!  This is my prayer for every child as they “grow with God” and as a result, I have been diligently working on creating a scripture memory program for Bright Beginnings.  The program will extend far beyond Lent; however, I will be launching it during Lent this year, so I’m including it as an option for your family as you journey this season toward Christ’s death and resurrection!

Lent Calendar:

Your child received a Lent calendar tonight.  I encourage you to hang it in a central location of your home and give it a try.  I know your days are already full of to-do lists, reading logs, homework assignments, newsletters, sight words, rehearsals and practices, but this is so much more important than all those temporal things.  Don’t get hung up on it’s “one more thing to do”; don’t stress out if you miss a few days (or a week), just take a step of faith and see where the Lord leads your family!

The calendar is a tool to help you introduce the idea of Lent, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday & Easter to your children and guide them on their own journey of getting to know God and how Amazing He is!  It’s alright to tweak some ideas to make them fit your style and forget ideas that don’t make sense for your family.  The calendar highlights a Lenten symbol each week which we will be making in class on Wednesday nights, so the hard part is already done for you!  I am simply encouraging you to “start small”; to take this small step with your children, while they are still young, that will facilitate conversation, encourage questions and begin dialogue, weaving Jesus into every aspect of their life so that He becomes a part of who they are and not just someone they hear about at church.  What more could you want for your child during this Season of Lent?!

Will you join us?

So are you willing to drop some things during Lent this year so that you can pick up what God wants you to carry?  Join us on the journey and commit to trying at least one of these options with your child over the next 40 days.  I can’t wait to see what the Lord does in your child’s heart, and in yours!

ryannesig

wrapping up

We wrapped up our Wednesday night series on “God Made Me!” with some fun games to help us memorize our Bible verse and a lesson on the five senses that God has given us.

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We look forward to seeing you all tonight for our Ash Wednesday service as we begin the Lenten season with the imposition of ashes, remembering “from dust we come and to dust we return.”

 

take it home | 02.26

Extreme Sayings Series

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Our kids served the church today by helping clean our toys!

Extreme Saying of the Week: “Be a Servant to All”

Lesson in a Word: Humility

Story: Jesus Washes the Disciple’s Feet (John 13:4-5 & 12-17)

Bible Verse: “Serve each other with humility.”  1 Peter 5:5

Prayer: Dear Jesus, thank you for making us all different.  Help me to think of others and not just myself.  Show me ways that I can put other’s needs above my own by doing simple acts of service for them.  Help me not always want to be the first and best at everything, but to let others share the spotlight.  Amen

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“Take-It-Home” Activities:

Parents:   Is there a friend in your life who is going through a rough time, is stressed or could just use an unexpected treat?  Have your children help you bake some goodies and make cards, then deliver them together to your friend.

Toddlers: Play the “sharing game” with your child.  Pick a favorite toy and say “It’s your turn!” and allow them to play for a moment, then say, “May I have a turn please?” and you play with it for a moment, giving lots of encouragement when they hand the toy over.

Age 3 – Kindergarten: Part of putting others first is noticing needs.  To encourage that, play “Super Spies” this week!  Tell your child/ren that they are going to be super spies and their job is to notice as many needs as possible.  For every need that they notice, they get one point.  For every need they notice and stop to help, they get two points.  Play all day; at home, at school, at daycare, at the store, and tally the points at the end of the day.  Older kids can even be given a Super Spy notebook to keep track of their list!

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Our K-Street friends being “Super Spies” and learning how to notice the needs of others.

take it home | 02.19

Extreme Sayings Series

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Extreme Saying of the Week: “Be Salt”

Lesson in a Word:  Example

Story: The True God (1 kings 18:17-39)

Bible Verse: “Honor Christ”  1 Peter 3:15

Prayer: Dear Jesus, please show me how to honor Christ in all my actions and words so that I can help others around me.  Help me to know how to talk to people about You.  Help me be a good example to my friends and family.  Amen

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“Take-It-Home” Activities:

Parents:   When you choose to come to church, worship and learn more about God you are honoring Christ and modeling for your children what it means to make Christ a priority in your life.  This is such a gift for your children!

Toddlers: The way you talk to your child can be an opportunity to bring honor to Christ.  As you interact, continually give Christ the praise.  Praise Him for your child’s strong legs, smart mind, unique personality, quick feet, adorable hands…everything!

Age 3 – Kindergarten: Talk with your child about what it means to be a leader (or salt!).  Talk about ways they can be a leader at home, at school, at church, etc. and ways they can honor Christ as a leader (not going along with something that’s wrong, including everyone, sharing, standing up for others, following directions).  Then play Follow the Leader with them!

Our K-Street friends brainstormed a list of what it might look like to “be salt” at home and at school.  Here’s what they came up with…

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Parents of children in the Backyard & Garden:  Our children made pennants today to represent “Team Jesus!”  Help them hang their pennant somewhere at home to remind them to have actions that honor Christ.

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partnering with parents

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Join us this Sunday at 9:30am in the Teen Center for Partnering with Parents!

Making more and better disciples out of our young people takes a collaborative effort.  Partnering with parents is a “fist bump” from our Family Ministry team to JaxNaz parents.  Hear practical stories, ideas, and encouragement designed to help us do family better.

See you there!

 

wednesday nights in february

“I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made.”  Psalm 139:14

We have been rejoicing in the truths of this Bible verse all month!

We kicked off with a birthday party to celebrate the fact that God made each of us and has a plan for each of our lives.

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Self Portraits

No one else is just like me and I will use my talents for Him!

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Pretzel People

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Bible verse practice

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Hope you can join us tonight for some fun games to help us memorize our Bible verse!

 

did you know?

We will be hosting the Early On Toy Talker Playgroup again beginning this Thursday, February 16th.  Playgroups will be held every 3rd Thursday (through July) from 10:00-11:30 am and are open to all Early on families and JaxNaz families.

toy talker logo

From the Toy Talker Brochure:

“Would you and your baby or toddler like to get out of the house and have fun learning at the same time?  Join us for a great time with songs, movement activities, messy art and craft projects and more!  Your child will make new friends and so will you!

The groups give adults a chance to get together and talk about parenting with other adults while children also get a chance to play together.  A variety of topics about development are discussed.

Playgroups are for parents and caregivers with children ages 0 to 5 (siblings welcome).

The Toy Talker Playgroup is a collaboration between Jackson County Early On with Parents As Teachers and JaxNaz and funding is provided through the Great Start Collaborative 32p grant.”

Feel free to contact Ryanne Johnston, Bright Beginnings Director at JaxNaz (517-782-7084 ext. 301 or ryannejohnston@jaxnaz.com) or Josie Allen, Early On Parent Educator (517-206-5869 or jallen@co.jackson.mi.us) with any questions.

Pics from last year’s Valentine’s project…

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See you Thursday!