lent 2017

lent

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

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!

 

did you know?

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We are hosting Matthew Deprez, Sticky Faith coach and speaker, tomorrow evening at JazNaz.  It will be a night filled with compelling research and practical ideas on how to give your kids a faith that will “stick” long term.  You won’t want to miss it!  This is a free event and childcare is available upon request (email ryannejohnston@jaxnaz.com). For more info, visit stickyfaith.org/family

What is Sticky Faith?

Kara Eckmann Powell, PhD on “What is Sticky Faith?”

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Dr. Kara Powell is the Executive Director of the Fuller Youth Institute (FYI) and a faculty member at Fuller Theological Seminary. Named by Christianity Today as one of “50 Women You Should Know,” Kara serves as a Youth and Family Strategist for Orange, and also speaks regularly at parenting and leadership conferences. Kara is the author or coauthor of a number of books, including the forthcoming Growing Young (fall 2016), The Sticky Faith Guide for Your Family, Sticky Faith Curriculum, Can I Ask That?, Deep Justice Journeys, Essential Leadership, Deep Justice in a Broken World, Deep Ministry in a Shallow World, and the Good Sex Youth Ministry Curriculum. She holds a BA from Stanford University, an MDiv from Bethel Theological Seminary, and a PhD from Fuller. Kara lives in Pasadena, California, with her husband, Dave, who is a medical device engineer, and their children, Nathan, Krista, and Jessica.

We hope to see you there!

1 hour

Would you be willing to give our Bright Beginnings kids one hour of your time this summer?

Every summer we give our regular Bright Beginnings volunteers the summer off so that they can prayerfully consider their commitment for the upcoming school year.

This is huge on a number of levels; it helps provide consistency because our volunteers have a defined starting and ending time to their commitment (they don’t feel like they have to serve until Jesus returns or until they muster up the courage to tell me they are done, or just stop showing up, all of which happen without a defined ending time), it encourages our volunteers to pray about their ministry at JaxNaz which means they are serving in Bright Beginnings because they feel called to Bright Beginnings and desire to be there (which makes Bright Beginnings so much more than just an hour of babysitting), it helps our volunteers feel supported and appreciated, it gives them a break (because everyone needs a break from time to time, even if you are serving within your passion area), and it gives members of our church body and parents an opportunity to experience Bright Beginnings.

Who wouldn’t want to help make all that good stuff possible?

It takes around 400 volunteers to cover Bright Beginnings for the summer.  Summer Serve starts this Sunday and we currently need about 100 more volunteers.

If you are one of the 300 people who have already signed up to help this summer, THANK YOU!  If not, would you consider giving us one hour of your time to help make Summer Serve possible?

We make it really easy for you; you can pick your date, your service (9:30 am or 11:15 am) and the age of children you would like to serve.  If you don’t know your summer schedule yet, that’s fine too.  We’ll work with you over the summer to find a date that works for you!

This is a great opportunity for families to serve together, for parents of children in Bright Beginnings to not only experience their child’s class but to say “thank you” to their child’s teacher, and for people who are considering serving in Bright Beginnings on a regular basis to “give it a try.”

I promise I will not keep anyone’s name and number to call when we are short on help.  Once you have served you are done.  No strings attached!

So please consider helping us out.

This summer is especially important because I will be on maternity leave during July and August and want to make sure the volunteers who are graciously stepping up to keep Bright Beginnings running in my absence have plenty of help each week.

So as the kids said, “What are you waiting for?!”

If you are willing to give us one hour this summer, give me a call (517-782-7084 ext. 301) or shoot me an e-mail (ryannejohnston@jaxnaz.com) and I’ll get you set up.

Thanks so much and we’ll see you this summer!

ryannesig

 

Wednesday Nights in January

Story:  David (1 Samuel 16 – 2 Samuel 7)  God Chooses David to be King, Samuel Anoints David, David & Goliath, David the King

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Bible Verse: “Man looks at the outward appearance, but God looks at the heart.”  1 Samuel 16:7

With Motions:  “Man (point away from you) looks (hand on forehead as if looking in the distance for something) at the outward appearance (grab your clothes), but God (point up) looks (hand on forehead as if looking in the distance for something) at the heart (hand over heart).”  1 Samuel 16:7

Theme Songs:  (ask your children to show you the motions!)

I’ve Got the Joy Down in My Heart

 

&

Jesus Wants Us To Be Friends

Simple Activity @ Home

Grab two bags, one a plain brown one and the other a fancy gift bag. In the plain brown one, place your child’s favorite snack food. In the gift bag, place your child’s least favorite food. During snack time, let your child choose and open each bag. While eating the snack, talk to your child about how it only mattered what was on the inside of the bag, not how it looked on the outside. Read the bible story of how God chooses David to be king and how God looked at what was in David’s heart not what was on the outside. Here’s some questions to ask afterwards:

  • What do you think is important to God?
  • Why are you special to God?
  • Do you pay attention to the appearance of others or to their heart?
  • I wonder what it looks like to pay attention to the heart.

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