Partnering with Parents

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Bright Beginnings, Kid City, and JaxNaz Youth invite parents to discuss serving together as a family.  Join us in the Teen Center at 9:30am, May 7th.
What is Partnering with Parents?
Partnering with Parents is an avenue to provide parents with a time and place to engage in meaningful conversation with each other and the staff of the Family Ministries Team.
Topics of discussion vary but are sure to be relevant to any adult desiring to help disciple a child.
The Family Ministries Team wants you to know that we are in this journey of disciplining your children together.  We are partners with you and want to support, encourage and empower you as parents.  We are your biggest cheerleaders as you disciple your kids!
We’re on your team.
We’ve got your back.
And we’ll give you a fist bump at Partnering with Parents tomorrow to prove it.  We hope to see you there!

take it home | 02.26

Extreme Sayings Series


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



“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!


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

ketchup post

We have been busy back in Bright Beginnings!

I have so much to catch you all up on (hence the title…)

We wrapped up our Wednesday night lesson on Daniel in the lion’s den last month by talking about things that make us fearful and remembering that God is bigger than all those things!  The children drew “God is bigger than…” pictures and we now know that God is bigger than everything from a milking cow to The Grinch and a one armed monster, to a bear!


We jumped right into our next Wednesday night lesson on the boy Samuel and have been learning this month all about how we can hear God’s voice.  These precious children aer so eager to listen to and obey God!

Worshiping God


We read 1 Samuel 3:19: “The LORD was with Samuel as he grew up, and he let none of Samuel’s words fall to the ground.” and talked about some of God’s Words that we don’t want to let fall to the ground.  We wrote those words on balloons, then worked together to keep the balloons in the air!


And just in case you didn’t get it, here is our Take Home information for this lesson:

Story:  Boy Samuel Hears God (1 Samuel 3:1-10)

Bible Verse:  “Speak Lord, your servant is listening.”  1 Samuel 3:10

Theme Song:  Jesus Hears When I Pray

Ways to Teach @ Home:

  • Go on a walk as a family and listen. Don’t talk for a time except to name sounds you hear while you walk.  After listening, talk about how we listen to God.
  • Select noise making items from around your house, then play a game by having your child close his or her eyes and try to identify each item by the sound it makes. Talk about what God’s voice sounds like to you.
  • Ask your children, “What are some things God tells us to do?” “How do we know He is telling us to do those things?”

We will not have service this Wednesday, November 23rd due to the Thanksgiving holiday, so the next time we meet, we’ll be starting Advent!


On Sundays, we have been working through our Driving Force series.  A few weeks ago, your children helped serve by washing tables and chairs in the commons and cleaning toys in their classrooms.

Mr. Doug & Miss Jerri have been enjoying this racing theme.  Miss Jerri was an actual race car driver back in the day, so they have lots of fun stories, videos, pictures and props to help us learn our lesson each week!

This Sunday is our last week of this series and we will be celebrating our race and all that we’ve learned to help us keep God #1 in our lives!  We’ll be celebrating in the adult service as well; Pastor Phil is wrapping up  our “Salt and Light” series by considering God’s call to care for children. We’ll look at our ministries to children, and the message is called “Growing Down and Growing Up” which is based on our Bright Beginnings mission verse, Colossians 2:7 – “ Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness.”  As our children grow up, we want them to have roots that grow down into him!  It will be an exciting, celebratory service full of infant dedications and baptisms, photos of our Bright Beginnings kids, and a special song from our K-Street and Kid City friends.  You won’t want to miss it!


Finally, as I type, Bright Beginnings is getting a face lift!  Some of you may have noticed the green grass outline in our hallway (and some of you may have gasped at first glance, thinking your child had taken a marker to the wall!) over the past week.  Martha York and her painting team are working diligently to finish the wall and fix all our bubbling leaves so that Bright Beginnings will be ready for you tomorrow.  Thank you, Martha, Julie, Britney, Amy & team!


Whew!  Consider yourself ketchup’d & we’ll see you tomorrow!






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 ( and I’ll get you set up.

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



service project | planting flowers

Thanks to everyone who helped plant flowers on Sunday!

They look great!


Special thanks to Beck’s Flower Shop & Gardens for their help in selecting flowers and for the donation of the markers.


Reminder to Send Your Child in Play Clothes Tomorrow!

Tomorrow, your child will be given the opportunity to put last weeks’ lesson into action!

Our friends in the Garden, Backyard and K-Street will be working together to complete a service project at church by planting flowers outside Bright Beginnings.

So, please make sure to dress your children in “flower planting clothes” next week as we very well may get a little dirty!

The flower planted by your child will be marked with their name so that they can help give it a drink each week, watch it grow over the summer and know that their service to God helped make our church grounds beautiful!

See you in the morning!


take it home | 05.15 (and special note)

Series Bible Verse:  2 Peter 1:5-7 “…add this to your life: faith, and to your faith, goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, patience; and to patience, service for God; and to service for God, kindness; and to kindness, love.

Character Element of the Week: Service for God

Science Experiment:  Making Goop!


Story:  Nehemiah  (Nehemiah 2:1-6:16)

Bible Verse:  “…and to your patience, add SERVICE FOR GOD”  2 Peter 1:6c

Prayer: Dear God, You have done so much for me.  Help me to serve You by helping others.  Help me to see when others have a need and to do something about it.  Amen

Take-It Home Activities:

Parents:  Is there another parent you know that could use a night out this week?  Give them a call and offer to watch their children.  Your children will love the extra playmates and you’ll be modeling “service to others” to your children.

Birth – Age 2: Even young children can help out at home.  Instead of doing all the chores for them, invite them to help you with simple tasks such as putting their cup in the sink, throwing away their own diaper, helping to pick up toys, putting clean clothes away, etc.  It will most likely take more time, but they will love helping you and the seeds you are planting are worth it!

Age 3 – Kindergarten:  Do your children help out with chores at home?  If not, start with a few simple chores such as making their bed (it doesn’t need to be perfect), helping set the table, sweeping after meals (again, perfection is not the goal), etc.  Make it fun and remind your child that when they are serving their family, they are serving God.


Next Sunday, your child will be given the opportunity to put this weeks’ lesson into action!

Our friends in the Garden, Backyard and K-Street will be working together to complete a service project at church by planting flowers outside Bright Beginnings.

So, please make sure to dress your children in “flower planting clothes” next week as we very well may get a little dirty!

The flower planted by your child will be marked with their name so that they can watch it grow over the summer and know that their service to God helped make our church grounds beautiful!FLOWERS

take it home

Serving Your Crew

Word of the Week:  Serve

Bible Verse: Loveeach other like a family.  Romans 12:10

Story:  Through the Roof: The Paralyzed Man (Mark 2 : 1-12)

Prayer: Lord, Ipray that I will always serve my friends and my family and even those who aren’t very nice to me.  Help me to love others and help them out whenever I can.   Show me ways to be kind and loving at all times.  Amen

“Ripples of Kindness”

“Take-It-Home” Activities

Parents: Is there a spouse, parent, friend, co-worker, neighbor, stranger…that you could serve this week.? Choose someone and do one intentional act of service this week that you don’t usually do!

Toddlers:  Gather up some cleaning supplies, such as a duster, rags, broom, mop, sponge, etc.  Name the item and see if your child can point to the item you named.  Then show them what to do with each item.  Give them a chance to try and help you clean sometime this week.  Be sure to give them lots of praise for their help!

Age 3 – Kindergarten:  On slips of paper, write little jobs that your child can do to help you and drop the papers into a jar (you can call this the “Helper Jar” if you’d like).  Each day this week, your child gets to pick out a slip of paper and help you with a new job.  Here are some ideas to get you started:  unload the silverware from the dishwasher, help sort the laundry, set the table, make a bed, dust the living room, match clean socks together, sweep the kitchen, help fold the towels, pick up toys…

a note from ryanne

So I came across this website called


while searching for lesson ideas for Bright Beginnings.  I was so excited about it, I couldn’t wait to share it with all of you!  There are so many things clamoring for our attention online, so I don’t regularly share sites or blogs that I personally find helpful; however, Pennies of Time so captures the heart of Bright Beginnings, and JaxNaz as a whole, that any time you spend reading it online (and hopefully putting some ideas into practice with your kids!) will be time well spent.



take it home | 4-21-13

Ants are hard workers! And just like they work together to carry things, we can work together to serve God!workerant

This week’s word: Service

Bible Verse: Use your gifts to serve others (I Peter 4:10)

Story: Miriam and Baby Moses (Exodus 2)

Prayer: Dear Jesus, I know that when I help others, I am helping you. I want to serve others every day. Amen.

Try these activities to help your kids “take home” the lesson this week:

Children learn the most from you! Model serving others and your children will grow up serving others. This week find simple ways to serve others and talk to your children about what you are doing and why. Some ideas:

  • Hold the door for someone
  • Allow a shopper to go ahead of you in the check-out line
  • Make a take a meal to someone who is ill
  • Offer to babysit for a friend

girlandmixerBirth – Age 2
Children naturally want to help you! Encourage your child this week, by letting them help you with simple tasks around the house – and thank them for their hard work!

  • Pull clothes out of the dryer and into the laundry basket
  • Sweep the floor
  • Put toys away
  • “Dust” with a rag
  • Set the table

Age 3 – Kindergarten
Is there a chore around your home that is typically done by a particular person? Ask your child to help you surprise that person by doing the chore for them (without them knowing). The surprise will be fun and your child will feel good about helping the family member. Talk about how anytime we help others, we are serving God.