I have been on maternity leave for most of the summer snuggling this little bundle of joy…
Consequently, I have a bit of catching up to do!
I apologize if you are new to startingsmall and have checked our site, only to find the same post up for months. I promise to post more regularly now that I am back to work!
Before we get back to our regularly scheduled posts however, there are some things I need to catch you up on so I’m going to throw everything together in one big housekeeping post!
THANK YOU to all the people who served in Bright Beginnings during Summer Serve! I missed the opportunity to meet all the new people that don’t serve in Bright Beginnings on a regular basis, but know that I appreciate you and thank you for helping out, especially while I was gone.
THANK YOU to the team of people who made my maternity leave possible. What an incredible group of volunteers I had! They were willing to come in during the week, come early for services, stay after services and help from their homes to keep things running in Bright Beginnings. I can’t thank them enough for their commitment to our ministry, their love for my family and their willingness to take on extra so that I could be home. Thank You!
WELCOME BACK to all our regular volunteers! I am thrilled so many of you have decided to return and are eager to see “your” children again. It will be good to see each of you. I’m excited for another great year!
Anyone who volunteers in Bright Beginnings in any way (from laundry and craft prep at home to teaching and serving in the classrooms) is invited to our annual Bright Beginnings Picnic. It’s this Sunday (September 11th) @ 5pm in Rod Mills Park. See the invitation for more details:
K-Street is our class for our kindergarteners (it’s located just off the commons right outside our Bright Beginnings hallway). If your child started kindergarten this fall, please let a check-in volunteer know, so that your child’s name tag can be changed to red. They can start attending K-Street anytime! (Unfortunately, due to a shortage of teachers, K-Street is only open on Sundays during the 11:15 am service. Kindergarteners who attend during first service or on Wednesday evenings simply join their friends in the Backyard until they start 1st grade and are promoted to Kid City).
K-Street is designed to help our kindergarteners with their transition to Kid City the following year. From September through January, the children join their friends in the Backyard for praise and worship on Sunday mornings, then return to their class for the same lesson as the rest of Bright Beginnings but at a kindergarten level. During the last half of the school year, our K-Street class joins Kid City for praise and worship on Sunday mornings, then returns to K-Street for the lesson. This allows our kindergartners to experience a bit of Kid City, meet Pastor Crystel, and become familiar with the new room and many faces before graduating from Bright Beginnings and moving up to Kid City at the end of next summer.
And finally, our “Take it Home” information for the lesson this week:
A few weeks ago, we started a series called “Sailing the C’s” in which we have been learning about the different “C’s” God wants us to have to help us sail the seas of life (Character, Competence, Calling, Compassion, etc.). This week we sailed the “C” of Courage…
Bible Verse: Do not be afraid. Joshua 1:9
Story: 1 Samuel 25:1-42 (David, Abigail & Nabal)
Prayer: Dear Jesus, I am so glad that I am never alone. You are always with me and watching over me. Please help me have the courage to trust You each day. Help me to not be afraid because You care about what happens to me. I love You. Amen
Parents: Is there something that you’ve been needing to do that will take courage? Ask God to give you courage, then commit to doing it this week!
Birth – Age 2: Be a cheerleader for your child as they take on new challenges (feeding themselves, walking, going down the slide, sitting in the “big kid” swing, climbing up the stairs, helping around the house, etc.). Encouragement goes a long way to instill courage.
Age 3 – Kindergarten: Help your child memorize this week’s Bible verse (the short version or the whole thing!). Remind them that God is always with them and that they can say this verse anytime they are afraid or nervous (in bed at night, getting dropped off at daycare or pre-school, coming to Bright Beginnings). When they show anxiety, take a moment to pray at that moment, modeling that they can talk to God any time.
Whew! I think that’s it.
Thank you for giving me the honor of helping shepherd your child’s heart. What a joy it is to see their bright eyes and precious faces each week as my team and I teach them about God and His love. It’s good to be back!
Bible Verse: “God gives us the victory.” 1 Corinthians 15:57
Prayer: Dear Jesus, I am so glad that You are there to guide me. You are always the winner! I can trust You to help me when anything seems hard. Amen
Parents: What a great reminder that “God gives us the victory.” (1 Corinthians 15:57). What are you dealing with right now that you need to give to Him? Every time you think of it, say a prayer to God, remembering that He promises to give us the victory!
Birth – Age 2: Play “Hide-&-Seek” (or Peek-a-Boo) as a family around your home. Remind your children that Moses trusted God to protect the Israelites from Pharaoh and that God will always protect them too!
Age 3 – Kindergarten: Help your child make a blue ribbon using construction paper and markers. Help them write “God wins!” on their ribbon and together find a place to hang it where they will see it often. Remind them that they do not need to fear because God is always near!
Thanks to all our wonderful Summer Serve volunteers who helped make today possible!
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: Love
Science Experiment: Cleaning Pennies
Story: Jesus and the Cross (Romans 3:23, 6:23 & John 3:16)
Bible Verse: “…and to your kindness, add LOVE” 2 Peter 1:7b
Prayer: Dear Jesus, thank You so much for loving me. Thank You for dying on the cross for all the bad things I’ve done. I want You to live in my heart so that I can live with You forever in heaven. Help me show Your love to others around me. Amen
Take-It Home Activities:
Parents: Take some time this week to write a letter to God telling Him why you love Him.
Birth – Age 2: Talk about Jesus with your children! Weave His love into as many conversations as you can with your child. Tell them Jesus keeps them safe when they are anxious, that He helps them sleep when they are having a hard time at bedtime, that He heals their body when they get hurt or are sick, that He provides food when you are eating, that He is always with them, etc. A relationship with God comes naturally when you bring God into the daily lives of your children!
Age 3 – Kindergarten: Your children had an opportunity to pray a salvation prayer today. Ask your child about this! Make a cross with your child this week out of some craft sticks or play dough and take a moment to remember how God showed His love for us on the cross.
Special THANK YOU to all our volunteers who made the first week of Summer Serve a success!
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 (firstname.lastname@example.org) and I’ll get you set up.
Thank you to all the people who helped to make Summer Serve possible.
And thank you to all the people who have committed to serving in Bright Beginnings for this school year. You are planting seeds of truth into the lives of these children, and for that, we are thankful!