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

img_20161116_192811229

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!

img_20161116_194806729

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!

laurels_0008_vector-smart-object

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!

laurels_0008_vector-smart-object

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!

ketchup-heinz

 

 

 

 

a bit of housekeeping

Hello Bright Beginnings Community!

I have been on maternity leave for most of the summer snuggling this little bundle of joy…

dsc_0103

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!

  1.  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.
  2. 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!
  3. 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!
  4. 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:my-invitation
  5. 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.

  6. 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

img_20160904_115138727

“Take-It-Home” Activities:

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.

img_20160904_114635475

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!

ryannesig

 

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

 

volunteer appreciation dinner tonight!

FIESTA 2

Join us tonight from 6-8:30 pm in the Commons for our Annual Volunteer Appreciation Dinner!  

If you volunteer in any capacity at JaxNaz Church we’d love to have you join us for an evening of great food and plenty of laughter.  We greatly appreciate our volunteers and want to serve YOU this evening.

It’s not too late to RSVP.  Simple notify Tracy Collier at tracycollier@jaxnaz.com or 517-782-7084 ext. 201