Wow. School’s started for most children, which means “summer” has come to an end. We are beginning to wrap up our summer here at FaithWorks! as well. And what a summer it has been! Here’s some of our highlights from this summer!
In June, we hosted Step Up 2012 for over 130 kids in three locations. We got kids running, jumping and dancing at Clay Church, Hope Ministries’ Family Life Center and in the LaSalle neighborhood! Our goals was to help kids understand that they are a magnificent creation of God’s and that they should be taking care of that creation! We offered fun and free ways to exercise and gave each child a pedometer to keep track of how much they are moving around. We ate a healthy meal and had a small group time to talk about what it means to be loved by God and prayed together. Some of the children we met had never prayed before! What a joy to have that honor. It was a risk, doing something different, but I think in the end we are glad we took that step and plan on doing it again! The kids in the LaSalle neighborhood had such a great time, they are asking that we come back soon!
When July rolled around we headed to camp! 36 FaithWorks! kids went to summer camp! 12 kids went to a mini-camp at Camp Lakewood. These are kids who are going into kindergarten, first and second grade. You can read here Summer King’s blog post about her experience. She spent three days with a group of very young girls who are living in faith every day!
A week later, 20 kids went to Camp Lakewood for an entire week with a FaithWorks! director and counselor team. The Olympic-themed week used stories of Paul to help them learn about team work, perseverance, and that God provides strength. Most of the kids at this camp already called Jesus their “Best Friend” when they arrived at camp and experienced a week of living in a Christian community. I was able to watch them pray for each other, support each other, encourage each other. It’s amazing what kids can do for God. You can watch this video, taken during morning worship, of kids singing that they will “never be shaken” and that God’s their “strength and shield.” These kids, too, are living in faith every day!
Then, 4 more FaithWorks! kids, who had just finished fifth grade, joined in on the camp experience at Camp Adventure with the Firehouse middle schoolers! Aaron Helman and I went along as directors. While my main job was to do crafts and large group games with the kids (large group meaning 150 kids!), Aaron as spiritual director and the keynote speaker moved the kids to be excited about their love for God is a huge way! Tuesday night, after commitment night the kids were surprised with a New Year’s Eve party to celebrate their new beginnings. Here’s a video of what that night looked like (probably one of the coolest things I’ve experienced)! These kids went home pumped up to live in faith every day!
Now that it’s August, we are excited to be completing our series on David called Kid 2 Crown. We have explored 13 stories about David! We have learned that he was important even though he was a kid; we have learned about friendships and keeping promises; we have learned that David was human and made mistakes but God loved him anyway. We have had a variety of small group leaders give up three Sunday mornings this summer to hang with our kids and share and talk about these stories. We’ve also had a talented duo who were there almost every week to help us see what these mean to us today. Here’s a video of Prince Chris and Jester showing that great things can come from something that looks bad. All of these things have been pointing us to understanding that God has this crown waiting for us…not the kind we think of but one that is eternal. And helping our kids learn to live in faith every day is enabling them to take next steps toward that goal.
So, if this summer sounds exhausting to you, know that it was! But the FaithWorks! team is refueling and getting excited for our new year that begins Sunday, September 9th. Our kids will meet their new leaders that day and dive into their Bibles as we learn about the Gospels.
In the mean time, we will have summer fun for a few more weeks! This Sunday the kids will be acting out these stories about David, and we have found that they love acting!! The following Sunday, September 2nd, we’ll attempt to do 100 things in 60 minutes! These are two Sundays that your kids won’t want to miss! And if you’ve gotten this far…have read this whole blog post…here’s a great picture and video of the fun we have had along the way! Tired never looked so good, huh?! Let me know if you’ve taken a look 🙂
See you Sunday!