Children Ministry

We have a small but spirited group of children that attend Emmanuel United Church we have decided to use a Multiage curriculum from "Seasons of the Spirit" for children 5-12.

Our class begins with gathering around the worship table which is covered by a colored cloth that represents the time in the church calendar. On the table are a number of items that represent various symbols that the children can relate to that help to remind them of some of the stories they have learned about (ie: seashell-listen to God, fish-early sign of Christianity, rainbow- God's promise to never have another flood / colors of the Mission and Service committee). As the number of symbols have increased over the years it has become a game for the children to remember what they stand for.

We continue with our opening song "Love is Something if You Give it Away" as we pass around the collection plate. At the appropriate time an usher comes to bring a volunteer back into the sanctuary with the collection to join the adults, each week a different child participates. By performing this duty not only do they feel connected to the adults but are becoming more comfortable in performing important tasks in the service.

It is at this time that I start to ask the children questions that will connect with the focus of the Bible story I will read to them. Most of these questions are of a "feeling" nature, "how would you feel if"... After each child has an opportunity to share with the group we move right into a craft that relates to the theme of the story. While the children are working on their craft the Bible story is read. Even though the children are busy it is amazing at how they listen while they work and when quizzed on the story are eager and able to answer all of the questions.

A nursery is provided for the pre-school children. We have a qualified student who is available to take care of the children that are too young to participate in Sunday school. Because the nursery is just off of the hall at times the children will wander back and forth from each space to see what is going on and this is welcomed by the older children.

Our Sunday school class has been very involved with the Mission and Service and have participated in major fundraising for a number of benevolent related projects such as: Watercan, Pigs and Solar Lights for Cameroon, Ryan's Well, Secret Santa's Fund, education of Naiomi and Jahaska (two young women of 3rd world countries whom we have and are helping to educate). Fundraising comes in the form of lunches, bake sales and craft sales, all of which the children enjoy participating in.

We have a number of parties that the children look forward to. In October the children are invited to come dressed in their Halloween costumes, and we play games and have many treats in a safe environment, especially for the very young. In November we gather on a Saturday to work on crafts and baking and then set up our tables in the hall for the congregation to purchase. Just before Christmas we have a Children's Shopping Spree where we set up a "White Elephant" table for them to pick presents for their family members, volunteers are available to wrap and tag their gifts. To wrap up the year we have our Christmas Pageant in full costume, with a party following. Santa joins the children and they are each greeted individually. Again we have many treats and each child receives a book that they get to pick by themselves.

One special item that has become a part of our celebrations is a chocolate fountain that not only the children enjoy, but also the adults. One thing that the adults have come to enjoy is right after church as they enter the hall for coffee and fellowship the first stop they make is to our Sunday school table to see what the children have been working on. The praise that the children get from the adults is very affirming and I as a teacher value the opportunity to explain to them what the children have been doing.

Judith Thorne,

Sunday School Superintendent