We hope that children who attend Sunday Studio or Childcare at Calvary feel that they are loved, valued, protected, and respected. As children grow in faith they learn ways to love God and their neighbor. Even if we teach the narrative lectionary which chronologically follows Old Testament to New Testament stories, children might hear a story once at church and then not hear it again for a year. We encourage families to read the Bible stories at home, so that there are more regular opportunities to revisit a story or theme in connective ways. Acceptance, welcome, prayer, love, hope, joy, faith, and forgiveness come up multiple times throughout the year.
The next time you are at childcare or Sunday Studio, please pick up a free copy of Rebecca Kirkpatrick’s book 100 Things Every Child Should Know Before Confirmation. This book focuses on the practice of planting the seed of faith, feeding the soil of each child’s soul, and watching children and youth grow. We want them to know the oral tradition roots that originate with the Israelite People, the Gospels that tell the life of Jesus, the acts of Jesus’ followers, and the liturgical seasons of the church starting with Advent, Christmas, Epiphany, Lent, Easter, and Pentecost.
As we venture through Advent, we focus on the four weeks that represent themes of hope, peace, love, and joy. We also talk about the idea of waiting, praying, enjoying quiet time, and giving to people we don’t know. Since children do not make money to buy gifts, parents can encourage children to make cards and gifts from recycled materials. Many children and youth find ways to generate income by pet-sitting, garden care, baby-sitting, and other jobs. That can teach them to be good stewards of their time and treasure. Many children have received pew envelopes to practice giving a quarter or a dollar to church whenever they can.
Calvary has supported generations of children and families, so we have a lot of art and craft resources available. Over the years, we have collected broken crayons and are slowly making them into new items. If you have broken crayons at home or want some of ours, you can use small cupcake trays to make multi-colored crayons. I also melt crayons in large tin cans that sit in a pan of boiling water on the stove. Then I pour the wax into angel-shaped molds and add some string to hold the wax ornament. This has become an annual tradition at my house. It is fun to give away the renewed crayons and ornaments to children during Advent.
Thanks to all who came to make Advent wreaths on the first Sunday of Advent. We enjoyed crafting with you. Have fun lighting the candles each week as you wait for the celebration of Jesus’ birth on Christmas Eve. We look forward to bringing back A Charlie Brown Christmas on Sunday, December 11 at 5 pm. Come listen to Joann Lee tell the familiar story, sing songs, and hear the Children and Youth Christmas Choir sing. On Saturday, December 24, join us for the family-friendly Christmas Eve 5 pm service. Christmas Day is on Sunday this year, so come to the 10 am worship service in your pajamas if you want. Childcare is provided in the Lower Level on Christmas Eve during the 5 pm service (but not the 8 pm service), Christmas Day, and New Year’s Day.
If you would like to engage in easy service opportunities with your family this Advent, join us on Wednesday, December 21, for Pack-a-Sack, where we make sandwiches and lunches for our partners at Martin de Porres House of Hospitality, The Gubbio Project, and the SafeHouse Hope Center. Then join us in the Chapel for the family-friendly Longest Night Candlelight Service at 5 pm. A tangible way to teach young children to share resources with others is to buy and donate baby food. Bring baby food to the 5 pm Christmas Eve service and we will distribute it to families at Raphael House and Hamilton Family Centers.