A number of years ago, our family experienced a disaster in our kitchen. Part of our cupboards fell off the wall, spewing glasses and dishes all over the kitchen floor. I was overwhelmed. As I recounted to a friend the story of cleaning up glass and porcelain pieces from my kitchen floor, she responded, “This is not a disaster! This is an opportunity! You get to replace all of your glasses and dishes with something new! How exciting!”
I have to admit that sometimes this spring, as quarantine deadlines were extended and weeks went by without seeing our church family, I remembered that feeling of looking at the mess of smashed pieces on my floor. What have you done, Lord? How will our church continue when all of the ministries we had in place have been shut down? And then I thought of my dear friend. This is not a disaster! This is an opportunity!
This has been a chance to evaluate our practices, our hearts, and our motives. What does Sunday mean to the Body of Christ? What am I teaching my children about the value of my faith, spiritual disciplines, following Christ? Are my children growing in their knowledge and love for the Lord?
So, dear friends, I am looking forward to this ministry year with a full heart at the opportunities God is putting before us. Please consider the following two invitations and the additional below:
- How God wants to use the gifts of your family at our church?
- Where He wants you to participate?
- How to engage your child as you seek their spiritual growth?
- Attend CPC Kids Orientation – I would like to invite you and your families to an event on Saturday, September 19, from 10:00-11:00 a.m. We will be discussing:
- Worshipping with our families
- What class will look like
- What to bring to church
- How to pray for each other
- There will be an activity and time to catch up after many months apart
CPC Kids will be meeting on Sunday mornings from 10:00-10:45AM starting on Sunday, September 20. We will meet through November 22.
Preschool (age 4 by 9/1/2020) through fifth grade will be meeting as one group. If possible, we may divide the students into two sections (lower grades and upper grades). We will be meeting on the back patio of the Potter’s House as long as the weather allows. There are canopies available if the weather is inclement. Dress appropriately for outdoor weather. If conditions deem it necessary for us to move inside, we will meet in Room 117 and then masks would be required. I will send detailed information on how to check your child in via your phones so that no one would need to use the kiosk.
Students should bring their “church bags” with their supplies each week (see me if you are not able to attend on 9/19). Nursery will not be available for ages 3 and under during class time, but parents and younger siblings are welcome to find a place on CPC’s campus to wait during class time. The staff will use the month of December to evaluate how classes will proceed in the spring.
I am very excited about our topic for the fall. Since everything about this year was going to look different, we prayerfully decided that this would be the right moment for a “curriculum interlude” – a pause between our traditional curriculum flow.
The title of the program is called New City Catechism. The Gospel Coalition teamed up with Tim Keller’s church, Redeemer Presbyterian in New York, to write a catechism intended for families. There is one set of questions that can be memorized by adult and child alike.
They adapted material from the Heidelberg and Westminster’s catechism and purposefully condensed the content to 52 questions so that the material can be covered by studying one question per week in a year. This will not replace the shorter catechism that accompanies our regular Bible survey curriculum each year, but rather will be an independent study for this year allowing our children to build a framework to understand the biblical doctrines of our faith. These questions will not be studied in isolation, but we will discovering the Bible verses that lead us to these truths.
Teachers: Vicki Vandenheuvel and Sarah Floyd, assisted by Beckie Childress and Jack Schaefer
Plans are being made to open the nursery on a limited basis with a hopeful start date being the end of September or early October. In an effort to control the number of people overseeing the children, we will have two staff members that will serve each week until the crisis begins to subside.
The nursery would be open during the second service for up to six children that are between the ages of 1-3. Parents would need to register their children ahead of time. Please do not bring your child to the nursery if they are experiencing any sickness symptoms or if anyone in your family has symptoms. Our goal is to present a clean and safe environment for little ones. More information on this ministry will be given as the start date gets closer.
Christian Service Brigade and Pioneer Girls
The main purpose for both of these groups is to disciple young men and women towards growth in their faith and service. These ministries have an exciting year of meetings and events planned. Both groups will feature a blend of in-person meetings and Zoom meetings. The CPC campus offers a variety of locations for outdoor meetings and as the weather begins to change, the leaders will assess the logistics of meeting inside.
CSB has groups for ages K-12. Mark Shoger is the leader for the Christian Service Brigade. Pioneer Girls has groups for grades 1st-8th grade with the possibility of adding a high school group this year. Emily Brown is the leader for Pioneer Girls. Please feel free to contact either leader for further information.
Currently, we are waiting to reopen Children’s Church. We know this is a wonderful ministry to many families. Our goal is to reopen this ministry as restrictions lift and volunteers feel comfortable serving as teachers and helpers. This is also a special time to worship as a family. The church service may sound a bit louder. Certain members of the congregation may be in constant motion. But, it is worth it!
Your children are learning the priority of coming to the service by attending with you. They are watching you and learning from the value you put on worship. It is a moment that you can talk about together. A friend of mine shared this article from the Gospel Coalition, and I thought it was inspirational and encouraging for families as they reenter worship with new parameters.
Also, plan to join me at church this Saturday, September 19, as we prepare for worship with kids. We will be talking about what to take to church and packing church bags together. I will have a variety of Children’s Sermon Notebooks from which to choose. Consider practicing for worship at home. I loved that one family asked their children to wear masks at home during an online service to prepare them for worship in-person. Talk about the parts of the service and what to expect. The children are an important part of the Body of Christ. We welcome their wiggles and exuberance into the service!
Mothers of Preschoolers (MOPS)
In a time of many event cancellations, learning at home, and lots of family time, we are praying that the ministry of MOPS will thrive more than ever. Mothers will have the opportunity to pray for each other, study the Word, encourage one another, and enjoy moments of adult conversation. The leaders of this group have creatively put together a plan for the fall semester that allows women to interact via Zoom and possibly even in person. Lesson and craft packets are being prepared for the preschool age children as well. Although registration for this fall is closed, there will be future opportunity to register for spring classes. Please be in prayer for this important ministry.