I looked at the calendar this morning and it said "October 4th." What happened to the rest of September? And ack - someone the other day said that there were only 86 days until Christmas? NOOOOO - you can't do that to me yet! These are the days and months that I personally wish that God might stretch out time a bit like oh I don't know the sun stopping for Joshua perhaps?
The past two weeks have been incredibly productive. With the school year kick off done, and some leadership and management skills in place that I've been focusing on this summer I'm finding that I have moved into a predictable, orderly pattern of ministry once again. Here are some highlights of the past two weeks:
The entire church staff collectively used our Monday day off to come in and work on areas of the church that we normally don't get to. My friend/coworker Tina and I worked on the resource room - boxing up about 3 years of curriculum and storing it freeing nearly two lateral file cabinets for materials. We now have a resource room for teachers and children's ministry staff that is being filled with things like props, musicals/videos/DVDs/tapes, books, games and extra toys and art materials. And there is room for future growth. Complete with a table and other things we have a place where people can come in, browse, read without having things fall on them. We also were able to pull together the larger storage closet later in the week. I am amazed at what we own in the ministry! Enough materials to dress plenty of kids in biblical costumes and Christmas programs, extra materials from parties, VBS' etc. that are wonderful. Sports equipment like high quality tumbling mats, plenty of ball pit balls, carnival items etc.
I finished the recruiting for the Fall this week and will be filling up the last holes by tomorrow it looks like. Yeah God! This week I'm ordering curriculum for the winter and beginning to get that ready for my prep teams even earlier than before! I ordered our Christmas Sunday special curriculum for Sunday School - we're doing "Bethlehem Village" and will be gathering the event team to start working on that as well!
The nursery is up and running - we were this close to having closed circuit television for the services in the room and found out when we moved the tv from the toddler/2's space to the nursery 4 feet killed the reception so a tech guru from church is working on the problem. This week we had 3 babies in the room so mom's are slowly working at becoming comfortable with letting the babies go during service.
This week is "Crazy Hair Day" at church. We're celebrating how we are uniquely created by God and wearing our hair in a wide variety of ways - also a great excitement and community building event with little outlay. I think I spent $6 bucks on hair goo and stuff. The preschool through 3rd grade are coming with their hair decked out and the 4th/5th graders are doing their hair (and mine!) in class.
WoW begins again this Sunday after a two month hiatus and we're looking forward to it! The team has expanded by 2 people and I can't wait to see what God does this year.
God has brought a group of people forward who want to resurrect Bible Quiz Bowl and some sort of music for the children on a more regular basis. I'm so blessed that everytime I begin to pray for an individual for a ministry, someone shares their passion and we connect them into ministry! THIS is the lesson that I learned from past experiences and now that I have built some more intentionality and focus through mentoring experiences I am seeing the fruit begin to blossom on the vine. It's a blessing - I know that it will pay off in the long run for this ministry.
Last week was a swim party for our tween group Zoom Zone - we had a patch of really cold (by No Cal standards) couple of weeks and temps dipped into the low 70's with a day or so of rain - what my Texas friend would call "spitting" but rain for Californians. I told the kids they better start praying and they did, congratulating themselves and God on pulling a warming trend with near 90 degree weather last week letting the swim party go forward! We have a small group of kids so the numbers we had were a good sign - about a 40% class turnout of kids who didn't have practices or games. Tonight is our first monthly meeting "Game Night." We start with dinner for the first hour (tonight is "spaghetti a la MJ" ) and then will be doing group games such as Human Bowling, Cookie Monster (eating oreo's off of an upright surface), blanket races, cup stacking introduction. We'll end with a devotional that I haven't finished yet so no posting until then! I received an email from a parent this morning as follows:
Well, you have done a great job of promoting Zoom Zone, because ____ was distraught at the thought of not attending this month's meeting. We've agreed to give him a "pass" on soccer practice and allow him to be there. That level of motivation to attend a church function should be rewarded!
Nice email to come into the office to I might add!
And finally, we're focusing on raising more awareness on our missions projects. We're raising $250 by Christmas to purchase livestock (goats) for Macedonian Outreach and then a quarter towards Heifer project (chicken and bees) and finally the last quarter towards water for a well - a new development per a connection I found out about yesterday. In three weeks the children have purchased one goat and are about 12.00 shy of a second one. It's rewarding to see them once again excited about this and having a growing understanding about tithing.
Well, that's it for now. Pics of the pool party and crazy hair day coming!