SOMETHING FOR WIGGLY GIGGLY WORSHIPPING KIDS!

We are so excited that the sanctuary has a Wiggly Worship Space set up at the front of the piano side of the sanctuary. We plan to experiment with engaging our littlest fellow worshippers in this space for the combined summer services in the sanctuary and into the school year on Sundays when there is no Sunday School. (The chapel already has a similar space in the back.)


Two tables are set up where kids can see clearly what is happening in worship, and where families can sit nearby to share in worship with their children. Children of all ages and stages can participate in the service in developmentally appropriate ways. The tables are set to keep them engaged and involved in what’s happening around them. Families are encouraged to sit nearby so kids can see them sing, pray, and learn, and then learn themselves how to engage and participate in our tradition’s worship experiences.

 

You may be asking, “but why?” We wholeheartedly believe this kid-friendly space is an accommodation just like our hearing aid loop, large-print Bibles, and accessible doors and restroom stalls – each a demonstration of our hospitality and a way to be sure to include all ages and abilities of our church family in the worship of the God who made us.

 

Another answer to the “why” is that we know kids (and adults) learn best through repetition and ritual. A professional in children’s worship, DeDe Bull Reilly, explains, “[Kids] also understand and remember things better when they have something to do with their hands. If their hands are busy, their minds are calm…and learning. Children find plenty to see, hear, touch, and sometimes taste, all that is involved in the worship of our Great God. They pick up the language of worship, the customs of gathering as Christians…to encourage one another.”

 

We know any change can be uncomfortable, and this change will likely be no different. I, along with the Christian Education committee, are glad to sit with you in your discomfort. We also invite you to bring your curiosity with you into this new way of sharing worship with the very same little ones whom Jesus lifted up as models of the greatest faith. After worship find out more about their experiences with questions like, “Was there any part of the service where you felt especially close to God today?” or “What was your favorite part of church?” and even “Was there anything that didn’t make sense to you today?” Be willing to share your answers to those questions, too!

 

Please don’t hesitate to bring your questions to me, or co-chairs Debra Alexander and Anna Groebe.


Pastor Nicole

Can we talk for twenty minutes about what you want

for your kid(s) from our Christian Education program?

Well, the simplest answer is that I know that you are busy - and I am truly grateful you went to the effort of opening this email amidst your busy-ness - and so I'll be brief.


Last year, the Christian Education committee was in the process of shaping a new normal for education and we named the fact that we had a unique opportunity to develop Christian Education programs that are customized to the needs of your family *today* instead of recreating what has (thoughtfully) been done for years and years.


I promised last year that I would follow up with families this summer, and each year to help our education program continue to evolve to fit you needs. Well, here I am!


Click the orange link below before July 1, 2024, to pick a time that fits your schedule to chat. Dates are available until July 14, 2024. Some questions to consider before we meet are included in the scheduling tool.


If I don't see that you have signed up by July 1, I will be following up with you to make sure we connect (a promise, not a threat!).


Please help me make the most of your kid's time at First Pres

with just 20 minutes of your time! THANK YOU!

Schedule 20 minutes with Pastor Nicole by 7/1

SOMETHING FOR EVERYONE

Sunday, July 14, 3:00 PM - 5:00 PM

Fishing at Independence Grove

Cost: $0


Join experienced fisherfolk from our own church to fish together or learn to fish (all catch-and-release). We will be fishing near Shelter A at Independence Grove. Fishing equipment will be available so don't worry if you don't have any. Please RSVP by clicking the button below so we can be sure to have enough supplies on hand!

RSVP for fishing at Independence Grove by Saturday, July 6

SOMETHING FOR THE LITTLES

Wednesdays, July 10, 17, 24, 7:00 PM - 7:30 PM

Summer Bedtime Stories on Zoom

Cost: $0


Join Pastor Nicole for bedtime stories in the comfort of your own home and in your jammies these three Wednesdays in July.

Click here to join the Zoom story time

SOMETHING FOR THE MIDDLES

Sunday, July 28, 12:30 PM - 2:00 PM

Fourth and Fifth Fellowship (and Families) - Bike/Scooter Ride and Snacks at Independence Grove

Cost: $0


We will meet in the parking lot near Shelter A and then bike/scooter around a loop or two, finishing with snacks back near Shelter A. Helmets REQUIRED for all ages. Families are welcome!

RSVP for Independence Grove by Saturday, July 20

SOMETHING FOR THE BIGS

Sunday, July 14, 12:00 PM - 1:30 PM

Youth Leadership Team (and Advisor) Planning Meeting

Cost: $0


We'll meet in the Youth Lounge around lunch and make plans for the fall semester with your input. All JHF and SHF youth are welcome to come, whether you have been on the Leadership Team before or not. Be sure to RSVP so we have enough food!


Come fall, the SHF Leadership Team will meet the second Sunday of every month at 6:30 PM (JHF time TBD) to continue making plans and divvying up leadership opportunities.

RSVP for the Youth Leadership meeting by Saturday, July 6

Saturday, July 20, 7:30 AM - 11:00 AM

Summer Service Event and Breakfast

Cost: the price of the breakfast you order :)


We'll gather in the sanctuary narthex for help with the July Mobile Food Pantry event and, once we're done, we'll walk to a local place for breakfast together. Be sure to click the button below to register your vote for where we go!

Vote here for a breakfast location

Friday, August 9, 7:00 PM - 10:00 PM

Courtyard Cookout and Movie

Cost: $0


We'll gather in the church courtyard (or inside if the weather is not in our favor) for a cookout and then watch a movie after. JHF and SHF students, and friends, are all invited. We'll provide the food to be grilled and the beverages. Be sure to click the RSVP link below to tell us if you'll bring a side or a dessert, and to make your (PG or PG-13) movie recommendation.

RSVP for the Courtyard Cookout by Thursday, August 1

INTERESTED IN BABYSITTING GIGS?

NEED A BABYSITTER?

Whether you are a youth looking for more babysitting work or a family looking for a babysitter, please complete the form by clicking the button below so we can build a babysitter database to help out families and babysitters alike!

Click here to be registered as a babysitter or as a family needing a babysitter!

... AND DON'T FORGET TO REGISTER

FOR NEXT YEAR'S PROGRAMS!

Registration for next year's programs - from Sunday School to fellowship events to caregiving - is now open. Pick up a family registration form in the office OR complete it after clicking on the button below and email it to Megan Huber.


We are trying to get as many families registered by June 30 as we can so that we can assure we have enough teachers, helpers, materials, and other volunteers for all of our kids!

Click here to download the 2024-25 registration form 

Questions about any of these events or forms? Click here to email Pastor Nicole or here to call her!