Friday, August 29, 2008

All our Changes this Fall

Here's what we're giving (in newsletter form) to the parents this weekend:

New Staff
As many of you know, Amy Chirgwin served our church for two years as our Early Childhood Director and did a wonderful job. This fall she’s getting married and being whisked away to Paris! Taking her place is Tasha Martinez. Tasha has years of experience in leading children’s ministries and is excited to be on our team! She’ll be spending most of her time with our preschool kids because we’ve also hired Mallory Crain to be coordinate our Wee Zone classes. Mallory has been a volunteer in Wee Zone for the past year and served as the Nursery Coordinator at her previous church. We’re so grateful that the Lord has prepared Tasha and Mallory for this ministry and brought them here at just the right time!

Something New in Elementary
We’re restructuring our elementary department! You’ve probably heard about Bridge 45, our new ministry to 4th and 5th graders. We’ve been meeting weekly to write a program for this age group and are thrilled to provide teaching that addresses the rapid growth they’re facing. Equally exciting is our new class for kindergarten—third graders. Jared Boltman, our Elementary Director, is leading this transition. It couldn’t be in better hands.

A New Name
With all this restructuring we saw the need to rename our ministry—after all, one of the zones would be obsolete (Grow Zone), and we really wanted an overall name (more than just “Children’s Ministries”). We wanted a name that kids could remember, where they’d say to their friends, “Do you want to come to ______ with me?”

After some prayerful brainstorming, we’re excited to introduce Adventureland! It’ll be a place where kids adventure through the Bible and see that God’s Word is exciting! Wee Zone (infants-2’s & 3’s) will become Adventure Ranch, Wonder Zone (3’s, 4’s, 5’s & Tender Hearts) will become Adventure Cove, and kindergarten—3rd grade will be Adventure Mountain.

We have logos all ready to go and will launch the new name in October when we open the new modular unit for Bridge 45.

We have two interns from Corban College assisting us this year. Roni Paden has interned in our program for the past two years and will be helping in a variety of ways, but most specifically by coordinating our teen helpers. Caleb Molstad is in his first year of internship and will be assisting Jared with Bridge 45.

Promotion Weekend—September 6 & 7!
It’ll be an exciting fall! It will begin with Promotion Weekend on September 6 and 7. On those days children will attend their classes for the upcoming school year. Our teachers are excited to welcome their new students! Kids who have been in the following zones/classes will promote as follows:
Adventure Ranch (Formerly Wee Zone)
-Current infants and toddlers will stay where they are and be promoted at the discretion of the parents and director.
-Current 2’s & 3’s: Children who are 3 by September 1 move upstairs to the 3’s & 4’s class (room 200). Those who will turn 3 after September 1 will stay in the 2’s & 3’s class for the year. These kids will move up next fall.
Adventure Cove (Formerly Wonder Zone)
-Current 3’s & 4’s: Children who are 4 by September 1 move to the 4’s & 5’s class (room 202). Those who will be 4 after September 1 will stay in the 3’s & 4’s class (room 200).
-Current 4’s & 5’s: Children who will be attending kindergarten in the fall will move to Adventure Mountain (room 204). Children who are 5 by September 1, but won’t attend kindergarten in the fall will continue to be in the 4’s & 5’s class (room 202).
Adventure Mountain (Kindergarten—3rd Grade)
New kindergarten-third graders will be upstairs in the triple room (room 204). Small groups will be assigned by grade and gender.
Bridge 45 (4th & 5th grades)
New fourth and fifth graders will be in the south auditorium (formerly Grow Zone) until our modular unit is installed and ready to go. Bridge 45 will not be offered during Saturday service; forth and fifth graders will join Adventure Mountain.

We Need You!
A variety of volunteer positions available! Nursery and toddler workers, classroom helpers, large group teachers, worship or small group leaders, service supporters, shepherds, mid-week helpers for prep work or helping in Tender Hearts (our special needs ministries) are all possibilities. If you are interested in serving, please sign up at the Children’s Ministries information and resource table.

We also need donations (financial and material) to outfit our new modular unit for Bridge 45. With less than $14,000, we can provide a state-of-the-art learning environment for our 4th and 5th graders. If you would like to help with this, pick up a form at the Project Bridge 45 table in the north lobby or contact Jill Nelson.

Friday, August 22, 2008

And here it is...

The church will be seeing this, as well as a request to help furnish it, this weekend.

Promoting Bridge 45

This weekend we're promoting the launch of a new modular unit for our ministry, Bridge 45. We went out to the construction site this week and video taped what it looks like currently, as well as visited a completed unit. We want to give the church a picture of what it will be, so that way they can take some ownership. We're asking for $14,000 to fully furnish the unit with everything from folding chairs to a Play Station 2. Stay tuned for our promo video!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Changes Ahead

Back at the Conspire Conference, Christin Yount Jones (editor of Children's Ministries Magazine, her blog is here) asked where we're at in a storm... seeing it on the horizon, in the middle of it, just coming out and still feeling shaky, or in peaceful waters. At that time, I felt good. I still feel good, but it's probably safe to say I'm in the middle of a hurricane.

Amy, my Early Childhood Director for the past two years, had her last day in the office today. She's engaged and after her September 13 wedding, she and her husband will be preparing to move to Paris! We've divided her position a variety of ways. I now have a 25 hours a week Early Childhood Director and an 8 hour a week nursery/toddler/2's & 3's coordinator. I'm sad to see Amy go--she's done a fantastic job and brought her department to a level of excellence beyond my expectations. But I'm thrilled she's getting married, and fully confident in the jobs our new team members will play.

We're starting a new ministry for our fourth and fifth graders--Bridge 45. We're so excited about what this will do for our older elementary kids. If you want to know more, check out my blog for it here. For this program we're getting a new modular unit! Because of permits, etc. we won't be able to use the modular unit until October, so we'll move K-3rd to their new room in September, and the fourth and fifth graders will get their room in October.

We're also renaming our ministry... or should I say finally naming it? For countless years we've just been "Children's Ministries" which was divided into three Zones--Wee, Wonder and Grow. We'll use September to promote the new name, and then it'll fully launch in October when we get the modular unit (we don't want to have to make and then remake signs).

Fall recruitment is up and running. The past three years we've had a big theme to our recruitment, displays, etc. but received minimal response. This week we just had a bulletin insert with detailed job descriptions of volunteer positions. 16 people signed up to serve! I can't wait to see how many more come in over the next three weeks.

It's a good thing I like busyness and change because it's coming full force. I think what I love the most is that God's hand is so evident in times like this!

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