But Jesus called the children to him and said, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.”

Luke 18: 16

Trinity Kids provides spiritual guidance, education, & community for children from infancy through 5th grade. For Preschool through 5th grade, the “contemplative model”; of children’s ministry is used to provide the framework for learning about the stories of the Bible, with a focus back to the gospel & salvation of Jesus Christ. Lessons and discussions are hands-on, reflective, and open-ended. Please contact Julia Guy (julia@trinityanglicanmission.org) with any questions or to learn more about Godly Play and the contemplative model.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Some thoughts on Children & Spiritual Disciplines...

Children have a beautiful way of connecting with God through their creativity, expression, and thoughtfulness about the ways of the Kingdom. Through providing them with guidance and support at home and in their worship space, children can develop mature habits in the spiritual disciplines.

Throughout the coming months, we will be bringing focus to the disciplines of prayer, worship, and study. Utilizing the book Habits of a Child’s Heart by Valerie Hess, teachers in the Godly Play classrooms will be providing children with the opportunity to explore these disciplines on their own and with guidance. If you would like to provide insight about ways in which you teach these disciplines at home, we would really appreciate it.

It is our hope that all families connected with trinityKids will be able to say, as in the book of Joshua, “As for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.” (Joshua 24:15)

Expectations of Parents

*Complete the Child Information form and update it as necessary. The more we know about your child’s individual needs, the better we can serve them!

*Drop off and pick up their children on time. Late drop-offs and late pick-ups may disrupt lessons and put a strain on volunteers, please be respectful of their time.

*Read and understand the trinitykids brochure, as well as check the parent information board frequently to stay abreast of changes or updates. We will do our best to keep you informed. Also, the Godly Play newsletters provide questions that are an excellent way to continue discussions at home.

* Respect the privacy of other trinitykids participants. Please refrain from discussing personal child issues (i.e. behavior, family concerns, etc.) in front of children or other parents, it would be best if you move these discussions to a more secluded area, out of the ear-shot of children. Use discretion when discussing all child issues.

*Follow Gathering Room procedures (parents may drop students off & pick up students in the Gathering Room door is open, otherwise, please do not disrupt class time). We desire that the classrooms would be a sacred space for student learning and sharing about God.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Children have a natural affinity for community, bridge building, and fellowship. I have often been astounded by the ease at which children befriend one another, find areas of commonality, and forge friendships with their peers. Despite their closeness on Sunday, many of the Godly Play students return each Sunday afternoon to different neighborhoods and prepare for school each week at different elementary schools. In an effort to build community, trinityKids will be organizing a monthly activity that is open to all trinityKids students and their friends. For now, these will take place on the second or third Friday of every month, but this pattern may change in the future.

On January 22 (not January 9th as previously communicated), trinityKids will be hosting a Community Night from 6:30- 8:30 pm. Children from in kindergarten- 5th grade will be welcome to enjoy hot apple cider and winter craft creation. Pizza will also be available for $1 (suggested donation) per slice. Volunteers will be guiding the children through the entire evening, so parents are welcome to drop their little ones off or hang around. Coffee, tea, and snacks will be provided for parents in the cafĂ© so that they can enjoy some “grown-up” fellowship as well. Signups for this fantastic and fun event will begin on January 3rd. If you can’t make it to this one, the next event will be another trinityKids Community Night on February 20th- more information coming soon! Email Julia if you have any questions.

Learning Opportunities for Volunteers & Parents

Learning and growing are as much a part of our lives as adults as they are for our children. It is my firm belief that the ability we have to increase our knowledge as individuals is one of the greatest blessings we have. There will be many opportunities for volunteers and parents alike to learn and grow in the coming months. Whether you are interested in becoming certified in CPR & First Aid, understanding more about the Godly Play curriculum, or exploring what it means to lead children through spiritual disciplines; a class will be offered in each of these areas. A schedule of upcoming classes is available in the trinityKids Gathering Room.

So far, all available classes are offered on Saturdays. Please email me at juliaguy@trinityvineyard.org to sign up or for more information. Most classes take place on Saturdays from 10 am- noon, but arrangements can be made to schedule classes at alternate times. Also, if you have an area of expertise or knowledge that you would like to contribute please let me know- we will create an opportunity for you to share!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Enjoying the Season of Epiphany

For many of us, the beauty of Epiphany was not a part of our childhood; Christmas was simply followed by the New Year and eventually Easter. But the season of Epiphany is a wonderful reflection of our welcoming of the infant king into the world. Author David Katski succinctly summarizes this holy season as follows: “[Epiphany is] observed on January 6th, the Epiphany celebration remembers the three miracles that manifest the divinity of Christ. The name "Epiphany" comes from the Greek word Epiphania, and means, "to show, make known, or reveal." The celebration originated in the Eastern Church in AD 361, beginning as a commemoration of the birth of Christ. Later, additional meanings were added - the visit of the three Magi, Christ's baptism in the Jordan River, and his first miracle at the wedding in Cana. These three events are central to the definition of Epiphany, and it’s meaning is drawn from these occurrences” (sharefaith.com).

trinityKids will be celebrating the season of Epiphany by learning about Christ’s temple blessing, baptism, and early ministry. Throughout the Epiphany season, I recommend that you talk with your child about Jesus’ revelations to the world through his miracles, love, and teachings. You may consider asking them,

“I wonder how God prepared the world for the coming of the baby Jesus?”

“I wonder what the Magi were thinking when they first saw Jesus after traveling for so long?”

“I wonder how the people felt when they first heard about Jesus?”