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, September 26, 2012

Why do we use the Contemplative Model? (1 of 2)

     Many years ago, some thoughtful individuals in our community spent a long time, much energy, and some very focused prayer time while considering what route the children’s ministry at Trinity should take. One of the books that was instrumental in their research was Perspectives on Children’s Spiritual Formation, edited by Michael Anthony. This book is a wonderful summary of the myriad perspectives from which churches approach ministry to children. It goes without saying that each church desires to guide children in their burgeoning relationship with God; to teach them the joys of worship, the sanctity of scripture, and the glory that can be found in walking alongside our Lord Jesus Christ. How a church body approaches this guidance can vary from church to church, even within complementary communities and denominations. Drawing from the wisdom found in Perspectives on Children’s Spiritual Formation, here are a few points to consider from a couple of different “styles” or “models.” Please bear in mind that these are just snipets from a larger, very detailed, and involved text. This month, two will be summarized, while next month, the Pragmatic/ Participatory and Media-Driven/ Active- Engagement models will be explored.

Contemplative/ Reflective Model

“The aim in [this] model of children’s ministry is this: to help children encounter God in ways that result in a sense of awe and wonder, to help them consider things of God with continued attention… The model intentionally guides the child to linger in the story, to gaze upon the good shepherd, to wonder about him.” ~Scottie May

Instructional/ Analytical Model

“This model views that learning the Bible will create an educational situation where reflection, practice, and obedience occur. Our statement purposes that the foundation is the Bible; and reflection, experience, and activity result- not vice versa…. [Children must] Read the Scripture… Study the Scripture…Memorize the Scripture.” ~Gregory Carlson

The Classroom Sanctuary

     When children enter into the classrooms at Trinity, we encourage them to consider what a special place it is. Each week, we remind them that “This room is different than your classroom at school…. or your living room at home…. or a playground at the park. This room is different. It’s a SANCTUARY. A place to meet with and encounter God. We walk differently in the Classroom Sanctuary (we don’t need to rush or hurry). We talk differently in the Classroom Sanctuary (we use a soft voice and peaceful words). We even learn and ask questions differently in the Classroom Sanctuary. This is a place- not for having all the answers- but for spending time with God and asking him to be a part of our lives as we grow and better understand HIS story.

     Many of us spend our weeks in a busy state of to-do lists and full schedules. Entering the SANCTUARY (whether in the larger church worship space or in the classroom spaces), will often feel, look, and sound different than the rest of lives. Thank you for speaking with your children about how they can demonstrate their understanding and appreciation of the Classroom Sanctuary.

Monday, September 24, 2012

trinityKids Parent Day!

Please join us for a…

trinitykids Community
Parent Day!

Sunday, September 30th
9:30- 10:30 am
(in the Trinity Youth room upstairs)

Come experience a Godly Play lesson, learn more about the theories behind trinityKids, and discuss ways to support your child’s learning.

Children may be checked in with their regular teachers and are welcome to attend both the 9:30 and the 11:30, so that parents can attend the training and then the church service. 

The Ten Best Ways to Live (September 23rd)

Season of the Church Year: Common Time/ “Great Green Growing” Season  (green)
Story in Scripture: Exodus 19-20; Deuteronomy 6:4-6
The Ten Commandments are such a pivotal message in the Old Testament. As Moses returned from Mount Sinai, he brought with him and whole new way of being in the world. God’s framework for our lives, in communion with him and one another are so important. When we teach the children about them, we divide them into two main groups. We must consider ways that God tells us to love him and ways that God tells us to love one another. This is the way we phrase the scripture (with a few notations about how they are explained): 1. Do not serve other Gods. (He is our one true God, the creator of all things and our Father.) 2. Make no idols to serve. (God should come first in your life. Always. Nothing should be more important than him.) 3. I am God… do not speak my name lightly. (When we speak to and about God, we must remember that he is powerful, mighty, and BIG. We should be respectful.) 4. Keep the Sabbath holy… to rest and remember the gifts of creation. (Even God rested! We should find time to be quiet and calm.) 5. Honor your father and your mother. (God gave us these people to protect, care, and provide for us. We should always treat them with love.) 6. Do not kill. (Remember that even Jesus treated those who tortured him with peace and love. God doesn’t want us to kill others and take away his gift of life.) 7. Do not break your marriage. (God intends for families to stay together. He knows that families need one another, husbands & wives must love and respect one another and care for their families.) 8. Do not steal. (We should never take something that doesn’t belong to us.) 9. Do not lie. (When we are honest with our words and our actions, we are following God’s plan for our lives.) 10. Do not even want what others have. (We must be grateful for what we have and be thankful instead of jealous.)

Guiding Questions for Discussion:
I wonder how it feels to be free, to be able to do anything you want to? 
I wonder how it feels to be able to do anything you want, but you don’t know what to do?
I wonder if it’s hard to be free?
I wonder how Moses felt going up the holy mountain?
I wonder what Moses and God talked about?
I wonder if it’s hard to love God and love people?

“Lord, we are thankful for your Law. You have given us a way to live our lives. Thank you for teaching us how to love you and how to love each other. Help me to say ‘I’m sorry’ when we make a mistake and break a commandment. I love you and I am so glad that you are alongside me each day and night. Amen.”

Monday, September 10, 2012

The Story of Joseph (September 9th)

Season of the Church Year: Common Time/ “Great Green Growing” Season  (green)
Story in Scripture: Genesis 37:1-31; 49:1-6
The story of Joseph is such a beautiful illustration of redemption, forgiveness, and God’s presence in our lives (even when things are really really tough!). When sharing this lesson with the children, sibling rivalry and jealousy are often a strong connecting point to their own lives. Joseph confused and frustrated his brothers and their father’s obvious favoritism didn’t help. God shared many things with Joseph in his dreams and reveals a lot about what is to come in Joseph’s life. As the Bible relates, Joseph’s brothers allow their jealousy to get the better of them and they sell Joseph into slavery, lying to their father about what really happened. God continues to reveal truth about the future in his dreams and also, Joseph is granted wisdom for understanding the dreams of others. While still a slave, Joseph helps the Pharaoh to understand dreams. The Pharaoh is so thankful for Joseph and his wisdom that he gives him important jobs and a better life. One day, Joseph’s brothers come to beg the Pharaoh for some grain in a time of famine. They don’t recognize their long-lost brother, so they are surprised when he eventually reveals himself to them. Because of his job with the Pharaoh and because he loves his brothers and father (even though his brothers did something terrible to him!), they all come to live and be happy together in Egypt. This is not a “happily ever after” story, however, as God’s people continue to struggle throughout the coming generations. But this story is a wonderful reminder of the ways that God redeems our relationships, brings the lost into a place of being known, and allows his great work to be revealed in our obedience to him. Joseph stayed true to his calling from God and restored his family through his love.

Guiding Questions for Discussion:
(Note: These are the usual questions that are asked after Old Testament character studies.)
Now I wonder which part of the story you liked best?
I wonder what part is the most important?
I wonder what part is about you…. Or what part was especially for you?
I wonder what the story of Joseph and his family might be teaching you?

“Father, thank you for Joseph. We can learn so much from his life. I pray that you would remind me that you are always with me, even when things are difficult. Even when the people I love the most make mistakes, help my to forgive them, just as Jesus forgave those who hurt him. I know that you are always with me. Help me to be the kind of person that can bring joy to you and who can show the world how powerful and wonderful you are. Amen.”