Gathering for Children – This special time occurs every Sunday during the 11:00 a.m. worship service and includes a short Children’s Sermon based on Bible scripture that teaches simple and important lessons or highlights important events and days in the Christian calendar. The children are led by an acolyte as well as some trained youth and adult Kids’ Worship leaders and spend the remainder of the service in their own special Kids’ Worship room. Please see the Sunday Mornings tab for more information about Kids’ Worship.
Worship Bags – Age and grade appropriate worship bags are available every Sunday for the children to use and enjoy during worship services and are updated with new items regularly. They are located on a coat rack tree in the Narthex just outside the Sanctuary. Parents, please remind children to use their gentle hands with the contents of the bags and to return them to the coat rack before leaving church each week.
Acolytes – Children in 2nd through 5th grade are welcomed and encouraged to participate in the Children’s Acolyte Program. The Acolyte’s job is to light and extinguish the two candles on the Communion Table at the beginning and end of the 11:00 a.m. worship service. The light helps remind people that God is with us where we are and that Jesus is the light of the world. This program is a wonderful way for the children to be involved in the life of the whole church.
Joyful Noise Choir – Children ages 4 and up who enjoy singing and music are invited to be a part of this fun and energetic choir program, led by a wonderful and very musically talented Pines member who loves working with children. Weekly rehearsals take place between the two worship services each Sunday morning. These rehearsals take only a short amount of time, but allow the children to prepare song offerings for the 11:00 a.m. worship service several times a year. The choir also participates in some special church and community events throughout the school year.
Children’s Library – This is a newly refurbished and exciting resource for children and families. In the Pines Library, located beside the Narthex, many wonderful books for children can be read and enjoyed at church on the colorful rugs and bean bag chairs or may also be checked out to read at home and return when finished. There are also many valuable parenting books, resources and family-friendly materials that parents are welcome to peruse and check out. Please write your name, date and book title in the notebook in the library when checking out and returning all materials.
Prayer Pals – All children 2 years old and up are matched with an adult Pines member and they become each other’s Prayer Pals. A relationship forms over the years that mirrors Jesus’ love for us as the matched adults and children learn to pray for one another and celebrate each other’s successes and achievements as well as be there for one another in times of need. Every fall, these special relationships are celebrated with a Sunday Prayer Pal Breakfast feast complete with engaging and fun activities. Contact Valerie Mowell at firstname.lastname@example.org if your child does not currently have a Prayer Pal and you would like him/her to be a part of this spiritually led program.
Easter Egg Hunt – On Easter Sunday, children bring an empty Easter basket to church and participate in an egg hunt between worship services on our two beautiful and spacious playgrounds. With simple rules that encourage the active use of Christian values such as helping others and doing what is right, the children enjoy fun and fellowship with one another. The eggs are filled with toys, crosses and stickers and there is always a special item for each child to find that emphasizes the meaning of the day.
Vacation Bible School – Every summer, usually in June, Pines church is transformed into a vibrant and joy-filled environment to match the theme of that year’s chosen Vacation Bible School program. Running for one week, children are taught a Bible point each day and learn about God and Jesus in a warm and loving environment from the many amazing youth and adult volunteers who give of their time to serve the children of God. Registration takes place a few months before the event and all children ages 4 (and potty-trained) through the end of 5th grade are invited to participate.
Third Grade Bibles – Every fall, the 3rd grade children receive a New Living Translation Bible written especially for kids, presented during a special worship service dedication. The children’s Prayer Pals are invited to be part of the day and offer a chosen scripture verse that is meaningful to both giver and recipient.
Family Advent Night – This is always a warm and wonderful, intergenerational event! The children and youth practice an Advent Play on Sundays for several weeks leading up to Thanksgiving week. On the Sunday after Thanksgiving, all are invited to have a delicious meal and watch a meaningful and fun play unfold to celebrate the birth of Jesus and the beginning of the Advent Season. We finish the evening with an outdoor Christmas Tree lighting while singing carols and eating cookies.
Christmas Gift Workshop – In December, children ages 3 through Kindergarten are invited to participate in this annual Pines tradition that families love! Adult volunteers guide and assist children in making homemade gifts for their parents and grandparents at a variety of stations. All supplies are provided and the children always leave feeling excited about having something to give to their loved ones on Christmas Day.
Epiphany Celebration – In January, after Christmas has passed, but with the understanding of what God did for us with the birth of Jesus still in our minds and on our hearts, we engage in a special Kids Worship time to learn more about the journey of the Wise Men and why they brought gifts to honor the Christ Child. This is a short (45 minutes) but fun event for ages 4 and up.