Scroll down to read some pastoral reflections, RSVP to the CM training, enjoy recent pictures of CM and meet the newest member of EPC.
Children’s Ministry Newsletter- March
Pastoral thoughts from Scott
“Where the world sees marriage, parenthood, and work in terms of self-fulfillment, the Bible describes in terms of self-denial.” Gene Veith
Jesus warns us that an orientation to the world that seeks (and expects) self fulfillment is destined to disappoint, but through denial of self (which is under the umbrella of love) we actually flourish. It is not wrong to desire fulfillment, or to expect that parenting will be fulfilling. Too often, in fact, we don’t allow ourselves to have high hopes as parents because a self-protective instinct keeps us constantly trying to foster low expectations (a trick we use to anticipate and control disappointment, and also create the joy of surprise when things actually go well).
We should neither parent for fulfillment, nor should we expect parenting to be miserable. Rather, we should recognize our primary calling in parenting as expressing the call of Christ to love – loving our children very often takes the shape of self-denial (putting others before one’s self ). Do you make sacrifices as a parent? Yes. Are you expected to sacrifice fulfillment? No, we are not seeking fulfillment nor giving fulfillment up. If you parent out of the pattern of life Jesus calls you to, then even as you seek to love your children and not use them for your own fulfillment, you can trust that what will actually result in the end will be fulfilling. Jesus invites us to a way of life that is counterintuitive, but in his wisdom he promises that if we trust him and do as he teaches, we will learn by experience the wisdom of his ways. Parenting gives you more opportunities than you would choose to practice self-denial, but instead of grumbling, recognize the privilege of putting the pattern of Christ into action in ordinary daily living and trust that no act of love is wasted.
How long have you been volunteering with CM?
I taught my first class a year ago. I’m currently in the middle of teaching my third curriculum!
Why do you like serving with Children’s Ministry?
I like serving CM because it’s very different from my day job. It forces me to exercise different parts of my brain. The kids are very honest when one of my lessons is not up to par, and you have to think on your feet a lot.
Outside of volunteering, what are you passionate about or what occupies your time?
Outside of CM I love to read and exercise. I go to the NYPL on lunch breaks to window shop.
What’s your favorite insider NYC tip or favorite place in the city to take visitors?
There’s a neat used bookstore on Upper Westside called Westsider Rare & Used books. But if I was hanging out with out of town guests I would head downtown for some Thai food around Union Square.
James, thank you for your consistency and desire to continue pouring the lessons of Jesus into the minds and hearts of your younger elementary class. The kids look up to you so much and all of us at EPC are thankful to you and Catherine for how much you two serve this church family so faithfully!
Attention all CM volunteers: we will be having a training session after church Sunday March 5th from 12:30-2:30. Lunch and childcare will be provided.
Two topics that will be discussed:
1. How to better engage our kids in the classroom.
2. Policies that protect our kids and volunteers.
**This training is mandatory for all current volunteers and highly encouraged for anyone interested in joining the CM team. If you are unable to attend due to a prior commitment, please arrange a time to receive all pertinent information.
Our newest teacher, Chelsea, goes over the rules before the Bible lesson begins. Anyone with a toddler can attest to the most basic areas of self control needing to be taught over and over- with creativity being one of the most effective ways to reinforce. She sings a little song to remind the children to keep their hands quietly in their lap. “Open shut them, open shut them, give a little clap, clap, clap. Open shut them, open shut them, put them in your lap, lap, lap.”
Talking with the volunteers, they are always so impressed with how intelligent our kids are at EPC and how much even the little ones can tell you about big Bible truths. Sometimes this can be a bit intimidating when you’re at the other end of questions posed by the smartest Middle and Older elementary students you’ll encounter in NYC. My assumption is all the parents read and read often to their kids. An amazing Christian resource about reading to your kids is a book by Gladys Hunt, “Honey For A Child’s Heart”.
A few kids enjoying childcare during the Parenting Seminar on February 11th.
Introducing the newest addition to the Emmanuel Family:
Asa Patton Terrell
Born February 6th at 5:23am. 6lbs 12oz. 21in long.
Congratulations Terrell Family!
EPC Music Recital
Congratulations to the following musical prodigies of EPC that performed in the February recital. You each sounded amazing! Keep up the hard work, and continue developing the gift God has given each of you.
Anna & Rachel Koontz
Elyse & Joshua Niemann
Addison & Taliah Wasserman
2/26-3/26 Communicants Class each Sunday morning from 9:30-10:20am at Union.
3/4: Introduction to EPC class 9-1pm at the Interchurch Center. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to register.
3/5: Mandatory Children’s Ministry Volunteer Training Session 12:30-2:30. Lunch and childcare provided.
3/12: Brief Congregational Meeting from 12:45-1:15. Childcare will be provided.
3/31-4/2 EPC Spring Retreat. Visit our website for more information and to register.; emmanuelnyc.org
Every Friday morning: Mom’s Group meets at Tracey Tae’s apartment 9:30-11:30. Childcare and refreshments provided.
As always if you have any questions, comments or concerns, don’t hesitate to reach out to our Children’s Ministry Coordinator, Katelyn Szimonisz: email@example.com or 714-746-3966.