This is one action-packed newsletter, so I'll be brief. I do, though, want to highlight two things:
I have once again been floored by all of your generosity! Our Cradles to Crayons collection throughout March was a massive success. I lost a large portion of my office to your clothing and toy donations and could barely fit them into my car when we went for our volunteer day on Saturday, April 1: we had several
Holy Week is April 9 through 16, beginning with the joyous children's procession on Palm/Passion Sunday, challenging us in our observance of Maundy Thursday and Good Friday, and once again celebrating the miracle of Easter.
Further information about how children can participate in this pivotal and foundational time can be found in this newsletter, but I do want to highlight that our fish banks will be presented on Sunday, April 9, as part of our Palm Sunday Processional. The presentation of those banks serves as a visible reminder of our church's desire to make sure that everyone in the world is remembered, known, and loved as a child of God.
That has been the message of our Lenten season, and indeed it is the message of our Easter promise as well.
Blessings and peace,
Associate Pastor for Children and Family Ministry
Sunday, April 9
9:30 and 11:30 a.m.
Our Palm Sunday Processional is an incredible sight--with somewhere around a hundred children marching down the center aisle of the Sanctuary, waving palms in the air and carrying in fish banks as an offering. It also requires an incredible amount of logistics, so we ask that you read the following very carefully!
Prior to the 9:30 and 11:30 a.m. worship services (note the Palm Sunday--and Easter--change to 11:30 a.m.), all students will gather in their normal Sunday School classrooms.
Classes will then be led by their teachers down through the Loggia and into the Narthex a few minutes before worship begins. If possible, please try to arrive early, as this will greatly help our teachers with the "transportation" process!
If you are running late, we ask that you wait with your child in the Loggia area (the hallway next to the Sanctuary) until their class arrives--each class will be holding signs to help you identify where your child belongs.
Parents of infants and toddlers are also welcome to wait in the Loggia area and then to process with the Sunday School classes while carrying their children.
If you have been filling up a fish bank throughout Lent, please remember to bring your fish banks with you on Palm Sunday! These banks will be carried down the center aisle as an offering during the morning's processional.
Sunday School classes will still occur following the processional, and you will still pick your children up from their normal classrooms on the fourth floor following the service. Thanks in advance for helping make Palm Sunday an incredible experience!
Children's Good Friday Program
Friday, April 14
5:30 to 6:30 p.m.
While it is easy for children to get excited about the celebrations of Palm Sunday and Easter, it is very challenging to communicate with them about the dark events of Good Friday as well. Our Good Friday Children's Service seeks to engage with children in an appropriate manner about what Good Friday means and why it is so important in the context of this wider Easter story.
This time will look and feel very different from a typical wor
ship service at Fourth Church. It will begin with a short ten to fifteen
minute Children's Chapel at the front of the room, but after this opening time families are welcome to explore a variety of stations set up around Buch
anan Chapel at their own pace.
We will have a mixture of new crafts and old classics (
t Cross Buns" and "Bermuda Kites"
to name a few), which we hope will help introduce many of the themes and concepts behind Good Friday without being overwhelming.
If you have any questions about this service, please contact
Children's Easter Program
Sunday, April 16
9:30 a.m. worship only
Fourth Floor Gratz Center
Although children are always welcome to attend Easter worship in the Sanctuary with their families, those looking for an alternative Easter experience are welcome to join us on the fourth floor for a fun rotation workshop that involves making crafts, meeting biblical characters, and exploring the empty tomb!
Because there are typically lines to get into 9:30 a.m. worship, families are welcome to drop children off for the 9:30 a.m. service beginning as early as 8:30 a.m.
- Ages 0-2 First floor Nursery
- Ages 3-4 Room 4B
- Ages 5 and older Lobby area off the elevator (Room 4C)
Children aged 0-4 will remain in the same room throughout the entire course of the morning and will be picked up where they were dropped off.
Children aged 5
will participate in the rotation workshop throughout the fourth floor and will finish their morning with an Easter Egg hunt located up on the
floor of the church shortly after 10:30 a
.m. If you have a child aged 5 or older
, please plan on coming up to the
floor following 9:30 a.m. worship to pick your child up (and join in the search!).
Those wishing to attend the 8:00 or 11:30 a.m. worship services should know that nursery care for infants and toddlers will be provide
d from 7:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
All other children will be invited to attend worship with their parents.
Fourth Grade Bibles in Worship
Sunday, April 23
9:30 and 11:00 a.m. worship
Meet in Room 4E
On Sunday, April 23, Fourth Church will be celebrating the maturing faith of our fourth graders by giving them their own Bible during worship. Further details will be sent out in an email directly to parents of fourth graders, but I hope that you take the time to congratulate these fourth graders on this important milestone in their faith journey!
If you are a parent of a fourth grader and have not been receiving emails about your child receiving a Bible, please contact Briana.
Sunday, April 23
9:30 to 10:30 a.m.
The Loft (Fourth Floor, near Room 4A)
Join us for our final Mindful Parenting class of the school year, as Sue Schemper, a spiritual director and an educator who has worked for more than thirty-five years with children, parents, and teachers leads families in a review of the year, including mirroring your child, being an effective teacher, and creating a vision for your family!
The class meets up from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m., in the Loft on the fourth floor of the Gratz Center (located just past Room 4A).
Family Communion Service
Sunday, April 30
12:15 to 1:00 p.m.
Following the 11:00
Sunday School hour on Sunday, April 30, we will have a unique opportunity for families to learn about and part
icipate in Communion together!
Although this event initially began as a way to reach out to second graders who had Catholic friends or classmates who were taking First Communion, families with children of all ages are invited to participate.
We will be gathering from 12:15 to 1:00 p.m. in Buchanan Chapel, where Pastor Matt will talk about what Communion means in our church and some of the ways in which our understanding is different than other denominations, followed by a time in which families can celebrate Communion together.
Immediately after this service, families are invited across the hall to the Bumpus Room, where we'll have a light meal provided so we can continue our fellowship together.
Kindergarten Bibles in Children's Chapel
Sunday, May 1
9:30 and 11:00 a.m.
Meet in Room 4D
Just like we do with our fourth graders, on Sunday, May 1, we will celebrate the faith of our Kindergarten students by giving them a Bible. We'll do this during our Children's Chapel time.
Further details about what this ceremony looks like will be emailed directly to parents of kindergartners, but we wanted to make you all aware of this special milestone for many of our students!
Save the Date
- Spring Family Camp--May 19-21
Vacation Bible School--August 7-11