Give Thanks To The Lord

“Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever.”
1 Chronicles 16:34 (NIV)

 

This weekend, November 22/23, children will be reminded that God wants us to take time to express gratitude for the blessings in our lives.

 

In Preschool clases and 2nd-5th Grade classes, we are sending children home with a decorated Thanksgiving Prayer Box.  As your family thinks of things you are grateful for in the days leading up to Thanksgiving Day, write them down on a piece of paper and place it into this box.  If you have younger children, encourage them to draw pictures of what they are thankful for.  On Thanksgiving Day, open the box and share your blessings together to celebrate what God has done.

 

On behalf of the entire Kid’s Quest Team, have a very Happy Thanksgiving!

Operations Christmas Child 2008

Our August – September 2008 missions project supported Operations Christmas Child, a ministry of Samaritan’s Purse, that presents children in need in all areas of the world with gift-filled shoeboxes and the Gospel message.  Box assembly day was held in early October and families put together 386 boxes!  Over the 2 months we also collected $1626.69 in offering from both the Tysons and Loudoun Campus Kid’s Quest which was used to purchase additional supplies for the boxes and postage to ship the boxes to their destination.

 

Some of you may have wondered why we moved this missions project up earlier in our calendar than when we normally have done it in the past.  So if you’ve been wondering, I’ve got an answer for you!

 

Since MBC’s ministries all communicate to the same congregation of people, this year we have been making an intentional effort to streamline missions projects so we are working together more and not creating unnecessary confusion with conflicting messages.

 

Turkey Outreach and Christmas Outreach (formerly known as Angel Tree) are two MBC-wide missions projects that had set dates for when an offering collection could contribute to the project.  Since the turkey dinners are purchased and distributed in mid-November we could not wait till the end of November to give our children’s contribution.  This meant we had to do our collection in October.  Likewise with Christmas Outreach, since the gifts are purchased and distributed in December, we had to do our part in November.  And since December is too late to be collecting for Operations Christmas Child, that left August and September.

 

Thank you to all the families that supported this project with their prayers, their offering gifts, their donations, and their time to assembly the boxes.  We encourage your family to be praying for the children who will receive these boxes this Christmas season.

November Virtue – Gratitude

This month in Elementary, we’re teaching on the virtue of Gratitude: Letting others know you see how they’ve helped you.  Below is a message from Melanie Williams, editor in chief of 252 Basics, the company that writes our curriculum, about Gratitude:

Gratitude is different from most of the virtues we talk about. It’s a characteristic God doesn’t have but expects us to have. Think about it: God, our all-powerful, self-sufficient Creator, doesn’t NEED anything, never got anything from anyone, and will never have to express gratitude. But He inspires gratitude (Psalm 100). Every good thing comes from God (James 1:17), so gratitude is a proper response toward Him. In fact, if we didn’t express gratitude, we wouldn’t be recognizing who God is and what He’s done for us. Plus, Jesus modeled gratitude for us (Luke 9:16). And He had something to say about it directly. Read Luke 17:11-19, about the ten lepers meeting Jesus. This encounter shows that the opportunity to demonstrate gratitude occurs every time someone meets a need for someone else. Unfortunately, only one of the ten chose to express gratitude. We don’t know why the other guys didn’t return. Maybe they were so caught up in celebrating with family and friends they didn’t even think about it. Or maybe they thought that what was given to them was something they’d earned – sort of an entitlement mentality. This month we are going to explore how to stop the busyness and “you owe me” excuses and REWIND AND REMIND ourselves exactly what has been done for us. We will take time to just say thank you. We will remember how others have helped us. We won’t let an entitlement mentality infect our thinking, causing the wrong attitude to spoil our gratitude. We are going to make sure we let others know we see how they’ve helped us and take time to celebrate what God has done.

So, in November we’ll be talking about GRATITUDE, letting others know you see how they’ve helped you.

Week 1 is about Jesus healing 10 men with leprosy (Luke 17). Bottom Line: Take time to just say thank you.

Week 2 is about the list maker: Paul, making a list of those he’s thankful for (Romans 16). Bottom Line: Take time to remember how others have helped you.

Week 3 is Jesus’ parable of the vineyard workers (Matthew 20). Bottom Line: Don’t let the wrong attitude spoil your gratitude.

Week 4 will focus on the main feasts celebrated in Old Testament days (Exodus 23). Bottom Line: Take time to celebrate what God has done.

And for the 5th Week: A 252 Basics special edition on one of five “faith skills”: Give to God (serve and invest). This is a “bridge” lesson, spanning gratitude (in November) and generosity (in December). You don’t want to miss this one!

Peace,
Melanie

Do You Celebrate Halloween?

Recently I received an email from someone asking if we did a Halloween-alternative event and whether or not we endorsed the celebration of Halloween.  I thought this topic might be of interest to others so I decided to post my response for you.

 

Kid’s Quest doesn’t necessarily endorse or celebrate Halloween but we do celebrate family.  And fall is a time of year that many people traditionally think of their families and desire to do activities with them.  So you can be certain we’re likely to do something to bring families together each fall.

 

What we do, though, is dependent on our current priorities and available resources.  This past year our ministry’s priorities took a major shift in 2 significant ways.  First, MBC launched a new campus and this was the first campus to have a Kid’s Quest children’s program.  So our focus in the past year has been to help this campus get started and grow towards successful independent operation.  Naturally, this has impacted our time and resources so we decided to be very selective in which events we offered this year.

 

This leads to the second change in priorities.  Our ministry recognizes that parents are the primary faith trainers in their homes.  The amount of time parents spend with their children far surpasses the time we see them on weekends at church.  Therefore, we decided it best to concentrate on improving the teaching components of our weekend program and on better equipping families to reinforce what we’re teaching in their homes.

 

So this year we focused more on the take home materials of our weekend programming so families could take every day moments as opportunities to teach their children.  And we also worked on creating shared family experiences that tie directly into what we’re teaching.  We’ve offered KIDstuff, a family worship and drama experience, and we’ve offered Starting Zone, a progression of events that presents families with the gospel message and leads to baptism.

 

This fall, an opportunity for a new event that might be viewed as a Halloween alternative did arise.  We partnered with one of MBC’s City Impact ministries, Powershift 2024, a community of car-enthusiasts, to present a fall family event called Get Lost!  It included a country drive through West Virginia and ending at Temple Hall Farm in Leesburg to enjoy all the farm activities they offer.  We didn’t do any teaching at this event.  It was purely social to give families an opportunity to meet.

 

We do not know at this time what we’ll be doing next fall but are currently seeking God’s leading as we consider our 2009 calendar.  I am happy to share one major annoucement with you all – a little surprise for those of you who took the time to read this entire post!  We are planning on bringing back The Rock That Rolled Easter Party on Friday, April 3, 2009.  Mark your calendars now for this fun, Easter-themed event for your family and friends!  And if you’re interested in being on the Planning Committee, watch for our December bulletin blurbs advertising for this and who to contact to sign up.

Understanding Kid’s Quest Check-in, part 3

Some of you have had to wait a very long time for me to get around to posting part 3 to this blog topic!  It has been a roller coaster year for us in Kid’s Quest with the Loudoun Campus launching in the beginning of the year and then a major staffing re-org in the early summer.  I decided to take the blog down temporarily and focus on just providing quick blurbs on the Family News Flash page so our staff and volunteers had a chance to catch our breaths.  But the time has come for me to pick this topic back up.

Were you in attendance this past Sunday, October 19, 2008?  The lines for check-in were longer than we’ve ever experienced — even when we were first starting out — and ran late into the service time.  I wanted to return to the topic of check-in to encourage you that the delay was not due to our Greeters or the MBC IT infrastructure.  The company that created and manages our check-in system, Fellowship One, had a data server failure that impacted all it’s customers across the country.  This resulted in very long pauses with every click on the computer.  We are so thankful to our Greeters for handling this difficulty with grace and thankful to all you parents out there for enduring the inconvenience.  If you were a first time visitor, we hope you were not too frustrated to return again.  Fellowship One promises the issue is fixed and everything will be fine for this upcoming weekend.

Greeters truly do make check-in work well and efficiently.  Things were slow when we first switched over to this new system.  We had very few Greeters and everyone was learning something new.  But in the last year our expert team of Greeters can now clear even the most intimidating-looking line fairly quickly.   Sometimes the lines do look long but don’t worry — this is usually right before check-in opens because some of you like to be ready as soon as check-in opens!  Once our Greeters get started, the line gets moving.

It’s amazing from my vantage point to see the way the Greeting Team has evolved over the past year.  It went from being one of our toughest volunteer positions to recruit for to a vibrant and thriving community of volunteers who are enjoying their part in making an impact on Washington.  I encourage you, parents, to take the time to say hello to the smiling faces that welcome you each weekend.  Imagine what our check-in lines would look like if we didn’t have our Greeters?  Actually, after last weekend, I don’t want to imagine that!  I’m just thankful they’re here to check my family in each week.