Monthly Archives: October 2010
It’s funny, every year the week leading up to our Trunk or Treat event, I wonder if anyone is going to come, or if the last year was the best and it’s just going to go downhill from here. However this year was another record attendance year. The official count was 1017 kids came through with bags. Add one adult per kid and you’ve got close to 2000 people we gave out candy to in under 2 hours! All of our vehicle participants were amazed at the turnout, and almost every one underestimated the amount of candy they would need. I had to do a last-minute Wal-mart candy fun in the middle of the event because we were almost out of candy! Our parking lot attendants kept the traffic under control during those 2 hours, which was very helpful and important for keeping things safe.
All in all it was a very safe and fun evening of giving out candy and promoting a fun and playful atmosphere on “International Candy Day” (my take on the popular use of Halloween). There are a few things I would do differently logistically, but overall this particular event as an outreach in our community continues to be an amazing success!
On Thursday, November 4, 2010, I’m flying to Atlanta, GA for 4 days to tour 5 different children’s ministries. I get to spend time with other Wesleyan vocational children’s pastors from around the country. We are visiting these churches and groups in the Atlanta area:
- 12Stone Church
- First Baptist Atlanta
- The reThink Group / Orange
- Mountain Lake Church
- Victory World Church
I’m looking forward to networking with other children’s pastors as well as gleaning and learning from other church’s ministry with children. About 4 years ago, I did this same kind of trip in the Southern California area with other Wesleyan children’s pastors. That experience has directly impacted the way our facilities @ Hayward Wesleyan look as well as various programming and outreach efforts (i.e. Trunk or Treat!).
Back in the Spring, The Wesleyan Church headquarters asked if I would write a 4-week series of children’s lessons on Advent. It was a fun project to write for an audience outside of my own ministry context.
- Week 1 – Hope: The Lord is With You
- Week 2 – Peace: Have No Fear
- Week 3 – Joy: Finding God’s Way
- Week 4 – Love: That Changes the World
Download the lessons here: Advent Kids-Advent 2010 Childrens Lessons (588kb, pdf) – Link restored12.8.10
Last weekend, October 24, 2010, Hayward Wesleyan Church met at the LCO Convention Center for one combined church service. It was pretty neat. Dr. Jo Anne Lyon shared the message because we have been talking about what it means to be blessed these last several weeks. She talked about “The Blessing of Reconciliation” which is a powerful topic.
All in all it was a good day to connect and get to know people in our church that we may not see because of which service (1st, 2nd or 3rd) they attend.
We had a contractor come by our house the other day to bid up some work we needed done. As he was leaving, Amanda and I ended up talking with him about our girls and all the activities they start to get involved in. Sari and Macie were outside with us playing in the leaves in the front yard.
After the gentleman left, that situation prompted Amanda to have a talk with Sari about STRANGERS. She relayed to Sari that Mom and Dad are nice and talk to lots of people, and that doesn’t make them our friends. In other words, unless you are with Mom and Dad, you cannot talk with people YOU don’t know. Now there are not many instances (other than daycare, or babysitting times) that the girls are not with us.
But our biggest worry is this: we know lots of people in Hayward, but because of my particularly unique position as a pastor to many children and teenagers in this area, more people know me (and thus my kids) than I know them. I am always being waved at and smiled at and yelled at across Walmart (or wherever). We want to make sure that just because someone says that they know me or Amanda, doesn’t mean that that it’s okay to go with them (or at the basic level talk with them). We don’t want to teach our girls fear, rather wisdom. And they don’t realize the kind of unique position they are in as my kids, and we want to be very careful with them.
It was humorous, but yesterday on our trip out to South Dakota for Grandpa Don’s funeral, we stopped at Dairy Queen for a treat in Worthington, MN. While we were enjoying our tasty treats an older gentleman sitting next to us struck up a conversation. I ended up telling him I was a pastor and that launched him into some interesting dialogue with me. While I was talking with this man, Sari leaned ever-so-slightly next to me and whispered in my ear: “Dad, is that a stranger?” After a silent chuckle, I whispered back: “Yes, Sari, it is.”
Any other thoughts regarding talking with kids about safety when it comes to strangers and stuff?
My wife and the girls recently got some corn stalks from some friends of ours, and we carved some pumpkins up as a family a couple of weeks ago. Little did we know that we were providing the local squirrels with stuff to “nibble” on!
On Wednesday, October 20, 2010, we continued our “Minute to Win It” challenges @ msy YOUTH.
The challenge was to put BACK together a cereal box that had been cut up into several pieces. Our intern, Sarah, put magnets on the back of these pieces and set up a piece of metal on an easel so everyone could see. The goal, obviously, was to complete this task in 1 minutes or less. I think we had 5 students attempt this challenge and NOT a single one accomplished it. A couple came close.
So we had Sarah come up and attempt the game she facilitated (just to see if it was possible). And it was. She completed easily and with time to spare!
Will it float? @ msy YOUTH We filled a small aquarium of water and attempted to submerse various objects into the water. The game is in choosing whether the object will sink or float. It’s fun to find objects that we think MIGHT float or sink, but actually do the opposite of what we think.
Michelle and Susan (and Judith) are the girls’ daycare providers for 3 days a week. Sari and Macie just love them, and so do Amanda and I. Birthdays @ daycare are special days. They throw meaningful and special parties for their kids. It’s always a fun day when someone has a birthday party @ Michelle and Susan’s. The girls come home with balloons and candy, and often gifts themselves. We knew on Thursday that they would be throwing a party for Macie, so Amanda and I were looking forward to picking the girls up and hearing all about it.
Macie got a doll named “Melody” along with a princess crown and a dolphin. Balloons and candy as well as a wrapped present came home with the girls. Macie and Sari were both all smiles when we picked them up (as you can see from the pictures).
Birthdays are fun, eh?
Earlier this week, Amanda wanted to practice on Macie’s cake. She was experimenting with fondant. I think it turned out pretty cool.
We did a preemptive candle lighting and Happy Birthday song to break Macie in and get her ready for her big day.
The other day when I came home from church, Sari greeted me and showed me the project they had done that day with leaves. I show my excitement by taking a picture of their wonderful creation (it was bright so Sari wore my sunglasses!)
This was our second CORE retreat, and we have found that the simple act of “retreating” and devoting some time to reflect on our Christian life and spirituality is precious and necessary. This isn’t an outreach event. It’s an internal reflective and contemplative event. Loretta had 4 high school students attend, and I had 4 middle school students attend. The 10 of us made our way to The Wilderness Fellowship Ministries, which is a little over an hour away from Hayward. This place does not have electricity. Only the bath house does (so that is where we made our coffee!). The fridge and the stove are propane powered and the water is from a hand-pump. It was rustic. No lights at night, either!
Loretta and I had two important sessions we wanted to engage the students with, one on Friday and one on Saturday. The first was for the students to ask the question: “Where is my relationship at with Jesus?” They had an hour or so of silence and solitude to think and ponder that question. Then we shared our thoughts around the campfire.
For the second session we asked the students to answer the question: “What do I want my relationship with Jesus to look like at the end of the school year?” Their task was to return to silence and solitude, and draw a picture of what the answer to that question looked like as they picked out a Psalm that illustrated where they wanted to be.
Again, this was the second year we did these same exact exercises, and they continued to prove to be effective thought provoking questions that engaged the students in self-reflection.
Plus we had a lot of fun and a lot of laughs! But that goes (almost) without saying when you’re hanging out with students minus electricity and no electronic gadgets!
I came across this website called Wordle. With Wordle you can insert any number of words and text that you wish and it will generate a conglomeration of those words in any color, size, a few fonts, and arrangement you wish. I inserted my blog URL into the Wordle app and it generated the graphic above (with a few personal tweaks of my own). It makes words that I’ve typed more often more promiment than the words I’ve only used a few times. Interesting. Sari gets written about a lot, eh?