Christian Education

Let’s Step Back Outside! April 2018

posted Apr 2, 2018, 9:15 AM by Lee Church   [ updated Apr 2, 2018, 9:16 AM ]

During Lent we’ve read and talked about justice, which can seem like a pretty big concept, especially to our youngest members. In order to feel like we can actually do something to support and encourage justice within our communities and the wider world, our classes have spent time thinking of specific things we can do to make our world a better, more Godly place.

Below, I have included a list to help all ages of our congregation to bring more justice to our communities as Jesus taught. There are a variety of ways you and your family members can serve God’s people. Take a few minutes to read through the list and find some ideas that appeal to you and your loved ones. Then find a time and place that allows you to take action in Jesus’ footsteps.

Let justice roll down from you and your family!

1. Make cards for Senior Citizens.

2. Collect sleep-away camp items for Camp Dreamcatcher, a program for children whose lives have been affected by HIV/AIDS.

3. Donate kids’ craft kits to a local children’s hospital.

4. Organize a board game night at your local nursing home. Gather your friends and favorite classic games, and plan a fun afternoon.

5. Decorate placemats for Meals on Wheels.

6. Wrap gifts during the holidays for Barnes and Noble to raise money for a specific cause.

7. Make a no-sew fleece blanket for a child in need through Project Linus.

8. Organize a food drive in your neighborhood, church, or school.

9. Have a garage sale or lemonade stand for your favorite cause.

10. Plan an afternoon of fun: crafts, a movie and popcorn afternoon, or a kickball tournament at a children’s home or refugee center. Plan a day of fun!

11. When school supplies are very cheap at the beginning of the year, pack up a backpack and supplies for a local child in need (the YMCA frequently collects these, in addition to other organizations).

12. Bring gently used board games and decks of cards to a local homeless shelter. 

13. Put on gloves and pick up litter at your local park or on your street. 

14. Write a letter to your elected official about a cause you believe in.

15. Collect DVD’s and videogames you no longer use/watch and donate them to a Children’s Hospital for patients, or to KidFlicks, an organization that set up movie libraries in the children’s wards of hospitals.

16. Volunteer at an animal shelter- play with the dogs and cats, help to brush them, and clean up after them.

17. Read stories to or share your talent with younger children. Be a positive role model that kids can look up to!

18. Work with your local high school or college to place empty boxes on campus at the end of school. Collect textbooks for students who need them in Tanzania, Sierra Leone, and other African nations (and keep them out of landfills!).

19. Stuff warm socks with snacks and fruit to pass out to people who are homeless.

20. Secretly rake leaves or shovel snow for a neighbor in need.

21. Make sure your school is recycling- talk to your city hall to get recycling bins for all of the classrooms and make posters to explain what materials can be recycled.

22. Hold a “dog wash” to raise money for a local animal shelter.

23. Volunteer to read letters or the newspaper to residents in nursing homes.

24. Collect used sporting equipment and donate to communities that do not have access (such as Level the Playing Field to help kids in the US or IAYS that works with the Peace Corps to deliver worldwide).

25. Donate used baby and toddler toys to a nearby church, synagogue, mosque, or temple for their youngest members. Most places of worship have a place for little ones to be entertained during services.

26. Buy a kit from KidKnits– yarn made by widows in Rwanda or Chile, which comes with instructions to knit a hat plus cultural information. A simple craft to change the world!

27. Do you have a cool talent or hobby? Ask your local 4H, Girl Scout or Boy Scout group if they would like you to come in to be a guest speaker. You can share your collection, hobby, or talent with them, and allow them to ask questions and learn more about it.

28. Go through the books you’ve grown out of and donate them to the waiting room of a local dentist or doctor.

I hope you found some ideas to help you bring more justice to the world around us!

In His joy, 

Jill Pare'
Director of Christian Education
 

March 2018

posted Mar 9, 2018, 10:45 AM by Lee Church

We have been focusing on bringing about justice during this Lenten season in our Sunday school classes, just as in the sanctuary services. Our lessons in March will help guide our students to recognize the unique place each of them holds in God’s heart and community. Lead by the words of scripture, we will examine how Jesus showed his love to us and taught us how to share that with those around us. 

Sometimes the world we live in feels chaotic and hopeless. As an adult, I rely on my faith, prayer life, and connections to my community to guide my steps toward bringing about the change God has for us. He has put each of us here to make a positive impact on this world in our individual ways. 

Let’s support our young people to bring about justice before they grow up. They will find opportunities all around them to show love to others in their classrooms, on the ball fields, in theaters, at the grocery store, and even their own homes. They each have special gifts to share with our local community and can learn to spread that love well beyond. It’s time for all of us to work together to bring this harmony to God’s people. 

Below I have listed the Sunday school themes based on Pastor Gail’s services for each week of March. My hope is that you will be able to back these messages up through the rest of your week as you are out and about. Remember that on Palm Sunday, our service will be in the sanctuary instead of holding Cafe Church. Students will participate in our traditional Palm Sunday processional at the beginning of the service. We hope you will be there to join us.

 

March 4 : Matthew 25.31-40

Jesus taught us to love our neighbors and those who disagree with us.

March 11 : Luke 23.32-43

How can we choose love, as Jesus did?

March 18 : Isaiah 58.6-12

What work does God have for you today?

March 24 : A special Palm Sunday reading

Let us work together towards justice and harmony within our community, near and far.

 

Jill Paré,  Director of Christian Education 

June / July 2017

posted Jun 23, 2017, 9:01 AM by Lee Church

Sign up for Secret Pals again this summer! Just send 2-4 postcards to your young Secret Pal to brighten up their mailbox and keep in touch during these busy months. In September we’ll have a special reception at church when our pals get to connect in person. This is a fun tradition started by Sheila Bennion and loved by all participants! 

Our Confirmation Service will take place on Sunday, June 4th @10:30. This beautiful service marks the end of an 8 month journey these young people have made with their dedicated mentors and Pastor Gail. I hope you can be there to support our young confirmands as they reflect on the earliest steps of their faith journeys and commit to the next part of their lives in the church.  It is always a meaningful experience for all. We will have our regular contemporary service at 8:30 that morning. 

Don’t miss Children’s Sunday at 9:30 on June 18th. This will be our first official single service to begin the summer worship schedule. Our students and teachers are developing some creative ways to show you some of what they have learned during Sunday school this year. The Junior Bell Choir will perform for us and Roxanne is planning something special for our students to entertain our church family. Each of our classes impressed me so much during last year’s special service and I know the congregation will love to witness all the spiritual growth in our students.  

We will not offer Sunday school classes over the summer. I will have age-appropriate activities available in the sanctuary for those young people who attend during these warmer months. I would like to continue growing the size of our teaching staff next fall, so teachers can have some more time to also attend worship. Please prayerfully consider how you can help our Sunday school program by helping with attendance, teaching 1- 4 times a month, or helping in the nursery. It will truly enrich your faith! 

May God lead your path,

Jill Paré, Director of Christian Education

 

May 2017

posted Jun 23, 2017, 8:59 AM by Lee Church

Christian Education Springs into May 

Our eager Sunday school students are bringing their spring energy into the sanctuary and our classrooms each week. It’s so much fun to watch them find new ways to learn about their relationship with God and share that growth with one another. I hope they are bringing some of that knowledge home to their family and friends during the week.

Physically our world is transforming from the cold winter pause into a bright, colorful spring. Emotionally our youth are experiencing the culminating moments of one school year as they look forward to those next steps on the horizon. This can lead to lots of extra excitement and some anxiety. Our children are blessed to have support from loved ones around them at home, at school, and from their Lee Church family as they explore their changing world.

Sunday school classes will begin to prepare for our Children’s Sunday which is just around the corner. Their teachers work closely with them to structure the entire service. That day most of the service is lead by students with support from the teaching staff. Our students love to bring some of their classroom growth and antics to our sanctuary on that special Sunday. I know this year will hold many special moments for all of us.

Below I’ve provided an overview of the next several weeks to help families keep track of our special events. I hope this will be useful to you in this busy season of beginnings and endings. 

Christian Education schedule 

May 7- Regular Sunday school classes for elementary and middle school

10:30 high school class taught by Judy Belanger

May 14- Regular Sunday school classes for elementary and middle school

Mother’s Day  Breakfast 9:30

May 21- Regular Sunday school classes for elementary and middle school

8:30 high school class taught by Shawn and Melanie Banker

May 28- Memorial Day weekend

Single 9:30 service, One room Sunday school for middle and elementary students

June 4- Confirmation Service (single 9:30 service)

Regular Sunday school classes available for elementary and middle school

(Students may stay in sanctuary to watch Confirmation, especially siblings of confirmands)

June 11- Music Sunday

Regular Sunday school classes make final preparations for Children’s Sunday

8:30 high school class taught by Gilles Dionne

June 18- Children’s Sunday (single 9:30 service)

Youth lead service

Junior Bells perform

Special presentation from children with Roxanne O’Connor

June 25- Regular summer schedule--One service @9:30

No Sunday school classes until September

 

Brightest blessings,

 

Jill Paré

Director of Christian Education

 

April 2017

posted Jun 23, 2017, 8:57 AM by Lee Church

During March we stepped in to Lent focusing on King Solomon and the book of Matthew. Our classes talked about different types of prayer, we went on a treasure hunt to learn about storing our treasures in heaven. The students looked at “The Golden Rule” by sharing doughnuts and cake. Many of our regular attendees have also had a chance to work on their Bible Bags. You’ll begin to see these appear in the sanctuary, keeping our students’ Bibles and Sunday school projects safe between church and home. I think you’ll enjoy the individual designs they have each created. Perhaps you can assist students near you in the pews as they thumb through their Bibles searching for our scripture readings. Following along in their Bibles during the readings will help them better engage with the messages we study each week, giving them a better jump start on our lessons in the classrooms.

Our high school class will continue to meet with Mr. Kindberg during the 8:30 service in classroom 3 to finish viewing and discussing the movie Risen as we approach our Easter celebrations. Mr. Kindberg’s movies and discussions are always a hit with our older students. They really appreciate the in depth conversations he inspires. Then we will continue those types of conversations as Judy Belanger, and Melanie and Shawn Banker return to their 2-3 classes a month with the high school class. It’s been wonderful to see our teens back in their youth room together. I have also appreciated watching several of them stepping up as ushers, readers, singers, and bell ringers, becoming full-fledged active members of our congregation. This month you’ll see more of our students contributing to our services in the sanctuary. Our Palm Sunday services will open with our students assisting the praise team and choir wave their palms to open that energy-filled service. The Youth Bell Choir will also perform at the 10:30 service that morning. On Easter Sunday, our Sunday school students will sing during the 9:00 service. It’s always wonderful to give our youngest members these opportunities to actively participate in our special church celebrations. They are truly an integral part of our congregation.

Enjoy the celebrations of spring!

 Jill Paré
 Director of Christian Education Lee Church Congregational

 

March 2017

posted Jun 23, 2017, 8:56 AM by Lee Church

Along with the congregation, our Sunday school classes spent the month of February getting better acquainted with the Ten Commandments. Crayons, paint, popsicle sticks, markers, plates, bowls and marbles helped us play games, create crafts, display our bulletin board, and decorate posters to help us remember God’s guidance. We learned how helpful rules can be even if they are sometimes hard to follow. It’s always fun to witness these young minds connect their days of cellphones, bus rides and sledding with those ancient words of the Old Testament. Even some of our teachers have a new perspective on how God works in our lives. 

Our high school students will have an exciting chance to view and discuss the movie, Risen, with Larry Kindberg as Lent begins in March. The movie explores the death and resurrection of Christ. Families should look for details in emails and the bulletins about when these classes will be held. The rest of our classes will learn more about the twelve disciples who followed Jesus and helped him spread his teachings throughout the world. 

Our staff still needs a few more adults to guide our young believers in the formation of their faith. Just as the Apostles learned from the word of God, the scripture and lessons will guide you--no theology expertise is required. The remaining positions are only once or twice a month, so it’s not a large commitment. Remember, we’d even take your help temporarily. (Perhaps you want to learn about the disciples in a new way with the students just in March.) Your faith and knowledge will strengthen along with the students. 

These are some current opportunities to join our Sunday school team:

-Our 8:30 elementary class could use a “sometimes” teacher. Michael Paré has really enjoyed spending his Sunday mornings with this small class, but there are times when he may need a substitute. Would you like to be spend a Sunday or two with them each month? They are creative, funny, and work very well together.

-Nancy McLean is doing a great job with our energetic 10:30 elementary class almost every Sunday, and I can’t wait until Mike Gregory finishes his Lee Church Child Safety Training so he can expand his biblical experience with our 10:30 middle school class . This group loves to play active games and are very eager to participate. 

Which of these classes would you like to help with one or two Sundays a month? -We’d love to have you observe a class that interests you or that your child attends. Also, please feel free to speak to our current teachers about how you could help them out. We’d love to involve more adults in our classroom activities.

May our blessing continue to grow,

Jill Paré

Director of Christian Education

 

February 2017

posted Feb 3, 2017, 12:37 PM by Lee Church

We returned to regular Sunday school classes in January with some great news! Kirsten Berthiaume has rejoined Katherine Moore for our 8:30 class. Until we have three or even four 8:30 teachers, there will be a single class for PreK-8th grade. I provide varied activities each week that will apply to the wide range of developmental ages. Katherine and Kirsten both have lots of experience with our Sunday school classes, so they could also provide a great guide for aspiring teachers interested in joining them.

Kim Rydzewski and Nancy MacLean are working wonders with our 10:30 classes.  They have adjusted well to the unpredictable class sizes, ready to combine their classes into one when student numbers are low, and specialize activities for appropriate ages when they separate into elementary and middle school rooms. I have enjoyed watching these incredible women get to know our students better and grow in their gifts as teachers. They would appreciate a couple more teachers to join them, so they can be available to share their other talents on various Sunday. Let me know if you’d like to partner with them. For now, our students have had a great time learning about the Beatitudes in January, and will explore the Ten Commandments throughout February.

I am so excited to have our high school classes back! We are blessed to have Melanie and Shawn Banker, Judy Belanger, and Gilles Dionne return to our teaching staff. They have created a rotating schedule offering class once or twice a month. These classes will focus on connecting the Bible to our high schoolers lives through thoughtful, current discussions. I know that the students familiar with these incredible teachers will be eager to join them and our new high schoolers will find new mentors among these adults in no time.

You will find our February class schedule below as well as posted on the CE bulletin board in Fellowship Hall. Look closely to see if there’s anywhere you can offer your help. Post your children’s classes in your calendar, so they know what to expect. You don’t want them miss out on their time with these special teachers. 

May you feel the blessing of God’s love, 

Jill Paré,
Director of Christian Education

 

January 2017

posted Feb 3, 2017, 12:35 PM by Lee Church

Our Sunday school classes had such a great time preparing for Christmas together in December. I've included photos from our Living Nativity and gingerbread nativities. It was so fun to celebrate the season with these wonderful kids. Thank you to everyone who helped make these special memories possible.  

Blessings abound,

Jill Paré, Director of Christian Education

 

December 2016

posted Feb 3, 2017, 12:30 PM by Lee Church   [ updated Feb 3, 2017, 12:33 PM ]

Important Upcoming CE Events:

Sunday, December 4th

10:30 am service--Special advent activities in Sunday school classes

Sunday, December 11th

10:30 am--Rehearsal for Living Nativity

2:00 pm--Living Nativity Performance on lawn of Lee Church Parish House followed by cookie and cocoa reception in fellowship hall

Sunday, December 18

10:30 am services--Gingerbread Nativities with Sunday school classes

(2:00 pm--Weather postponement date for Living Nativity)

Sunday, January 1

No Sunday school classes to allow teachers to travel to family. 

If you are available to provide extra adult hands for any of these special events, please sign up to help. You don’t have to be a parent to participate, just ready to enjoy the excitement of this time through young eyes and sticky fingers. There will be sign-up sheets in fellowship hall near the CE bulletin board to assist with Living Nativity and gingerbread houses. There is plenty to do before, during, and after each event, depending on your expertise and preference. 

Merry Christmas! 

Jill Paré, Director of Christian Education

 

 

November 2016

posted Nov 2, 2016, 8:26 AM by Lee Church

As we enter this season of gratefulness, I would like to thank my current Sunday school staff members. Katherine Moore has rededicated herself to our youngest 8:30 Sunday school students for another year. She has also cheerfully welcomed older students to participate in or assist with her class while we await additional volunteers to join our staff. Nancy MacLean and Kim Rydsewski have stepped in to teach our middle schoolers and young elementary students during the 10:30 service. Krystin Hocevar, Linda Martin, Tom Landry and Michael Paré have also volunteered their time as substitutes this fall. I hope you take a moment to thank them for their invaluable contributions to our community. The kids love to share their completed projects and new realizations with me during and after their classes. Their smiles and enthusiasm are a clear demonstration of the impact our Sunday school teachers are having on their students. They are blessed by the service of these caring adults.

This month our middle school students will have the opportunity to help with the upcoming Holiday Festival. They have been asked to help create cat toys to sell at the pet table. If your church organization has any other way that our students can help support our church with their talents, please speak to me. I will help with those arrangements. I really would like our young members to become more familiar with the many ways they can be a part of our church community.

Thank you for helping our young people recognize that they are not just the future of our church, but they are truly integral to the present active life of Lee Church Congregational.

 Blessings abound,

Jill Paré

Director of Christian Education

 

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