December offers several special events for Good Shepherd’s children

advent and christmas activities.png

Advent Liturgy for Children

Advent is a time to prepare our hearts for the celebration of Jesus’ birth. This year, we are going to have an Advent liturgy downstairs in the Children’s area on December 2 during the regular Sunday school time. All kids age 3 years and up are welcome as we explore the meaning of the Advent wreath and candles and make a wall hanging Advent wreath to take home.

Reverse Advent Calendar

A chance to try a different kind of Advent calendar this year. Most Advent calendars are about receiving little gifts; this one is about giving instead. (See the article in this month’s Sheepskin on page 4 for more details.)

Christmas Pageant Rehearsals

Children and youth ages 3+ are welcome to join us for Christmas Pageant rehearsals. This will be an exciting and memorable way for your children to experience the miracle of the first Christmas. There will be two rehearsals this year, the first being Sunday, December 23 right after the 10:00 am service, at 11:30 am, including a light lunch for the children. The second and final rehearsal will begin at 3 pm, with the pageant following at the 4 pm Christmas Eve service. All children are welcome to participate!

The nursery will be open for the 4 pm service on Christmas Eve. Volunteers are needed so we can provide care for our youngest church family and visitors. Please let Rev. Gary know if you are available to care for our littlest ones.

Family Happy Hour

We are inviting parents and grandparents of children and youth to join us for a Family Happy Hour on Sunday, December 9 from 4-5:30 pm. This will be a chance for parents/grandparents to connect with other families in our community, discuss family-friendly service opportunities, spiritual resources and other family-centered programming. Appetizers, drinks and childcare are provided. Please RSVP by December 4.

Communion Instruction in 2019

Starting March 3, Elaine Oxenbury is offering a six-week Communion instruction series during the normal Sunday school class time. It will be presented as part of the 3rd-5th grade Sunday school class, but is open to all children pre-k and above. Depending on the ages of the children who will participate (please RSVP), the kids may be divided into two age groups for either the entire time or just the second half of Sunday school each week. It will be tailored to the needs of the child and will honor your child’s Communion experience, whether this will be their first time taking Communion or not. It will be a preparation for the celebration of First Communion or a continuation of the exploration of the meaning of why we celebrate this Sacrament. We will recognize the participants of this class and celebrate with those who will receive their First Communion at the service on April 28 at 9:45 am. Elaine will be in contact with parents and provide further details.

If you have a child who is not in the 3rd-5th grade class, please contact Elaine to let her know your desire to have your child join this class. Children don’t need to be baptized to be in the class, but in order for your child to receive Communion, they will need to be baptized. For more information on being baptized, please contact Rev. Gary.

Sunday school begins at 9:45 am every Sunday. As a reminder, there is one Godly Play classroom, for children aged 3 years through 2nd grade. Grades 3, 4 and 5 are using Route 52 Grow Up in Christ.

An Advent Liturgy downstairs on December 2 (see above) will begin the month for all ages. The Godly Play classroom will have hands on presentations Every Sunday in December, led by either Elaine Farrell, Susie Street or myself with either Emma Blackburn, Jackie Algermissen, Sally VanWeldon or myself helping. These presentations will include Advent 2, on Sunday, December 9: The Prophets Show the Way to Bethlehem; Advent 3, on Sunday, December 16: Mary and Joseph Show the Way to Bethlehem; Advent 4, on Sunday, December 23: The Shepherds Show the Way and Meeting the Christ Child will be presented on December 30.

Elaine Oxenbury and Christina Blackburn are sharing their teaching talents in the 3rd, 4thand 5th grade class. The unit for December will be: Grow up in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ by understanding the great gift of salvation we have through Jesus Christ and by worshipping God because of that wonderful gift.

• Dec. 2: Advent Liturgy downstairs

• Dec. 9: Worship God for the gift of salvation through Jesus (what salvation is) …Zechariah prophesied about Jesus being a “horn of salvation”

• Dec. 16: Praise and thank Jesus for being the Savior (why Jesus brought salvation) …The angel said, Name Him Jesus…He will save His people from their sins.”

• Dec. 23: Praise and thank Jesus for the suffering He endured to bring salvation (how Jesus brought it) …The shepherds hear the angel say that Jesus is the Savior…Christ the Lord.”

• Dec. 30: Worship God because Jesus is the only one who can save us…Simeon spoke of Jesus---“For my eyes have seen your salvation.”