Category Archives: Children

“Introducing the SAFE Seminar” by Erin Collier

Children ask lots of questions. It’s part of how they learn and grow – as they observe new things, their brains are trying to make sense of what they see, and they reach out to others to help them figure it out. Some of those questions are simple, some are complicated…and some are just plain awkward. While I don’t speak from personal experience, I’m fairly confident that it’s the awkward questions (about body development, puberty, etc.) that cause some of the greatest anxiety for parents. As terrifying as it might be, the reality is that parents are the number one source of information for their children about sex, body development, safety, consent, and boundaries.

We want to help equip parents for these conversations – to help them be able to have accurate and honest yet age-appropriate discussions with their children about some sensitive subjects. This fall, we will be hosting a SAFE Seminar led by LeAnn Gardner, an ordained minister and social worker. This seminar was developed out of LeAnn’s years of experience as a social worker and her desire to help parents be prepared to be the primary educator for their children about these topics. I’ve had several conversations with LeAnn and am impressed by her approach to this subject matter and am excited to have her here. Thanks to the endowment, we will be offering this event at a low cost to participants and will open it up to families in our community.

The SAFE seminar is October 28-29 (12:00-4:30 pm each day). The cost is $15 for an individual or $25 for a couple – which includes the seminar and materials provided, lunch on both days, and childcare. Pre-registration will be required and will open on August 14. If you are a parent of a child (birth-6th grade), I hope you will come! If you are a regular caretaker of children (either related or not), I hope you will come as well. If you know of someone who fits into either of those categories, please invite them!

And, if you want to support this event but don’t feel like you fit into the target audience, we will need help! Running registration tables, helping set out/clean up food, providing childcare – there are many ways you can help make this event a success.

I’m looking forward to the weekend of October 28-29, and I hope you are, too! Please join me in praying toward this event: for LeAnn as she prepares to lead, for the individuals that will participate, and for the positive impact we hope it will have on the parents and families in our community.


“Passportkids2017 Report” by Erin Collier

Earlier this week, seven children and two adults headed to Spartanburg, SC, for a session of Passportkids camp. It was a great week of talking about how to do justice, love kindness, and walk humbly with God (the theme of the week) and learning about Watering Malawi, the mission emphasis of the week. I could share a lot more about my personal camp experience, but it’s more fun to hear the experiences of the kids who went! Below are the thoughts of the kids who attended this year. If you see any of them at church, be sure to ask them more about their experience! (And, if you haven’t seen them yet, check out the pictures on our church Facebook page!)

“I love Passportkids. I liked all of the fun stuff that we did like go to the pool. I also liked all of the staff members. It was fun.” – Lauren

“Passportkids is fun. Worship was my favorite part of camp. I liked singing songs. All of the leaders were very energetic and exciting. I would go back if it were only two days long!” – Ava

“Passport is fun because all of it is very unexpected, especially on the first time. My favorite part was free time.” – Kaitlyn

“Passport was fun. I liked the people I met the most. The teachers were nice and energetic.” – Emily

“I liked free time when me and Dixon were playing ultimate ping pong.” – Ethan

“Passportkids is great. They have some of the best sermons, nice teachers who are very excited to see students, really awesome food, and a large pool.” – Addie

“The thing I liked was playing Capture the Flag and winning.” – Dixon

Thank you to those who prayed us through the week – your prayers were felt!


“A Mid-Summer Ministry Update” by Erin Collier

“Summertime and the livin’ is easy…” Those famous lyrics from the 1935 musical Porgy and Bess may have some truth to them. Summer means no school, more beach trips, and time for rest and relaxation. But while the summertime livin’ may be easy, the summertime children’s ministry schedulin’ is a little more hectic! We have a lot that goes on here during the summer, as evidenced by the pictures you’ve hopefully seen on Facebook. Here’s a brief recap of what our children have been up to so far…

Vacation Bible School: 43 children attended this 3 night program of Bible stories, crafts, games, and missions. They learned stories about the many ways Jesus surprises us with his love, his compassion, and his grace, and had a wonderful experience thanks to the dedication of so many volunteers who helped teach, guide, and feed them each night. (If you know a VBS volunteer – thank them!) They also raised $225 for Marc and Kim Wyatt, CBF Field Personnel in Raleigh, NC, who minister to refugees and internationals in the Triangle Region.

Baptism: Gabrielle Hardee was baptized on June 18. It was a wonderful day of celebration as this child took an important step in her faith journey.

Lego Mini-Camp: 16 children played with Legos and learned Bible stories about David at the same time! I loved watching the creativity of the children as they took some of the building challenges I gave them (create a Lego Goliath, build a Lego crown) and brought them to life in so many unique ways. We had a blast together!

Still to come this summer? A trip to Passportkids camp in Spartanburg, SC (we leave this Sunday); Art Mini-Camp (with a focus on missionaries around the world); and Music Day Camp (we still have a few camper spots open – register today!).

All of these activities and ministries are not possible without this congregation. Your support (with finances, service, and prayer) allows us to offer meaningful activities for children throughout the summer. Thank you for being a congregation that values children and invests in their faith development!