2019-2020 CALENDAR OF EVENTS
August 11: Promotion Sunday
August 28: GUMC’s Fall Kickoff at OLEC (Church-wide celebration)
September 4: Elementary Expedition 1st semester kick-off
September 20: 3rd grade Bible Retreat
September 22: 3rd grade Bible Presentation
October 13: Putt-Putt Golf and Games Church Family Picnic
October 27: Fall Festival
November 20: Advent Workshop
December 7: Journey to Bethlehem
December 8: Children’s Alternative Christmas
December 8: Plum Pudding Children’s Choir Concert
December 24: Family Christmas Eve Service
January 8: Elementary Expedition 2nd semester kick-off
February 1-2: Ignite! (4/5 grade retreat)
February 26: Ash Wednesday Worship
February 28-29: Created by God (5/6 graders only)
April 5: Palm Sunday
April 10: Good Friday
April 11: Easter Egg Hunt
April 12: Easter
May 27-29: Evening VBS (Tentative)
June 1-5: Weekday VBS (Tentative)
July 6-10: Mission Camp (rising 5/6 graders)
July 13-18 or July 19-25: Lakeshore Camp
Select Mondays in Summer: Mission and Movie Mondays
Select Wednesdays in Summer: Dodgeball at OLEC
Select Thursdays in Summer: Poolpalooza (rising 6th graders)
Elementary Expedition (Wednesdays, September 4 – November 13 and January 8 – April 1)
Our mid-week program provides a variety of opportunities for children to experience Christian fellowship and develop a closer relationship to Christ. This is our children’s ministry equivalent of “youth group”. We begin with a kid-friendly dinner at 5:30 in the Huddle, move to child-friendly worship from 6:00-6:30 in the chapel, and then close with small groups where we enjoy discussion, games, and crafts. We end at 7:15 in the children’s wing. Dinner is $3 at the door or online.
Fall Fest (October 27) This church-wide celebration takes place right after worship over at the OLEC. Kids may wear non-scary costumes and enjoy fun activities such as inflatables, face painting, cookie decorating, putt-putt, and other games led by our adult Sunday school classes. Lunch will be available for purchase.
Advent Workshop (November 20)
In preparation for the Advent season, families are invited to attend this special mid-November event geared towards children of all ages. Families can create their own Advent wreath, make a nativity set, and have fun with other Advent crafts. There are light refreshments. This event is free to all and no registration is required.
Journey to Bethlehem (December 7)
Families with young children (and older people who are children at heart) are invited to attend this special GUMC tradition. Children will walk the path of Jesus’ birth. They will begin with the angels, move to Bethlehem for Jesus’ birth, visit the shepherds, and finish with the wise men. After learning the reason we share gifts at Christmas, children will have a chance to share their wish list with the Jolly Ol’ Guy himself. This event is free to all and no registration is required.
Alternative Christmas (December 8)
On this morning, elementary-aged children will have an opportunity to shop for gifts for family and friends. Each gift is $5, of beautiful quality, wrapped, and tagged. Children will also learn about free-trade and mission-oriented gifts and will learn about being a purposeful giver. Preschool children may shop between worship hours or after church ends. There will be elves available to help with the shopping so all parents can enjoy a surprise on Christmas morning. No registration necessary; bring $5 for each gift you intend to purchase.
Ignite! (4/5 grade retreat February 1-2)
4/5 graders travel to a local retreat facility for a one-night retreat with a focus on worship, fellowship, and team building. This weekend is a lot of fun, action packed, and full of growth as we learn to worship in a more meaningful way. Online registration opens January 1.
Created by God (February 28-29)
Created by God is a program resource designed to communicate to fifth and sixth graders that we are a fantastic creation made by God. The topics of human sexuality, values, and relationships are approached in a frank, honest, and Bible-based manner. This is a Friday night and Saturday morning course for tweens; parental attendance is required for two sessions. There will be a parent meeting in January to answer any questions before registration opens January 27.
Easter Egg Hunt (April 11)
Our annual Easter Egg Hunt will be held at our beautiful McVay Gardens Park the day before Easter. This fun and festive event provides photo opportunities galore! In addition to the traditional egg hunt, children can enjoy a petting zoo, fun crafts, face painting, and much more! The Easter Bunny makes an appearance as well.
Vacation Bible School *Dates are tentative at this time*
Evening (May 27-29; 5:30-8:00 p.m.) This three-day version of VBS has all the fun of the weekday VBS in a condensed form. Dinner will be served at 5:30 followed by story, games, music, and more!
Weekday (June 1-5; 9:00 a.m. – noon) This week is packed full of friends, fun, and the incredible message of God’s love. Registration will open online April 1.
Mission Camp (July 6-10)
This week of discovery leads children who are entering grades 5 and 6 through a variety of mission opportunities. Children will work in inner-church missions, urban missions, and rural missions. This is a transforming week for children as they taste the types of missional opportunities available and begin deciding where they feel most lead to serve. Online registration opens May 15.
Lakeshore (July 13-18 or July 19-25)
“Away Camp” is a life-changing experience for children. We travel as a group to Lakeshore in Eva, TN for a week of frolic and fellowship in the woods. Many of our youth will be counselors during the week. If this week doesn’t work for you, check out Lakeshore’s website for alternate weeks. This is a great camp! Register online through Lakeshore’s website.
Choir (Sundays, September 8 – December 8 and January 12 – May 3; 5:00-6:00 p.m., Children’s Wing classrooms)
Music enriches the worship experience and singing in a choir offers an opportunity for children to serve the church as they help lead worship. We have an incredible choir program for children ages 3 and up, leading worship 3-4 times a year and having seasonal concerts. All choirs meet in the children’s education wing. Children not yet in kindergarten must have a parent or chaperone accompany them to their rehearsals and will meet from 5-5:45 p.m..
Handbells (Wednesdays, September 11 – December 4; 5:00-5:30 p.m.)
Handbells are another way to make music and worship God. Under the direction of Natalie Duncan, children in grades 3-5 are taught to read music and play together. We anticipate playing in Plum Pudding in the winter and worship in the spring. This group is free, but registration is requested. Direct questions to and register with Natalie Duncan at .
Parents’ Night Out- dates TBA