Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” (Matthew 19:14)
News & Events
2019-2020 School Year
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: Breakfast for Dinner at the OLEC
January 15: 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
June 1-5: Weekday VBS
July 6-10: Mission Camp (rising 5/6 graders)
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)
(Wednesdays, September 4 – November 13 and January 15 – 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.
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.
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
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.
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.
(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
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
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
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
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 mission opportunities available and begin deciding where they feel most lead to serve. Online registration opens May 15.
“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.
Children’s Music Choir
(Sundays, September 8 – December 8 and January 12 – May 3; 5:00-6:00 p.m., children’s wing)
Playing team sports is a wonderful way to build friendships, confidence, and a love for active fun. If your child is interested in team sports, please consult our opportunities offered through our Health and Recreation Ministry at the Owings Life Enrichment Center (OLEC). Contact Judy Oros at email@example.com for more information.
Ways to Join the Children's Ministry Team
We want you to consider how you can work with us to create a vibrant ministry. There are a number of volunteer opportunities. Please read through these and find a place you feel your talents can best be used. We would love to see all families represented in our ministry. Just like most ministries, you will find you get much more back than you could ever give. Please prayerfully consider your role.
Sunday Morning Kids Quest Mentor: This crucial role is on the front lines of ministry with children. These individuals come each Sunday starting in August, building relationship with the children and sharing the Good News. Mentors use lessons to follow up the main lesson taught in large group. All lessons and materials are provided; you only need to bring a servant’s heart and love for God and children. Men, we need YOU to lead our boy groups. Time requirement includes 1 hour 15 minutes on Sunday morning and about 15 minutes of prep each week. We understand work and travel and will have substitutes for these occasions. Please contact Callie Beaver if you are interested in this role.
Sunday Morning Substitute Teachers: These individuals fill in when our regular Sunday School mentors are not available. All lessons and materials are provided; you only need to bring a servant’s heart and love for God and children. Please contact Callie Beaver if you are interested.
Sunday Morning Stepping Stones Volunteers: These individuals present or assist with the weekly small-group lesson in the preschool classes. After large group time, each group will return to their classroom for the small group lesson. All lessons and materials are provided. Please contact Kristin Dickerson to volunteer for this ministry.
Grace Class Leader: Grace is our class designed for elementary-aged children with special needs. We need teachers for this class as well as shadows to go with children if they chose to enter the Kids Quest program. Volunteers can either serve for one month or once a month for the school year; commitment is about one hour 15 minutes each week. All materials and training are provided. Please contact Natalie Adkinson if you are interested.
Elementary Expedition Small Group Leader: These individuals will join us on Wednesday nights for dinner, worship, and small group. We will begin at 5:30 with dinner in the Huddle, move to the chapel for worship, and then break into small groups and games. We will end at 7:15. All lessons and materials are provided. This is a semester commitment running for 10 weeks (excluding fall break and ending at Thanksgiving for the semester). We will resume in January and run up to Palm Sunday. Please contact Callie Beaver if you are interested in helping with this ministry. (If you are not able to make it in time for the dinner, you are welcome to join us at 6:00 for the rest of the evening.)
Elementary Expedition Food Prep: These individuals purchase and prepare the meal for Elementary Expedition (Wednesday night) each week. The meals are very “kid-friendly” including favorites such as chicken nuggets, pizza, hot dogs, etc. No big-time cooking is necessary, just heating and serving. Time commitment each week is approximately one hour for purchase of food and two hours for preparing/serving/cleaning up. This job could be divided if multiple people work together. This is also a wonderful way for a Sunday school class to serve. Please contact Callie Beaver if you are interested in serving in this ministry area.
Kids Quest Lesson/Environment Prep Team: Our curriculum has monthly themes which require environment changes and props. This team will develop the environment each month for our theme as well as assemble props for the weekly stories. We also have numerous copies to be made and materials to be gathered for each month’s lessons. This will require about five hours a month and is not a Sunday morning commitment. Please contact Callie Beaver if you are interested in helping in this ministry area.
Special Events Team: This team works seasonally for special events such as Fall Festival, Advent Workshop, Journey to Bethlehem, Easter Egg Hunt, etc. Please contact Callie Beaver if you are interested in this ministry area.
1 Corinthians 10:31 “So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.”
Please prayerfully consider where you can serve in our children’s ministry, doing it all for the glory of God.
We meet on Sunday mornings at both 9:40 and 11:00. Children begin each hour in a large-group setting in the Huddle (room 240). During this time, we share the daily Bible story through skits and videos and have a time of worship. From the Huddle, we break into small groups which consists of children the same age and gender, as well as adult and youth mentors. These groups meet in classrooms in the children’s education wing; doors are clearly marked for each group. In their follow-up small-group activities, we reinforce the weekly Bible lesson with games, crafts, and discussion. Parents pick up their children in the classrooms in the children’s wing.
There are three main concepts we want children in grades K-5 to understand, and all our lessons are directed towards these ideas. Before graduating our program, we want all children to understand and be able to apply these three biblical truths:
I need to make the wise choice. (Wisdom)
I can trust God no matter what. (Faith)
I should treat others the way I want to be treated. (Friendship)
While every lesson is different, there is an element in each which leads back to these concepts. We want the children to understand the Scriptures are alive and relevant to today. Therefore, our lessons are active, engaging, and hands-on.
Elementary Expedition takes place September 4- November 13 and January 15-April 1. We will gather in an exciting format, similar to that of youth group. Elementary children and youth will gather for a kid-friendly dinner at 5:30 in the Huddle ($3 at the door). We will move from dinner to a time of family worship in a relaxed environment with music, lesson, and activity designed specifically for our children and youth. At approximately 6:30, we will move from our worship time to small groups in the children’s wing. Pick up is at 7:15 in the children’s wing hallway.