Hi Five Oaks Church,
As guest blogger, I am happy to give some updates about our ministry. I've included comments from our 1st Impressions cards and the communication cards from the weekend service. And, I've added some highlights to the amazing Vacation Bible School week.
Blessings, Jeni Carlson, Children's Ministry Director
#1- Here are some 1st Impression Cards we've received in the last week.
from 5/21: I enjoyed my visit to your church. However, I live with my husband in Somerset, WI so it's a bit too far to drive. [It's great to have folks visiting us!]
from 5/27: We moved from CA a month ago and visited Five Oaks just a couple of days after arriving. There were many people who stopped to talk to us for great lengths of time when they learned we were visiting. The Discovery Seminar was extremely helpful with giving us an understanding of the church and it's beliefs. [Thank you! (If you haven't attended the Seminar, please contact the church office. It's a session that unpacks our mission and ministry at Five Oaks. Plus, lunch is included! We love to have you. The next seminar is scheduled for July 15, 2012 @ 11:00 a.m.]
#2 - Here are your comments and mine from last weeks communication cards:
- Very nice worship set! Really set the stage for worship – thank you! Alex, you are a great drummer. I love seeing Phil up there – a blast from my past! Tim you do such a great job up there in every capacity. I’ve always loved John Ortberg – a great message – shadow missions. Great, great, great closing song.
- Beautiful worship this morning. Really like the drum tracks in the background. Great message of calling out shadow missions. We all need to keep this in mind. Female BGV’s were right on.
- Tim, thank you for reminding everyone that they can worship in their own way. I understand churches need to try to reach out to a “target audience”, but I appreciate the chance to worship in a way that’s meaningful to me… whether that means sitting quietly and thinking/praying/meditating or singing loudly and clapping or doing an action-based form of worship such as lighting a candle or writing on a +/- board.
- Great piano on “Your Name”! “Your Name” – wonderful arrangement!
- Tim, can you send me that prayer of confession? Thanks.
- What about mentioning “10 Minute Connect” in the early messages so visitors know about it before the cards are collected, might cut down on the comments about not feeling welcomed. Could put the ice breaker question at the end so conversation can start and flow out into the entry way.
[Great comments this week! I'm encouraged that Five Oakers are sharing their insight, giving their perspective, and showing how God's love impacts them. It makes me so blessed to be a part of this community. It's also a privilege to serve with a team of leaders who truly care about meeting mission each week. From the Worship Arts team to the teaching team, we have servant hearted leaders. Thanks to everyone who serves to help our weekend services go.]
#3 - We are just over half way through our 2012 VBS. Here are some highlights and a few pictures!
- Sky VBS 2012-the place where we learn that with God everything is possible. Each day this week, over 250 kids are coming to catch glimpses of where God is at work; in our hearts, our lives, our community, and our world. Kids learn a bible story, memorize a bible verse, and learn again and again that they can trust God. Throughout a typical day, kids will shout out "trust God" countless times.
- As the kids travel through each station, starting with worship and learning, they see how God can impact their lives. As preschool station leader, Melissa Borner shared, "the kids are captivated by the story, I don't need to remind them to listen, they hang on every word." As a 1st time VBS volunteer, she is amazed at how quickly the kids are soaking up the words of the songs and are memorizing the verses. "They are truly hiding God's word in their heart."
- Sky VBS is partnering with Jerry Meras, Outreach Director, for the Miles for Meals Global Impact project. Kids are challenged to bring in their money to help get "biker Jerry" and his team across the USA, from CA to MN. (This trip is happening August 2012). Many of the kids have participated in Feed My Starving Children so this project is especially meaningful. Our goal is to raise over $700 to provide over 3,000 meals.
- Another unique partnership with SKY VBS is inviting our special needs Retreat children to join in the fun and learning at VBS. 7 Retreat kids are being integrated into the program and the joy is evident. "My 8 year-old son Alex, is loving VBS! He is all smiles and rests well each afternoon, having been exhausted by the morning. Alex doesn't usually get these kinds of opportunities and it means so much to us," Jennifer Fair shared with me.
- With over 125 volunteers making SKY so amazing, we rely on many gifts and abilities. From artists to craftsman, decorators to administrators, from technical savvy to cutting craft supplies, from games leaders to bible teachers, from drama actors to kitchen team members, we draw on adults and teens to make a difference in kids' lives.
- I stopped in the craft room to chat with one student leader, a 3rd year veteran to VBS. I wondered what keeps bringing him back. Alex Hovda, a recent High school graduate, explained, "VBS is unique because you get to work with a bunch of rambunctious kids for a week in a God-centered, controlled circus." The energy is palpable! Where else can you see cool 4th graders and 4 year olds raising their hands, shouting, "Trust God!" and loving it?
- Alex also shared the impact that VBS has as a whole. Alex traveled with the student mission team last summer to New Jersey and explained that the change to kids' lives is noticeable. The Jersey kids started their week hostile to the leaders and the program. By the end of the week, kids were sharing details of their lives, connecting with God's message and experiencing heart change.
- Thursday, we'll share the gospel message so pray with us that kid's will choose to cross the line of faith and make the best decision of their lives!
- The SKY VBS adventure continues for the rest of the week, and then we tuck in all the decorations and quiet the building down until the next VBS begins.
Have a great and blessed week, Jeni Carlson - Children's Ministry Director