Shepherding the Children of Vineyard Central: January Summary
During the Christmas and Epiphany season, the children are focusing on worshipping the Christ child of many names. They are memorizing Isaiah 9:6, “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” They have practiced this memory verse by singing a song that Jeremy Eyre wrote.
The 5-7 year olds adored the newborn Jesus alongside Anna and Simeon at the temple and decorated paper glasses to remind them to pray for heavenly vision to “see Jesus” as these holy people did long ago. In learning about God as the Wonderful Counselor, the children heard the story of Jesus and the Samaritan Woman at the Well. The toddlers learned how Jesus knows all about us and loves us. They wondered how Jesus can know our thoughts and feelings and even actions we think are hidden. That same week, the 5-7 year olds read a book about how God is always with us and we can talk to him like a good friend. They did an imagination exercise imagining an awesome place and then hanging out with God there and then made collages representing those places. In learning about God as a Mighty God, the children heard a story of healing.
The 5-7 year wondered about what it would be like to have been blind all of your life and then what a miracle it would be to be able to see for the first time. They made paper masks as a handicraft reminder of this story. In the children learning about God as an Everlasting Father, they heard the parable of the prodigal son. The toddlers, celebrated like the father by making party hats and the 5-7 year olds made a craft that represented God the Father with arms outstretched. The 8-11 year olds, explored the prodigal son story with a modern setting (the prodigal ends up homeless in NYC) and had a discussion about how you to get to heaven and talked about how Jesus both makes the way and is the way to eternal life.
In addition to children being busy learning, the shepherds and helpers of the children have been learning as well. On January 18th, many of the volunteers gathered together to take part in Darkness to Light training (to prevent child abuse) and brainstormed ideas of how to continue to care for our children well. In addition, a new ‘Kids’ section on the VC website has been developed, including a brief summary on VC’s approach to children, our commitment to safety, and the weekly list of stories told. We are open to hear questions, feedback, and suggestions.
Aliza Bruner (0-4 Year Old Children)
Laura Menze (5-7 Year Old Children)
Jill Stoxen (8-11 Year Old Children)