Shepherding the Children of Vineyard Central: March Update
During the season of Lent, the children are focusing on the prophets that prepared a way of repentance, namely Elijah, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and Amos. They are memorizing either Psalm 32.5, “Then I acknowledged my sin to you and did not cover up my iniquity. I said, “I will confess my transgression to the Lord” and you forgave the guilt of my sin” or 1 John 1:9, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”
In learning about Elijah, the 5-7 year olds heard a song about the highlights of Elijah’s adventures (ravens, bread and oil, altar, chariot of fire), in which the kids joined in on the chorus (“Elijah, Elijah, wherever your feet did trod, miracles would follow you, prophet of the one true God”).
In wondering about Jeremiah, the 1-4 year olds talked about how prophets are like mailmen who give “mail” from God to his people. They learned how the people did not listen to Jeremiah and God and therefore bad things happened. The 5-7 year olds wrote/drew individual confessions of times they did not listen to the voice of God and wove these pieces of paper into the cross within the meeting space.
Within their time together, the 1-4 year olds planted tomato seeds in celebration of spring and thanked God for all the good things he creates.
When I was with the children this month, they were filled with movement and silliness which made me doubt that they were listening. It is tempting at that point as a leader to decide that any further effort to maintain order is without point. However, I instructed the children to draw pictures of confessions individually, all sitting in different areas of the room and much to my surprise, they were silent and quietly focused on their work. They held their confessions near until we wove them into the cross. I walked away from our time together praising God for Him meeting each of them and confessing my own blindness to see and trust that God is meeting them even in their silliness and apparent limited listening.
If you are interested in assisting in shepherding (and likewise being shepherded by) our children, please contact one of the leaders. We would be happy to explain more and have you join the volunteer team or visit one of the classes.
Aliza Bruner (0-4 Year Old Children)
Laura Menze (5-7 Year Old Children)
Jill Stoxen (8-10 Year Old Children)