August 25, 2016

Cradle for the Christ Child
The Cradle for the Christ Child team is looking for a few good gifts! Have some presents that didn’t suit your child? Given a duplicate child’s gift that you were unable to return? Picked up a bargain that just never found a home? If these things are collecting dust around your house, the Cradle team would gratefully accept them as donations in anticipation of this year’s giving season. We will be accepting NEW toys (as well as children’s games, crafts and sporting equipment) at the Rally Day festivities on September 11th – just look for our table and drop it off to us that Sunday. We’ll ensure it gets to a child in need this holiday season. Please note we are only able to accept NEW items – we cannot accept used items. If you have any questions, please contact Meghan Zamborsky at meexley@yahoo.com or Michele Smeal at m_smeal@hotmail.com.

Grace Place
For this week’s program, Pastor Sandy Hull will be presenting a program on his recent Mission Trip to Guatemala with Grace youth.  Please come to hear his stories about Guatemala, its people, and how they touched the lives of our participants.  The program will start at 1:00 pm in the Chapel.  At 12:45pm we will be saying a fond farewell to Narrara and Nayhamar Moura, who, after their two years of volunteering at Grace Place, will be going off to college.  All are welcome to join us at noon for lunch and stay for the program.

Cornerstone Christian Academy
A great big THANK YOU  to everyone who shopped and donated to the collection of school supplies for Cornerstone Christian Academy.  Cornerstone Christian Academy is a mission partner of Grace, serving the children  and families of the Kingsessing area of Philadelphia with a K-8th grade school, after school programs, summer camp and so much more.  Because of your generosity over 250 school children, and their teachers received 44 packages of loose leaf paper, 52 spiral notebooks, 26 three ring binders, 40 boxes of pencils, 21 packages of pens, 36 boxes of colored pencils, 6 packages of markers, 6 packages of white board markers, 11 packages of subject dividers for their binders, 34 rulers, 40 folders plus 2 large boxes of file folders, 17 packages of highlighters, 24 packages of erasers, 24 pencil sharpeners, 21 boxes of tissues, 3 large bottles of hand sanitizers and over 42 packages of various art supplies.  Thank you!

New Sunday School Curriculum
On Sunday, August 21, Kelly Hudson made the following presentation at both worship services: 

Last Sunday at Grace we had a beautiful baptism of a baby boy. What stuck with me most, other than the adorable hiccups, were the promises that we as a church made to him and his family. We together promise each child of Grace that we will participate in the Christian nurturing to ensure that all our children will one day confess faith in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. 

We promise to these beautiful, eager, kiddos that we will be the bricklayers of their spiritual foundation. And to make that foundation as strong as it can be we need a Sunday School program that enhances the truths they learn and the commitments they make. The lessons we hope to teach them should solidify their desire to come to church, participate in our ministry, progress through our all of our youth programs, and eventually become involved members of our church. 

We have an opportunity here with our new curriculum to give the gifts of Christ to our children each week in Sunday School as we gain them each week in service. We spent many months researching and prayerfully debating the decision of which educational path to take. We have landed on a model that is very similar to what we have been successfully doing at our Vacation Bible School. 

This innovative and fresh curriculum will offer more spiritual enrichment to our children that may have been lacking in previous years. There will be an emphasis on creating lasting spiritual development. 

Here are a few ways you can look forward to seeing this growth:
Singing: In this curriculum there are rotations devoted entirely to learning treasured church songs, as well as singing included in each Sunday's children's gathering. 

Bible Memory: We will focus on memorizing bible verses. Having these verses learned by heart will be a lifelong resource for our children.

Repetition: In this curriculum, much like Vacation Bible School, the students will spend several weeks on a single concept or story so that the topic can be learned on a deeper level. They will have activities that change each week like science, music, and cooking for example to explore the unit's topic and experience it in different ways. This not only broadens their awareness of the concepts but it allows for different learning styles to be accessed in ways we were missing before. 

For example, starting on Rally day, our first unit is called “Teach Me to Pray” and will focus on four aspects of prayer. The students will finish the unit knowing the Lord’s Prayer and equipped with tools to begin their personal prayers with Jesus. 

We are so excited to share this program with you and your family and we are certain that this curriculum is a building block for the spiritual growth of the new generation of children at Grace. We have been putting in a lot of work to launch this program and we know it will be a success. But in order for it to soar, we need support from all of you, honoring those promises we make to each new baby of Grace. 

Families with children will be receiving more information about the new procedures for Sundays in the following weeks before rally day. We are so grateful for your prayers, encouragement, and support as we start this new adventure!

Thank you.