Children are a priority to God...Are they also a priority for us?

At the beginning of August I spoke rather passionately about God's heart for marginalized people.  We talked about how God himself goes about his mission in the world - how we ought to have the same priorities and practices as He does in order to announce his good news.  For those of you who might be interested, I'm planning to run a small group for eight weeks (January-February) to more deeply explore the theology and practice of the hospitality of God (i.e., mission/evangelism).  

Then in mid-August, Sarah Pickering, our pastor to children and families, did a bang up job reminding us that God places children as a priority in his kingdom.  She challenged us to put children in the centre of the kingdom community (our church), just as Jesus did so long ago.  It's important the we remember children are often the most marginalized people in society, and sadly this can also be a reality within the Church.  

In keeping children in the centre of God's expression of love perhaps we ought to first consider the needs within our own  church community.  Galations 6:10 says, "Do good to all, but especially those who belong to the household of faith."  I'm guessing when we mention on Sundays that Bridge Kids needs more help many of you may not know what that entails, so I thought I'd share a few things...

Our Bridge Kids ministry requires a minimum of 72 volunteers to serve in order to give everyone a chance to participate in our worship gatherings.  Our church community, perhaps for a variety of reasons, did not sign up to help over the summer so there was no Bridge Kids for children in August as planned.  Although we loved having them with us for 8 weeks, it's also extremely valuable for children to have spiritual formation learning that is particularly geared for them.  There are not nearly enough people signed up for the autumn to help with this vital part of our church life. 

It's important to know that helping in Bridge Kids is fairly easy and unitimidating.  There are no lessons to prepare, and generally little or no prep ahead of time.  In my nearly 25 years of pastoral work I've never seen anyone more competent and gifted in pastoring children and their families than our very own Sarah Pickering!  Sarah prepares things so effectively and efficiently that helping seems more like a gift than any hard work.  Ask any of us who help with Bridge Kids!  Please consider helping with Bridge Kids once a month.  Be in touch directly with Sarah Pickering if you are up for learning more: bridgekidssarah@gmail.com

And let's all make a real effort to know the names of a few kids in our church community, initiating conversation with them on Sundays, praying for them throughout the week, and finding other ways as God leads us to encourage and strengthen them in their faith.

And in keeping with children as a priority of God I mentioned on Sunday morning that I recently had a call from the Compassion office.  Bridge Kids sponsor a boy named Federick, who lives in the Philippines.  Our youth have a kid they sponsor as well, and many other families in our church (including our family) also have sponsor children.  I found out this week that Compassion cannot find new sponsors who are willing to help with kids who've been waiting for more than a year to be sponsored.  I wondered if there might be some folks in our church who would want to experience the joy of sponsoring a child in another part of the world.   If you are interested in sponsoring one of these amazing children, please contact: 

Steve Everett
Sponsor Engagement Associate
Tel: 519.668.0224 ext. 177
Toll Free: 1.800.563.5437

Or

Stephen Sutcliffe
Sponsor Engagement Associate
Tel: 519.668.0224 ext. 178
Toll Free: 1.800.563.5437

excited for our church to keep on loving others,

Joyce Rees