United Kids Connection!

Kids & Families connecting: To one another, new friends, and God's great love!

Mid-October Family Connection

Greetings friends and neighbors!  This edition of the family connection will include some tips for engaging our little ones in worship, and a tech tool to help engage faith in the lives of our families.  Take a look!

Engaging Kids at Church: It’s never too early to come alongside kids to help them participate in worship.  Even toddlers can start to sway along with the music, take a look at the visual art in the sanctuary, witness you as you participate in the call to worship or prayers, and wave hello during the time of greeting.  Squacking and Squirming are perfectly ok (don’t let anyone convince you otherwise) it’s a sign of life and joy in our church!  It’s not always the easiest option, but helping our children discover the rhythms of worship early on will help them become worshippers themselves.

Digital Resource: This time, we are going with a more low-tech resource, our radio dial!  The Providence radio frequency 99.5 is now carrying the national Christian Radio station KLOVE.  It’s great modern music with minimal DJ talk, and no more commercials or song lyrics about questionable topics.  Perfect for the car-pool!

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Kids Connection October Reminders

Hello neighbors!  As we’ve reached October, here’s a reminder of upcoming events that we’d love to have you join us for!  Our Sunday Morning Kids Connection program continues for Nursery through Grade 6 as well!  All Kids are encouraged to bring spare change each week for our offering collection for this year’s giving project- a share of a sewing machine for a young woman in need overseas!

Moms & Tots Playgroups: We’ll be offering monthly play groups one Saturday and one Thursday a month. The October dates are Saturday the 14th   here at the church, and Thursday the 26th   at the Walpole Mall.  Suggested (but flexible) ages 1-3 years.

Young Life High School Club: Known across the country as the #BestNightOfTheWeek this time of fun through games, skits, music and food is highlighted by a short message pointing towards the hope that can only be found in Jesus.  We’re meeting October 2, 9, 16 & 30 7:27pm in our top floor spaces.

Under 40’s Discussion Group:  We’ll be starting our next study for those under 40 (ish).  Our Upcoming meeting dates are Sunday October 1 & 29 at 11:15 am in the first floor conference room.  We can bring in toys/activities from the nursery for any little ones who are with us.

Young Life Walk-a-Thon:  Sunday October 22nd at 2pm at Adams Farm in Walpole.  Walkers collect money from sponsors for this 5K walk.  If you want to walk, or sponsor a walker, contact Meg!

Also- don’t forget to keep practicing our current memory verse:


“Trust in the Lord

with all your heart.

    Do not depend

on your own understanding.”

~Proverbs 3:5


 

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Final September Family Connection

I know we’re all well into the swing of things for the school year, but as we settle into new routines, here’s some ways to engage faith in daily life, as well as an article for some tips on finding sanity in the crazy times!

As we get into our habits of a new school year, be sure to carve out time for conversations that aren’t just yes or no questions, or only around schedule planning.  Share high points and low points in the week.  Use mealtimes as a natural point in the day where asking about what to thank God for, and what to pray for before saying grace as we connect our faith with daily life!

Check out this great insight from the parent cue blog! Surviving the Back to School Season 

Stay tuned for more info and ideas in the weeks to come!

 

 

 

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September Family Connection Part 1!

Hello friends, the previous post shared about the routine for Sunday Mornings this school year .  In this post, we have some dates to keep in mind, a verse to focus on as a family, highlighting the Kids Connection Memory Verse for September and October! We’ll be sharing more tidbits from our Family News and Notes each week!  For now, here’s some important opportunities to keep in mind!

Important Events & Opportunities:

Kids Connection & Nursery 17-18:  We’re excited for another year of connecting with our kids and little ones through nursery care and Kids Connection time on Sunday mornings.  Check out Reviving the School-Year Routine! to learn about best practices for ensuring everyone has a great experience!

Moms & Tots Playgroups: We’ll be offering monthly play groups one Saturday and one Thursday a month. Our next will be Sept. 28thThe October dates are Saturday the 14th and Thursday the 26th.  Suggested (but flexible) ages 1-3 years.

Young Life High School Club: Known across the country as the #BestNightOfTheWeek this time of fun through games, skits, music and food is highlighted by a short message pointing towards the hope that can only be found in Jesus.  We’re meeting October 2, 9, 16 & 30 7:27pm in our top floor spaces.

Under 40’s Discussion Group:  We’ll be starting our next study for those under 40 (ish).  Our Upcoming meeting dates are Sunday October 1 & 29 at 11:15 am in the first floor conference room.  We can bring in toys/activities from the nursery for any little ones who are with us.

Young Life Walk-a-Thon:  Sunday October 22nd at 2pm at Adams Farm in Walpole.  Walkers collect money from sponsors for this 5K walk.  If you want to walk, or sponsor a walker, contact Meg!

Wyld Life Middle School Ministry!  We’ll spread the word when we hear about any activities for middle schoolers through Wyld Life.  There’s a great team of college-aged leaders excited to connect with Middle School students in our area.  If any want to be big buddies for Kids Connection, or Nursery Helpers, let Meg know- we cherish their budding leadership!

 


Family Scripture Focus: Proverbs 3:3-6  Don’t let love and truth ever leave you. Tie them around your neck. Write them on the tablet of your heart. Then you will find favor and a good name in the eyes of God and people. Trust in the Lord with all your heart. Do not depend on your own understanding. In all your ways obey him.Then he will make your paths smooth and straight.


 

Kids Connection Memory Verse:

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart.

Do not depend on your own understanding.”

 ~Proverbs 3:5

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Reviving the School-Year Routine!

Greetings!  We’ll be getting back into sharing portions of our Family Connection News and Notes each week.  This week, we’re sharing updates to our Sunday morning Kids Connection routine here at United Church of Norwood, and a link to a brief article of encouragement for parents as we work on getting back into our school-year routines!

KIDS CONNECTION 2017-2018 UPDATES:  We are excited to get going into a new School Year.  We have a few reminders for everyone, and some new practices to help ensure a smooth, encouraging experience for everybody here on Sunday mornings!

  • CONNECTION CARDS: We will be collecting cards for each of our participants with some basic info to help our leaders. One info item will be a cell phone that can be reached on Sunday mornings during the service.  This is mostly for our littlest ones if they are having an especially tough time in the nursery, but it’s best to have contact info for safety reasons.
  • DROP OFF & PICK-UP: During the school year, during the time of greeting, everyone will meet up in the hallway in the rear of the Sanctuary to head to their classrooms together.  This may change for holidays and/or last minute teacher absences, but will be communicated to families as best is possible.
    • Kids Connection Kids (PreK-Grade 6) will meet their teacher to walk to their classroom together
    • Parents will meet up with Nursery volunteers to walk with their littles ones to drop them off in the nursery.
    • All parents are asked to pick up their kids in their classrooms immediately following the worship service, before heading to coffee time or other extensive fellowship with other church-goers.
  • RESTROOM/DIAPERS/POTTY TRAINING: It’s our hope that this is an area that is dealt with primarily by parents, but we have some safe practices in place for our volunteers if an immediate need should arise during kids/nursery time.  We ask that parents do their best to ensure diapers are fresh and restroom attempts have been made prior to the worship service.  Please communicate any specific concerns in this regard with the volunteers upon drop-off.
  • KIDS CONNECTION OFFERING: Each school year, we pick a cause to raise funds for as our kids learn the importance of generosity and worship through giving. This school year, we will be raising funds to go towards the efforts of World Vision to provide young women in developing countries with a sewing machine and training, so kids are encouraged to share a portion of their allowance, or any spare change they discover to this offering in Kids Connection each week!
  • COMMUNION SUNDAY: If parents wish for their kids to participate in Communion, they can come down to the classrooms during the hymn between the sermon and communion to pick up their children early, it is requested they let their teachers know to expect that early pick-up.
  • VOLUNTEERS ALWAYS NEEDED: We are always looking to bolster our volunteer roster for both Kids Connection and Nursery Care, please contact Meg if you want to learn more!

 

We’re thrilled for the ways we will continue to grow as families connect to one another, new friends, and God’s great love!

The Parent Cue Blog has so many great posts, and here’s this month’s timely pick to share with you all! 3 Ways to Survive the Back to School Season

Stay tuned for updates on the great offerings we’ll have in the coming weeks!

 

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Four Smartphone Apps We Love

Each month this past school year, we have been sharing digital resources to help us as we incorporate faith into the lives of our families.  Here’s three highlights, that come in the form of smartphone apps.  As the use of smartphones and mobile tablets inundate our very lifestyles, often bringing challenges, we can learn to use these things for good in the lives of our families.  Here’s 3 Apps that can help us use technology for good, and for building up lives of faith.


Pandora Music:  Since our phones are the primary way people listen to music, use the free version of this app to bring faith-based music into our lives.  If you have younger kids, the “Shout Praises Kids” music channel will help you find songs that are easy for kids to learn and embrace.   For older kids and adults, type in the composers of the great praise songs we love like Chris Tomlin, Matt Redman, or Hillsong Music.


Bible App for Kids:  The same church that brought the Bible App (YouVersion) to smartphones from their earliest days, now has an app to help kids listen to and interact with.  Both of these are free.  The Bible App for Kids is filled with great illustrations as they hear God’s Word right from a phone or tablet.


Parent Cue:  This app is a tool for parents, grandparents, and caregivers of kids from birth through high school as they think about basic, easily implemented concepts for incorporating conversations and activities into everyday life that help build a faith that lasts beyond the Sunday School and Youth Group years.   Here’s an article written by a grandparent about how this app has helped them as they impart their faith into the lives of their grand kids.  Reasons I can’t stop using the parent cue app 


Right Now Media:  Our church has invested in this media tool for families to have access to thousands of Christian video studies, conference sessions, and kids programming.  The app is one of the many ways you can access this.  Need a connection? Want to share this connection? Email faithfulmeg@yahoo.com to let her know what email address to send the invitation to!


Technology is overwhelming. Don’t feel like you have to figure it out alone.  Please contact Meg faithfulmeg@yahoo.com if you want a tutorial on how to utilize your technology in a way that allows it to have a more positive influence on you and your family!

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June’s Digital Resources!

Since we live in a world where much of our lives a tech-centered, we want to make sure families have access to all sorts of Christian resources out there!

Looking for faith based books, music, videos, or activities for your family?  The best prices and fasted delivery (usually even better than Amazon since they’re local) can be found at www.christianbook.com.  There’s something for everyone!

Looking for some encouraging content to listen to while cleaning or working on a project?  Sometimes an encouraging sermon can be the boost we are looking for.  Meg makes it a habit to listen to sermons while she’s cleaning, and wanted to share this with everyone on “For the Good of my Family”.  Check out this link!  http://www.grace.org/sermon/for-the-good-of-my-family/

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June Family Connection Part 3

The Sunday School classroom isn’t the only place our kids can connect with their faith.  Here’s this month’s tip on incorporating faith into everyday life, and for helping kids of all ages engage in the worship service!

Faith at Home:  It can be tricky and sometimes feel forced when we try to find times to talk about our faith in the middle of the business of everyday life.  As we look to the end of the school year, and the change of pace that comes with summer, it can be a great way to reflect on all that God is doing.  Is there some stress that comes with the end of the school year?  Take time to pray about those things!  Look back on what accomplishments you can celebrate from this past school year, and take time to make a celebration/thank you list to God.  As you plan summer adventures, come up with creative ways you as a family can be a blessing to others you might meet along the way.  After these adventures, use meals or car rides to ask how everyone saw God in what they experienced.

Engaging Kids at Church: It’s never too early to come alongside kids to help them participate in worship.  It is our desire that all kids have the chance to be part of our time of worship together.  We’ve been sharing different tips each month for helping kids of all ages – even toddlers – to find their place as participants in worship, not just observers.  During the summer months, children are in the worship service a bit longer, including staying in through the prayer time.  On the way to church, ask them to think of praises or prayer requests they’d want to share during church.  During prayer time, consider having a family huddle or all holding hands together to make that time special.  Practice learning the Lord’s Prayer at home so they can say it with everyone in church!

We look forward to the change of pace that comes with summer, and all the ways we can find refreshment in God’s endless love for us!

 

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June’s Helpful Articles

As we get ready to honor our grads, kids and families on Family Sunday this week (June 11), We have a link to a blog post about passing down faith to our kids, and a post about ways to encourage summer memories!


PASSING DOWN FAITH Posted by Nina Schmidgall

http://theparentcue.org/passing-down-faith/

Featured Quote: “Even if you are new in your faith, you can live it out in front of your kids, sharing with them both your mistakes and triumphs. One of the best things I have ever heard Reggie Joiner say is, “We can give our kids a front row seat to the grace of God in our lives.” There’s no better way for our kids to understand the true meaning of grace than when we invite them to witness the journey, letting them see first hand the miracle of us being transformed right in front of their eyes.” 


CREATING SUMMER MEMORIES: LIFE’S BUILDING BLOCKS Posted by Amy Fenton Lee Parent Cue- Building Summer Memories 

Featured Quote: “It was not long before I realized that without electronics involved, my child lacked the ability to self-play! The match box car set, the locking blocks, and the puzzles all sat idle as Watson struggled to find constructive activity for himself. Like my young son, many children require intentional parenting to develop the ability to self-play. Reflecting on my own growing up and the downtime I spent playing Atari PacMan (yes, I am that old!), video games hold little significance compared to the memories of… active play utilizing my imagination and family’s existing resources that I fondly remember”


We hope these are helpful and encouraging to everyone as we continue on this journey of caring for our kids and teens!

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June Family Updates

Hello there! We’re continuing with our weekly posts with portions of the Family News & Notes publication.  We’re starting off right, with events, and this month’s family scripture passage to reflect on!

Important Events:

Family Sunday:  Sunday June 11 During Worship, we’ll be celebrating Family Sunday to honor our kids, volunteers, graduates, and families!  If you’ll be here and your kids wish to participate in the worship service, please contact Meg!

Moms & Tots Playgroups: We’ll be hosting a Family Foxboro Founders Day gathering at Meg’s home, right by the Founders Day parade route.  It’s suggested to get to their home by 9:30am to park and walk over for a parade spot.  We’ll enjoy lunch together in the back yard after! Pack a lunch and bring a snack to share! Dads welcome this month too!  Suggested (but flexible) ages 9-24 months.

Young Life High School Club: 8th graders are encouraged to attend our last two weeks! Will be meeting Monday the 5th and 12th as we close out the school year at 7:27pm.  There’s still spots for our amazing summer camp week up at Saranac Village July 23-29.

Under 40’s Discussion Group:  We will be scheduling one final meeting, most likely over ice cream one afternoon.  Stay tuned for more details!

NEW! Middle School Connection:  every 4-6 Sundays during the school year we’ll have a middle school connection during worship following the time of greeting!  We will have hot chocolate, goodies, ice breaker games, and a discussion time.  Our next middle school connection will be June 4th  

Summer Sundays:  Our Kids Connection Offerings during the Sunday Morning Services will switch to summer mode starting June 18th.   We will have offerings for Nursery-8 years from the time of the offertory to the end of the service.  As always we will have coloring sheets for little ones, and have activity sheets available for older kids to utilize during the sermon on the table in the rear of the sanctuary.

Scripture: Philippians 2:3-5  Don’t do anything only to get ahead. Don’t do it because you are proud. Instead, be humble. Value others more than yourselves.  None of you should look out just for your own good. Each of you should also look out for the good of others. As you deal with one another, you should think and act as Jesus did.  (SUGGESTED READING, PHILIPPIANS 2:1-18)

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