GEMS Girls Club Reaching Out

Our Sunlight GEMS Girls Club collected hundreds of donations for local homeless residents in Saint Lucie County and packed 77 Blessing Bags and Socks of Love at their annual Christmas Party this year.

Multiple service projects have been planned throughout the year as an extension of the GEMS 2014-2015 theme …Bring the Message based on the call to serve from Isaiah 6:8. “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?” And I said, “Here am I. Send me!”

Gems christmas outreach porject

Bags were filled with personal items such as toothpaste and toothbrushes, hand sanitizer, crew socks, Chap-sticks, Band-Aids, toilet paper, deoderant and more. The girls also made hand decorated cards with notes of encouragement for each individual bag.

Gems christmas games

At the Christmas party, the girls rotated through different stations enjoying group games, cookie decorating, crafts and packing bags for local residents in need.

Gems Christmas cookie Decorating

GEMS meetings return to 2nd and 4th Mondays in January 2015. For more information about GEMS Girls Club, visit their webpage here or contact Club Coordinator, Karyn Dekker, via email at karyn9924@aol.com.

Coming this Fall…The Sunlight Kids Campground

Now that our new building is well under way, many have been asking: “What are the plans for the old building?”

The answer is we don’t exactly know yet. There are many ideas and suggestions, but at this moment there are no firm design plans. The remodel of our existing sanctuary, offices and church classrooms will come sometime after the phase III expansion of the fellowship hall.

In the meantime, we are very excited to make creative use of the space that is opening up!

We are happy to announce that this fall we will be temporarily transforming the old sanctuary into The Sunlight Kids Campground to be used for a new Kid’s Church program at the 9:30 service as well as for other children’s ministry programs.

This installation will include large pop-up tents for small groups, fold-able picnic tables for crafts and snack areas, and a stage set up with a campfire, lawn chairs, a few pine trees, and perhaps a canoe.

The entire installation will be portable and or fold-able to quickly be taken down when the space needs to be used for other events.

To get a better idea, here’s a photo from Passion City Church in Atlanta from whom we got the fun idea for this great kids space.

sunlight kids campground ideasLooking forward to a fun fall ahead at The Sunlight Kids Campground!

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Meet Miss Gina

Gina’s story is a powerful one of faith through difficult circumstances. Gina and her twin brother, Gino, were placed into foster care and group homes at a very young age.  After 14 placements, Gina’s message is not one of despair but of hope and love in Jesus Christ.

We are thankful that Gina’s journey has brought her here to be a part of our Children’s Ministry Team at Sunlight.

Miss Gina serves in many areas of ministry. You may see her in Sunday School, greeting folks at check-in while taking attendance, or taking care of little ones in the nursery. Gina serves at our fall festivals, shares the love of Christ at local visits to nursing homes, and served as a student missionary last summer in Puerto Rico.

Gina serves wherever needed, whenever needed. She is also active in Sunlight’s youth group, works hard at a part time job and still finds the time to be an excellent student who is graduating early this year! Her future plans include pursuing a career in nursing.

ginaWe are thankful for Gina’s beautiful smile, her joyful laugh, her willing heart, and her strong faith.

Meet Miss Kaylee

VBS 2013 139Miss Kaylee is one of our weekly Sunday School teachers as well as a Preteen leader at Sunkids. She also serves as a crew leader for VBS.

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Today she stood in as worship leader for Preschool Chapel too!

Kaylee in Chapel

chapel

Kaylee has performed in many musical productions at the IRSC Performing Arts Academy and is also active in the theater department of her local high school. We are thankful she is sharing her many talents here with our Sunlight Kids.

kaylee and michelle

In the future, Kaylee will be going on a mission trip to the Dominican Republic with Sunlight’s youth group and is considering a career in full time ministry after college.

Ollie the Owl

Our preschool through first grade classes look forward to a visit with Ollie the Owl each week during our story time in Sunday School and also at Chapel on Fridays.

Each week we visit “the clubhouse” and meet fun and engaging characters who tell us a Bible story.The videos are about 5 minutes long and are available at the First Look Blog for parents and kids to review.

I’ve included an article below about new changes to one of our favorite characters, and invite you to take a look behind the scenes of one of the tools we use in children’s programming here at Sunlight.

Have You Noticed Our “Wonder” Changes? | First Look.

Choosing Joy

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Joy is being content beyond our circumstances. We can have joy when we recognize that God’s plan is greater than our own. Our joy is a response to our trust in God.

So many of us spend our days chasing happiness – looking for that one thing that will finally make us happy. But when life takes a disappointing turn, happiness fades and we’re back on the hunt. This is where joy is different. Joy will thrive in life’s triumphs and endure through life’s challenges. Joy is a deep, sincere way to approach life that allows us to know that the hard times will make us stronger and draw us closer to God. Having joy may not mean always wearing a smile, but joy lets us reflect God’s love and shine through the dark moments in life.

This month, our 2nd – 5th grade Sunday School classes will be encouraged to think about how:

1. Choosing joy is not always easy.

2. The Bible challenges us to respond to life’s challenges with joy.

3. Showing joy in all circumstances proves that God is at work within us.

As Philippians 4:4 says: “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!” We can know that our God has the power to do things we can only imagine and can provide a solution even when we can’t see one. Therefore, our joy can always be in God, who can do anything.

(Taken from December 2013 – 252 Basics for Leaders)

Operation Christmas Child 2013

itsshoeboxtime_001Christmas is rapidly approaching and as you know, one way we celebrate the Savior’s birthday each year at Sunlight is by collecting shoe box gifts from our church family and community and sending them out to hurting children around the world in the Name of Jesus.

Operation Christmas Child has reached millions of children in over 140 countries. As we reach children with the power of the Gospel, they are becoming a generation of believers who are proclaiming Christ to their nation. Let me say that again, because this is HUGE:

As we reach children with the power of the Gospel, they are becoming a generation of believers who are proclaiming Christ to their nation.

Have you heard the good news in Haiti?

2011 was the first year that OCC was able to offer The Greatest Journey in Haiti. The Greatest Journey is the follow up discipleship program of OCC. Children can gather for 12 week classes with local church partners. The gathering may include sing-alongs, Bible Stories, verse memorization, and other activities.

The Greatest Journey curriculum equips children to store the truth of the Gospel in their hearts. Once a child completes the 12-lesson Bible study, they receive a special New Testament in their own language, oftentimes it is the first copy of God’s Word in their household. We know that one day the toys we send them will be gone, but the Gospel does not perish, spoil, or fade.

Through OCC, church partners in Haiti handed out shoe box gifts to 286,000 children.

Since that last distribution, over 60,000 girls and boys have completed the 12 Bible Lessons in The Greatest Journey program and received New Testaments in the Creole language. Of those children, 27,000 children made first-time professions of faith in Christ.

Sunlight doubled it’s box donations past years and many of them went to Haiti.

Never underestimate the power of a your gift in the hands of an Almighty God.

I pray you will pack a box for Operation Christmas Child this year. Boxes and booklets on how to pack a box are now available in the lobby.

I thank God for all of you who pray, pack shoe boxes, volunteer your time, or give financially in support of Operation Christmas Child.  May God richly bless you and your family this Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Decisions, Decisions

13Nov_widescreen_VerseNIrVOur upcoming Sunday School theme is Wisdom.

The Bible gives us one story from Jesus’ childhood, and in that story we find Him in the temple. Jesus spent several days sitting among the teachers listening and asking questions. Luke 2:47 tells us that everyone was amazed by His understanding. Jesus took time to understand God’s plan for His life. He knew that God was source of all wisdom. Jesus made discovering God’s wisdom a priority in His life.

Wisdom is finding out what you should do and doing it. When we seek wisdom and ask God for it, He will give it to us. He will help us figure out the wise choice when we need to make a decision. We can find God’s wisdom by reading the Bible and asking trusted Christ-followers.

When we don’t put wisdom into practice, we make foolish choices that have unwanted consequences. We also demonstrate that we don’t value God’s Word, since the Bible is full of wisdom. Making unwise choices makes us look foolish to others around us.

When we follow Jesus’ example, we will search for wisdom. We’ll learn what we should do, make choices that help us grow better relationships, and learn more about God. Working to apply wisdom to our lives shows that we believe God’s Word is true.

(1) Choosing wisdom is not always easy. God’s Word is full of truth we can apply to our lives.

(2) The Bible challenges us to respond to others with wisdom even when it costs us something.

(3) Showing wisdom proves that God is at work within us.

God wants to give you wisdom. Any time we have a decision to make or a situation we aren’t sure how to handle, we can ask God for wisdom. When you aren’t sure of the next step to take, seek out God’s wisdom for answers.

“Choose my teaching instead of silver. Choose knowledge rather than fine gold.” Proverbs 8:10

No matter how big or small the decision, God will help you make the wise choice.

(From 252 Basics Lesson on Wisdom – For Leaders)

Preteens begin Survivor Series this Fall

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Courage is being brave enough to do what you should do, even when you’re afraid. Courage is not the absence of fear but how you respond in the face of fear. When we approach potentially scary situations, we can remember that God is always with us. We can trust that He’ll provide for our needs and is big enough to handle any circumstance.

The monthly memory verse for our new preteen series is: “When I’m afraid, I will trust in You,” Psalm 56:3, NIrV. Many of God’s followers will tell you their greatest adventure started when they trusted God in a decision they were afraid of. But in the end, they never regretted living courageously and believing God’s promises.

Week One’s Bible story begins this Friday with the story of Joseph.  Joseph lived a life of courage (Genesis 30, 37, 39-46). Joseph remained faithful to God regardless of the circumstances, trusting that God must have a bigger story at work. Through Joseph’s story we can learn that: I can be brave because I know God is with me. 

As preteens wade through a new school year, sports team, or art class, they can push past their fear knowing God is with them.

Our Preteens (4th & 5th Graders) meet scheduled Fridays, beginning Friday, September 27th from 6:30 – 8:00 p.m. at Sunlight Community Church.

View videos that correspond with the next 5 week series here at Studio252 Live