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.

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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

First Look in September

Who has a plan for you? “God has a plan for me!” Our focus this Sunday in our K4 – 1st grade Sunday School class was on how God made no one else just like us and that God has a plan for us.

photo (49)Our friend here worked so hard to make his picture look just like him! I love the hair ; )

photo (51)We looked at our fingerprints under a magnifying glass and saw that no two were the same and then we made self portraits detailing how God chose to create us with certain color eyes, hair, and other features.

We watched a story about Joseph and his big family which you can feel free to take a peek at here. (Our publisher sends a link out each week for families to follow up at home with what kids learned at church. We think that’s great!)

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We also sang a song about how God has “A Plan for Me” and learned motions to help us remember our Bible verse from Jeremiah 29:11. “For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord.”

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Our friend wanted to show us that he brought his Bible with him to church. These are serious students!

photo (48)At Sunlight, we want our little ones to know who God is and know that “God made me, God loves me, and Jesus wants to be my friend forever.”

Beach Baptism 2013

Beach Baptism 2013 65Every August we follow up our summer Profession of Faith Class for kids with a Beach Baptism. It is one of the blessings that south Florida living offers us and, our church family looks forward to the ceremony every year

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We had 15 Sunlight Kids take the plunge this weekend as well as youth and adults. Here’s a fish eye view of some of our friends in the water.

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Everyone left with sandy shoes and smile.

1st Day of School

Sunlight Preschool Staff“Train a child in the way they should go, and when they are old they will not turn from it.” Proverbs 22:6

Today is the first day of school at Sunlight Christian Academy for the 2013-2014 school year. We all enjoyed a great morning of fellowship last week as we shared brunch and prayed blessings for our staff and school families in the year ahead. The staff posed for their annual photos as well. God has certainly put together a beautiful team!

Our school’s mission is to shine the light of God’s Word into learning for children who bear His image and have a place in His care. Every member of the Sunlight team has unique God given talents, gifts, and abilities. They are passionate Christian educators who strive for excellence as they carry out Sunlight’s mission on the Treasure Coast. Please keep them in prayer as they minister to new students and families in the year ahead.

Meet our teachers here on Sunlight’s Facebook page

Take a virtual tour of the school here: Sunlight Christian Academy

New Chapter Ahead for Tommy

Already missing this guy!
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Tommy Utts will be heading back to his home state of Arizona at the end of August.  We have been blessed to know Tommy these last two years as a faithful friend and servant of the Lord. Tommy has been a constant supporter in Children’s Ministry, a hero in his weekly Sunday School class for 2nd – 6th graders, as well as a Preteen Leader for VBS and Sunkids. His kindness and compassion for his Sunlight family will not be forgotten and we are thankful for the chapter he has shared here with us in south Florida. We will miss you friend. We know God has big plans for you and we send you forward with sincere blessings for the journey ahead.