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.

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

13Dec_standard_Joy

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)

New Chapter Ahead for Tommy

Already missing this guy!
Tommy BW square

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.

Let There Be Light!

God said, “Let there be light.” And there was light. God saw that the light was good. He separated the light from the darkness. God called the light “day.” He called the darkness “night.” Genesis 1:3 – 5

glow in the dark sunday SchoolLots of fun in Sunday School with our glow sticks this week as we learned that God made light! Ta Da!

photo (38)Special thanks to Carrie Kahr for donating and preparing healthy snacks for class each week. Strawberries, blueberries, and grapes, yum!

Easter Blessings

WOW! Did you know that we broke attendance records this Easter Sunday? Sunlight welcomed more than 800 people at 3 services this past week. What a beautiful way to celebrate Jesus’ resurrection together.

Easter 2013

In turn, we had our highest attending Sunday in the Children’s Department with over 100 children!

When I came into the office today, Pastor Scott mentioned right away what a great job everyone did. So I wanted to pass his appreciation along to you with my thanks as well.

Thank you Nursery Team:  Karyl Hall our Director, Karyn Dekker our fearless greeter, Danae, Anna, Laurie Torres, and Marilyn Planny – what a blessing you are. I know there were a lot of little ones to care for. Thank you for going the extra mile on this 5th Sunday and for showing our little ones how God loves them by showering your love and care over them.

Thank you Sunday School Team:  Laurie, Victoria, Tommy, Jake, Chris, Dave, Katie, and Michelle. We welcomed 82 children to Sunday School on Easter, 32 of whom were visitors!

Thank you for preparing the special Easter lessons and for sharing THE story of Jesus’s death and resurrection. Your lessons, which impart God’s Word, are imprinted on the hearts of this next generation with the truth of Christ. Amen.

Thank you my sweet Tara for checking-in the multitudes and welcoming so many new families with your gracious smile and then running around checking on everyone all morning.

Thank you to my Sunday School class helpers – Gina, Gino the Easter Bunny, Eric, and Andrew,  for setting up extra tables and chairs, for packing goodie bags, handing out papers, helping with crafts and Bible drills, and then for cleaning up at the end of the day.

Gina, gino and eric 1

Thanks also for Dante and Tommy for taking down the extra tables and re-setting the classroom furniture after Sunday School. I greatly appreciate your gift of strength and your willingness to help wherever needed.

As Children’s Director, I am privileged  to see how many people serve wholeheartedly on days like Easter. For me, though, you are Easter every week. You are evidence of our risen Lord, alive and overflowing into the hearts and lives of our church and our children. It is a blessing to serve alongside you.

I want to close with a thank you and a goodbye-for-now to Chris and Dave Bures who have taught Sunday School every week for the past 2 years. Easter was their last Sunday teaching at this time.

chris buresYour Consistency and dedication has had a huge impact in children’s ministry here at Sunlight. Your passion to serve is inspirational and motivational.

You have passed along God’s word so faithfully to the next generation, meeting a vital need in our children’s lives.

Sending much love to you and well wishes as you begin a new direction in ministry.  PS We are looking forward to seeing you at VBS as The Games and Imagination Station leaders. : )

We are blessed to be a blessing – Holly

dave bures