By Teresa Sayles, Children’s Creative Arts Director
If you’ve ever been back into Heroes Gate on a Sunday morning, you know it’s a busy place! Kids from infants to 6th grade are playing together in their classrooms, hanging out with their leaders, and learning Bible stories and worship songs. A lot happens in that hour and fifteen minutes!
But did you know our ministry doesn’t just happen on Sundays? Here’s a quick look at how we take our ministry to kids and their families and help them connect with one another beyond just Sunday mornings:
- Events and Special Services: We host and co-host a number of events throughout the year that help facilitate connections between families and grow meaningful. relationships and faith, all while having fun!
- Free movie nights: These fun evenings feature interactive games and activities for everyone (and free popcorn)
- Club 56 Fun Nights: These are Friday nights solely for our energetic 5th and 6th graders to hang out and have a blast together, often while running like crazy people through the church on scavenger hunts or playing team games.
- Ash Wednesday Service and Following the Light Advent Service: Both of these yearly events feature meaningful content designed to engage the whole family with the seasons while also providing time for people to connect to one another.
- Music Fest: This summer evening event features free live music, game stations, and delicious food options, right out on the front lawn of the church!
- Celebration of Life: While we don’t do infant baptisms here, we DO encourage parents to dedicate their children to God, as Jesus’ parents did for him. Parents of infants and young children come together to learn what it means to dedicate their child to the Lord and provide a foundation of faith for him or her at a special ceremony honoring both the child and his/her loved ones
- Spring Fling: We are hosting our first ever family dance this March 24th. It’ll be an evening of great music and dancing, fun activities and games, and delicious desserts. More details will come soon but know we are SO excited to add this fun event to our list!
- We also have Trout Lake Camps coming this summer June 18-22 – More details on that in the coming weeks, as well!
- Opportunities for Kids and Families to Learn and Help Others: We encourage kids and their families to learn and grow and help others in our community and around the world.
- The Potentials: This once-a-month group of 4th-6th graders meets to develop leadership skills, engage in talks about their faith, and to put their time and talents to work in serving others.
- Operation Joy: Every November, we work with Woodland’s Care Ministry along with Close to My Heart Daycare (housed here in our building) and The Lift (a non-profit that invests in and equips youth on the east side of St. Paul) to provide Christmas gifts for families who are struggling.
- Love Makes Cents: February kicks off our yearly Love Makes Cents campaign where we encourage kids (and their families) to consider saving up money or making a donation to help kids in need around the world. Over the years, we’ve helped to build a bridge for kids in the mountains of Haiti, provided solar panels for electricity to an orphanage in Rwanda, sent kids in the slums of Costa Rica to a wonderful week of camp, and paid for bedding and bikes for abandoned and orphaned kids in Mexico.
- HG Drama Team: Kids on the Drama Team work to develop their skills of acting and improv and put them to use by acting in Bible stories on Sundays, creating video content for lessons and events, and acting in all-church events
- Cultivate and Refuge Childcare: We offer childcare on Tuesdays and Thursdays for Cultivate classes and the Refuge support groups ministry. Kids engage with caring leaders, learn from fun lessons, and make new friends while their parents are learning and growing, as well.
Sunday mornings are definitely our busiest day of the week in Children’s Ministry, but it’s by no means quiet the rest of the week. We love actively engaging with our families throughout the week and seeing growth and connections happening in kids and adults alike!