|Katie Mathis, 5, hands a Sunday worship bulletin to Brenda Scrivner.
Verdigris UMC encourages children to participate, even lead, in worship and mission.
"Our children are not the future; they are the now!" said Ellen Wehn, children’s director. She echoed what a group of fifth-graders proclaimed during the Children’s Moment one Sunday morning.
The statement also reflects the purpose of Oklahoma’s Strategic Plan for all churches: to reach more and younger people. Leadership development is part of that plan and, at Verdigris, the youngest disciples are growing their skills.
Once a month, children are in charge of the offertory music — sometimes a group sings; sometimes, a soloist.
Among their missions, they have made and sold "survival bracelets," as well as donating their own money, and raised $572 for Happy Children’s Home, an orphanage in China that is a Tulsa District ministry. At a Christmas craft show, fifth-graders set up a booth and raised funds for hurricane victims.
"I am always impressed with their willingness to jump in and help," Wehn said.
Fifth-grader tells her story
By Becca Worthington
The goals a child can make are unbelievable.
Some children make goals to become a superstar. Other kids, all they want is to make an A on a science test. But all the goals have one thing in common. They all are made to be achieved.
Some of the most realistic and special goals are made in church. The realistic goals can be things like making the children’s ministry bigger or trying to reach two services. Some of the special goals are things such as trying to be confirmed or to simply invite Christ into your heart.
But a child’s goals are amazing, especially if the child’s goals are for the church.
Whenever I first came to the church, I loved it. I thought it was perfect. Then, when I started growing up in the church, I realized problems that were going on.
During services, I wouldn’t care what was going on around me. I would sit and color. Until one day.
During prayers and concerns, I kept hearing the word "cancer." I looked up, and there were people in tears. I felt so sad. That was the day that I felt I wanted to help.
Whether it was problems with the plumbing, or people crying all around me, or even building the garage, I always tried to help, even if I wasn’t needed.
As I look at the younger children around me, I realize they are like me when I was their age. They are realizing problems; they are wanting to help.
I was talking about goals that children make in the church. For 2013, the VUMC children’s ministry wants to help. We want to give and rejoice in God’s name. We all want to go places and help out, like the Claremore food drive or holding a car wash to help benefit the church. "N2Y" is "Never Too Young" to make a difference. We all want to make a difference.
(Reprinted from Verdigris newsletter)