Love First. We need it now more than ever.
Last year, Christ Church developed a brand new kind of vacation bible school. Inspired by the book Love First, A Children’s Ministry for the Whole Church by Colette Potts, our VBS week didn’t have any cowboys, spaceships, or video games. Our VBS had something much better – the good news of God’s love. Our bible stories, games, crafts, and songs all revolved around three heartbeats:
Love Self: All people are lovable in the eyes of God, no exceptions.
Love Neighbor: I am called to love and care for people in need.
Love God: I can see and feel God’s love in my life.
This is the way of love, and it is needed now more than ever. We long for the connection to family and friends we once took for granted, and we hope for opportunities to heal a hurting world. Love First asserts that all children are ministers, capable of alleviating the suffering of others. In this time of pandemic, providing space for children to practice love of self, neighbor, and God is vital.
Unfortunately, we have made the difficult decision to cancel Love First VBS 2020, which was planned for June 22-26, in order to protect our campers and our community. But because our mission remains, we are excited to announce Love First at Home!
VBS camper and youth volunteer registration fees and snack donations will be refunded over the next several days. Participants should see a credit to their original payment method within a week.
If you are able, please consider donating your refunded fees to one of our local outreach partner organizations, who directly support those in our community who will suffer most in this changing economy.
Love First at Home
Sundays beginning May 3*
10:00 – 11:00 a.m.
We know you are overwhelmed. Between Zoom meetings, homeschooling, the news, and the million things being offered online right now for kids and parents, it’s a lot. It’s too much. Don’t worry. This will be EASY. And if you and your kids don’t look forward to it each week, don’t do it. We will be here when you are ready.
Lately it’s hard to know what day it is, but hopefully Sundays are still Sabbath time for a your family – a time to set aside the cares of the week and focus on what’s most important. If not, this will help.
Love First at Home will meet online every Sunday from 10:00 to 11:00 a.m. beginning on May 3rd, and will continue online as long as we are worshiping from home. Please note the slightly earlier start time than our traditional Sunday School. Just like VBS, Love First at Home is open to all. As soon as it’s safe to gather again, Love First will move to in-person small groups on Sunday mornings in our beautiful new Formation and Arts Building.
Our time together each week includes:
- Mindfulness and breathwork
- Stories (Bible stories and secular stories) diving deep into love of self, neighbor, and God
- Kid-friendly “divine reading:” Small group discussion which helps kids see the story through a lens (where is the love in this?),a mirror (does this kind of love tell me something about who I am or who I might become?), and a window (who or what do I see that I couldn’t see before?)
- Prayers of the People – each week the kids will come up with a group prayer for themselves, for our community, and for the world.
Parents, especially of younger children, are encouraged to join us online as they are able. Each week, there will be one simple way to continue the conversation at home. It will be easy and completely optional.
During the entire month of June, we’ll focus on loving our neighbors. We’ll be engaged in a group effort to bring smiles to the faces of our neighbors who may be hurting or lonely. Again — nothing complicated or burdensome, just a simple opportunity to care for others in our community.
Our Love First focus will continue through August 3rd, giving us plenty of time to explore the way of love and let it seep into us, when we truly need it most.
Zoomed out? You can do Love First at Home as a family, on your own time. Everything you need can be found here.
Love Self – Session 1 / May 3, 2020