Current and Archived News Stories
2015 News Archives
By Julie Lorenz
|Children present a skit about Baby Moses. (photo: Bob Wilson)
Wonder. Delight. Excitement. Children often experience these emotions – but not often during church. However, when kids attend children’s church at the Pacific Union College church, they discover a worship service that engages their attention by appealing to their five senses. “Children will remember what they are immersed in,” said PUC church Associate Pastor Wendy Witas, who leads the event. “We do whatever we can to create that ‘wow’ factor.”
As many as 400 kids and parents attend each children’s church – held six to eight times per year. Church begins with a worship service, followed by time to explore a variety of stations featuring interesting displays, hands-on activities, fun art projects, creative snacks, and abundant decorations all centered on a theme. Some recent themes include Egypt, the ocean and outer space – each based on a story or a text from the Bible. “I like children’s church because it’s kind of like a little Vacation Bible School,” said first grader Lachlan Snook. “I like all the activities they have.”
Witas and her team work hard to find appealing activities for all stages of childhood. “My family really appreciates the effort that is put into children’s church in order to engage various age groups,” said church member Karen Miller-Han. “My crafty 8-year-old daughter loves the arts and crafts at the different booths, and my 12-year-old son enjoys the exhibits.”
|Nina Gregorutti makes friends with Hump-Free the camel, supervised by Lyon Ranch founder Robert Lyon. (photo: Bob Wilson|
Kids’ participation is a strong priority. Children host the worship service, as well as presenting Scriptures, prayers, special music selections, skits, puppet shows and more. They also help set up activities, work at the stations and clean up afterward. “Our kids are taking part and leading out, and it’s wonderful to see,” said church member Shelley Peterson. “I commend Pastor Wendy for making it a priority to have them involved and learning church participation and leadership at such a young age.”
Children’s church draws on the many resources available at the college and in the surrounding community. Up to 100 volunteers – including college students and people in their 90s – take part in preparing and presenting the events. College departments and individuals loan their equipment and collections for display, such as telescopes, sea creatures, musical instruments and Egyptian art.
Church families are not the only ones attending the events. Witas often observes new families walking through the stations. “It’s neat to see people I’d never seen before,” she said. “It’s reaching to the community beyond our church members. It’s a safe place to come – a time of learning.”
Throughout all the fun, children’s church focuses on Jesus. “What impressed me the most was Pastor Wendy’s comment that she wants the kids to know that they are special and to remember how much God loves them, and that by providing hands-on learning experiences, the children are making memories that will last,” said church member Kathy Jefferson.
For more information about upcoming children’s ministries events at the PUC church, go to www.pucchurch.org.