One of our Kids Connect Small Group Leaders on Wednesday night is Mr. Jeremy, who also happens to be married to Ms. Michelle. Mr. Jeremy has been attending FUMC since 2007. He’s served in Children’s Ministry for 11 years.
While this is his first year as a SGL on Wednesday nights with our elementary kids, Mr. Jeremy has been a helper to our preschool SGL, Ms. Shirley, for the past 11 years. The weeones just love Mr. Jeremy who connects with them in a way only a ‘dad’ can!
Mr. Jeremy is also a dedicated servant in our Hungry Hearts ministry. He comes in on Thursday evening once a month to wash the dishes and on Wednesdays once a month he picks up food donations from Panera Bread.
When he’s not busy influencing the faith of the next generation, he’s busy educating them. He is a sixth grade teacher at CAMS South.
I’m putting this out there (again): Mr. Jeremy deserves major kudos for investing in kids like he does. On Wednesdays he spends the day with middle-schoolers and his evenings with K-5th graders! What a trooper, yeah? We are praying for his sanity too!
When he’s not serving at church or teaching at school, Mr. Jeremy likes to golf. If you want to say ‘thanks’ to Mr. Jeremy, golf balls are a good idea 🙂
The best part of having Mr. Jeremy as a SGL is his booming voice and ability to lead games on Wednesday nights and have fun with them too. He also doesn’t mind when weeones climb on him like he’s a jungle gym.
Mr. Jeremy makes Wednesdays fun for kids and for other small group leaders. And we appreciate it so much!
One of our Kids Connect Small Group Leaders on Wednesday nights is Ms. Michelle. Ms. Michelle has been attending FUMC since 2007. She’s served in Children’s Ministry for 11 years.
She’s also served on Leadership Team as Shine Coach, leading the Joyful Jingle project, and last but not least, being a SGL for the 8th grade girls!
When she’s not busy influencing the faith of the next generation, she’s busy educating them. She is a first grade teacher for the Chambersburg School District.
I’m just putting this out there: Ms. Michelle deserves major kudos for investing in kids like she does. On Wednesdays she is with kids ALL. DAY. LONG. We pray God continues to strengthen her and keep her sane!
For Michelle, the most rewarding part of being a SGL is making connections with the kids and having them want to learn more about God and keep coming back each week! She loves to see them get excited!
When asked what is the most fun part of being a SGL is for her, she replied, “Playing crazy games with the kids!”
Ms. Michelle would absolutely recommend being a SGL! She makes a great point too. In her words, the “only requirement is that you love God… and share that with the kids!” Very true!
Her favorite Bible verse is John 14:27 –
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. (NIV)
Our Preschool Small Group Leader is Ms. Shirley. Ms. Shirley has been attending FUMC for 51 years. She was 18 when she received Confirmation and became a member. Of those 51 years, she’s spent 30 years serving in Children’s Ministry.
When Ms. Shirley is not busy influencing the faith of the next generation at FUMC, she works in the CASHS cafeteria serving and preparing lunch for the students. She also works at Dollar General.
In addition to Children’s Ministry, Ms. Shirley serves with Hungry Hearts as a cook for our community meal on Thursday nights. Throughout her years at our church she has helped in many different ways. She currently leads a woman’s Bible study on Wednesday nights. She drives the church van for different groups. She’s gone to adult and youth workcamps. She’s been to Impact with the youth. She helps with Joyful Jingle. And I share all of this with you, just from I know because she was too modest to list all she has done and does for the church.
Many families tell me how much Ms. Shirley means to them and their children. Putting our 2 year-olds in Sunday School is not easy, especially when they cry and scream for us. Ms. Shirley remains calm and patient (with the kids and parents), and assures us that the kids will be fine so we can go to worship without worry. When we return the kids are smiling, playing, laughing and happy. What a blessing!
Ms. Shirley says the most rewarding part of being a Small Group Leader is the smiles of the children and hearing their answers when she asks them about the Bible story.
The most fun part of being a SGL for Ms. Shirley is “spending time with kids at our [super terrific awesome] First Lights events!”
Ms. Shirley definitely recommends being a SGL because she believes our members have a lot of wisdom to share with the next generation.
Her favorite Bible Verse is –
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11
Ms. Bobbi is the SGL on 3rd and 4th Sundays. Ms. Bobbi has been attending FUMC for 32 years and has served in Children’s Ministry for 28 years.
When Ms. Bobbi is not influencing the faith of the next generation at church, she’s educating them as a substitute teacher for the Chambersburg Area School District. She also volunteers at the Cumberland Valley Animal Shelter and the Tuscarora Wildlife Education Project.
For Ms. Bobbi the most rewarding part of being a Small Group Leader is “watching the kiddos learn and grow in their faith, even at their young age. Sometimes, they surprise me with their knowledge”.
Ms. Bobbi is so creative and enjoys doing craft projects with the kids, even the messier ones. As a parent, I appreciate the patience she has with all the kids as they make ‘masterpieces’, or in my case, take all the supplies and stuff them into a bag he wears around his neck!
For Ms. Bobbi, though, the most fun part of being a Small Group Leader is seeing the kids’ enthusiasm and excitement. “It doesn’t matter what we’re doing, they are always excited about learning!”
I asked Ms. Bobbi if she would recommend being a Small Group Leader to other members of FUMC. She replied, “YES! It’s very rewarding. Sometimes I think I learn as much from them as they learn from me!”
Her favorite Bible verses are –
I can do all things through him who gives me strength.
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16
Ms. Joan is the K/1 SGL on 1st and 2nd Sundays. Ms. Joan has been attending FUMC for 38 years. She came because a friend invited her and she liked it here immediately.
She has been serving in Children’s Ministry for 36 years. Ms. Joan believes that belonging to a church means serving in the church. God made us in His image and that means we should love and serve others, especially the future of the church: our children.
In addition to Children’s Ministry, Ms. Joan helps Stacey print the bulletins. Over the many years here at FUMC, Ms. Joan has worn many hats; including, hospitality, membership, prayer, VBS, front desk, Hungry Hearts, as well as the summer program we used to do.
When she’s not busy influencing the faith of the next generation, she is enjoying her retirement, going to lunch with friends, spending time with her husband and family and attending Bible studies.
The most rewarding part of being a Small Group Leader for Ms. Joan is seeing the excitement in the kids as they learn about God and the love they have for Him. She listens to them and is amazed about how much they know and how willing they are to learn and grow in their faith.
Ms. Joan was Makayla’s first leader at FUMC, before I became Children’s Minister. Even before we knew ‘Orange’, Ms. Joan was following the strategy. Every time she saw my daughter, she called her by name. She knew her birthday and sent cards. What really touched our entire family was when Ron passed away, Ms. Joan reached out to Makayla and comforted her with thoughtful gifts that made a dark situation, a small bit brighter. She has been and continues to be a strong small group leader in First Lights and I thank God every day that she is healthy and serving on our team again!
Her favorite Bible verse is –
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
Ms. Paula is the SGL on the 2nd-5th Sundays. Ms. Paula has been at FUMC for over 20 years. She has been serving in Children’s Ministry for 14 years.
Ms. Paula has a huge heart for children. She loves to listen to them and watch them. She has incredible patience. Her gift is being able to spend time with kids and just enjoy their presence without getting frustrated or impatient.
In addition to serving as a Kindergarten/1st Grade SGL on Sundays in Children’s Ministry she also serves as a SGL on Wednesday nights.
For Ms. Paula the most fun part of being a SGL is seeing how the children interact with one another. If you want to hear how wonderful your child is, ask Ms. Paula. She sees each child as a unique and bright shining light! And we all need someone who sees us that way.
Her favorite Bible verse is –
And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the
people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”
Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,
“Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.” Luke 2:8-14
Our Kindergarten/1st Grade Small Group Leader on 1st and 2nd Sundays is Ms. Jan. Ms. Jan has been a member of FUMC for five and half years.
She’s been serving in Children’s Ministry for five of those. In addition to being a SGL on Sundays, she is also a SGL on Wednesday nights and…AND Thursday nights! Give that woman a raise! Am I right?
When she’s not busy influencing the faith of the next generation, Ms. Jan is often helping the Children’s Pastor behind the scenes with prep work and administrative duties. She also spends ample time comforting, petting and worrying about her elderly cat, Sadie.
During her time at FUMC she has served as co-chair of Team Haiti and head of the Missions Team.
For Ms. Jan the most rewarding part of being a SGL is witnessing children on Wednesday night quietly listening, semi-seriously responding, scripture reciting, praising, praying, eating, teasing, laughing, and then saying goodbye. She says that in the midst of the chaos, “[s]omehow I also hear Jesus smiling”.
The most fun part of being a SGL for Ms. Jan is when she engages in games with kids. It’s completely out of her comfort zone, and yet, her smile and laughter tell me that it doesn’t matter.
Her favorite Bible Verse is –
The LORD your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you; in His love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing. (Zephaniah 3:17)
Ms. Tammy is the 2nd and 3rd grade SGL. She has been a member of FUMC for 61 years on March 9th (her birthday)! She’s been serving in Children’s Ministry for 42 years! It’s truly remarkable. What a blessing to us she has been!
When she is not influencing the faith of the next generation as a SGL, she is busy three days a week babysitting her 5-month-old grandson and 3 1/2-year-old granddaughter at her daughter’s house in Collegeville, PA. She also enjoys scrapbooking and is pretty awesome at it if some of the cards she’s given me are any indication 🙂
Ms. Tammy retired 3 1/2 years ago after working at Letterkenny Army Depot for 38 years. Right now, Ms. Tammy is active in Children’s Ministry but she has also served on Nominating Committee, Christian Education, Building Study Team, and Staff Parish in the past. She’s also been involved in elementary school and Girl Scout activities, women’s softball, and co-ed volleyball.
The most rewarding part of being a SGL to Tammy is teaching the kids about God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit and seeing the knowledge and understanding they have to live a Godly life starting at a young age.
The most fun part? Watching them grow in their faith.
As for recommending the role of SGL, Ms. Tammy says, “Yes I would! You will be greatly rewarded by learning more about God, Jesus, & the Holy Spirit through the eyes of the children! As Matthew 18:3 states, ‘And he said … unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.’”
Her favorite Bible verse is –
The LORD is my shepherd, I lack nothing…Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever. (Psalm 23 NIV)
Our 4th grade Small Group Leader is Ms. Alina. Ms. Alina has been attending FUMC for almost 14 years and began serving in Children’s Ministry in 2006.
In addition to Children’s Ministry she served on the worship team for close to 10 years assisting with the monthly communion responsibilities.
When she is not influencing the next generation as a Small Group Leader, she’s influencing them as a Girl Scout co-Service Unit Manager. If you love Girl Scout Cookies (and who doesn’t?), talk to Ms. Alina. She’s the Service Unit Cookie Manager.
She also volunteers at school by chaperoning band trips and serving in concession stand duties during football and soccer games.
She does all of this while working 7am to 4pm five days a week in the DC Metro area, which is 45 minutes from her home! Wow! We so appreciate Ms. Alina’s valuable time.
For Ms. Alina the most rewarding part about being a SGL is listening to the kids engage in discussion and answering questions. She doesn’t think she has helped them realize those answers. She credits other influences in their lives, but we know that even when they don’t know it, small group leaders are making an impact!
The most fun as a SGL Ms. Alina has is watching the kids participate in the activities by working together. She qualifies this by admitting that the kids get caught up in competition, but most of the time, they work well together.
Ms. Alina not only recommends being a SGL she says, “there is nothing more warm and fuzzy than to see the kids laugh and smile while learning about God and not realizing they are working together to teach each other.” She also added, “Oh and the Children’s Minister is pretty awesome!!! I really like her!! ;)”
And we like Ms. Alina too!
Her favorite Bible verse is –
And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love. (1 Corinthians 13:13 NIV)