Jesus said, "Let the little children come unto Me." And that's what we say, "Let the children come!" We are continually looking for ways to create an atmosphere where kids and their parents know that they are welcome and where they experience the love of Jesus and learn about His truths. We launched another season of KidZone on September 10. Classes take place from early childhood through 5th grade at 9:30 and 11:00am on Sunday mornings. We have some fabulous staff and volunteers who are enthusiastic about sharing the transforming love of Jesus with kids.
Over the summer our preschool floor underwent a major transformation. Ventura Missionary Preschool graciously funded the project. Ceilings and walls were painted, flooring and carpet were installed, signage was changed, and much more. Many parents from our weekday preschool, as well as our Sunday early childhood KidZone program have commented on the difference. It's a spacious and warm environment of greens, blues and yellows. Preschool Director, Laurie Pido, says that she likes to think of the greens as the color God uses for things that grow and the yellows as the color of the sun that radiates light and facilitates growth. She also says that they really wanted to create a cohesive place that works well for all the preschoolers who attend during the week and on Sunday mornings.
One story Laurie loves is how an Eagle Scout group was looking for service hours and chose to volunteer to help with part of the project. It's great how God created a wide variety of players to complete the transformation.
Cathy Coultrup, our Early Childhood Director, is excited about some additions to the Sunday morning large group room that help create a fun atmosphere where the Bible stories can come alive at the "Kidz Clubhouse!" Another improvement over the summer is a newly renovated space for volunteers to prepare snacks on Sunday mornings. This year our early childhood ministry is highlighting three basic truths for our KidZone preschoolers, "God made me," "God loves me," and "Jesus wants to be my friend forever." These truths translate well for KidZone and our weekday preschool, so they will be posted on the preschool floor. By the time a child is five years old, we want them to know these key truths, because they are at the core of a foundation of faith.
Our Elementary department has implemented some visual enhancements as well. These enhancements will supplement what we are teaching. The basic truths that will be highlighted and displayed for our 1st-5th graders are, "I need to make the wise choice," "I can trust God no matter what," and "I should treat others the way I want to be treated."
The year has already gotten off to a great start. Elementary Director, Janet Vecchio, is excited that a significant number of our KidZone Elementary students are planning to be baptized. They have been learning what baptism means, and many have responded by signing up to declare their faith publicly at our upcoming beach baptism. You won't want to miss this opportunity to celebrate those of all ages being baptized. The baptism will take place at Harbor Cove at 3pm on October 1.