Classes for all ages begin at 9:00 AM Sunday, September 9th. Contact the church office if you have questions.
Preschool Class: 1 – 3 years old, taught by Caroline Overzet and Elena Fryer in the nursery.
Elementary Class: 4-10 years old, taught by Jean Schneider, Pearl Mertens, and Lydia McKee downstairs at the end of the hall.
Kids’ Table (Youth and Adults): ABCs of the Bible: Exploring the background, content, and context for reading, understanding, and applying scripture, facilitated by Gabrielle Hastings in the youth room.
Adult Class: Discuss questions and answers provided by the Heidelberg Catechism with supporting scripture, facilitated by John Overzet in the upstairs fellowship hall (left side).
Demystifying Bible Passages: Discuss book titled Inspired, by Rachel Held Evans. Author aligns a loving God with difficult Biblical passages. Get a fresh, inspiring look at scripture. Facilitated by Laurel McKee in the upstairs fellowship hall (right side).
Children’s Church: During worship for children age 1-10 in the downstairs middle room. Taught by Pat Olson with help from the youth.
From the Adult Class:
Our class is reaching the end of our study based on the book, Imagine Heaven. The books relates the stories of thousands of those who have had near death experiences. We have been looking at these stories as a prompting for us to explore what the Bible has to say about what they have experienced and what that could say about how we should live. We expect to have our last lesson in this study on February 4th. Please join us if this is of interest to you.
We discussed what to do for our next study and decided to look at questions and answers provided in the Heidelberg Catechism. Bible references are also provided in support of the answers that are given and provide a basis for a good discussion. These questions get to the heart of the gospel message, what we believe, and how we are to live our lives. We anticipate that we may not all agree with all the answers provided, but we think that they will drive us to think about what we believe about what the Bible says and how to apply that to our lives. It is our hope and prayer that this will increase our knowledge of the Scriptures and deepen our relationship with God. The first two questions are:
1. What is your only comfort in life and death?
2. How many things are necessary for you to know, that you in this comfort may live and die happily?
If you are interested in the answers provided for these questions, we encourage you to join our first class in this study. We will meet at our normal time on Sunday morning at 9:00 AM on February 11th to begin this study and discuss these questions.
– John Overzet
From the Kids’ Table Class:
The Kids’ Table class brings together people of multiple ages – from Generation Z to Baby Boomers – around a table at which we are all children of God. The group is studying Jesus’ teachings in the Gospels about the Kingdom of God. Class members take turns facilitating the Bible study; the youth work with an adult to lead. As the group talks about the characteristics and values of the Kingdom of God, the discussion often turns to ways in which we see the Kingdom breaking through into this world at Stone Soup Community.
On the first Sunday of each month, the Kids’ Table participates in Intergenerational Sunday School with the children’s class; we enjoy hanging out with the younger children working on projects and learning new things together. On the third Sunday of each month, the class meets at a restaurant for breakfast, reading from the Gospels as we share a meal. It’s never too late to jump in; anyone age 12 and up is welcome to join us at the table as we learn, grow, share, eat and laugh together.
– Gabrielle Hastings
Fall is officially here. The leaves are changing and the weather is starting to cool off. This also means that Sunday School has been in session for a few weeks, but don’t let that stop you from joining one of the classes that we have going on. At the time of writing this, we haven’t had our first official intergenerational meeting, but I have been approached by people with lots of talent and wonderful ideas they want to share with others. Feel free to attend any, or all, of these gatherings the first Sunday of each month to have fellowship with God’s children of all ages.
Please let me know if there are any questions about Sunday school.
As I sit here writing this, our weather has been warm and humid, rainy and windy, and finally a nice cool breeze. It never ceases to amaze me how the temperature can affect our moods and energy level. It also reminds me how fast this summer is going and how before I know it, another school year is upon us. While I am not one to want to rush nice warm weather (winter is not my favorite), I am also aware that it will be gone before I know it. This also includes my time to introduce something new we are introducing to our Sunday school classes. I was able to sit down with the other ladies who help with the kids, and we had a fabulous discussion about what we are wanting to accomplish this next school year. Pat discovered a great idea that will be intergenerational and hopefully create an atmosphere that is welcoming to every one of all ages and all degrees of talent.
This next year on the first Sunday of the month, we will not be having a traditional lesson with the kids. Instead we are inviting everyone and anyone to come down and help our youth either discover or encourage a talent they have. We want to provide them an opportunity to express and share their faith in a way that is fun and of interest to them. There are many options that this can take, but a few examples are magic tricks, playing an instrument, singing, bell ringing, dramatic reading of scripture, knitting, art, technology, and the list goes on. Now, while I say this is for the children, it is also for us as adults. So many of us have many talents that can be passed on to the next generation or even shared with someone who we might not have known had the same talent. This is a great way to make a new friend, young or old, and also praise God. We are also encouraging you to share your projects with the rest of the church if you feel comfortable. While we know that not everyone is able to get up in front of others, we are willing to take pictures and share your process so that it might inspire others to join or think outside their comfort zone.
While this is still about a month away from kicking off, it will be here before you know it and we would love to see everyone join us for a new way to have fellowship. Even though there might not be a set curriculum that will be followed, know that we will all learn a little bit more about not only someone else and ourselves, but of what God meant when he said where one or more are gathered, there He will be. Help us show our children and others that God has a plan for all of us and that we can use our gifts to serve Him. If you have any questions, please ask and I will answer the best I can. Start thinking about how you might want to participate. There is no wrong answer, just a chance to serve Him your way.
As I sit here writing this, I am smelling the freshness of newly shorn grass. I am not sure what it is about that smell that makes me feel more relaxed, but it does. May snuck up on me once again and that means that school is almost out and my days are busier (not sure how that is actually possible, but it happens) with outdoor activities and places to be. This year will hopefully be a bit different than the past as if I have learned anything from our sabbatical, it is the power of saying no. I will refuse to take on more work just because it might be expected of me or am told it is the right thing to do. Mind you, most of the people telling me this reside in my head, but I will not listen to them. Instead, I will follow my heart and listen more closely to what I feel God telling me to do.
One of those that is on my heart is once again VBS. I have had a lot of fun the last two years working with the other volunteers in teaching the little ones about God while also dancing, playing games, making crafts, and listening to someone else read me a story. If this sounds like fun for you as well (we only grow up if we actually want too), please let me know so that we can start working on what we need. This will once again be in August, but the date isn’t set quite yet. Even if little faces lighting up with the knowledge of God isn’t for you, we can always use help in donations for crafts, set pieces, decorating set pieces and other ways. Please stay tuned for more of this information.
The Sunday school season is wrapping up, but our Christian education team is already getting ready for fall with some great ideas for incorporating arts, mission and intergenerational activities into our Sunday school program. Stay tuned for more details on ways you can participate as an artist, musician, reader, crafter, cook or one-on-one aide.
Lately it seems that nature cannot make up its mind about what it wants to do and It can frustrate us on what we might be able to accomplish for the day. I know that is how it is with God and myself. I have a hard time following directions, therefore thwarting (such a fun word to say) His plans for me. I try so hard to listen to what He wants to say, but my stubbornness gets in the way of my hearing. The sabbatical may be over, but I will still be taking time to slow down and hear His calling. One of the things that will be taken to heart is to be more intentional in all I do and continue to do the things that mean the most to me. Our Sunday School classes mean a lot to me. They are a great opportunity to fellowship with others and to learn more about His calling in a small group.
This children’s class spent the last three months learning about prayer and will be continuing to practice those skills. We will also go back to drawing our way through the Bible. We have had a great time reading stories and drawing our own pictures as to what we are hearing. It is neat to see all the different interpretations.
The Kids’ Table will be starting back up and continuing their study on Philip Yancey’s The Jesus I Never Knew as well as integrating conversation about missional experiences.
The adult class will continue working their way through Dr. David Jeremiah’s Slaying Your Giants.
If you are looking for a way to connect with others and learn more about what God has to say, feel free to join any one of the classes. We hope to see you there.
Our first month of the Sabbatical is officially over and while I have taken on a few more roles, my life has become more peaceful as I have gotten better at saying no ‑ especially to myself. I have always been pretty good at saying it to others (just ask my kids) but when it comes to expectations for myself, I have failed. This time has been the kick in the pants needed to be more firm in the course I feel God has called me to take. I love how we have become more intentional about the children being involved in the church and all that goes on. While things with them don’t always go as planned (they never do), it is great to watch them become more comfortable in taking part of the different opportunities we have given them and grow with the challenge. They have been learning about the different ways to pray in Sunday School and also getting a chance to put it into practice. If you ever want to hear an unedited and heartfelt prayer, they are good at those and would love to pray with you.
Our adult classes have taken a different approach to taking a rest. While one class remains in session, they are spending more time in prayer. The Kids’ Table has taken a break from meeting for class every Sunday, but have found other ways to still have fellowship with each other and extend it to others.
This time has not meant that we are ceasing all activities happening in the church, but are finding what God truly wants us to be doing. I for one have felt a peace I haven’t felt in a long time. I hope that you as well are finding the rest you need.
This month is about being thankful. While there are too many things for me to list, I can tell you that I am most thankful for my family. This not only includes the ones that God gave me by birth, by marriage as well as by choice. My church family has helped me to grow not only emotionally, but spiritually as well. That being said, I am thankful for the reminder of the sabbatical to slow down. It is so easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of life, that we sometimes forget to stop and not only smell the flowers, but remember how much joy those flowers bring to us. (Not allergy season at the time of this writing otherwise it would be a whole different feeling.) This is a time for us to slow down and remember what we have to be thankful for and to find God’s continuing purpose in our lives and missions. This is a time for me to listen more to what He is telling me and less of what I want to do.
The children’s Sunday School class will still be meeting during this time, but our focus will be on prayer. We will be talking about why we pray, how to pray and then applying it. We look forward to spending time with other adults in the congregation in prayer to not only share, but learn. We will also be spending time during the normal church service as a group so that we can continue our fellowship with each other, but don’t be afraid to come back and see all that we are learning.
The Kids’ Table will be ceasing their class but having fellowship in other ways. The other class will continue to meet and fellowship.
Fall is one of my favorite times of the year. It is nice to have a break from the heat and to see the leaves changing color. It also means that we fall back into the pattern of school work, meetings, and all of the other things that need our attention. One of the things that we don’t want to forget is the purpose that God has for us in the midst of all we do. I have felt the call to step back and re-evaluate what is important to me. This calls for a lot of prayer and patience on my part, and the latter is the hardest for me. We will be making some changes to our Sunday School format for a few months, especially with the children. Our focus will be more on prayer and learning to listen to what God has in store for us.
Many have noticed that our children are now a constant part of our service. Most of our children are now old enough to be listening to the sermon and we want to encourage their growth in doing so. We will have a space in the back for our children to join together and worship with a few ways of helping them learn to listen and take something out of the sermon, as well as keep little hands busy. We are also going to start encouraging them to participate in more of what is going on in the service. We ask for patience as we adjust to all of this as it is going to be new for everyone.
I am not sure where this summer has actually gone, but August is here already. I hope that everyone has been enjoying the warm (and mostly humid) weather and spending time with family and friends. With August being here, it means many things in the life of our church. VBS is right around the corner on August 19th-21st and the start of school isn’t too far behind. The theme for our VBS this year is Pets Unleashed. It is a fun time where our younger friends can get together and learn all about God’s love for them as well as crafts, music and games. It is open for all children ages 3-12, so invite a friend or grandchild to come and hang out.
We are also looking for young people and the young at heart to help out with Children’s Church starting in the fall. If you would be interested in this, please let me know as I will be working on the schedule for the fall soon. If you are interested in teaching a class, let me know. We have different classes available for all ages. There is an adult class, the Kids’ table (open for adults and youth), and a children’s class.
If you are not currently attending Sunday School, please feel free to stop into one and try it out. There is always something to learn and the discussions are priceless. Enjoy the rest of the summer and try to stay cool!