By Laura Sambito, Highlands United Presbyterian Church, Jacksonville, Fl
How can I help them always remember that God loves them? I'm sure every parent has asked this question at least a time or two. As a mom of two young boys and church educator to about 50 more young people, I have spent many hours contemplating this question. So, when our LOGOS schedule allowed for adding a designated "Worship Skills" time, I wanted it to be focused on more than just music, which has been our norm.
In the fall, our children learned about the liturgical calendar, parts of worship, and how to read and follow along with the bulletin. We made personal liturgical calendars with beads and used markers to show when to stand up during worship and highlighters to show when it's our turn to respond during the liturgy.
This spring, we shifted our focus to "fixing these [God's] words on our hearts." We used picture books to introduce scriptures, made a quick craft to remember a verse, and challenged ourselves to memorize it. When learning The Golden Rule, we read the book "Do Unto Otters" and made bookmarks. For Micah 6:8, we took off our shoes and painted our feet to help make a poster to remind ourselves to "walk humbly." And when each of them was able to recite the verse from memory, they got to pick a treat. The goal is that parents will find a place to display these verses in their home and that it will provide a simple way to connect their home with the church.
After LOGOS one Wednesday, a spunky 4-year-old came running into the Dining Hall after dinner with dad in tow. They'd made it half way home before she demanded that they turn around and come back because she had something very important to tell me. When I bent down to talk to her, she took a deep breath and said softly,
"Da Lord is ma strenf and ma shield. In Him, ma heart trusts. Pu-salm 28:7." My heart could have burst in that moment as this precious child of God beamed with pride at her accomplishment.
Through LOGOS and the other ministries at Highlands, our parents do not have to ask that question above alone. We are working together to ensure that ALL of God's children, young and old, are confident of His unending love for them.