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Hello Parents! We believe you (parents) are the most significant influence in your kids' lives and are in the best position to help your kids know God. We also believe that we can uniquely equip and partner with you along the way as a kid’s ministry. With this in mind, this newsletter will highlight resources, events, and opportunities for us to partner together in raising the next generation. 

PRESCHOOL HIGHLIGHTS

May Series Description: This month is all about introducing preschoolers to God – the One who loves them with a love that lasts forever. When it comes to preschoolers and what they know about God, there are a few faith skills we want to make sure they have in their little red wagon. We want every child to know that they can hear from God, pray to God, talk about God to others, and live for God. We hope they will pull these faith skills around, wherever they go, for the rest of their lives. Then they can go with confidence because they have the faith skills needed for whatever comes their way.

Monthly Memory Verse: “I will always love you.” Jeremiah 31:3 CEV

Monthly Bottom Line: Ask your child: WHO LOVES YOU? Say with your child: GOD LOVES ME!

Weekly Bible Story and Focus: 

Week 1: May 5, 2024
Bible Story: King Josiah - 2 Chronicles 34
Story Focus: I can hear from God. 
Week 2: May 12, 2024
Bible Story: Hannah - 1 Samuel 1-2
Story Focus: I can pray to God.



Week 3: May 19, 2024
Bible Story: Jeremiah - Jeremiah 31:3; 29:11
Story Focus: I can talk about God to others.

Week 4: May 26, 2024
Bible Story: Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego - Daniel 3:10-28
Story Focus: I can live for God. 

Find the weekly videos and parent guides on our Preschool Resources Page.

ELEMENTARY HIGHLIGHTS

May Series Description: Paper or plastic. Chocolate or vanilla. Mullet or mohawk. Life is filled with tough “this or that” choices! During the “This or That” series, kids will hear a portion of the Big Bible Story, then they’ll have to predict what happened next, this or that. Did Timothy join the mission or did he wait until he was older? Did Paul jump ship or did he ride out the storm? All the while, kids will hear how God built His church by helping ordinary people make extraordinary decisions. Moreover, they’ll discover that they too can make bold choices that help build the church today. 

Key passages, verses, and questions for this month: Read the passages together as a family and ask the following questions. Also, take the time to watch the weekly lesson video (around 10 minutes) together as a family.

May 5: Peter Escapes Prison

Big Idea: God says “yes” when we ask for things that please Him. 

Bible Basis: Acts 12:1-19

Key Verse: “And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us. And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of him.” 1 John 5:14-15

Discussion Questions for Younger Kids: What did you find interesting about this story? If you were one of the believers, how would you have reacted when you saw Peter at the door? 

Discussion Questions for Older Kids: What do you think this story teaches us about God? If you were one of the believers, how would you have reacted when you saw Peter at the door? 

Watch the weekly lesson video together as a family.


May 12: The Stoning of Stephen

Big Idea: God’s Word helps us choose the right path. 

Bible Basis: Acts 6:8-8:1

Key Verse: “I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.” Psalm 119:11

Discussion Questions for Younger Kids: What was your favorite part of this story? Why do you think Stpehen kept talking about Jesus even though he got in trouble for it? 

Discussion Questions for Older Kids: In what way do you think you should be more like Stephen? Why do you think Stephen was willing to give up his life for Jesus? 

Watch the weekly lesson video together as a family.


May 19: Timothy is Chosen

Big Idea: Jesus wants me to be an example to others, even though I’m young. 

Bible Basis: Acts 16:1-3; 1 Timothy 4:11-12

Key Verse: “Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity.” 1 Timothy 4:12

Discussion Questions for Younger Kids: What was your favorite part of this story? Do you think you are too young to do what Timothy did? Why or why not? 

Discussion Questions for Older Kids: How old do you think you should be before you do something like Timothy did? Why? What kind of things could God do through a kid your age? 

Watch the weekly lesson video together as a family.


May 26: Paul is Shipwrecked

*Online only! There is no elementary programming this week due to the holiday weekend. Enjoy family worship!*

Big Idea: God’s power is strong when I am weak.

Bible Basis: Acts 27

Key Verse: “But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” 2 Corinthians 12:9

Discussion Questions for Younger Kids: What was your favorite part of this story? How do you think Paul felt when he finally reached land? Why do you think that? 

Discussion Questions for Older Kids: If God can stop storms, why do you think He didn’t stop the storm that Paul was in? If Paul was doing all of this for God, do you think God should have made it easier for Paul? Why or why not? 

Watch the weekly lesson video together as a family.

Find the weekly videos and parent guides on our Elementary Resources Page

PRETEEN HIGHLIGHTS

May Series Description: In this short series, dig into the words of Jesus from Matthew 5:13-16 where He called us to be Salt and Light to the world. As you connect the images and uses of salt and light to life in Christ, students will be challenged and encouraged to see the role they play in God’s mission for this world.

Key passages, verses, and questions for this month: Read the passages together as a family and ask the following questions. 

May 5: Be Salty

Big Idea: We are called to be like “salt” so that others will be thirsty for Jesus, the living water.

Bible Basis: Matthew 5:13-16

Key Verse: “You are the salt of the earth. But what good is salt if it has lost its flavor? Can you make it salty again? It will be thrown out and trampled underfoot as worthless.” Matthew 5:13

Discussion Questions of the Week: What are ways people can be salty? What are ways we might lose our saltiness? What is a specific way God may be calling you to be salt to someone in your life? 

Please see your preteen’s weekly family guide for further activities and questions.


May 12: Be Shiny

Big Idea: We are called to be a light to the world. We “shine” by giving God the glory in our everyday life. 

Bible Basis: Matthew 5:13-16

Key Verse: “You are the light of the world—like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden.” Matthew 5:14

Discussion Questions of the Week: What gifts has God given you that you can use to be a “light” to others? In what ways can you shine God’s light at school this week? Who do you know that may be walking in darkness right now? What can you do to love them like Jesus and shine His light? 

Please see your preteen’s weekly family guide for further activities and questions.


May 19: Enjoying God

Big Idea: We enjoy God when we seek our highest happiness in Him alone in and through all things. 

Bible Basis: Matthew 22:34-40

Key Verse: “I will rejoice in the Lord; I will take joy in the God of my salvation.” Habakkuk 3:18

Discussion Questions of the Week: What parts of your small group have you enjoyed most this year? What is your favorite memory from your small group this year? What are you looking forward to most about small groups next year? 

Please see your preteen’s weekly family guide for further activities and questions.


*May 26 - Online only! There is no preteen programming this week due to the holiday weekend. Enjoy family worship!*

THRIVE HIGHLIGHTS (Special Needs)

It can be difficult to really articulate how different life is as a parent of a child with special needs. It may not have been the life you expected for yourself or for your child, but it's what God has chosen for you. There are countless differences between all your experiences, but one thing that may be the same is how your expectations changed the moment your child was diagnosed. In this poem, Welcome to Holland, it beautifully illustrates how to grieve the life you expected but also to embrace your new reality. 

“I am often asked to describe the experience of raising a child with a disability - to try to help people who have not shared that unique experience to understand it, to imagine how it would feel. It's like this......

When you're going to have a baby, it's like planning a fabulous vacation trip - to Italy. You buy a bunch of guide books and make your wonderful plans. The Coliseum. The Michelangelo David. The gondolas in Venice. You may learn some handy phrases in Italian. It's all very exciting.

After months of eager anticipation, the day finally arrives. You pack your bags and off you go. Several hours later, the plane lands. The flight attendant comes in and says, "Welcome to Holland."

"Holland?!?" you say. "What do you mean Holland?? I signed up for Italy! I'm supposed to be in Italy. All my life I've dreamed of going to Italy."

But there's been a change in the flight plan. They've landed in Holland and there you must stay.

The important thing is that they haven't taken you to a horrible, disgusting, filthy place, full of pestilence, famine and disease. It's just a different place.

So you must go out and buy new guide books. And you must learn a whole new language. And you will meet a whole new group of people you would never have met.

It's just a different place. It's slower-paced than Italy, less flashy than Italy. But after you've been there for a while and you catch your breath, you look around.... and you begin to notice that Holland has windmills....and Holland has tulips. Holland even has Rembrandts.

But everyone you know is busy coming and going from Italy... and they're all bragging about what a wonderful time they had there. And for the rest of your life, you will say "Yes, that's where I was supposed to go. That's what I had planned."

And the pain of that will never, ever, ever, ever go away... because the loss of that dream is a very very significant loss.

But... if you spend your life mourning the fact that you didn't get to Italy, you may never be free to enjoy the very special, the very lovely things ... about Holland.”

By Emily Perl Kingsley 

THINGS TO KNOW

FG Kids Summer Serving Opportunities: With vacation plans, we will have a limited FG Kids serving team this summer. We have many Sunday serving opportunities available this summer and would love for you to join our team by choosing what dates and service time you are available. Please go to our website to view available serving opportunities! Thank you in advance for serving on our summer team! 

Look Up Lodge - July 24-27, 2024: Registration is now open! This fun-filled overnight, summer camp, for kids entering 4th-6th grade in the fall, will take place Wednesday, July 24-Saturday, July 27, in Travelers Rest, South Carolina. The cost is $260 per child and is due at the time of registration. For more information and to register, visit our Look Up Lodge events page. **Space is limited; we encourage you to register early.

FG Kids Summer Park Days: We would love all of our FG Kids families to join us (FG Kids staff) this summer for three parks days - June 11, June 25, and July 16 - for fun and fellowship! While your child enjoys a playdate with other children, parents can enjoy some fellowship time with each other. Feel free to invite any other preschool and elementary age families. You can find more information and details on park locations on our website

Known & Loved Pieces of Me Kids Camp - July 22-26, 2024: Pieces of Me Camp is a therapeutically informed day camp that includes teaching, discussion, and fun activities to help adopted children and teenagers explore their identity, process their past, celebrate who God created them to be, and discover their story. Visit their website for more information! 

PARENT RESOURCES

Time has been on my mind lately, more specifically, the limited time I have left has been on my mind. My son graduates from middle school this month and will enter his freshman year of high school in the fall. This mama’s heart has been feeling the pressure of the limited time I have left before he leaves the nest. But what I am really struggling with is change.

Time brings along change. Sometimes change for the better, and sometimes, change that is different, a different that requires you to adjust, to pivot, to change your response. Change that is different can be difficult to embrace because it means we have to let go and, at times, grieve what was. I find myself in this bittersweet season of change that time brings, reminiscing on what was but also anticipating what is to come.

We will mark this time of our son graduating middle school by celebrating throughout the summer. We have some fun things planned and have dedicated time where we, as a family, will spend quality time together. 

Because I know time is precious. 

Time is precious because relationships are precious. I love what Ruth and Troy Simons say in their book, Foundations: 12 Biblical Truths to Shape a Family. They say: “Things that matter require a sacrifice of time.” Relationships matter, our marriage matters, parenting matters, and our relationship with God matters. If we agree that time is precious because relationships are precious, then let us make a conscious decision and intentional effort in our relationships. Let us stop saying we have no time and make a sacrifice of our time for what truly matters. Let us seek God to help us embrace change, to help us shift how we parent, how we relate to others, and how we spend time with God and with those in our circle of influence.

My son is entering his high school phase, and my husband and I will have to adjust how we parent. We still have time. We still have a choice to be present and intentional. We will celebrate the time that has passed, and also grieve and ask God to help us let go of what was, but we will also anticipate, learn, and prepare for what’s next. 

A resource that has helped us as our son moved from phase to phase is the Phase Profile Summary Cards that are available for free at the Family Resource Centers located throughout our FG campus. These cards help guide us as parents to how our child is developing physically, socially, mentally, and emotionally and how as parents, we can spend our time engaging with them in an intentional way. I encourage you to pick one up on Sunday.

May I leave you with one other thought? We all live in the existence of time. It is written on the wrinkles of our smiles, we celebrate it on the ever-growing blanket of candles that cover our birthday cakes, and we see it on the growing features of our children that we were once strong enough to carry in our arms. Time brought along these changes. And through all of these changes, we have a God who never changes. He is the same yesterday, today, and forever. This God loves you, this God is for you, and this God is with you through all of time and through all of the changes you will experience. 

This is my comforting thought. May it bring you comfort as well.

Melanie Grainger

FG Kids Director


If you have any questions about our ministry or doing life with a preschool and elementary child, please let us know by reaching out to us!

The FG Kids Team
kids@fellowshipgreenville.org