“Let the little children come to me . . . for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” (Matthew 19:14)
The Rye Congregational Church Christian Education Committee and Sunday School teachers have been praying for you and your children since COVID-19 started and it has been a long 9 months. We want you to know that your family and your children are always in our thoughts and prayers. We know that God is always with us, no matter how difficult the challenge we are facing. “So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” (2 Corinthians 4:18)
We have continued to monitor the CDC, state, and local guidelines about how to safely open up our church and Sunday School since May! Our goal was to work toward safely bringing our children back to church. We are grateful to God that we were able to continue to worship him. We had our first outdoor Sunday class on September 13th!
As the colder weather is upon us we have been looking forward to resuming our classes in their classrooms! So the exciting news is; We are officially opening our first Indoor Sunday School on Sunday, October 4. This was approved by our Church Council on September 20. We are looking forward to seeing all of you and your children next Sunday!
We have included the Rye Congregational Church “INDOOR SUNDAY SCHOOL GUIDELINES” for your information, if you have any further questions please feel free to contact Liyuen Buesing at 603-380-2301.
Grace be to all of you,
Christian Education Committee
Sunday School Classrooms, cleaned disinfected and ready to safely greet the children with masks and hand sanitizers.
A Message to the Children: What God Thinks of You
By Griffin Hotz
Have you ever heard the phrase “Be careful what you wish for?” Growing up, I heard it a lot. I was always ready, or thought I was ready, to move on to the next thing. I was excited for eighth grade, being at the height of the lower school. I was so eager to get onto high school, to get my driver’s license, and to go to college. All I wished for was to grow up faster. That’s not what Jesus wants for us.
A few Sundays ago we read from Luke. The passage, Luke, chapter 18:15-17, tells of when little children are brought before Jesus. The disciples are confused because of how important Jesus is. It didn’t make sense he would make time for little kids. But that’s exactly what Jesus did. More than that, he held the children up as an example of how we should act.
Though I am now a legal adult, I still feel a lot like a little kid. I remember straining to look over the high pharmacy counter and needing help with many other tasks adults do all the time. This sort of need for help is exactly what God wants from everyone. All people should be eager to turn to their creator to seek truth and direction. Do not lose your eagerness to seek guidance.
As I got older, I was able to do things on my own, and had a better sense of the beauty of the world as I came to understand it better. I understood the talent of a musician’s playing, the effort that went into making pretty gardens, and the sacrifices other people made for me. But still being a child, the goodness of things didn’t tire me. I wasn’t too busy to take notice. As you grow up, God wants for us to be in awe at what He has made and what He has done.
Part of being young is many long car rides, They could be very boring. However, they were worth it because they usually led to an adventure. Maybe we would go up north to the mountains or down south to visit family. Whatever it was, my boredom would go away when adventure took its place. Life is very much like this, a beautiful adventure. Don’t let yourself get bored with life. God has a plan for each and every one of you. He has carved out a specific role for you in the world that will serve His purpose. Seek His purpose and go fearlessly with Him into the adventure of life.
As the passage from Luke says, you are the role models for faith: wholesome, trusting, and full of wonder. God doesn’t think you are too small or unimportant. He loves you unconditionally, and cares for you deeply. You are His, made in His image for His purpose. Go forth with that in mind and let God direct your steps.
Our first family “SnackNic” (picnic with snacks versus lunch) took place on August 30th, directly following the Drive-in/Zoom service. We gathered on the front lawn of the church from around 10:30am to 11:15am. The families brought blankets or chairs to sit on, as well as their own snacks and beverages. It was exciting to see all of the children and hear about their summer escapades. There were activities/games followed by snack time. The safety and wellbeing of the families is very important to us. We had flags indicating where the blankets were to be spread to ensure safe social distancing. Teachers wore masks because they were circulating a bit to help with the activities. Masks were optional for families when they were seated on their blankets/chairs. A good time was had by all.
Bible Stories for Children
Children’s Stories: Part 1 ~ Story 1: In The Beginning
Children’s Stories: Part 1 ~ Story 2: How Everything Began
Children’s Stories: Part 1 ~ Story 3: Great Preparations
Children’s Stories: Part 1 ~ Story 4: Birthday of a World
Children’s Stories: Part 1 ~ Story 5: The First Rays of Sunshine
Children’s Stories: Part 1 ~ Story 6: Out of the Silence ~ A Song
Children’s Stories: Part 1 ~ Story 7: The Animals Appear
Children’s Stories: Part 1 ~ Story 8: God Makes Man
Children’s Stories: Part 1 ~ Story 9: Adam’s First Meal
Children’s Stories: Part 1 ~ Story 8: God Makes Man
Learning How to Pray
Prayer is a very important part of the Christian spiritual life. God is a loving God who has given us a direct line to Him. He wants to hear from his children, and we should want to praise Him as well. Prayer can, however, be confusing. We may not have the right words. Maybe we just aren’t sure we’re including everything. The good news is that the Holy Spirit that lives within us communicates to God on our behalf. Even though we may mix up our words, God understands.
Prayer can look like many things, eyes shut or open, kneeling or standing, or any other form. Most people like to bow their head, close their eyes, and fold their hands. It allows us to focus completely on God, which is what He deserves. However, we can pray however we feel comfortable.
The disciples once asked Jesus how to pray. This is where the Lord’s Prayer comes from. You can find it in your Bibles in Matthew 6:9-13. From that prayer we get this form.
Address – In the address, we make it known to whom we are praying – Father God.
Praise – You can praise God for his majesty, or just make it known your respect for him.
Requests – Make your requests known. Maybe you have a sick friend or you need to be forgiven of sin.
Praise – Jesus praised God again before ending the prayer, and we can thank God for what he has done too.
Amen – People usually close with the worm Amen.
It is very important to understand that just because our request isn’t immediately taken, God still heard our prayer. Sometimes we don’t see the full picture. If God were to take our request, it may have negative consequences in our life or the lives of others. Be assured, God hears you, and God has plans for you. Prayer, though it may not always make sense to us, is an important part of fellowship with God.
Calling All Stars! Angels! Shepherds! Kings!
Calling all singers, dancers and actors over the age of 5. This year we will be doing our Christmas Pageant with a twist. We will be videotaping it by scene and then putting it all together. The pageant is called, Stars! Angels! Shepherds! Kings! It is a musical with several solo opportunities, however, we will also be weaving in some narration, speaking roles and even dance! We have put together a plan designed to keep the participants, their families and the congregation safe. Each family will receive a copy of the video, a keepsake you will have forever. If you are interested in participating, or would like more details, please contact Janet Whitehouse as soon as possible. Seems early I know, but we need to move the timeline up because of the time needed to edit the video. Casting will happen in early October and that is when participants will get their music and scripts and we will make sure we have all the costumes we need. Rehearsals will start in mid October (mostly remotely via Zoom) and videotaping by section will start in early November, to allow time for editing.
Meet Benjamine Kuela. She is part of a program called Compassion International and is sponsored by Tiana Demers and her grandmother, Janet Whitehouse. Benjamine turned six this past June. She lives in Burkina Faso, a country in Western Africa near the equator. Her father grows millet and her mother grows peanuts, two staples in their diet. The economy of Burkina Faso is largely agricultural with cotton as their main cash crop. Gold accounts for the majority of the countries exports.
Benjamine writes letters to us in French, the official language of the country, however, several other native African languages are also spoken there. Burkina Faso suffers from drought and military coups, and right now, they are battling Covid-19 like the rest of us. Normally Benjamine would be attending school and church but they are closed right now.
There are many children who still need sponsors to help them and their family. Our sponsorship has helped Benjamin with food, medicine, educational supplies and spiritual development. If your family is interested in sponsoring a child, please contact Ray Smoyer, Chair of the Mission Committee.