Children

The mission of the Children’s Ministry at Lafayette-Orinda Presbyterian Church is to encourage, engage and equip children, and their families, to be alive in Christ and in the world.

RESOURCES FOR FAMILIES DURING THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC
We recognize that we are living in unprecedented times, and our team has created and recommended a number of resources to help you during this season. Some of our offerings include:

  • The Garden on Zoom. On Sundays at 10:30 am, join the Children’s Ministry Team for a short online Sunday School time. We’ll talk about our week, tell a Bible story, and pray together. Email Ryan at ryan@LOPC.org for the link to the Zoom meetings.
  • The Family Formation At Home Booklet. This resource is designed to help you keep your kids resilient for the changes ahead by creating familiar rhythms in your household. The curriculum for the Garden on Zoom follows the material in this booklet, to help keep your kids focused on the rhythms of spiritual formation.
  • Kids Rock on Zoom. Our Wednesday afterschool program centered on the values of Kindness, Justice, and Mercy has moved online for the fall. Register now to create connections with kids and other adults that will help your child navigate the difficult questions of this time.
  • The Children’s Ministry Blog. Content designed to capture your kids’ attention and help them articulate what they are feeling is archived here, including Bible stories, spiritual practices, and reading time.
  • Virtual Vacation Bible Camp. In this upside-down world, where is God? Is God still with us? How do we talk to God? What do we do when we can’t be together? These are Big Questions, and we know that our kids are asking them right along with us. Learning tools to ask these big questions – and learning how to be okay when the answer is “I don’t know” – is going to be ongoing process for all of us. Our first-ever Virtual Vacation Bible Camp helped kids answer these questions, and our online library of videos and curricula from that experience can help your family, too.
  • Coffee & Coloring. Connect with our Children’s Ministry staff for a one-on-one virtual coffee date between us and your family! These fifteen minute dates help us care for your kids and listen to what’s going on in their lives. Email Ryan at ryan@LOPC.org to schedule your coffee & coloring date, whether it’s once or every week.
  • COVID-19: Resources for ParentsThe team has been creating and compiling resources for parents during this uncertain time. Items include videos on topics like “Talking with Children about Death” and recommendations for books to help children articulate their feelings.
  • Community Life Zoom Groups. The Community Life team has created a number of ongoing Zoom groups, including parent support groups, to help gather community in this uncertain time.

We believe that spiritual formation is essential for kids to ground themselves in the love of God and the love of our community during this time of upheaval, and we are committed to being there for your family – even as we have to stay apart. Please email any member of our Children’s Ministry team if you have ideas for resources, questions or concerns, or need support during this time. We love you, and God loves you even more than we do, so until we can see you again: be fantastic!

Praying with you,
Ryan Timpte, Director of Children’s Ministry (ryan@LOPC.org)
Lori Robinson, Associate Director of Children’s Ministry (Lori@LOPC.org)
Susan Wentworth, Associate Director of Preschool Ministry (susan@LOPC.org)
Jaime Polson, Pastor for Family Ministry and Executive Leadership (jaime@LOPC.org)

Our Regular Ministry
What would our kids’ faith look like if Children’s Ministry were about instilling virtues? What would happen if we let go of our preconceived notions about faith and looked at God through our kids’ eyes? In Mark 10, Jesus says, “In order to enter the kingdom of heaven, you have to become like a child.” Kids are not somehow less able to encounter God because they are developmentally younger. In fact, Jesus says quite the opposite; it’s up to us grown-ups to become more like kids.

It is our belief that everyone in our congregation is a children’s minister. Children’s Ministry is the responsibility of all of us. And that ministry starts by asking, “Where is God in this situation, and how would a child experience God here?” We invite you to participate in Children’s Ministry in three distinct ways:

Sunday Morning: Worship is the central act of the community, and there are a variety of ways children are invited to worship here, including The Garden, our worship experience for kids from three months old to 4th grade. Our youngest ones are invited to worship in our unique Preschool Ministry. There are also Intergenerational Worship opportunities to explore throughout the year.

Programs for Children & Families: We want your family to experience the fullness of life in our community, and we have a number of programs to engage, encourage, and equip you along the way. Kids Rock is our Wednesday afterschool general enrichment program for elementary schoolers, while our Children’s Choirs specifically train kids to be leaders in worship. Our annual Vacation Bible Camp helps you to kick off your summer right, while Sowers keeps your family engaged in Mission and Spiritual Formation all year long. And if your child has special needs, our Special Needs Ministry is designed to support your child in all of these programs and more.

Children’s Ministry Resources: What happens at home is more important than what happens at school or at church, so we want to support you as you grow in faith as a family. Our Family Faith at Home blog updates every Sunday with a new devotional utilizing a short, simple pattern designed to get your family engaged in faith formation every week. The Fantastic Project centers the virtues of kindness, justice, and mercy, as we help kids engage with tough systemic issues like racism, inequality, and injustice. We even started an annual Children’s Ministry Conference to engage leaders and volunteers in our community and support them in our shared ministry.

Children’s Ministry isn’t about having the right answers, and it isn’t about teaching kids to have adult-like faith. It’s about building a bridge between families and the church. It’s about empowering parents to take the lead role in raising their kids in the faith. It’s about recognizing that what happens at home is more important than what happens in the classroom.

It’s about becoming a congregation of children’s ministers. You are a children’s minister.