One of the necessary gifts of effective children’s ministry is creativity; and the Eastern PA Conference Children’s Ministries Team is using that gift to plan a conference for peers who work with children in our churches.
The “Rekindle the Flame” Children’s Ministry Conference will happen on Saturday, May 4, from 9 AM to 3:30 PM, at Cedarville UMC, 1092 Laureltown Road, Pottstown, PA. Register online now.
“Instead of a conference where people choose workshops, which requires more facilitators and presenters, we are offering a mentoring opportunity,” said team member Elizabeth Christie, a specialist in ministries for children and families. “Each participant will attend the same three workshops. We are aiming to equip participants with tools that will help them work to bring forth connectionality and a deeper understanding of who God sends us to be our neighbors.”
The planned workshops are:
Following an introduction to the day’s purposes and agenda, the Rev. Kathy Pittenger, pastor of Lifelong Faith Formation at Central UMC in Waterford, Mich., will teach on discipleship pathways for children and families. She helped write a Developing an Intentional Discipleship System for Children guide for her conference, based on a #SeeAllThePeople discipleship booklet produced by UM Discipleship Ministries.
Pittenger, who is passionate about ministry with children, will demonstrate how to use the guide effectively. And each participant will receive one to take home on a flash drive. Learn more about Pittenger and her church’s Faith Growth Pathway.
“So many churches are having problems keeping children connected,” said Christie. “This conversation will help people learn how to not only connect the children but keep them moving along a deeper path with God. Kathy speaks about this passionately and beautifully. I am very much looking forward to hearing her.”
Next Melanie Gordon will speak on pursuing racial unity through children’s ministry. The former Discipleship Ministries expert in this area keynoted the team’s Connecting Children with Christ event in 2016.
“So much has plagued our country with this concern,” said Christie, “and our children’s ministries need to be leading the band in equipping people to listen, learn, and understand all of God’s children.”
Christie, a member of Fritz UMC in Bethlehem, will lead a workshop on making children’s ministries accessible for those with special needs. They will discuss various disabilities, how to adapt ministries to accommodate needs, and how to equip leaders to work with children with various gifts and talents all within the same classroom environment. Participants will receive a copy of Christie’s handbook Including Special Needs Children in the Life of the Church on a flash drive.
Lucy Heisey chairs the conference Children’s Ministry Team.