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TRINITY CHURCH
ANNUAL REPORT - 2023

CHILDREN MINISTRIES

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Beth Chestnut

Director of Children's Ministries

Programs for Children

  • Godly Play The fall of 2022 saw a dramatic increase in the number of new families with children! These numbers have remained strong into 2023. Fortunately, we have 17 Godly Play Mentors (teachers) on board, so our coverage in all three classrooms was high. This curriculum continues to engage and connect with children.

  • Come Join the Circle: “What's Your Passion”-Each summer Sunday features a Trinity parishioner who shares their passion with the children.  We tied this in with stories from the Bible or other aspects of faith formation. Rabbits and their patron saint, labyrinths, stepping stones, dancing, gardening, children’s books, watercolor art, and more were explored throughout the summer. 

  • Nursery  - Ingrid Sanders, a long-time employee, continues as Nursery Supervisor. A new hire, Nora Bliss, moved to Oregon at the end of May.  We used a rotation of subs through the summer.   All nursery staff are fully vaccinated and have completed the required First Aid/CPR and Safeguarding God’s Children.

  • Children’s Hour. This ministry continues through the academic year and breaks for summer with “Come Join the Circle.” Andrew Davis continues as a pianist.  We meet in the Undercroft for a small snack as we allow time for other children who have not been to Sunday School to join us.  We process into the Redwood Chapel and use stories, songs, and movements to follow the liturgical calendar or Biblical themes.

  • Godly Play Parent Pages incorporated this year with weekly parent emails (digital download) to support upcoming lessons.

  • Everybody Upstairs - This event occurs approximately thrice during the academic year. It involves Godly Play Mentors and children telling the “sermon.” In February, we told the “Parable of the Good Samaritan”.  In October, we will tell the story of “The Circle of the Church Year”.

V B S

Vacation Bible School

”Holy Moses: Rescue, Freedom and the Law”

 

“Holy Moses: Rescue, Freedom, and the Law” Our format used the past two summers was such a success that we continued with the same framework for this summer’s VBS. Our theme revolved around the significant moments in the life of Moses. The children explored this theme through song, dance, yoga, crafts, science experiments, food, and more!  The last day was a Water Play Day, with the partial closure of Aston Street for an inflatable water slide.

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ALL SAINTS' CANDLELIGHT DINNER

We continue to tweak our All Saints Dinner this year.  On Wednesday, November 1st, we will celebrate with an All Saints' Candlelight Dinner, featuring a lovely autumn meal on tables with white tablecloths and many candles! Several of our youth will be dressed as saints while serving the tables. The meal will be followed by an “All Hallow’s Eve costume parade, with the children processing across the stage in their Halloween costumes. It will be followed by our costumed youth sharing information about the saint they represent in costume. We’ll finish the evening with a candlelight walk to our Memorial Garden for a reading of the names of those interred there. Donation jars will be on the table to help raise money for our upcoming youth mission trip.

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OBSERVING THE LITURGICAL CALENDAR

Advent Wreath Making-This annual celebration involves all families creating an Advent wreath for their home, as well as taking home a Devotional Guide (Godly Play based) to mark the season.

NEW THIS YEAR: Lessons and Carols for Children and Youth- This year, we are offering a separate service for children and youth that will run in conjunction with the usual Lessons and Carols service.

Children’s Christmas Pageant-The pageant is a perennial favorite, where all children dress in costume for a beautiful retelling of the Nativity story.

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Shrove Tuesday Pancake Dinner- Children make crafts and enjoy pancake races and other games besides our pancake meal.

Lenten Home Project-This Lent, our take-home devotional, was a “Faces of Easter” wreath. Each family had a wire wreath, copies of the Faces of Easter cards from Godly Play, and a devotional booklet to use in conjunction with the “Faces” cards.

 

Palm Sunday Walk with Church Street churches- We resumed our annual “walk” with First Presbyterian and Central United Methodist this year.  Families join together on Church Street and process with a donkey and palms to Pritchard Park for a short service.

Easter - Easter at Trinity for children involves two identical services (9 a.m. and 11 a.m.).  The children join the grand procession at both services, flower a large outdoor cross, eat hot cross buns, and have our special service in the Redwood Chapel.  Sandwiched between these two services is the Easter Egg Hunt.

OTHER EVENTS & OPPORTUNITIES

The Invisible String- On Wednesdays in October, Amy Peterson offers a Wednesday evening series on “Holy Dying.”  We offer nursery care and a program for children three and up based on the book, “The Invisible String,” a beautiful story about the “string” that connects us to those we love, even when we cannot see them. We will explore the story through different hands-on activities and crafts.

Kick Off Sunday- August 27th - This was the largest Kick-Off Sunday attendance-wise in recent memory!  We had all the usual bells and whistles: Chikomo Marimba Band, inflatable water slide on the street, traveling magician, face painter, balloon twister, fairy hair, lawn games, and a big picnic with Buggy Pops popsicle cart on hand.

Club 345- Our junior youth group for 3rd-5th graders continues to meet monthly during the academic year.  Activities have included: “Fake Sleepover,” a tour of WLOS, Earth Day activities, a trampoline park, mini-golf, a Haunted trail, outreach to Transformation Village, and more.

Four for Families- This ministry happens four times a year, with the goal of gathering our families with elementary-age children and younger ones together for fellowship and community.  Activities included: “Upstairs/Downstairs,” a perennial favorite with families gathering for dinner, followed by the children watching a movie “upstairs” in Tuton Hall and parents heading “downstairs” to the youth room for games and conversation.  We had planned an outing tied in with a Diocesan event at Tryon Equestrian Center but it was cancelled due to weather.

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Upcoming events include “Stargazing and Hot Chocolate” where we have our own private viewing of the sky at UNCA’s observatory with members of the Asheville Astronomy Club, followed by hot chocolate at Asheville Chocolate.  Once again, we will also have families represented at our “All Saints Dinner.”

Children’s Choir -These choirs remain active during the academic year. We started this year with many new children for two choirs!

Submitted by

Beth Chestnut

Director, Children and Families Ministry

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