As usual…sorry for the hiatus! I’ve been swamped with church things, but I have to say, it is a JOY to serve our God with our church.
I’m going to go backwards, because the recipe I’m posting about today is from the first event. So the event before the event this past week. Am I confusing? Womp.
Summer Retreat! The theme was “Hating our sin, and loving our Savior,” and I had the pleasure of counseling the 10th (to-be 11th!) and 9th (to-be 10th, though there was only one) grade girls. To be honest, I was pretty nervous because it was my first time counseling–it’s a little sad that I didn’t think much of the theme while going up. I was more focused on how to serve these girls that I had forgotten that everything is ultimately in God’s hands! He is good. For me, retreat was a good reminder of how unworthy, and how gracious and Holy our God is! Our sin sucks. Period. But by God’s grace, we have our salvation! During retreat, Aaron (who has new music up on his site by the way!) led worship with some of the other students, and they sang Grace Alone 6 out of the 7 sessions. It was hard to follow at first, but by the end of the retreat I was able to follow. Even though it was hard, the lyrics are really descriptive about how it truly is by grace alone that we are saved. I love this part of the song:
So I stand in faith by grace and grace alone
I will run the race by grace and grace alone
I will slay my sin by grace and grace alone
I will reach the end by grace and grace alone
A blessed week indeed! And to my girls: if you’re reading this, thanks for letting me be your counselor this past retreat! Thanks for being open and for helping me understand how to better serve you all. Thank you for being patient with me, and I genuinely hope you were able to learn a lot from this retreat. Thanks for being blessings to me =).
2) Kids’ Arts Academy. (picture credits to Uncle Gaylan). This was basically a different outreach approach for the children’s ministry. Long story short, our church wanted to do something other than VBS, because every church down the street had a VBS program and VBS became more of a day care for many kids. We wanted to reach out to the unchurched through something different. Our children’s director came up with this idea, and I thought it was great! It was new, it was different than VBS that all the other churches were doing, and it was a new way to bring people to Christ. The Arts Academy was a day-long event for kids to learn different forms of arts. What was really great was that we also had a parenting workshop at the same time at church! So the parents could drop their kids off at the academy while they attended the parenting workshop.
Anyways, there were four stations: 3-D Arts, Rhythm & Movement, Fine Arts, and Culinary Arts, and the gospel was tied somehow into each station. I was in charge of administration and the culinary arts. On the Sunday after the arts academy, we displayed the artwork in the courtyard for the congregation to see. It was pretty neat!
For my culinary station, we made butterfly snack bags. It’s easy–you take a wooden clothespin, glue on pipe cleaner antennas, decorate the clothespins, fill up a snack sized ziploc bag with snacks, then clip it right in the middle. This is supposed to represent how we are a new creation in Christ.
In addition to the butterfly bags, we made pizza. Or as I like to call it, Gospel Pizza! I am so thankful for my team, because I don’t think we would have been able to pull through without us bouncing ideas off each other. I wanted something that the kids would enjoy making, but at the same time teach them some basics about the culinary arts and tie in the gospel somehow. After our meeting, we ended up deciding to make the pizza dough, divide them into individual portions, and let the kids roll them out and top them off on their own. Then we would freeze the pizzas (as they moved through all the other stations throughout the day), then let the kids finish the pizzas off by baking them at home.
We came up with five toppings–pineapples, olives, pepperoni, mozzarella cheese, and spinach–and each topping represented a different section of the gospel. The pineapples are gold, which represents Heaven. The olives are black, representing sin. Actually, it was funny–we figured that some kids wouldn’t like olives, so we just said “It’s okay, you’re not supposed to like sin!” The pepperoni is red, representing Jesus’ Blood. The mozzarella cheese is white, which represents purity. And lastly, spinach is green, representing growth. I put it all on a laminated half-sheet recipe card–recipe on the front, gospel on the back–because I also wanted the kids to be able to take something home that wouldn’t eventually rot/be eaten. Thanks Samantha Ho for designing! =)
All in all, the arts academy was a blessing! Super tiring, but totally worth it. For my group, we used over 35 pounds of bread flour and 12 pounds of mozzarella cheese–enough to make almost 200 9-inch pizzas. We had a total of 111 kids come out, and many of them were unchurched, so PRAISE GOD! May His will be done. Ya know, about two weeks before the arts academy, we only had about 50 kids signed up, and it was a little discouraging. But seriously, answered prayers! God is good.
We made a video to show the kids how to make the dough. Thanks Pamela for video-ing and editing!
I’m also attaching the picture of the recipe cards we made. If you do use them for your ministry, please let me know! I would love to hear how you are using this for your ministries =)
Until next time,
Soli Deo Gloria,
and Happy reading, eating, and baking!